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Dark Hunter Series (1) – Fantasy Lover – Sherrilyn Kenyon Page 1 of FANTASY LOVER Dark Hunter Series – Book 1 By Sh. Read Fantasy Lover (Dark-Hunter #) online free from your iPhone, iPad, android, Pc, Mobile. Fantasy Lover is a Romance novel by Sherrilyn Kenyon. FantasyFictionRomanceThriller. Dear Reader,. Being trapped in a bedroom with a woman is a grand thing. Being trapped in hundreds of bedrooms over two.

Hallelujah, I can't believe it! And nothing short of a meteorite crashing through the house would make her stop until she got her way. That kind of sensory deprivation was sheer, unrelenting torture. Things like this just didn't happen in real life. Fantasy Fiction Romance Thriller.

Help me quick, before he kills me with my allergies. She headed back into the house while she flipped through its pages. It's a farce. How many times do I have to tell you that some little old man sits in a back room somewhere making all this stuff up? I'll bet there's something in the first few paragraphs that I can't read. That must be it. And Selena calls me stubborn. The phone rang. Answering it, Grace heard Bill's voice asking for Selena. Selena took it. By the sudden pallor of Selena's features, she could tell something had happened.

I'll be right home. Are you sure you're all right? Okay, I love you. Over and over, she saw the policeman at her dorm room door, heard his dispassionate voice: Thank God, it wasn't a car wreck.

His friends took him to a doc-in-the-box and had it X-rayed before they dropped him off. He told me not to worry, but I think I better get on home.

Besides, I'm sure it's nothing serious. You know what a worrywart I am. You stay here and enjoy the rest of your movie. I'll call you tomorrow morning. Let me know how he's doing. As she started out the door, she paused and handed the book back to Grace. Keep it. It should give you a good laugh for the next few days while you remember what an idiot I am. Just eccentric. Until they locked her up. With a tired sigh, Grace shut and locked the door, then tossed the book on the sofa.

Would Selena ever outgrow such nonsense? She turned off the TV and took their dirty dishes to the kitchen sink. As she rinsed out the glasses, she saw a bright flash of light. For a second, she thought it was lightning. Until she realized it came from inside the house. At first she didn't see anything. But as she came flush with the doorway, she felt a strange presence. One that made the hair on the back of her arms and neck rise. Cautiously, she entered the room and saw a tall figure standing in front of the couch.

It was a man. A handsome man. A naked man! Chapter 3 Grace did what most any woman would do while confronting a naked man in her living room. She screamed. Then she ran for the front door. Only she forgot about the cushions that were still on the floor where they'd piled them.

Tripping over two, she went sprawling. She silently cried as she landed in a painful heap. She had to do something to protect herself.

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Terrified and shaking, she scrambled through the cushions, looking for a weapon. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the wine bottle. Grace rolled toward it and grabbed it in her hand, then whirled to face her intruder. Faster than she could react, he wrapped his warm hand around her wrist, tenderly immobilizing it. Good gracious, but his deep masculine voice was rich, with a thick, lilting accent that could only be described as musical.

And downright yummy. Her senses dulled, Grace looked up and Well Quite honestly, there was only one thing she saw, and it made her face hotter than Cajun gumbo. After all, how could she miss it since it was just an arm's reach away. And it was such a large it, too. In the next instant, he knelt by her side and gently brushed her hair out of her eyes. He ran his hands over her scalp as if feeling for an injury. Her gaze feasted on his chest.

Unable to move or look past all that incredible skin, Grace fought the urge to moan at the intensely wicked sensation of his fingers in her hair.

Her entire body burned from it. Again that strange, glorious accent that reverberated through her like a warm, soothing caress. She stared at the wealth of golden, tawny skin that seemed to beckon her hand to reach out and touch it. He practically glowed! Compelled, she wanted to see his face, to see for herself if the whole of him was as incredible as his body. As she looked up, past the sculpted muscles of his shoulders, her mouth dropped. The wine bottle slid from her numbed fingers.

