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The window was located on the fourth floor. She sighed, and mused to herself, “Well, if the fall doesn’t kill me, they will.” She leaned out the window, closed her eyes and let herself fall. Just as she braced herself for the impact, strong arms closed around her—strong bhresya arms.

She knew her plan hadn’t worked. Guthr must have noticed her actions and caught her. She opened her eyes to the inevitable. A slow smile curved her lips when she saw whose arms held her. “You must be King Melchior.”

Serenity looked at her husband-to-be. He was one of the most handsome bhresya males she had ever seen. True, her experience with bhresya males was limited, but her experience with males, in general, wasn’t.

She’d seen hundreds of human males—servants, the palace guards, nobles, etc. And though many of her species would crucify her for such a thought, there was not much difference between the way bhresyas looked and the way humans looked.

Bhresyas had two ears, two eyes, one nose and one mouth—all in the same places. Their mouths sported long, sharp canines, their eyes had two irises of different colors instead of one, and their ears were pointed.

They didn’t walk on hoofed feet or have forked tails—they didn’t have tails of any kind. Their tongues were forked, but that was easily forgotten when faced with the true differences between bhresyas and humans—their coloring and their horns.

Bhresyas came in a wide range of colors, from purest white to darkest black and every color in-between. The horns, which sprouted from their temples, their foreheads, or their necks, were the reason most humans referred to bhresyas as demons.

Melchior’s horns, only a shade of blue darker than his skin, came from his upper neck. They moved outward away from his body and then curved back so the two pointed ends met over the top of his head.

Serenity wanted to trace her fingers over the curve but couldn’t. Partially because her hands were tied behind her back and because such an act was highly intimate, even if she wasn’t bound. Only families and loved ones dared to touch another’s horns. Only lovers touched another’s horns the way Serenity wanted to touch Melchior’s. Serenity was none of the above—yet.

As with Rhiannon before her, Melchior found himself nodding at Serenity’s observation but unable to form an answer. His silence was for wholly different reasons. Rhiannon had confused him with rapid subject changes, but Serenity confused him with her total trust. She was completely relaxed in his arms and smiling at him.

He lowered her so she sat sideways on the saddle before him. He couldn’t do anything but stare at her. Her wide brown eyes showed merriment. Whereas most females would scream and cry about being kidnapped, Serenity looked calm and happy.

A wayward strand of black hair from Serenity’s long braid brushed against her cheek. Melchior smoothed it back in place with the edge of his fingertips. Serenity turned her face into his hand but held his gaze.

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Serenity by D. Reneé Bagby

Serenity by D. Renee Bagby cover

Fantasy Romance

They can have an everlasting love… if the demon will allow it.

Assassination attempts are nothing new for Princess Serenity. Since before her birth, many enemies have tried to end her life to stop her from fulfilling a marriage treaty that would bring an end to the war between humans and demons. She happily embraces her upcoming role and wants nothing more than to be a loving wife to her new husband, but that may be asking too much in a political union.

King Melchior is not a demon and his people aren’t savage monsters. He proposed the marriage treaty to prove to the humans that he and his people want peace. He didn’t expect to end one battle just to start a new one in his bedroom. No matter how eager his new wife proclaims to be, he has no intention of letting her in his bed or his heart.

The atmosphere of the palace is strained, and the estranged royal couple have made themselves easy targets for attack. The assassins will restart war the moment they kill Serenity, but one magic is strong enough to save her. In order to use it, Melchior must decide which is more important to him—his pride as the ruler of a strong and powerful people or his love for a small, determined human who was brave enough to offer her heart to a demon.

 

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