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“Too long have I lived in this darkness, human," he said, so close to her that his lips touched her earlobe, light as a butterfly’s wing. “Alone.”

Igraine felt the elf’s hot breath as it caressed her cheek. He lowered his head slightly, inhaling deeply. She knew he was taking in her scent. Despite her fear, the urge to touch him was growing so strong that she started to reach out to him. He caught both of her wrists with one of his large hands, pinning them against the wall so she was his helpless prey once again. She gasped when she felt his tongue touch the sensitive spot right below her ear, licking her very softly as if he wanted to taste her before eating her alive. His beauty, his seductive voice were the typical predator’s way of lulling his prey into a false sense of security before killing, without regret.

“So warm, so alive,” he murmured. “And yet you are doomed to die, with every breath you take.” His lips moved downwards, along the side of her neck where the blood rapidly pulsated in her carotid artery. She felt his teeth graze her skin right there.

She never saw it coming. If he had attacked, intending to kill her, she wouldn’t have been surprised. But the elf moved so quickly that she couldn’t comprehend what was happening to her. Still imprisoning her hands above her head, he used his free arm to pull her nearer to his body until only a thin layer of fabric separated them. He crushed her to him so forcefully it hurt, but she didn’t care. Breathing was difficult, anyway.

Suddenly, he let her wrists go and entwined his fingers in her curls. He lifted one of the auburn tresses to his face and rubbed it against his cheek. “Beautiful,” he murmured softly. Then he grabbed a fistful of hair at her neck and pulled her head back. Trapped, she faced him in the darkness while the prince bowed his head to capture her lips …


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