Meagerly covered. Sebastian thought as he watched the soaked woman breathing heavily as she gasped for air.

Knocking the hood of his cloak back gave him a better view. And revealed the shine of his gold hair in the morning light. Long tresses which swayed as he moved.

His gaze traced her from head to toe. She was hiding a lot under those LandingTown clothes.

Hovering over the water, she reached delicate toes to step onto the bank. Her sparking eyes flitting over the clearing. Flashing from dark blue to blood red and back again as she laid eyes on him. Face a mask of fury. Her head fell back as though her damp hair weighed more than she could hold up. Her legs shook and gave as she collapsed.

The reins of Sebastian's mount slipped from his shoulder to land amongst heavy green leaves littering the ground as he moved from Sivikon.

Reaching her side, he caught her just before she'd have hit. Sweeping her into his arms. Come on Little Bird. He grunted. Let's get you inside and have a look at you.


The flawless silver steed followed him, dragging its rein. Matching his master's step.

Bast walked the woods with the horse's warm muzzle resting softly on his shoulder. A glance down revealed the woman's delicate beauty had not been imagined. Certainly, prettier now, unconscious, then when she'd been enraged earlier.

"You were hiding." He murmured more to himself then to her.

"Disguised." She corrected weakly turning her head limply away from him.

The hell you were.


She grunted and blinked slowly. Silvery-white hair brushed with gold poured over his arm, draping down his thigh as he stepped. Black eyelashes rested heavily over her high cheekbones. Face arrowing to a pointed chin that should've put off the viewer but instead leant her features innocence.

Innocence she most certainly doesn't possess. He was certain.

"You weigh little more than a child."

But she doesn't look one. His eyes inadvertently roamed her lush curves.

"I'm no child."

"Oh, I noticed that when you came out of the water."

Unwilling to respond she only blinked heavily before going limp.


She didn't stir again until they entered the clearing around the Keep. Her body tightened.

No. Don't. He braced himself for the impending onslaught. Her wide eyes which had been vacant, now suddenly narrowed. Sweet vulnerability squelched.

Brows snapping together, she turned against his hold. Rotating in his arms while bat-like wings spun from her body. Hands turning to taloned claws, she tore the flesh of his chest as she spring boarded off his torso.

He sucked in his breath at the sting.

Ripping from his grip she darted skyward.

Nope. Catching her ankle, he yanked her from flight.

She thudded to the ground. Instantly rolling to her back to face him. Claws tearing ground as flesh darkened to a similar brown. Glaring up at him through burning red eyes.

Go ahead. Fight me. His blood surged at the sight of the half-naked woman staring hatefully at him. There was something erotic about it. After years of women fawning over me, one panting with rage, her own thoughts written on her face instead of a hypnotic reaction, is far more appealing. Pleasant images of her panting from more pleasurable exertions tore through his mind.

I can't recall ever finding a woman so tempting.

The look on her face was vindictive promise. Her hiss bared pointed little teeth. Flapping her wings dangerously, she screeched in warning.

Threatening me?

Before she could lunge, he casually lifted a palm outward. Freezing her movements and making her wings drop dully. Binding her with invisible chord. She snarled through a curled lip. Lovely blonde mane burning dark as ebony to frame her angular face.

"You wish to tear me apart, do you?" He rubbed a hand against his shredded chest in an effort to soothe the burn.

"Without a moment's hesitation."

Good. Keep struggling. He'd begun to think it wasn't possible to find one immune to his animalistic appeal. Yet, here she is.


But peering into her mind to find that she was actually afraid of sobered him instantly.

"Calm, Elsabet." He gave a chastising cluck. "Your fears are unfounded with me." Willing his tone soft, he kept his hand out defensively. Prepared to send another surge of magic if needed.

"I fear nothing." Chin hitching. Her voice rose as a dark whisper in his mind. Her mouth unmoving.

And secretly he hoped for more of her beautiful fury.

He felt an immediate response to the crackle of energy in the air. His animal trying to roar to the fore, making his eyes flash gold and breathing deepen as power pulsed through him.

Pressing against his magic she tried to rise. Almost a physical shove against him as she struggled under the strength of his will. Rising to her knees she slowly lifted to stand. Wings shivering against their bindings until finally snapping loose.

"Strong little thing, aren't you?" He gave a lopsided grin. Impressed.

Give me more, Little Bird. He growled low in his throat.

Her head tilted down as she eyed him from under lowered lashes. Squawking again.

For the first time in a century, Sebastian felt excitement. Energy and hope.

She took a step towards him.

His mind raced. You're mine. He decided in that moment. You're not going anywhere.

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