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Though Octavia is enthralled by Prince Markus of Delti the moment she sets eyes on him, she is shocked when the huge, handsome warrior takes her captive and informs her that she is his fated mate, bound irrevocably to him for the rest of their lives.
Markus quickly makes it clear that he will demand obedience and submission from his mate, and when the beautiful, headstrong Zatari priestess questions his honor he does not hesitate to bare her bottom and spank her hard and thoroughly.
The humiliating punishment leaves Octavia furious yet helplessly aroused, and though it fills her with shame, she soon finds herself begging for her mate to master her body completely. When Markus claims her at last, his skilled, dominant lovemaking satisfies her more deeply than she would have thought possible, but will she forsake her own people and stay by his side forever?
Publisher’s Note: Claiming His Mate is the first book of the Mates of Zatari series. It includes spankings and sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.
CLAIMING HIS MATE
Mates of Zatari Book 1
BY CLAIRE CONRAD
Free me. They’re going to kill me. It will mean war.
These men were supposed to be willing participants, their seed given freely and in fair trade. None were meant to suffer, to bleed as our ancestors had bled. Had we learned nothing from our history, from the mistakes of our ancestors, from decades of war with the people of Delti?
Sweat ran from the long golden hair at my temples, winding down my cheeks. My body ached with need, with tension and fury. His fury.
I wanted to touch him, to run my fingers through his hair, to trace the hard strength of his thighs and wrap my hand around the thick steel of his shaft. I wanted to lick his skin and take his seed.
I did none of those things. He spoke to me mind-to-mind as only a noble of Delti could do. Telepathy, mind tricks were forbidden among my people. The penalty for using such power was execution. And yet, the male chained to the table bombarded me with his power. Why did no one else feel him? Hear him? What was I to do?
Years of forbidden study raced through my mind. As I watched the rapid rise and fall of his chest, reveled in the heat and power his body emanated, I knew that if I walked away and allowed his death, it would haunt me forever. The elders meant to breed him and kill him. I had no doubt. It was wrong. Plain and simple. And yet, I was not foolish enough to believe that was the only reason I could not walk away from him. I’d seen other wrongs in my life and done nothing. Why him? Why did I feel like I must save him? Why did every cell in my body scream that he was mine?
As I studied his muscular frame I wondered what it would be like to have a man who was mine to keep. To choose a mate for myself and not simply follow the dictates of the elders.
Dangerous thoughts. I needed to leave this place for now. I needed to get away from him, to think.
As if he sensed my leaving, cold madness flooded my mind. Anger that I would abandon him to this fate. His primal, gut-clawing need to possess me shocked me into a quick jolting step away from his hard body.
The elder watched me like a hawk, her eyes never leaving me as I walked toward the exit.
No. Do not leave me here, woman. I feel you. I know you hear me. Do not start a war. Do not leave me here to die.
From beneath lowered lashes I watched the other women in the room. All eyes were fixed on the newest warrior as she rode her chosen breeder. No one in the room appeared to notice anything out of the ordinary. Others had never been able to hear the telepathic communication between members of my family. And none here were blood relations to me.
Satisfied that none of the women would hear my thoughts, I closed my eyes and tried to calm the mating frenzy in my body as I reached out with my mind.
Who are you? One of my father’s spies? Answer me!
I took a deep breath and focused my mind to send him a message. The presiding elder’s eyes were fixed on Mira. I am a Zatari priestess. Who are you?
He froze on the platform, held his breath. Was he shocked? He shouldn’t be. He’d started this conversation.
I am Markus, son of King Thadron. Your elders intend to kill me, to break the treaty, to declare war on Delti.
You lie. I could not believe him, not about this. War with the planet Delti had killed millions over hundreds of years. The treaty that ended the war had been signed decades ago, long before I was born. Our people had flourished since. My sister and the elders on the council often complained about the Delti invaders who controlled not only half of our home world, but the planet of Delti as well. But to start a war? No.
I speak the truth. Free me now or your people and mine will suffer unimaginable horrors. My father will not stop until every man, woman, and child is burning.
Speaking mind-to-mind was not new to me. I knew well the flavor of another’s thoughts and emotions, the bitter taste of manipulation, the warm glow of caring, and the sour tang of untruth.
This man, this prince, was not lying. He believed what he told me.
Why was he not part of the ritual? Why were his hands bloody and his body drugged so heavily that he could not even lift his head?
From deep in my soul, from the place that touched the sacred beating heart of the planet, I received an answer.
None had touched him, and none would, I knew, until later. What the elders planned was not for public consumption, not for the eyes of a priestess or lesser daughters of the Temple. Evil did not like the bright light of day, or eyes to bear witness to its schemes.
I knew then what I had to do. Goddess forgive me if it were the wrong choice. I had little time to prepare. Once the ritual was over, it would be too late to save him.
Meet Author Claire Conrad...
Claire Conrad is a full time writer and chocolate enthusiast who knows just enough about a handful of topics to dabble in many and master none. She loves a good red wine, traveling just about anywhere, coffee (as long as it’s dark), romance and never met a sci-fi story she didn’t love – including comically horrible “B” movies – much to her husband’s chagrin.
Claire writes sexy alpha male aliens, fantasy lovers and anything else her muse thinks might be fun (or a little naughty). All of her books take a wee little ride on the wild side, so hold on tight. Things are about to get panty-melting hot in here. 😉
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