The only thing worse than loving the enemy is trying to live without him.
Archaean bounty hunter Marek Coinnich isn’t particularly fond of Engels. In fact, after generations of endless war with the neighboring people, he prefers them dead. But to save his injured brother, he must enter the manor of an Engel enemy. Marek finds himself enthralled by the slave girl nursing his brother back to health. When his enchantment with her lands them both in a compromising position, he refuses to let the young beauty pay for the misunderstanding with her life.
Brynn of Galhaven prefers to keep to the shadows. When she is ruined by an outsider, she barely escapes with her life and finds herself left alone in an unforgiving land. Through her struggles to survive, Brynn discovers a world she never imagined, and never forgets the enemy Archaean who stole her heart.
Marek can’t deny his desire for Brynn, but these are wartimes, and she is the enemy. And though love knows no prejudice, the world in which he lives isn’t nearly as forgiving.
“Oh, now you want this?” He squeezed the wet fabric in his fingers.
“Not if you’re going to throw it at me.” She pouted, tasting the blood with the tip of her tongue.
“Here, have at it.” Marek handed her the cloth and the water bladder. “When you need my help, I’ll be waiting for your thanks.” Busying himself with the torch, Marek let her be.
The process was slow. Every inch of her ached. What she wouldn’t give for a bath — a proper one. When she was sure she had scrubbed her face thoroughly, Brynn set to work on her arms and legs. Mud resided in every cranny, making her tattered clothing seem like rags themselves.
“Would you care for help now?” he asked, watching her struggle.
“’Tis all right to ask for help.”
“I said I’m fine,” she replied, peeling a section of matted hair from her shoulder. Brynn winced and sucked in a breath through her teeth, trying not to cry out while he was near. “Might I have a bit of privacy, warrior?”
“My name is Marek,” he corrected, “and do not worry — you haven’t anything I have not seen before. I’ve been cleaning those wounds of yours for days now.”
Brynn’s cheeks flushed, and she directed her attention elsewhere, ignoring his shameless stare. She focused on her wounds, keeping her distance.
Near the curtain, Marek unbuckled his belt to remove his tunic. He pulled the fabric over his hand and then down his arms. He stood bare-chested. Brynn averted her eyes.
Marek let out a rumbling laugh. “You are welcome to look, love.”
“I fear the gods will not forgive me if I do,” she whispered.
Melissa grew up surrounded by dragons, fearsome creatures, and damsels in distress from the wonderful world of make believe. She soon found her ideas on paper, littering her desk with world maps and character biographies. Study hall was used not for homework but for writing. Although she pursued a career in theater, the written word never left her. Melissa now leads a full life with her husband and children (five amazingly adorable clones to be exact), though she still finds time to write in her “spare time”. She sports a Military Wife badge of honor, and is lucky enough to have her own knight in camo armor.