eBook Details

Possessed by Desire

Series: Firebrand Series , Book 3.0
By: Elisabeth Naughton | Other books by Elisabeth Naughton
Published By: Elisabeth Naughton
Published: Jan 22, 2013
ISBN # 9780985671990
Word Count: 45,000
Heat Index    
EligiblePrice: $2.99

Available in: Epub, Adobe Acrobat, Mobipocket (.prc)

Categories: Romance>Paranormal/Horror Fiction

Description
Even desire comes at a price…

Imprisonment has taught Ashur, the youngest djinn prince enslaved by a power-hungry sorceress, one thing: life as a pleasure slave has its rewards…if you play by the rules. He’s been tortured. He’s nearly died protecting a tribe that’s forsaken him. But he’s also seen life on the other side as an obedient slave. For a shot at revenge against the brothers who abandoned him, he’s willing to serve his master, even if it means using passion to corrupt the souls she needs to fuel her immortality. His first assignment, however, turns out to be more than just a woman in need of a little pleasure. Claire is an angel, and angels have the ability to steal djinn powers. No amount of vengeance—not even a ravenous desire he can’t seem to control—is worth the loss of his powers. And there’s no way he’s tangling with a celestial being.

Unless, of course, she tangles with him first…
 
Reader Rating:  Not rated (0 Ratings)
Sensuality Rating:   Not rated
Excerpt:
CHAPTER ONE
Claire Sampson looked out over the early morning sunrise on the eastern shore of Oahu and lifted the mug of coffee to her lips. Waves rolled gently against the white sand just yards in front of her, and a gentle breeze blew through the palms above as she sipped the steaming brew. But her attention wasn’t focused on the serene view; it was locked on the boat, probably a mile off shore, its sails flying as it drifted slowly through the water, cutting a course for more exotic lands. Tahiti, Fiji, maybe even Australia.

Is that where her bottle was headed? Was she wasting time on this Hawaiian island?

Pushing her glasses back up her nose, she turned away from the boat, then headed back inside the bungalow she’d rented while on sabbatical. Officially, the University of Florida thought she was taking time off to research local Hawaiian folklore and its role in the history of the islands, but that was just her cover. The truth was an obsession she couldn’t let go, even when her mind told her this kind of search would bring her nothing but trouble.

Ignoring the warning going off in her brain, she set her mug on the old scarred table and slid into the chair. After opening the lid of her laptop, she pulled up the tidal map at Kaneohe Bay and compared it to the currents and tides she’d been tracking yesterday via the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website. That bottle Mira had thrown into the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest nearly six months ago had to turn up somewhere soon.

She bit her lip, flipped screens to check another chart. Her money was on the Hawaiian Islands. She knew there was a slim chance that bottle could have gotten sucked up in the Alaska Current and right now might be part of some frozen Arctic ice floe, but something in her gut told her it was going to show up here.

It had to…

Her phone rang, and without looking, she reached for the cordless from the counter to the right. “This is Claire.”

“Claire? I’m so glad I found you.”

Claire’s entire body tensed when she recognized the female voice. “Sura?”

“Yeah, it’s me. I don’t have a lot of time. They know what you’re up to.”

Slowly, Claire pushed out of her chair. Though she’d known this moment was coming, the shock of it still caused her pulse to beat faster. “What did you tell them?”

Sura was the only friend Claire had left from her previous life, and from time to time she checked up on Claire—mostly because she pitied Claire. But they hadn’t spoken in months, and even Sura didn’t totally know what Claire had planned.

“Nothing. I didn’t tell them anything. But it was only a matter of time before they figured it out on their own.”

Claire’s shoulders dropped, and her heart plummeted like a stone weight into her stomach as well, a reaction that stole her breath because it was both new and unexpected. If this was what heartbreak felt like, she couldn’t imagine how humans—those who felt the full range of emotions—dealt with it.

She’d been stupid to think the Guild wouldn’t catch on, not after the way they’d banished her to the human world, but she’d hoped she’d have time to find that bottle before they did.

No such luck now.

“I’m sure they’re already plotting my next punishment,” Claire said with more sarcasm than she intended. “Though I can’t imagine what could be worse than this. How long do I have?”

“I don’t know. But Ridwan is speaking with the others now, and they will be coming for you.”

Ridwan. Great. That could mean today, tomorrow, or a month from now. The High Seven didn’t view time the same way humans did.

Sura hesitated, then in a low voice asked, “Claire? You feel, don’t you? For months I’ve been wondering what’s happening to me but was afraid to ask. Others sense a change too. Some of us…some of us have discussed it. It’s happening to all within the Guild except for the High Seven. We all…feel.”

