Dee Brice

Courting KelCourting Kel


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Abducted from her homeworld, Amazonian warrior Kel finds herself imprisoned on Ondrican, a sexual slave to its heir, Prince Aren. Being older than most Amazonians are when they take their first lovers, Kel is more than willing to discover pleasure in his embrace. But when Aren announces taking her virginity has made them husband and wife, Kel vows to escape him and return home. She wants his wooing but not the wedding.

Aren has known for years he must marry and produce a legitimate heir. He finds Kel’s untutored lovemaking a sensual delight, but her refusal to acknowledge their marriage stuns him and hurts his pride. Determined to win her warrior heart, he takes his reluctant bride to the country and weaves a spell of sensual pleasure around them both.

Behind the lovers’ backs, their parents are plotting to keep them together. Only the marriage of their hearts will end centuries of feuding between their worlds

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An Excerpt

Copyright © DEE BRICE, 2009
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

Chapter One

“Put that one in with the chocolates, her with the caramels.”

Prince Aren of Ondrican watched his cousin and spaceship’s commander sort through a bevy of women according to... “Candy, Tage?”

“Eye candy, yes. The blonde goes with the white truffles,” Tage shouted above the din to a crewman with two lush females clinging to him like limpets.

“Aye, Captain, if I can make ‘em understand they aren’t necessarily for me.” He continued down the gangway, winking as he passed Aren and Tage standing on the pier.

Stroking his chin, Aren watched as more women of every size, shape and hair color debarked his flagship, The Herald. “You could group them by eye color,” he said.

“Could sort them like fruits and vegetables as well. But then where would you put her?” Tage jutted his chin at the last woman in line. Two guards flanked her.

“Strawberries,” Aren said without hesitation. The sun turned the tall woman’s hair to red-gold flames. “Why is she restrained?”

“Easier to put one in the brig than the whole shipload.”

“Tage,” Aren said, sounding as impatient as he felt.

Tage said, looking rather irritated himself, “She claims she was drugged, kidnapped and sold. Demanded to be returned to her homeworld. Tried to convince the other women to mutiny.”

“As Storr and I have told you, Tage, none of the brides were to be forced.” “I don’t know where she came from, Your Majesty, and the others weren’t forced.” “Where’d you find her?”

As if Aren should recognize her, Tage sneered. Ah. My bride, Aren thought. Although he’d been expecting her, he had not anticipated her arriving with a shipload of... But King Storr was noted throughout the galaxy for his frugality. Why send a special ship when Tage and The Herald were collecting brides for The Choosing?

“She found me. Marched right up to me on the flight deck. Claimed she’d been abducted and ordered me to turn the ship around. ‘This minute,’ she said, like she was in command.”

“And?”

“I had put her in with the other women. Two days later, a delegation of brides...requested she be moved elsewhere.”

“Requested?” Tage’s face turned red all the way to his hairline. “That’s the word the brides used.”

“And you’re sticking to it, eh?”

“’Til I’m dead and buried.”

Rubbing his chin and hiding a smile, Aren studied the woman who’d rattled Tage’s composure. Taller than the other immigrating brides, she carried herself like someone who expected to be obeyed. And while the other women wore garments that showed off their assets, the redhead’s simple tunic concealed as much as it revealed. A hemp rope defined a slender waist and accented her narrow hips. Beyond that, he couldn’t say much about her figure. Given her height, however, he imagined her legs were long. Unbidden, his shaft swelled. He pictured her legs wrapped around his waist as he pumped into her heat. Distracting himself from that image, he said, “I don’t suppose you questioned her.”

“I tried. She threw her dinner at me.”

“At which point you threatened to starve her.” Had she really been abducted? That didn’t augur a happy beginning to their marriage.

“Yes. Kept her on bread and water the entire week,” Tage said. “Blasted woman only drank the water. Said warriors were accustomed to going without food.” Tage focused puzzled blue eyes on Aren’s face. “She could have had the best food in the entire galaxy, but she refused to eat. Now...”

“What?”

“She exercised instead of eating. Worked out several times every day. And now stinks like guanshit.”

Clapping Tage’s wide back, Aren laughed, drawing the woman’s gaze. Her dark eyebrows rose—a dismissive expression that hit him like a slap to his face.

“Have her taken to my quarters.”

Tage sputtered, a sure sign of protest but said, “Yes m’lord.”

Aren watched him stride away and heard Tage muttering, “Your rooms will stink for a week, m’lord. And if I were you, m’lord, I’d hide my weapons. Plan to keep my jewels, m’lord. Can’t say the same for yours.”