It was him! It couldn't be. This couldn't be happening to her, and he couldn't be naked in her living room with his hands in her hair. Things like this just didn't happen in real life. Most especially not to average people like her.

And yet "Julian? He had the sleek, powerful build of a finely toned gymnast. His muscles were hard, lean, and gorgeous, and well defined in places she didn't even know a man could get muscles. On top of his shoulders, his biceps and forearms. His chest and back. His neck to his legs. You name it, it bulged with raw, masculine strength. Even it had started to bulge. His golden hair fell in haphazard waves around a cleanshaven face that looked as if it really had been carved from stone.

Unbelievably handsome and captivating, his face was neither pretty nor feminine. But it was definitely breathtaking. Full, sensuous lips curved into a halfhearted smile, displaying a set of dimples that cut deep moons into his tanned cheeks. And those eyes. They were the clear celestial blue of a perfect cloudless sky with a tiny band of dark blue highlighting the outer edges of his irises.

His eyes were searing in their intensity and shining with intellect.

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She had a feeling his looks, really could kill. Or at the very least, devastate. And she was certainly devastated at the moment.

Captivated by a man too perfect to be real. She was amazed when his arm didn't evaporate, proving all this was just a drunken hallucination. No, that arm was real. Real and hard and warm. The skin beneath her palm flexed into a powerful muscle that made her heart pound. Stunned, Grace could do nothing but stare. Julian arched a puzzled brow. Never before had a woman run away from him.

Nor discarded him after she'd spoken the summons's chant. All the others had waited in expectation for his incarnation, then fallen instantly into his arms, demanding he pleasure them. But not this one She was different. His lips itched to smile as he swept his gaze over her. Her thick, sable hair fell to the middle of her back, and her light gray eyes looked like the sea just before a storm. Gray eyes flecked with tiny bits of silver and green that shone with intelligence and warmth.

Her smooth, pale skin was covered with little light brown freckles. She was every bit as adorable as her smooth, accented voice. Not that it would have mattered. Regardless of her looks, he existed only to serve her sexually. To lose himself in the savoring of her body with his, and he fully intended to do just that.

He would have to remember that. Nipples he couldn't wait to see. To taste. He moved to touch her. Grace stepped back, her heart hammering. This wasn't real. It couldn't be real. She was just drunk and delusional. Or she must have whacked her head on the coffee table and she was unconscious and bleeding to death.

Yes, that was it! That made sense. At least it made a lot more sense than the deep humming throb that burned through her body. A throb that begged her to jump this guy's bones. And they were such nice bones, too. When you have a fantasy, girl, you definitely go all the way. You're starting to take home your patients' dreams. He reached out for her and cupped her cheeks in his strong hands.

Grace couldn't move. All she could do was let him tilt her head up until she looked into those penetrating eyes she was sure could read her soul. They hypnotized her like those of a deadly predator lulling its prey. She quivered in his embrace. Then, hot, demanding lips covered her own. Grace moaned in response. She'd heard all her life about kisses that made women weak in their knees, but this was the first time she'd ever experienced one.

Oh, but he felt good, smelled good, and he tasted even better. Of their own accord, her arms wrapped around his shoulders, broad and rock-hard. The heat of his chest seeped into hers, beckoning her with erotic, sensual promise of what was to come. And all the while, he ravished her mouth masterfully like a Viking marauder bent on total devastation.

Every inch of his magnificent body was pressed intimately against her own, rubbing hers in a manner meant to heighten her feminine awareness of him. And oh, baby, she was aware of him in a way she'd never been aware of any other man.

She slid her hand down the sculpted muscles of his bare back and sighed as they bunched beneath her hand. Grace decided right then and there that if this was a dream, she definitely didn't want the alarm to go off.

Or the phone to ring. Or His hands roamed her back before cupping her buttocks and pressing her hips closer to his as his tongue danced with hers. The smell of sandalwood filled her senses. Dark Hunter Series 1 — Fantasy Lover — Sherrilyn Kenyon Page 31 of Her body molten, Grace explored the taut, corded muscles of his naked back with her palms as his long hair swept against the back of her hands in an erotic caress.

