Lord of the Forest (Prequel to "The Coven Chronicles")
Moira had been warned to stay away from Night's Edge Forest. But a search for a lost animal has forced her inside. Now, the mighty Lord of the Forest holds her in his control. His overwhelming power has her at his command from they moment they meet, and she wants nothing more than to bind her life to his. But will she prove herself worthy of his desire? And if she does, what will be the result? More
Moira had been warned to stay away from Night's Edge Forest. But a search for a lost animal has forced her inside. Now, the mighty Lord of the Forest holds her in his control. His overwhelming power has her at his command from they moment they meet, and she wants nothing more than to bind her life to his. But will she prove herself worthy of his desire? And if she does, what will be the result of the mingling of human blood with one of the ancient forest gods?
Like a cornered animal, brought to bay at last, she turned to face her pursuer. Her shaking hands held the staff, and her grip tightened, ready to fight.
“Come on out then,” she growled, fear and unwilling lust replaced by resolve. “Show yourself to me.”
A long pause, then the Lord of the Forest appeared.
He took the form of a mighty stag, picking his way delicately from under the shadows of the trees. Five feet high at the shoulder, he towered over her, even from a distance. His coat was a deep dark red, the color of blood, caught with burrs and twigs and leaf fragments. His eyes were a liquid black, beautiful in the dim light. A mighty crown of antlers erupted from his head, the wide span seeming to cradle the sky itself.
Oh. Now I understand. The mingling of fear and lust. Oh, Moira, don't make a mistake now. If the old tales are true, you are about to be blessed above all women.
The stag walked closer, its hooves almost silent on the deep grass of the clearing. It bent its head, the wicked tines of its antlers lowering, until one pressed into the hollow of her throat.
Moira lowered her eyes respectfully. “I give you greeting, my Lord.” Mindful of the danger, she lifted the hem of her skirt in a graceful curtsey.
When she lifted her eyes, the stag was gone. In its place stood a man.
He was fully nude. His red hair, a match for the stag's pelt, hung long past his neck, braided with feathers, shells, and small bones. His black eyes were deep and dark, but alight with mischief. His arms and legs, although bearing many small scratches, were clean, straight, and strong. His chest rose from the sculpted muscles of his stomach, making her pulse flutter. It was almost hairless, but the scattering of red-brown fuzz at his navel gradually broadened and thickened until it merged with the wiry hair at his loins.
Moira was no trembling virgin. She had given her maidenhood to a traveling tinker over a year ago, protected from conception by her grandmother's wisdom. She had found the experience very pleasurable, and looked forward to the day when she would find and wed a man of her own.
But this man...
The Lord spoke, his voice deep, a small thread of humor winding through his words.
“Well, little rabbit. You are far away from your fields. How came you to my domain?” Even in human form, there was a suggestion of horns about his head, wavering like a heat-mirage.
Moira bent her head again, her voice low and respectful. “I came here looking for a lost pig, my lord. I mean no harm to you or the wood.”
Moira shivered as he stepped closer to her. She could feel the heat radiating off his body. His musk rose around her...
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