CLAIMED BY THE KING
by Lorelei Moone Shifters of Black Isle, #1 Publication Date: July 20, 2018 Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Shifters, BBW, Novella, Standalone
Abandoned by her people, a young woman was being sent to her doom.
Kelly was going to be a prisoner; a slave. At least that’s what she thought as she waited for the mysterious giants that lived on the Black Isles to claim her. A human sacrifice, once every eight years. That’s what it took to keep mankind safe from these savages.
The human would ensure the survival of his bloodline. Whether he liked it or not.
Broc’s reign as King of the Black Isles had lasted seven years already. That was a long time to go without a queen and therefore, an heir. He knew what he had to do; to claim the human offering and make her his own.
When they met, it changed everything. A glimmer of hope, even of love, in unexpected places. But life on the Black Isles was far from simple. And there were powerful secrets, yet to be uncovered, that could change everything yet again.
Claimed by the King is the first in Lorelei Moone’s brand new fantasy romance series, Shifters of Black Isle. Shifters, magic and relatable characters; set in a mysterious, distant land, where anything seems possible, and yet all its inhabitants hold dear could be destroyed in an instant.
Soon after Broc gave up on trying to hear further signs of her movements, he heard the creak of yet another door. His own.
He opened his eyes, his vision already accustomed to the darkness of his room, and found Kelly's silhouette pausing in the entrance. She wouldn't be able to see a thing beyond the dimly glowing torch on the wall, giving him the advantage in this case.
"Broc, umm, your majesty," her soft voice called out. "I do apologize for disturbing you." He sat up, surprised that she hadn't intended to keep her presence secret. Perhaps the clever girl had realized that there was no chance of surprising a battle hardened warrior such as Broc in his sleep.
"Just Broc is fine. What’s the matter?"
"Would it be permissible for me to ask a few questions? After sleeping for a day already, it's impossible for me to find rest now."
Kelly stepped inside his room, while keeping her head lowered.
Broc got up to light a candle on the glowing torch on the wall, and noticed her gaze wandering from the corner of her eye. She spent a few moments stealthily looking around the large yet sparsely furnished room, then finally lingered on him.
"Shall I wait until you're dressed?" she asked, still unwilling to look at him directly for a long time, yet seemingly unable to contain her curiosity at his half-naked form.
He had always favored sleeping in only his breeches. The cold air of the unheated room did not bother him.
"You assume I was planning to get dressed." Broc kept a straight face, even though his comment was meant in jest.
If Kelly was shocked at his candor, she didn't show it. Instead she stepped forward a couple of paces, her relatively short human legs carrying her about half the distance a giant's stride would have.
Curiosity overcame him. What was she doing here?
"Your questions?" Broc asked, before taking a seat on the heavy chair beside his bed.
"What is my purpose… here?" Kelly folded her arms in front of her, then unfolded them again.
Clearly, the girl was nervous but trying very hard not to let it show.
"Every eight years a human woman is offered up by the men of the mainland." Broc's explanation was intentionally vague; he was trying to test her reaction. “You know this.”
It took a few seconds of stark silence for her to formulate a follow-up question.
"Am I to be your woman?" she finally asked.
Broc couldn't suppress a smile. Indeed this one was quite different. Cautious when necessary, but of strong character and unusually direct. In a way she was a good match for his people. Islanders who didn't care much for false niceties and play acting.
It was a relief that she hadn’t asked anything he would be unable to share during the transition. "That depends."
Kelly shot him a curious look, before averting her eyes towards the floor again. "I do apologize if that was too forward. It was the only thing that made sense. Since I was seated beside you at the feast.”
“But your behavior puzzles me."
Broc got up from his seat and stepped towards the girl, who instinctively flinched backwards only slightly. An involuntary reflex.
"My behavior, you say." He reached for her, guiding Kelly's chin up towards him until she couldn't help but look up into his eyes. There was something there, when their eyes met, a spark, a glimmer of something he'd first felt when he’d collected her from that dark beach, not even two days ago.
This mysterious force seemed to grow with every moment he spent in her presence, making him question his patience, second-guessing his plan to woo her slowly. It was a powerful sensation which normally only songs were sung about, but which was rarely discussed in the open. The sacred bond between a man and woman who were meant to be.
As she blinked quicker than normal, her thick lashes momentarily hid her light green eyes from view. He heard her breathing pause, then speed up again.
She felt it too. He could tell.
"How would you have me behave, my lady?" Broc shot her the swiftest of smiles, so quick it would be easy to miss.
"That I do not know. But I know I didn't expect… this." The way her shapely lips moved with every spoken word all but drove him crazy. His inner beast told him to pounce; an urge that became harder and harder to ignore as he continued to look into her eyes. But at the same time she spoke to his protective side. Those instincts that had served him well as King of the Black Isles, that had ensured the survival of his people through many a battle.
Kelly's heartbeat grew more frantic with every passing moment, Broc could hear it so clearly. At the same time her eyes seemed to turn a darker shade of green as her pupils dilated. Broc had seen that same look on other people's faces. Couples, who could or would not hide their feelings for one another from the rest of the world.
He could no longer fight his desires, and leaned down, bringing his face closer to hers until her eyes fluttered shut. She wanted him too, he could smell the change in her.
His normally controlled demeanor made way for something entirely new and reckless. It had been his self-control which had won him the throne, seven years ago. But faced with her, alone in his chambers during this quiet hour, he became a different man.
Broc gently touched his lips to hers, then gathered her up in his strong arms and carried her towards the bed. She embraced him and pressed herself tightly against his hard, muscular chest, all the while returning his kisses with a passion he had not foreseen.
Full of surprises, this human. She was unlike anything he could have imagined. He laid her down on the plush pillows, her expression one of shock mixed with feverish anticipation.
"I'm sorry, I don't know what came over me," she stammered.
Despite her initial protest, she embraced him again, running her hands over his shoulders and chest, down the trail of dark hair running along his chiseled abs.
"No need to be sorry. I'm at fault." Broc leaned in again, tasting the sweetness of her lips until she instinctively parted them, allowing their tongues to meet for the very first time. Their tender, yet rushed explorations progressed until Kelly's touch lost all hesitation and reluctance and seemed to become one with her own base instincts.
It seemed that she didn't notice, or didn't care when he slipped the soft fabric of her nightgown off her shoulders, exposing more of her ivory skin. He could resist her no more, letting his hands explore the generous curves on her body which had enticed him from the beginning. All the women Broc had grown up with and lived amongst were hardened by battle, strong and capable fighters, just like the men. There was nothing soft or gentle about their bodies. He'd never thought about it before, but from the moment he'd seen Kelly, he knew he had been missing something.
By the way she moved against him, he could tell she was strong too, for a human. But she was also delicate, irresistibly fragile. Every fiber in his body was alerted to the fact that her safety and her happiness were now to be his first priority. He would protect her from harm, and do his best to give her anything she desired. At this moment, as he laid her down on her back, allowing her fiery red hair to fan out on his bed, he knew that she desired pleasure.
He climbed on top of her, taking care not to hurt her with his considerable bulk, and continued to kiss his bride as if it was the only thing that mattered.
ABOUT LORELEI MOONE
Lorelei Moone is an author of paranormal / fantasy romance based in London. A lover of all things sweet, and caffeinated, when she’s not writing about sexy bear shifters and their strong-willed curvaceous love interests, Lorelei can be found baking cookies or cakes for her family.