Julian's head swam at her warm touch, at the pleasant feel of her arms wrapped tightly around him as he ran his hands over the bounty of her soft freckled skin. How he loved the sounds she made as she responded so provocatively to him. Mmm, he couldn't wait to hear her scream out in release. To see her head thrown back while her body spasmed around his. It had been so very long since he'd last felt a woman's touch. So long since he'd last had any human contact at all. His body was white-hot with desire, and if this were anything but their first time, he'd devour her like a morsel of sweet chocolate.

Lay her down and ravish her like a starving man at a banquet. But that would have to wait until she was used to him. He'd learned centuries ago that women always swooned from their first union. And he definitely didn't want this one to faint. Not yet anyway. Still, he couldn't wait another minute to have her. Scooping her up in his arms, he headed for the stairs.

At first, Grace couldn't think past the incredible feel of strong arms surrounding her with heat—of a man actually picking her up and not groaning from the effort. But as they passed the large wooden pineapple at the base of her balustrade, she woke up with a start. In that instant, she realized that as tall and powerful as he was, he could do anything in the world he wanted with her and she would be powerless to stop him.

Yet for all the danger, some part of her wasn't afraid. Something in her gut told her he wouldn't intentionally hurt her. Or the couch perhaps? The only place you're going to take me is in your dreams. Now set me down before I really get mad. Feeling a little better once her feet were safely on the ground, she ascended two steps. Now they were eye to eye, and on a little more equal footing —that was, if a person could ever be on equal footing with a man who possessed such innate power and authority.

Suddenly the full impact of his presence slammed into her. He was real! Dear heaven, she and Selena had actually conjured him to life! His eyes bored into hers, his face stoic and completely unamused. If you don't want me inside you, why did you call for me?

Worse, the image of his golden, lean, and powerful body thrusting against hers flashed through her mind. What would it feel like to have a man so incredibly scrumptious make love to her all night? And he would be scrumptious in bed. There was no doubt. With the prowess and moves he'd shown her so far, there was no telling just how much better Dark Hunter Series 1 — Fantasy Lover — Sherrilyn Kenyon Page 33 of Grace tensed at the thought.

What was it about this man? Never in her life had she felt sexual hunger like this. She could literally lay him down on the floor and devour him. It didn't make sense. Over the years, she'd grown more than accustomed to sex being described in the most graphic of terms—some of her patients even purposely tried to shock or arouse her. Never once had they elicited such a heated response from her. But when it came to him, all she could think of was taking him into her arms and riding him into the ground.

That completely uncharacteristic thought sobered her. Grace opened her mouth to respond to his question, then stopped. What was she going to do with this guy?

Other than that. She shook her head in disbelief. Oh, yes, her body begged, please touch me all over. Rational thought would reign here, not her hormones. She'd already made that mistake and she wasn't about to repeat it. She jumped up another step and she stared at him.

Holy guacamole, he was gorgeous. His wavy, tawny hair fell midway down his back where it was secured with a dark brown leather cord. All except for three thin braids that had beads attached to their ends—braids that swung in time with his movements. Dark brown eyebrows slashed over eyes that were both beguiling and terrifying. Eyes that watched her with way too much heat.

And in that moment, she definitely wanted to kill Selena. Dark Hunter Series 1 — Fantasy Lover — Sherrilyn Kenyon Page 34 of But not nearly as much as she wanted to crawl into bed with this man and sink her teeth into that golden tan. Stop that!

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She had to think through this— figure out what to do. In the whole of his life, she was the first person to ever say that to him. Indeed, all the women he'd known before the curse had done nothing except try and get him out of his clothes. As quickly as possible. And since the curse, his summoners had spent days staring at his nudity, running their hands over his body, savoring the sight of him.

He watched her hips sway with her steps, his body instantly growing hot and hard. Clenching his teeth in an effort to ignore the burning in his loins, he forced himself to look around. Distraction was definitely the key—at least until she gave in to him.

