Title of book: Ruler’s Concubine by Peri Elizabeth Scott
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Word count: 66,204
Meridia is headed for extinction, unless a compatible species can be found. The backward planet, Earth, the one the Meridians stripped of technology now holds the only promising species in the Galaxy. As Ruler, Lysett Daboort will do his duty and choose a royal concubine from those women ‘liberated’ from Earth, but that is all it will be—until he meets Celeste Raynor.
Celeste is barely subsisting on Earth and isn’t enamored with becoming one of Meridia’s concubines, despite the esteem afforded their females. But there is nothing left for her at home and she isn’t averse to having a child to love, not to mention a caring, supportive partner. Until she meets the Ruler himself.
The Ruler resists Celeste’s appeal and she refuses his arrogant approach, yet they must somehow come to terms. Lysett rules supreme, or does he? Because love has the most power of all.
This isn't happening. This is not happening. If she kept repeating those words then surely it would be true and she’d miraculously wake up from this erotic nightmare and in her own bed. Except it wasn't a nightmare and she most certainly wasn’t in her assigned bed—or even on her own planet. Although her imagination was fertile—and she’d seen pictures of him—it was unlikely to manifest the enormously good looks and incredible physique of the alien male who was stripping right before her very eyes. Yes, stripping. Removing all of his clothes, not five feet from where she lay on a bed constructed of some otherworldly material that both cushioned and restrained her. Had it only been yesterday when Bast told her today would be the day? No wonder she hadn’t slept well, thinking about this. And why did this Ruler look even better in person?
Once he’d overcome his reticence to speak so frankly with her, Bast had prepared her with stories of his Master’s need, of his sexual prowess and all the pleasures he would bestow, not to mention that cup of elixir she’d swallowed down.
Being assured it was the planet’s best aphrodisiac had her quaffing the liquid as though it were a life saver. Its effects were marked almost immediately as she cataloged an increase in her body temperature and a definite aching in her private parts with embarrassingly obvious lubrication accompanying the throbbing. Even her breasts had ached, the nipples tightening and beading in reaction to the potion.
But the effect had worn off because Lysett had been detained for a considerable period. The delay had given her too much time to reflect on her decision and the strange glowing feelings throughout her body had diminished—until he walked through the door. His good looks stole her breath, and when he began to take his clothes off, she wanted to do shocking, sexual things with him. The emotional and physical swings made her stomach lurch.
Her uninfluenced sexual-self recognized the potency of such a male, and to say she wasn’t naturally aroused would be untrue. Her body acknowledged a male suited to her, awash with chemistry and basic animal instinct. It was simply the circumstances that brought her here, and the stark implications of the contract that spoiled their first interaction. Why hadn’t he deviated from so-called royal tradition and spent some time with her beforehand? Surely Bast had relayed that even an initial chat would be optimum.
Celeste’s heart rate doubled, then tripled, when Lysett’s erection sprang forth as his lower garments were yanked down, and dark spots swam in her vision. That part of him was a duskier gold than the rest of his burnished skin, and freaking huge.
“Shhh, Lady.” Bast’s caramel tones spoke soothingly in her right ear, and one of his hands tentatively patted her shoulder. She’d very nearly forgotten he was still in the room with her—with her and his Master, although he had handled the process clinically and indicated he would leave before… “You are prepared for this union, as we discussed. It will be over before you know it, and if you get with offspring this first time, there will be no need for further joinings. Unless you wish them. And to beget other children.”
Well, didn’t that make her feel special? No pressure either. Merely a vessel out here in space, far away from home, to be used. She blinked away the tears that welled in reaction. Where was her voice? She could still say no…
The Ruler paused in his approach to the bed and glared at Bast after he spoke, though that look encompassed her as well. Celeste had never felt so naked—or so vulnerable. She knew what was supposed to happen. She thought she was ready. Not. And to think she’d scoffed at the wait, chuckled about others procreating before this man. No one would dare. Shocking need warred with apprehension.
“You assured me she was prepared, Bast.” Lysett’s perfect features set in angry lines and those remarkable green eyes now appeared as cold and frozen as that small pond at her home place in the winter months. She tried to use the memory of Earth to distract her, and it caused a homesick shudder to take over her entire body, the gentle clasp of the bed’s fabric undulating to keep her in place.
Lysett’s attention snapped fully to her in an instant, his orbs now glowing with green fire as the vertical slash of his pupils elongated. His gaze raked her body, lingering on her breasts and the apex of her thighs. Despite her limited experience with men, let alone alien men, Celeste recognized lust and desire and her body responded. Or maybe it was apprehension.
“She is prepared, Master. I do assure you. It is merely that a period of time has passed since we expected you to attend her, and it is no surprise that your concubine is experiencing a trifle of anxiety.”
Even with the translator chip, Bast’s wording felt off to her, and she decided to add her own voice. This was going to happen, this attending to her, no matter how she second-guessed her decision, and she believed Bast when he promised she’d be safe here. Having sex—joining—with his Master until she conceived was something she could do. Women did it all the time, had done it over the eons. It wasn’t like she was being forced or anything. And she wasn’t a prostitute, although that profession got a bad rap as far as she was concerned when one considered women had to survive somehow.
She was, according to the contract, a revered commodity, a virgin concubine—who wasn’t going to be a virgin much longer—a concubine who would bear a child for the alien ruler, right? And if the baby was female, she too would be cherished and Lysett would try again to beget a son. And again… All of Bast’s teachings slipped through her brain with lightning speed. Celeste shivered and quit thinking about all those possibilities and focused on what she’d been promised.
She would want for nothing, be well taken care of, and ultimately, kept safe. The presenter’s words and those of Bast rattled around in her head. Given her past circumstances, it was a no-brainer, and she couldn’t go home. Her body was up for it, and her mind had accepted it was the best out of all her choices. So it must be her heart throwing up the roadblock, looking for romance, all because of his pictures and the wonderful things his first servant had said about him.
That was nonsense. Just look at the agony love caused a person. Her stupid heart must be masochistic. This was the best deal she’d get and it was time she said something. There was no way she could go through this process again. Humiliation drowned her common sense. She moistened her lips and addressed Lysett, who was busily engaged in a staring contest with Bast.
“I am prepared, sir. Sir. Ruler. I won’t give you any trouble.”
His eyes froze through to their depths again and his dark brows drew together. She noted his erection didn’t flag at all, though. He might be annoyed, but it didn’t affect his arousal. The wide head glistened in the well-lit chamber, with his natural lubricant beading at the tiny slit. She had timidly asked if her deflowering couldn’t take place in the dark, but Bast refused, saying that tradition didn’t allow it. Spread eagle as she was, there was little left to the imagination, and she flushed again with embarrassment and no small shame. Lysett was superbly made, muscled and lean, with broad shoulders, long thick legs, and narrow hips. She was … well, she was short, and small and round, now that she’d had enough to eat. So not like the remaining Meridian females on this planet. And certainly not the cream of the crop of the human females either.
“You were not given leave to speak.”
Celeste didn’t much care for the way he snarled at her, Ruler or not.
Peri Elizabeth Scott lives in Manitoba, Canada. She recently closed her part time private practice as a social worker and child play therapist. Her love of children extends to the animal world, and her most recent rescue includes a one-eyed cat with an Elvis smirk.
Peribeth and her husband have a seasonal business and pretend to work well together, so she will always have a job.
Writing for years, mostly short stories and poetry, she has published dark erotica under another pen name and reads everything she can lay her hands on.