The depression slowly slinking over Claire disappeared in a burst of excitement. Was it possible what was happening to her was also happening to others?

“How? Tell me, Sura. I need to know. When did it start?”

“Right before the equinox.”

Before the equinox… Claire’s excitement rose another notch.

“Sadness, joy, anger,” Sura went on, “I feel all of these. I don’t know how to describe it except to say its—”

“Freeing.”

Sura sighed. “Yes. So freeing. How have we existed all this time without emotion? Why would they take that from us?”

Claire turned to look out over the gentle waves again as a twinge of animosity seeped into her chest. She’d served the Guild for hundreds of years, but one question, one curiosity had gotten her banished. How many others had been banished for this same reason? How many were now feeling something—anything—for the first time?

“Because controlling our emotions binds our free will,” Claire said. “We’re not supposed to have free willd. We’re made of light, not fire or clay. If we have free will like humans and djinn, we might choose not to serve.”

“Yes, but for those who choose to stay, emotions would only strengthen their service. Certainly Allah—”

“This was not Allah’s command.” Claire had done a lot of research since being banished. And she knew the High Seven were behind this. Knew it in her heart, even if that was a place she’d just come to trust. “Things are not always what they seem. I’ve learned that the hard way. I’m going to find the other opals.”

“That’s part of the reason I called.”

“To warn me. I know. I appreciate—”

“No,” Sura answered, this time in a whisper. “To tell you that your bottle has washed ashore in the Marshall Islands.”

“What?” Claire’s eyes grew wide, and anxiety pushed in from every side. “How do you know? Who found it? They haven’t opened it yet, have they? If they do—”

“Relax. No one’s found it. Yet. It hasn’t been opened. And the High Seven don’t know it’s washed up yet either.”

“Then how…?”

“We’re celestial, remember? We have multiple resources at our fingertips. We just have to know the right questions to ask.”

Claire heard the smile in her friend’s voice, and it relaxed her shoulders, if only for a moment. “You’re celestial, Sura. I’m” —What was the name those romance novels she’d read to try to understand human emotions called it?— “a fallen angel, remember?”

“I hate that term, angel. It implies wings and halos. Which we definitely don’t have. And you’ll not be fallen for long. Especially not if you find the opals before the High Seven find you. You won’t have to fear their wrath anymore. They won’t be able to touch you.”

Power was a tempting thing. For a moment, Claire let herself consider what she could do with the power of the firebrand opals. Thousands of years ago, Ridwan, guardian of the Seven Heavens, bound the celestial emotions in seven firebrand opals, then scattered them in the djinn realm, where her kind were forbidden to cross. They held power, the kind of power that infused djinn and granted them long lifespans. And Ridwan had scattered them there, partly to test and tempt the djinn, and partly to keep the opals safe. But Claire didn’t want power. She just wanted to live. Really live. And above all else, she wanted to have choice, something that had been taken from her long before she’d even been created.

“There’s no guarantee I’ll succeed,” Claire said.” To find the other opals, I have to cross over to the djinn realm.”

“Which you can do, now that you’ve been stripped of your powers,” Sura answered. “Find the shard in the Marshall Islands and summon a djinni to cross over to corrupt your soul. That was your plan, wasn’t it? Turn the tides on the pleasure slave? Seduce him into taking you to their realm? We both know your celestial powers won’t be bound there. You’ll be able to find the other opals and destroy them. From there… Well, from there what you do with that kind of power is all up to you. Your choice.”

Claire’s heart raced all over again, followed by a wave of nausea. She’d never been nervous before, but now she was. Now all she could wonder was…could she seduce? Would a pleasure slave know what she was? And what if she failed? If what Sura said was true, this wasn’t just about her anymore. If she didn’t act, the High Seven would find a way to bind what little emotion others in her order had grown used to.

She frowned, because it was easier than stressing about something she feared she’d never be able to do. “You’re too perceptive.”

“We are not the unintelligent creatures the High Seven think us to be.”

“True. But if you’ve guessed my plan, they have already too.”

“So stop stalling. Find that bottle and get on with that seduction. And do it soon. You’re the only one who can.”

“No pressure there.”

Sura laughed. “Who knows? Maybe you’ll even enjoy it.”

Claire’s mind drifted to the books she’d read for research and the fantasies they had sparked—ones she’d never even considered before. She didn’t doubt she would enjoy it. Djinn were, after all, wickedly tempting and highly erotic creatures. The question was whether she was strong enough to use that eroticism to accomplish her goal or if she’d fall prey to it.

Because, as with all free will, when a soul walked on the dark side, there was always a chance it might not come back.

Possessed by Desire

By: Elisabeth Naughton
x