Which wouldn't be long. No woman could ever withhold herself from him for any length of time. Smiling bitterly at the thought, he glanced about the house. Just where and when was he? He didn't know how long he'd been trapped. All he could remember were the sounds of voices over time, the subtle shifting and changing of accents and language dialects as the years passed. Looking up at the light above his head, he frowned. No fire burned. What was that thing?

His eyes watered in protest and he looked away. Hey, I need to change the light bulb. Do me a favor and flip the switch by the door. Remembering the shopkeeper's words, he looked to the door and saw what he assumed was the switch. Julian left the stairs and pulled down on the tiny lever. Immediately the lights went out. He switched them back on. In spite of himself, he smiled again. What other marvels did this time hold?

She tossed him a long rectangle of dark green fabric. He caught it against his chest as a wave of disbelief consumed him. The woman had been serious about covering him up? How very odd. His frown deepening, he wrapped the fabric around his hips. Grace waited until he moved away from the door before she looked at him again.

Thank goodness, he was finally covered. No wonder the Victorians insisted on fig leaves. Too bad she didn't have a few in her yard. The only thing out there was holly bushes and she doubted he'd appreciate that. Grace headed to the living room and sat down on the couch. Moving to the opposite end of the couch, Grace eyed him warily. Why not ask him for the weather or his sign while you're at it? And as he ran it over her body, his gaze turned from ice to fire in the space of about two heartbeats.

He leaned toward her, reaching to touch her face. Grace jumped to her feet and went to stand on the other side of the coffee table. She couldn't entertain him for a month. A whole, solid month! She had responsibilities, obligations.

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She had a new hobby to learn. One that doesn't include you in it. Not at all. I assure you I'm not here by choice. Looking down at his lap and the lump bulging under the towel, he sighed. Or make you go back into the book? Rising slowly to his feet, Julian stared at her.

In all the centuries he'd been damned, this was the first time this had come up. All his other summoners had known what he was, and they had been more than willing to spend the month in his arms, happily using his body for their pleasure.

He'd never in his life, either this one or his mortal one, found a woman who didn't want him physically. It was Odd. Almost embarrassing. Could it be that the curse was weakening? That maybe at last he might be free? But even as the thought crossed his mind, he knew better.

When the Greek gods handed down a punishment, they did it with style and with a vengeance that not even two millennia could mellow.

There had been a time once, long ago, when he had fought against his damnation. A time when he had believed he could be free. But over two thousand years of confinement and unrelenting torture had taught him one thing— resignation. He had earned his hell, and like the soldier he'd once been, he accepted his punishment. Swallowing the gall that stuck in his throat, Julian spread his arms out, and offered his body to her. Just tell me how to please you. Her hormones finally whipped back under control and her head clearer, she yearned for a solution.

But no matter how hard she tried, there didn't seem to be one. A terrible ache began throbbing in her temples. Whatever was she going to do for a month, a solid month, with him? Again an image of him poised above her, his hair falling around them in a soft canopy while he plunged himself deep inside her body, tortured her. She turned back to face him, her body still begging for his.

It would be so easy to give in to him. But that would be wrong. She refused to use him that way. Like No, she wouldn't think about that. She refused to think about that. Then it dawned on her that as odd and difficult as this was for her, what on earth must it feel like for him? To be snatched from wherever it was he lived and thrown into her life like a slingshot? It must be terrible. She opened the fridge and let him look into it. How did he know about pizza? Selena had made another comment about food substituting for sex, and she had faked an orgasm while savoring her last slice.

It was one of those "I'm the man, baby, get me some food" Tarzan tones that just set her blood to boil. Mess with me and I'll feed you Alpo.

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He sat at her table with this oozing aura of male arrogance that just grated on her tolerance. Wishing she really had a can of Alpo, Grace forced herself to dump a heaping serving of pasta into a bowl. Since the Dark Ages? He sat as still as a statue. No emotions, no nothing. If she didn't know better, she'd swear he was an android. Are you serious? Holy guac. When I called Julian of Macedon, you really are of Macedon. Of the Macedon. Her thoughts whirled as she closed the door to the microwave and turned it on.

This was impossible.

