In this scene from A Stolen Heart, Luc is meeting with his ex — the immortal king, Pietas. This king is known for many things, such as never lying, and always getting what he wants, no matter how long it takes him to get it.
“Surprised I’m here?” Pietas scooted in closer and then slipped one hand across Luc’s shoulders. He then slid that hand down Luc’s back.
The man’s touch had no right to feel this good. Twisting toward him, Luc cleared his throat. “Yes. I worried something happened.”
“I’m touched.” A playful smile lit Pietas’s face. “You worried about me?”
“I worry whenever you do something different.”
“Let’s see.” Luc ticked items off his fingers. “Send troops over a border. Incite a riot. Invade a planet. Invade some king’s daughters. Or his sons… Shall I go on?”
Pietas chuckled. “You worry a lot.”
To increase his personal space, Luc adjusted the hang of his jacket. “You’re in a good mood.”
“Yes, yes.” Pietas brushed a dismissive hand through the air. “I haven’t triggered a war, if that’s what you’re fretting about. I’m not sending you out of the Empire, and I’m not planning to feed you to my cat.”
“No,” Pietas agreed, with a bemused expression. “Although if there’s someone you want to be rid of…” He lifted one brow.
“No, no, quite capable of making people disappear on my own, my lord, but I’ll keep a personal dose of panther justice in mind.”
“Panther justice!” Laughing, Pietas laid a hand on his chest. “How I’ve missed your sense of humor. I don’t recall the last time I laughed out loud.” He looked down, toying with a turquoise ring.
The fat nugget of fractured stone occupied his left forefinger. The silver setting evoked a dragon’s open mouth, a gift from Luc hundreds of years ago. Pietas rarely removed it.
Did he cling to their past relationship, or wear it to show Luc he hoped for the future? Either way, Luc could not reconcile being with this man with the desire for freedom. To give birth to one meant the death of the other.
“You know,” Pietas twisted the ring, “I think the last time I laughed, I was with you.”
Watch the video Creating the Dragon Ring https://youtu.be/3wQykjF4S2U
A Stolen Heart
A former space pirate who’s gone straight rescues a vulnerable child adept at breaking into things. By protecting the boy, Luc unlocks secrets that threaten to topple the powerful king Luc once loved. For the child’s safety, Luc must send the boy away, far from danger. Nowhere near him. Even if this little one has already stolen his heart…
Kayelle Allen writes space opera with larger than life, unforgettable characters. Come walk in her worlds and meet them.
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