BundlesTemple of Luna Bundle
As a novice in the Temple of Luna, Avani is training for the day she’ll become a revered priestess, with the skills and magic needed to soothe the feral warriors fighting a brutal war against the world’s remaining human colonies. Though forbidden contact with the warriors who have come to the temple for relief, Avani can’t keep her distance from Rais, her uncle’s protégé and one of the most dangerous fighters the wolves have ever known.
As the royal heir, Rais is destined to take a mate and ascend the throne, but first he must complete his service as a warrior. The Savage Temple’s priestesses offer him relief in the meantime, though there’s one he’s vowed never to touch. He remembers Avani as the innocent girl she was when they met, but the intervening years have made her a woman. A woman the wolf burns to claim…
Originally published as Savage Possession.
Read an Excerpt
“You’re overdue, Rais.”
How his cousin managed to pack so much admonition into three words, he’d never know. “Not so terribly, Zahra.”
“Three moons.” Her white robes swished softly as she walked, a familiar sound in the Temple. “Almost four. Dangerous.”
“I know danger, cousin.” The far door of the hall opened, admitting the noises and scents of the bathing pools and lush flora in the courtyard. Rais kept his eyes closed and relished the gentle sounds. On the battlefield, nothing blocked out the violence and destruction, the bodies of dead men and wolves alike. Shutting one’s eyes might eclipse the blood and rent, burned flesh for a few moments, but it left behind either pained screams or dead silence to assault the senses.
Here, at least, peace reigned in the quiet.
Zahra’s cuffs jingled as she laid a hand on his arm. “This could well be your last visit. Has your father spoken with you?”
“Yes.” Rais gritted his teeth. “He feels my birthday feast would be even more festive if we were to celebrate my coronation as well.”
“And is he wrong?” Zahra’s bright green eyes glimmered with amusement. “You are nearing the end age, after all.”
“End age, my ass.” Not yet forty years old, and put out to graze like an elderly cow. “I have plenty of fighting years left in me.”
“But your responsibilities are different now. Choose a mate, settle down, start a family…” The humor in her gaze faded. “And rule, Rais. That is who you are.”
“Perhaps.” Even if it felt like abandoning the soldiers under his command. Rais changed the subject. “So who am I to see? Lilavati was pleasant.”
“Mmm, and she spent a month after your last visit telling the other priestesses you were sure to mate her when the time came to choose your queen.”
“Damn.” She hadn’t been that pleasant. “Not her, then.”
Rais called to mind the short, curvy redhead and decided she would do nicely. Before he could answer, the door opened behind them and soft footsteps crossed the floor. It had to be a priestess–he could hear her robes, for one thing, but more telling was the call of her magic. Unlike his own clan’s, unlike enough to awaken the sleeping beast with a flare of lust.
His cock stirred, and he scrubbed his hands over his face with a groan. “Just get me anyone. And hurry.”
The woman behind them cleared her throat. “Zahra, they need you in the infirmary. There was an accident with one of the generators. No one’s dead, but at least three workers were injured.”
He had a voice now to go with the magic. “Avani.” He turned and almost stumbled. She’d been a child the last time he’d visited her uncle’s home, no more than sixteen. Now, she was beautiful, fully grown into her lithe limbs and strong features.
And she was nervous. Her gaze touched on his and jerked away, and Rais crossed his arms over his chest. “Do they need me?”
“Arrogant ass.” Zahra waved a hand at him as she hurried toward the door. “Avani can help you.”
Avani smiled, slow and shy but with a bit of the teasing edge he remembered. “Rais. If you’d like, I could find a room for you to wait in. I’m afraid you’re going to find yourself stalked by most of my fellow novices if you don’t get out of sight. They’ve been gossiping all morning.”
The edge in her smile coupled with her magic made him even harder, and he tried not to look grumpy. “Let me guess. They all aspire to be my mate.”
Her full lips pursed, as if she was trying to hold back a smile. “Of course. Who wouldn’t want to sit at your feet and bask in your glory?”
