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Authors: Rebecca Zanetti
heart speeding up to knock uncomfortably against her ribs. Power blanketed him like the thickest of mantles even in the comfortable room. A wicked shiver of awareness wound leisurely down her spine.
    He straightened and nodded toward the chair.
    She didn’t move, continuing her perusal of him. His black hair was unbound and free about his massive shoulders. He’d tossed his jacket aside, his hard chest outlined nicely by the soft shirt. Through his slacks, his thick legs showed power in the bunched muscles. She tried not to notice the obvious bulge in the center of his groin; an impressive erection he did nothing to hide.
    â€œEmma, we need to talk.” His voice was a low growl. Even with that spectacular body, his face commanded the most attention. Sharp planes threw deep hollows into dangerous darkness, the square jaw hinting at determination and the full lips promising the heated depths of wicked sensuality. The dark slashes of his brows and the irrationally long lashes unapologetically contrasted with the burning silver of his eyes.
    â€œI know.” A breathiness coated her voice and she fought the urge to clear her throat. It wouldn’t help.
    â€œSit down.” This time he didn’t nod toward the chair.
    She didn’t want to sit, needing to be on her feet to face the masculine power swirling around the room. “No.”
    A simple word Dage hadn’t truly heard in over three hundred years.
    Three feelings slammed into him simultaneously; the first was surprise, the second a grudging admiration, and the third was need. The need to dominate. It flashed through his blood with raw claws and struck harshly at his groin. Yet he deliberately turned and placed his brandy on the mantel before facing her squarely.
    He reminded himself that he was a king, and control was his responsibility. But as his eyes slowly wandered down the deep shimmering gown that hugged her lush figure and brought out her incredible blue eyes, he knew with a man’s certainty control was merely a hopeful thought taught by those who knew better.
    â€œNot used to the word no ?” she asked with a hint of sarcasm.
    He narrowed his gaze. “Most people wouldn’t dare.” The fact that she’d dared made him harder than he’d been in his long life. The urge to teach her the result of tempting his beast was one he’d satisfy. Without question.
    â€œI would think most kings aren’t. However, you are not my king, either by birth or fealty.” Her eyes flashed with too much challenge for him to ignore.
    He cocked his head to the side. She knew exactly the temptation she presented.
    What the hell was she doing? Emma fought the urge to take a step back, knowing she might as well be shaking a red flag in front a raging bull. She couldn’t seem to help herself. “And I won’t take orders from you.”
    The smile he flashed her was not kind, even with the flirtatious dimple winking for just a second. It was knowing, wicked, carnal. “Oh love, you misunderstand. It wasn’t the king demanding your obedience.” His muscles bunched like a predator before springing. “It was the man.”
    â€œThere’s a difference?” The urge to run spiked through her blood.
    â€œAbsolutely. The king has rules.” He moved faster than she could track and hauled her off the ground, easily holding her an inch from his mouth. Her legs dangled uselessly as her hands reached to protest against his chest. “The man doesn’t.”
    His mouth plundered hers. Gone was the sweet kiss of seduction he’d used in the cave or the teasing exploration of his tongue from earlier in the evening. Masculine need, demanding and strong, surrounded her as he swept inside her mouth, taking what he wanted.
    Her world spun, and her mind swam. A sharp longing spiraled through her body to pinpoint in one vulnerable spot. She had to get away from him. She kicked out, not connecting well

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