Bronwyn turned, her bare feet digging into the forest floor. She had fled so quickly there had been no time for anything as frivolous as shoes. She’d thought only of one thing—to run.
She stilled her feet though her heart pounded. The forest around her was eerily silent. Not even the chirping of birds broke the oppressive gloom. Night was falling. The shadows played around her, mocking her every move.
She clutched the knife in her hand. It was the only thing she could cling to now that the soldiers had found her. Tears blurred her eyes. She’d hidden for fifteen years always knowing that they would come for her one day. Fifteen years hadn’t been long enough.
She didn’t want to die.
The snap of a twig was the only sound that let her know she wasn’t alone.
And she saw them for the first time.
Her heart, pounding just a moment before, felt like it stopped. Two men walked from the woods into the clearing, their clothes soaked in blood. Each had dark hair, as black as any night. They weren’t the soldiers who had come for her. They were something different.
“Don’t move. If you run, I don’t know if they’ll be able to stay in control,” a voice said from behind her. Gillian—the woman who had saved her all those years ago.
“Who are they?” Bronwyn’s words seemed to float out of her mouth.
“You know who they are.”
My dark ones
She had always thought of them that way. She didn’t know their names, but they were familiar. They had come to her in dreams since she was a child. They had roamed the planes of her mind each night. Her friends and later something more.
She’d never felt the touch of a man in her life, but in her dreams she had felt much more. She knew the way their hands felt on her skin. She knew the heat that came off them. She knew what it felt like to be surrounded by them.
In her dreams she’d submitted to their every desire. She’d spread her legs and welcomed them into her body. They had taken her in every way possible, sinking their cocks in and making her theirs. More than the pleasure they had brought her, they had touched her soul.
In her dreams she was never alone.
But in her dreams neither of her lovers had fangs.
“Vampires?” Bronwyn asked though she feared she knew the answer.
“And something more. My brothers will one day rule the Unseelie Fae. All of the dark things of the worlds are in their souls.” Gillian put a hand on her shoulder as the twins began move forward, their limbs loose with grace.
They didn’t walk. They stalked, their eyes never leaving her. She stared at the one on the right. He somehow seemed larger than his twin though she realized it was a trick of her eye. The one on the right seemed harsher, as though the world had taken the softness out of him and left his soul with nothing but hunger. Prey. She was prey. She was being hunted and she wasn’t sure if they planned to eat her or ravish her.
She knew which one she would prefer.
She held her ground though there was a part of her that screamed to run. They split up, each going a different direction. They were working to make sure she couldn’t get away.
“What do they want?”
She could almost hear the satisfaction in Gillian’s voice. “You, dear. You’re their mate. Why do think I’ve kept you safe all these years? You’re their bond mate, the only woman in all the planes who can bring them to their power.”
They stalked forward, flanking her. She clenched her fists as fear took over. Desire was there, too. Beautiful. They were beautiful to her eyes, but she’d been taught the Unseelie were vicious animals. She was a Seelie princess. The light ran through her veins.
So why was darkness calling her now?
If they caught her, they would drag her down and sink their fangs and cocks deep inside. They would claim her and she would never see the light again.
Bronwyn stood in the middle of the forest and wondered if she even wanted to.