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Authors: Gena Showalter

The Pleasure Slave

The Pleasure Slave
Imperia [2]
Gena Showalter
HQN (2005)

When Santa Fe antique dealer Julia Anderson was curiously drawn to purchase a battered jewelry box, she never expected it to contain her own personal love slave. Especially not tall, dark and sinfully handsome Tristan--a man hard to resist, and determined to fulfill her every desire.

Though Tristan was a rogue of the battlefield and the boudoir, making love with Julia was like nothing he'd ever known. Yet revealing his true heart would break the centuries-old spell and separate them forever. And Tristan would do anything to go on loving Julia...even remain a slave through all eternity....

About the Author

Gena is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 25 books.

With shaky fingers she pressed the button…

The lights flickered on and off. A pulsating, purplish mist erupted in her hands and lit her entire kitchen. Startled, Julia jolted to her feet, dropping the jewelry box. It landed on the tabletop with a thud. She tore her gaze from the box…and froze.

A man—a very large man—stood in front of her. He wore nothing more than a pair of black skintight pants. A sword dangled at his waist.

The man was gorgeous. His seductiveness hit her like an uncontrollable whirlwind. His skin was bronzed, sexy and ridged with muscle. Everything about him oozed carnality.

“You summoned?” he asked.

Summon this gorgeous warrior? In her wildest fantasies, perhaps. “Me, summon you? I promise I did no such thing.”

He ignored her denial. “What do you wish of me? Tell me what you desire. Caresses? Erotic words? Do I now kiss your naked body or let you kiss mine?”

“Sexy, funny, and downright magical! Gena Showalter has a lyrical voice and the deft ability to bring characters to life in a manner that’s hilarious and absorbing at the same time.”

—Katie MacAlister,
New York Times
bestselling author of
Sex and the Single Vampire

PRAISE FOR
THE STONE PRINCE

“HQN and Showalter are off to a very promising start with this fun new paranormal romance. Watch for further adventures in Imperia from the talented Showalter.”

—Romantic Times


The Stone Prince
is sexy and sparkling and Gena Showalter is a wonderful new voice in paranormal romance!”

—Robin D. Owens, RITA
®
Award-winning author of
HeartMate

“Sexy, fun, emotional and riveting,
The Stone Prince
is a gem. Ms. Showalter is a gifted writer who brings a sense of reality to her tales.”

—In the Library

“A most rewarding read…sexy, funny and downright magical from start to finish.
The Stone Prince
is definitely a keeper!”

—Romance Reviews Today

“Wow! What a debut novel! Magic, laughter, and sexy love scenes abound in this page-turner…. This is one author on her way up.”

—RomanceJunkies.com

Gena Showalter
The Pleasure Slave

To Shonna Tolbert-Hurt, Michelle Tolbert,
Heather Showalter (and her donkey pal)
and Kemmie Tolbert for the love, joy and laughter you bring
to my life. And of course to Debbie Splawn-Bunch, who
wouldn’t let me title this book
Handcuffed to the Headboard
.

A special thanks to Deidre Knight, Tracy Farrell
and Jessica Alvarez. I am blessed to work with you.

PROLOGUE

Imperia
The Fifth Season

“I
WANT YOU AGAIN,
Tristan.”

Waves crashed against the cliffs outside, their lulling rhythm floating upon the sea-kissed beams of moonlight filtering through the arched windows. The sweet scent of
gartina
and
elsment
filled the chamber, a palpable omen of magic few could comprehend or even acknowledge.

Zirra leaned naked against the window frame, the exact place her lover had taken her moments ago. When he failed to respond to her words, she seductively arched her back and skimmed a hand down the flat plane of her stomach.

“I want you again, Tristan,” she repeated, a husky edge to the words. Her body still hummed from his touch, but she needed more of him. She
always
needed more of him.

The darkness of his hair hung in wild disarray over his shoulders as he fastened his black, warrior drocs around his waist. He eyed her with amusement. “You know I must go,
nixa.

“Why?” Annoyed, Zirra abandoned her pose of relaxed beckoning and stalked to the bed. She didn’t bother covering herself with the silky white sheet, but left the plump mounds of her breasts bared for his view. “Why do you deny me the pleasure of your touch?”

He closed the distance between them and eased atop the bed, mere inches away from her reach. “You know I must journey to the palace for instruction from Great-Lord Challann. A rebellion brews in Gillirad.”

“But I—”

“I cannot disobey a direct command from my sovereign. This you know, as well.”

Her brow knit in annoyance. Tristan acted as if her nakedness no longer tempted him.

Mayhap it didn’t.

Tendrils of fury danced along her spine. Earlier she had kissed and licked a path down his entire body, had taken him deep into her mouth as she’d never done for another man. When she finished, he had slid himself inside her, pumping and gliding erotically, giving her a rapture so complete she had begged for mercy. Yet he had yawned. Yawned!

Her fists clenched so tightly her knuckles whitened, and her long oval nails dug into her palms, cutting deeply into the skin. She had given Tristan everything she had to give, and yet she, a priestess of the Druinn, had failed to truly satisfy him. And because of her failure, she would soon be discarded like a worthless piece of garbage.

