Princess Fallon is a beguiling young royal, but when the twin suns descend she tosses away her gowns, and dressed in a warrior’s garb, she wields a sword and fights invisible opponents. Though svelte and small, she has developed a hidden strength and expertise, and she fears no-one!
When the mighty King Handerah of Verdana passes away, Princess Lizbett readies herself to take the throne, but she learns that Fallon, driven by a lifetime of hatred, has begun a reckless plan to take the crown and rule Verdana herself.
Lizbett’s husband, Lord Larian, a Zanderonian warrior, knows he must step in and foil Fallon’s scheme. He orders Zoltaire, his second-in-command, to capture Fallon and keep her captive until Lizbett’s coronation is over, but he gives Zoltaire a warning.
“Zoltaire, do not underestimate her, not for a moment. I doubt she will have a sword at her side, but she will have guile, and her ability to manipulate you could be a greater threat than her talent to brandish a weapon.”
Lizbett fears Fallon may use her wily, womanly charms and outwit Zoltaire, and secretly decides she will use her own devices to ensure Fallon is no threat.
Can Lizbett stop Larian discovering her covert activities? Will Zoltaire manage to capture Fallon and control the fiery and passionate Princess? Is it possible for Fallon to resist the charismatic Zanderonian warrior, a man trained not just in the art of battle, but in the dark erotic ways of capturing a woman’s heart?
Though he had been advised it would be unwise for her to learn his identity, he could see the awe in her gaze, and also the fear. She had ordered his brothers to be incapacitated, and she was now his captive.
“Why aren’t you saying anything?” she demanded. “Your silence tells me I’m right, or you would deny it.”
“Yes, Fallon, you are right. I am a Zanderonian warrior.”
The words had spilled out of him before he had made his decision, but he was immediately glad of it. His instinct had taken over, offering the information before his consciousness could get in the way, and he saw what had been a flicker of fear transform into alarm.
Fallon felt the color drain from her face, and she dropped her eyes from his to stare at her bowl.
Did you learn about my plans to put your warrior brothers out of commission? Is that why I’m here? I must stay calm, that can’t be true. You wouldn’t be treating me so well, or would you?
“That is why the fowl stew is delicious,” he said attempting to change her focus and steady her nerves. “Zanderonian warriors learn many things, and each of them is taught thoroughly and with great care.”
“Like spanking?” she whispered before she could stop the spoken thought from slipping out.
“As a matter of fact, Fallon, yes, among other things that can help a woman find her happiness. Spanking, like many misunderstood practices, is complex and delicate.”
She didn’t respond, but dared to lift her eyes, and placing her bowl on the table by the bed, she picked up her goblet and downed the last swallow of wine.
“Thank you,” she said sweetly. “You were right. That was delicious. As tasty as any meal I’ve had at home.”
“Would you care for more?”
“No, I’m finished, but please, may I get out of this dirty, dusty shirt. You said you have clothes here for me?”
“I do, and yes, you may go into the ante-chamber and clean up. Don’t bother looking for any kind of weapon. It has been cleared of such things. You will be free to wash, even take a bath if you wish. There is a window, but it is sealed, and even if you did manage to get outside you’d last only a short time.”
“I’m not so stupid as to risk my life in the first storm of the cold season,” she frowned.
“You are so stupid as to do other things,” he said lowering his voice. “Foolish, ambitious things no young woman should ever consider, so I take nothing for granted.”
He had locked her gaze, his voice had held a scolding tone, and returning his stare she felt her face flush red. Fallon never blushed, but swallowing hard, she refused to look away.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she huffed. Are you referring to my plan to overthrow Verdana, or have you just heard rumors about me?
“Besides attacking me and attempting to escape, there is another crime for which I will spank you,” he said gravely, leaning forward in his chair. “Lying, fabrications, not telling the truth. Can I make it any clearer? There is no room for deceit. Deceit is deceit. A lie is a lie, no excuses.”
Fallon felt the flush in her face explode into a deep crimson, and her cheeks flamed with a burning heat.
I feel as if he can see right through me. How does he do that? Why is making me feel like a child being reprimanded by a nanny? No! Worse! Not even my nanny would have spoken to me in such a way, or made me feel so…so…
“Lie to me again,” he warned interrupting her thoughts, “and I will spank you, but I will not use my hand. You were right when you said attempting to escape was a natural thing to do, and attacking me, possibly, so I did not punish you as severely as I might have, but lying? Fallon, that is something else entirely. I want to make this very clear. I will take a stick to your backside if you lie to me, and it will not be pleasant.”
Fallon fell speechless, and as she watched him rise to his feet and lumber towards her, she shuffled back on the bed.
“You need not be afraid of me,” he said softly as he picked up her empty bowl and goblet, “not unless you defy me or lie. I will only spank you given cause. Do you understand?”
“Yes,” she managed.
“I shouldn’t be afraid of you. You will only spank me again if I disobey you or lie to you.”
“Remember those words. I am charged with keeping you safe, and I take that charge seriously. I don’t expect you to be happy here, but I do hope you will find some comfort in the knowledge that you are under a warrior’s sacred protection. I will feed you, you may change clothes when you need to, and I will not attempt anything inappropriate. Do you believe me?”
“Yes,” she said quietly, nodding her head. “May I ask, do you have a name? If I’m to be in your care, I must call you something.”