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It had to be impossible! I mean, the ancient Greeks didn't have books, did they? Now that didn't make a bit of sense, not that very much of any of this made sense to her. Grace could see it clearly in his icy demeanor. The man didn't like talking about his past. She would have to be a little more subtle in her questioning. Julian heard the strange bell toll before Grace pressed a bar and opened the black box where she'd placed his food. She set the steaming bowl of food before him with a silver fork, knife, paper napkin, and glass goblet of wine.

The warm aroma filled his head, making his stomach ache with need. He supposed he should be shocked by the way and speed with which she'd cooked, but after hearing about things called a train, camera, automobile, phonograph, rockets, and computers, he doubted if anything could take him by surprise now.

In truth, there was nothing left for him to feel since, out of necessity, he'd banished his emotions long ago. His existence was nothing more than snatches of days strung along centuries. His only purpose to serve his summoner's sexual needs. And if he'd learned anything over the last two millennia, it was to enjoy what few pleasures he could during each incarnation.

With that thought, he took a small bite of food and savored the delectable feel of the warm, creamy noodles on his tongue. It was pure bliss. He let the smell of the chicken and spices fully invade his head. It had been an eternity since he'd last eaten anything. An eternity of unrelenting hunger. Closing his eyes, he swallowed. Dark Hunter Series 1 — Fantasy Lover — Sherrilyn Kenyon Page 42 of More used to starvation than nourishment, his stomach cramped viciously in reaction to the first bite of food.

Julian clenched the knife and fork in his hands as he fought against the brutal pain. But he didn't stop eating. Not while he had food. He'd waited so long to finally quench his hunger that he wasn't about to stop now. After a few more bites, the cramps eased, allowing him to actually enjoy the meal again. And as the cramps lessened, it took all of his willpower to eat like a human and not shovel the food into his mouth by the handfuls in a desperate need to quench the gnawing hunger in his belly.

At times like this, it was hard to remember he was still a man and not some feral, rampaging beast that had been freed from its cage. He'd lost most of his humanity centuries ago. What little was left, he intended to keep. Grace leaned against the counter as she watched him eat, slowly, almost mechanically.

She couldn't tell if he liked the food, but he kept eating it. Yet what amazed her were the perfect European table manners he had. She'd never been able to successfully eat that way, and she wondered when he'd learned to use his knife to balance the pasta on the back of his fork and eat it.

He paused. Did they have them in " You're rambling! Well, who wouldn't? Just look at the guy. How many times do you think someone has acted like an idiot and had a Greek statue come to life? Especially one who looks like that! Were you? Twice in Italy and once in England and France. An image of Paul pierced her heart. She'd only known one selfish, uncaring jerk.

It sounded as if Julian had known many more. Or words. He couldn't remember the last time anyone had actually conversed with him, except to issue encouragements or suggestions to help heighten the pleasure he was giving them. Or to call him back to bed. He'd learned very early in life that women only wanted one thing when it came to him—some part of his body buried deep between their legs. With that thought in mind, he drifted his gaze slowly, leisurely, over her body, stopping at her breasts, which grew tight at his prolonged stare.

Indignantly, she crossed her arms over her chest and waited until he met her gaze. Julian almost laughed. Then amused.

Then very horny. As a therapist, she'd heard much more shocking things than that, she reminded herself. Yeah, but not from a tongue that she wanted to do things with other than talk. I just stand there, unable to move. She remembered once, long ago, when she had accidentally locked herself in her father's tool shed. There had been no light, no way out. Terrified, she had felt her lungs seizing up, felt her head go light in panic.

She had screamed and pounded on the door until she had bruised her entire hand. Finally, her mother had heard her and let her out. To this day, Grace was slightly claustrophobic from the experience. She couldn't imagine what it must be like to spend centuries in such a place.

In time. When her mother had released her from the tool shed, she found out she'd only been inside for half an hour, but to her it had seemed like an eternity. What would it be like to really spend eternity that way? Two thousand years spent in a lightless crypt. It was a wonder he was still sane.

