“Unhand me, slave!” she snapped.
He lifted her feet from the stone, spinning a half turn to place her behind him, facing the steps.
“This building is not safe, highness. I request permission to tear it down before someone is killed.”
“Permission not granted,” she said, still peevish. “And I could have you whipped for laying your hands on me,” she warned, turning to face him with her hands on her hips.
As soon as the words left her mouth she thought he would remind her his foremost duty was her safety, but instead the corner of his mouth curled. “Do so, Princess,” he dared, his eyes heavy-lidded, as if to imply he should enjoy such a thing.
The intimacy shared with her kidnapper leaves Ariana wounded by the experience and his reappearance at the annual tournament only deepens her pain. When her brother foists him on her as a guardian and slave she must come to terms with her feelings for the dominant warrior. Will she send him away to his death, or will she realize her pain is only caused by living without him?
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