Mid Week Tease: Empress of Storms #MidWeekTease #MWTease
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When widower King Matthias IV of Ypres is called upon to fulfill a treaty with the neighboring country of Hellas and provide a royal consort for young Queen Danäe, the only Ypresian royal available for marriage is himself. Can he overcome his grief for his late wife and risk letting a blue-haired witch queen into his heart? And can Danäe, only half-trained as a water mage, root out a magical threat against Matthias before it kills the man she’s loved since childhood?
Matthias kissed her temple as he rubbed her back through the thin fabric of the chemise. Her skin felt moist and warm. He wanted to strip away the cotton and run his hands over the delicate wings of her shoulder blades, down to her waist. He loved the way her hips flared out like an amphora, fitting the curve of his hands perfectly.
“If you’re tired we can simply sleep,” he offered. “The gods know it’s been a long day.” He had any number of questions about what had been in the report on her desk, not to mention what was going on between her brother and his cavalry officer, but he sensed they would be better asked tomorrow.
She looked up at him, blue eyes dark in the flickering light from the oil lamps. “I am tired. But I know our time together is limited, and I don’t want to waste any of it.”
“Time with you is never wasted,” he said, and found he meant it. “I’m happy to hold you in my arms and let you sleep.”
“Matthias.” Her voice was low and laced with something he recognized, a weariness that had nothing to do with the physical. Being a good ruler wasn’t all about wearing crowns and waving to the populace. It was a difficult and time-consuming job, juggling the well-being of a people with the attendant issues of finances, politics, the devising and passing of laws, the defense of the realm, and doing one’s best to make sure that one left an appropriate legacy for the next generation. He’d been doing it for over twenty years and couldn’t claim that he’d mastered the role. Danaë had had the responsibility dropped on her unexpectedly and had been at it for only a year. Her fatigue was palpable to him.
She needed the chance to relax, to hand over the responsibility of her position and simply be. He could do that for her.
He pulled her closer, feeling himself rouse at the warmth of her body. “Or you could give me a great gift,” he murmured. “Let go. For tonight, let me take the burden from you and make the decisions. I promise you, you won’t regret it.”
Her eyes grew even darker, pupils expanding and compressing the blue into thin rings. “I don’t know.” It wasn’t a disagreement so much as a tremor in the elemental pull between them. He could sense her need to to yield to him, if only for one night. He knew what it took to give up control.
He bent down to kiss her, savoring the softness of her lips as they opened to admit his tongue. He could taste wine, salt, lemon, fish, and something underneath that was purely Danaë. She moaned softly into his mouth, clinging to him as if she would slip to the deck without his arms around her. He explored her, mapping every ridge and soft spot with care and precision.
When their kiss ended he could see the spots of high color along her cheekbones, and the pulse beating in her throat like a hummingbird’s wing. He caressed her face, stroking the flushed silk of her cheek. “Let me do this for you, little bird. Let me give you this ease.”
After a long moment, she nodded.
“Good.” His cock throbbed at the spiced honey scent of her desire, the ripeness of her breasts and hips. He wanted to pull her to him, ravish her against the bulkhead, mark her as his own. But this wasn’t about his desire. Tonight would be about her and what she needed.
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