That he was able to even sit here with her and speak at all. No wonder he had wanted food. That kind of sensory deprivation was sheer, unrelenting torture. In that moment, she knew she was going to help him. She didn't know how, but there had to be some way to break him out. The optimist in her refused to take his pessimism to heart, just like the therapist in her refused not to help him.

She'd sworn an oath to relieve suffering when she could and Grace took her oaths most seriously. Where there was a will, there was always a way. And come heck or high water, she would find a way to get him free!

In the meantime, she decided she would do something for him she doubted anyone else ever had before—she was going to see to it that he enjoyed his reprieve in New Orleans. The other women might have kept him confined to their bedrooms or closets, but she wasn't about to put chains on anyone.

Whatever you want to see, you'll see. He set his glass of wine aside and pinned her with a hot, lustful stare. Number one, there won't be any of that. Why not? But even more surprising than her words was the amount of bitterness he heard in Grace's voice. She must have been badly used in the past. No wonder she was skittish of him. An image of Penelope flashed through his mind, and he felt a stab of pain so ferocious in his chest that only his staunch military training kept him from wincing.

He had much to atone for. Sins so great that not even two thousand years could begin to compensate for them. Dark Hunter Series 1 — Fantasy Lover — Sherrilyn Kenyon Page 48 of He hadn't just been born a bastard; because of a brutal life of desperation and betrayal, he had truly become one.

Closing his eyes, he forced those thoughts away. That was literally ancient history and this was the present. Grace was the present. And he was here for her. Now, he understood what Selena had meant when she'd spoken to him about Grace. That was why he was here. He was to show Grace that sex was enjoyable. Never before had he encountered anything like this. As he looked at Grace, a slow smile curved his lips.

This would be the first time in his life he'd ever had to pursue a woman for his lover. No woman had ever turned his body down. What with her wit and stubbornness he knew getting Grace into bed would prove to be every bit as challenging as outwitting the Roman army. Yes, he would savor this. Just as he would savor her.

Every sweetly freckled inch of her. Grace swallowed at the first true smile she'd seen from him. A smile that softened his features and made him even more devastating. What on earth was he thinking? For the umpteenth time, Grace felt her face flood with warmth as she thought about her crude words. She hadn't meant to let that slip out. It wasn't like her to betray her thoughts to anyone, especially a stranger.

But there was something so compelling about this man. Something that reached out to her in a most disturbing way. Maybe it was the thinly masked pain that flashed in those celestial blue eyes when she caught him off guard.

Or maybe it was just her years of psychology training that couldn't stand the thought of having such a troubled Dark Hunter Series 1 — Fantasy Lover — Sherrilyn Kenyon Page 49 of soul in her home and not helping him.

She didn't know. The grandfather clock in her upstairs hallway chimed one. To sleep? He shook his head. He'd been trapped in the book for so long that all he wanted to do was to run, or to jump.

To do anything to celebrate his sudden freedom of movement. He didn't want to go to bed. The thought of lying in darkness another minute He struggled to breathe. He hadn't been asleep. Dark Hunter Series 1 — Fantasy Lover — Sherrilyn Kenyon Page 50 of He'd told her that he could hear anything said around the book, which meant that he had been awake and locked up all this time. She was the first person in over a hundred years that he'd been able to talk to, or be with.

Her stomach tightened in sympathy. Even though her prison of shyness had never been tangible, she knew what it felt like to be somewhere listening to people and not be a part of them. To be on the outside looking in. Switching on her set, she showed him how to flip channels with the remote. After all, men only needed three things to be happy—food, sex, and a remote. Two out three ought to satisfy him for a bit. Even though his hand was light, it sent a shock wave through her. His face impassive, raw emotions flickered in his eyes.

She saw his torment, his need, but most of all she saw his loneliness. He didn't want her to leave. Licking her suddenly dry lips, she said something she couldn't believe.

Why don't you watch that one while I sleep? Julian followed her up the stairs, amazed that she had understood him without his speaking. That she would consider his need not to be alone while she had her own concerns. It made him feel strange toward her. Put an odd feeling in his stomach. Was it tenderness? He didn't know for sure. She led him into an enormous bedchamber with a large fourposter bed set before the middle of the far wall. A mediumsized chest of drawers was set opposite the bed and on top of it was, what had she called it, a TV?