Rais didn’t bother to hide his own grin. “Only you, Avani.” He offered her his arm and ignored the rush of heat that overtook him. Having her wasn’t an option. Even if she’d finished with her training, she was off-limits. “Walk with me. How is your uncle?”
“He’s well. Enjoying some time with his grandchildren now. My cousins have been quite prolific.” Magic brushed over him as she settled her hand around his arm, a softly submissive power that was gentle and eager all at the same time.
Every dominant instinct in him suddenly took far more notice of her. “And what of you? Waiting for a soldier of your own to return from war?”
She lifted her free arm with a put-upon sigh. “You didn’t notice? I’m a novice. Still.”
He studied the gold bands on her sleeves with a raised eyebrow. “You must be nearly twenty-one by now, Avani. What’s holding you back?”
Her cheeks flushed as she studied the floor. “I’m twenty-three. But twenty-two is the average age. Some women just need time to grow into their power.”
Or they didn’t belong in the Temple, wearing Luna’s robes. “You’ve not had your first warrior, then.” He shouldn’t have been so pleased by the realization.
“I’ve had my training,” she retorted, a hint of challenge in that soft voice. “I know how to gentle a warrior.”
“Not one like me.” Rais was shocked to hear the challenge returned in his own words.
She stopped in front of a door and turned, tilting her head back until her gaze met his. “Even a prince is just a man in the dark. Or do royalty have exotic tastes?”
He backed her against the door in a surge of sudden, instinctive movement. “A lesson unlearned, novice. Warriors aren’t men, especially not in the dark.”
As if the scent of her body wasn’t intoxicating enough, he caught the first hints of arousal as she sucked in a sharp breath. “You–you know what I meant.”
“Do I?” He moved even closer, his hips pressing against hers. “What do they tell you about pleasing a warrior?”
Her body melted into soft curves and submission, but her eyes sparked with the stubbornness that ran in her family. “They don’t tell us anything, Rais. Do you think they sit us down to study books and vids and then send us as a virgin sacrifice to whatever warrior is to be our first?”
Honestly, he’d never given much thought to the training. “Then what do they do, Avani?”
She moved, rocking her hips against his as her hand came up to rest against his chest. “They sit us down to study books and vids.” Slim fingers stroked down his chest and he felt the power inside her swell, hungry for his dominance. “And when we’re done studying, we go to bed with a trainer, who shows us what pleasure is and how to give it.”
The rage that welled in him was stupid–and unacceptable. “Who’s touched you?” The words escaped in a growl.
Avani stared up at him with too-wide brown eyes filled with a dangerous longing. “You’re touching me.”
“No, besides–” Rais bit off the words with a groan. “You’re impossible.” The only thing to do was kiss her, so he did, claiming her with a hard, hot fusing of mouths.
She wasn’t untouched, that was clear. She kissed him back, open-mouthed and hungry, but it soon became painfully obvious why she still wore the robes of a novice. Everything about her was open and too trusting, especially the magic that curled around him, urging him to take, to have in any way he wanted.
In any way he wanted.
The warriors would eat her alive.
Rais broke away, panting. “Shit. I have to–” He was horrified with himself and his reaction to her. But more disturbing than that was the thought that, as soon as she’d earned her white bands, someone could take advantage of that trust. “I have to go.”
She blinked at him, her eyes dazed. “I… You’re going?”
“Yes.” He needed to talk to the high priestess. “Have a good night, Avani.”
“Rais.” It was barely a whisper, and her voice trembled on his name. “Don’t–don’t tell. I’ll be in so much trouble. I should have found a senior priestess and left you alone.”
She’d gladly welcome him into her cunt where they stood. He could see it in her eyes. “No, no trouble, sweetheart. I promise.”
Her head bobbed in a jerky nod that sent her wavy blonde hair tumbling over her face. The hand she lifted to push it back trembled, but she smiled at him. “Good night, Rais.”
He gave her a curt nod, then turned on his heel and stalked back toward the heart of the Temple.