That image burned in her mind, and the urge to hurt
Tristan, to destroy him in some way, coursed through her. For eight cycles he had come to her, giving her incomparable pleasure, and for each of those eight eves he had left her here afterward, alone in the vast emptiness of her bed, desperate for more of him. Dying for more of him.

He must suffer as I suffer,
she thought. Yet…

Her need for his affection proved a vehement ache she could not ignore, and she found herself reaching out, gripping his muscled forearm. Even now, his features drawn tight with annoyance, he exuded the sensual eroticism of a man who existed only to pleasure his woman. She wanted,
needed,
to be the one who obtained his eternal devotion. Mayhap then the constant ache inside her heart would be filled.

“We belong together,” she said, her words emerging on an ethereal wisp of breath. “Life-join with me and I will give you more carnal pleasure than any other woman is capable of giving.”

He did not even pause. “Nay.”

“Treasures. I will give you treasures beyond your deepest imagination.” With a desperate flick of her wrist, she tossed her long black hair over one shoulder. “Even, if you so desire, a planet of your own to rule.”

“Zirra,” Tristan chided softly. Watching her, he lounged across the bed and propped his weight on his elbow. “Best you recall my words before I ever came to be your lover. I told you I could never be more than a passing fancy for you.”

“Aye, I remember,” she admitted through clenched
teeth. But she hadn’t let it stop her from having him. One look at Tristan’s male perfection, at the way his pale violet eyes promised untold passion, at the way his hard, muscled body moved with sinewy grace, and she’d been lost. Lost as if her mind and heart were separate entities.

“Nothing has changed,” he said. With a touch as gentle as his tone, he ran a fingertip down her cheek. “Nor will it ever. You are Druinn, and I am mortal, and permanent ties are forbidden. I am sorry.”

Once again, fury blazed through her, hot and hungry. No one treated her this way. No one. “I will give you but one more chance to bind yourself to me.”

He pushed to his feet, uttering a husky chuckle that usually made her shiver with delight. Now the sound merely fueled her anger.

“Or you will what,
nixa?
Boil my eyeballs in water? Render my manhood flaccid for all time?”

“Oh, no, my fine warrior. I will do much, much worse.”

Not the least affected by her ominous warning, he lifted his gleaming silver blade from its inclined position against the wall and hooked it to a metal loop on his belt. He bent down and placed a quick kiss upon her cheek. “Mayhap later we will work off this energy you seem to harbor, hmm?”

Without waiting for a reply, he turned on his heel and strode to the door.

“You desire women above all things, Tristan,” she said, “and now I will make you a slave to them.” Scowling, she snatched up the jeweled trinket box he had
given her mere hours ago and hurtled it at him. It sailed past his ear and crashed to the floor, unharmed. She vaulted up. “I will make you a slave to
me.

Tristan spun and faced her. His expression no longer boasted of easy confidence but of incredulity, and just a little fear. “What are you doing, Zirra?”

A rush of excitement pooled between her legs, for
she
had made this mighty warrior afraid. “No one refuses me,” she told him, her body remaining taut as she stood in all her naked glory, fury and indignation her only cloth. “And you, my handsome mortal, shall pay for doing so.”

“Mortals have vowed never to destroy your people’s Kyi-en-Tra Crystal, and in return the Druinn have sworn never to use their powers against us. You yourself agreed to this. If you break your oath you will break the Alliance between our people and war will erupt. You
will
honor your word. No sorcery. I forbid it.”

“You, a mortal? Forbid me? I think not.” She laughed, yet the sound lacked humor. “How will your Great-Lord ever discover what I have done to you if you cannot tell him?”

“Zirra—”

“Beg me to become your life-mate, and I will swear never to harm you.”

Lavender fire instantly blazed in his eyes. “I will never beg you, or anyone, for anything.”

“Then you have brought this on yourself, Tristan ar Malik.” Her dark brows arched in mocking salute, she raised her hands in the air, palms up.

Tristan growled low in his throat and advanced, his
intent to immobilize her evident with every step. A simple wave of her hand froze his feet in place.

Surprise flashed across his features a split second before he glared at her with such hostility she shivered. She refused to allow a mortal to frighten her. She closed her eyes, splayed her fingers wide and began to chant. “From now until love finds you true, a woman’s slave I shall make of you.”

Wind howled in swirling procession, thrashing and clawing throughout the spacious chamber, whipping the white gossamer cloth over the windows and rattling the very foundation of the floor. Energy erupted and glowed all around, striking like bolts and war spears. A rumbling boom echoed in her ears. She raised her arms higher.

“Into a trinket box you shall rest, answering each summons as it suits best. This I bind, this I speak, your will matters none. So said, let it be known. So said, let it be done.”

One moment Tristan stood before her a strong, virile man, the next he was gone. Only the small jewel-encrusted box she’d thrown rested on the floor. Grinning slowly, she hopped from the bed, bent down and clasped the box in her hands. A wave of giddiness swept through her. Tristan now belonged to her—only to her. And over the next thousand years or so, she would enjoy letting him make up for his behavior today. He would learn well his mistake in refusing a priestess of the Druinn.

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