Grace watched as Julian walked around her room, looking at the pictures on her walls and dresser—pictures of her parents and grandparents, of Selena and her in college, and the one of the dog she'd owned as a child. She picked it up and looked at him, and the green towel still wrapped around his lean hips. She couldn't very well let him join her in bed like that.

Sure you could. No I can't. Hush, self, let me think. Dark Hunter Series 1 — Fantasy Lover — Sherrilyn Kenyon Page 52 of She still had her father's pajamas in her parents' bedroom where she kept all their possessions enshrined. Given the breadth of Julian's shoulders, she was sure the tops would never fit, but the bottoms had drawstrings and even if they didn't fit in length, they would at least stay up. He watched strange boxlike things that must be automobiles move past her house, making strange droning noises that ebbed and flowed like a tide.

Lights lit up the street and other buildings all over, much like torches had once done in his own homeland. How strange this world was. So oddly similar to his and yet so very different. He tried to associate the sights with all the words he'd heard over the decades, words he didn't understand. Words like TV and light bulb. And for the first time since his childhood, he was afraid. He didn't like the changes he saw, the swiftness with which they had come to this world.

What would it be like the next time he was summoned? How much more different could things become? Or even more terrifying, what if he was never summoned again? He swallowed at the thought. What would it be like to be trapped for eternity? Alone and alert. To feel the oppressive darkness closing in on him, squelching the breath from his lungs as it lacerated his body with pain. To never again walk as a man?

Never to speak or to touch? These people had things now that were called computers. He'd heard the shop owner talk about them with a lot of customers. And one of those customers had said that they would one day, probably soon, completely replace books. Dressed in her pink dorm shirt, Grace paused in her parents' bedroom by the crystal dish on the dresser where she'd placed her mother's wedding rings the day after the funeral.

She could see the faint sparkle of the half-carat marquis diamond. Her throat constricting with pain, she fought against the tears that welled in her eyes. Barely twenty-four at the time, she'd been arrogant enough to think she was grown, and capable of standing strong against anything life hurled at her. She had thought herself invincible. And in one split second, her life had come crumbling down around her. Their deaths had robbed her of everything she'd ever had. Her security, her faith, her sense of justice, but most of all, she had lost their devoted love and emotional support.

In spite of her youthful vanity, she hadn't been prepared to be cast completely adrift without any family whatsoever. And even though five years had passed, she still mourned them.

The old saying that it was better to have known love and lost it was a big fat crock. There was nothing worse than having someone to love and care for you, then losing them to a needless accident. Unable to face their deaths, she'd sealed this room off the day after their funeral, and left everything in it just as it was.

Opening the drawer where her father had kept his pajamas, Grace swallowed. No one had touched these since the afternoon her mother had folded them, and they had brought the clothes up here and put them away. Even now, she could remember her mother's laughter. The way her mother joked about her father's conservative taste in flannel PJs. What she wouldn't give to find a perfect partner like her parents had done. They'd been married twenty-five years before they died and they were every bit as in love then as they'd been the day they met.

She couldn't remember a time in her life when her mother hadn't been smiling, her father gently teasing. Everywhere they went, they held hands like teenagers and stole quick kisses when they thought no one was looking. But she had seen. She remembered. I was cursed to walk eternity alone.

As a general, I had long ago accepted my sentence. Yet now I have found Grace—the one thing my wounded heart cannot survive without. Sure, love can heal all wounds, but can it break a two-thousand-year-old curse? New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon is a regular in the 1 spot. This extraordinary bestseller continues to top every genre in which she writes, including manga and graphic novels.

More than 70 million copies of her books are in pri We want your feedback! Click here. Subjects Fantasy Fiction Romance Thriller. Dear Reader, Being trapped in a bedroom with a woman is a grand thing. Julian of Macedon. Fantasy Fiction Romance Thriller. Publication Details Publisher: Martin's Press Imprint: