At sixteen I fled from my mate, the powerful Fae Lord Ahman, the prince’s enforcer. 

 

He has haunted my dreams since, seducing me, demanding I reveal my hidden location.

 

I cannot. If he discovers the darkness enveloping the village I rule, he will be forced to kill us all—starting with me.

 

 

But my power over my entrapped demon is weakening, and with every moment my will not to submit dissolves. The mate I rejected is now my only hope.

 

Even if our first kiss is our last.

 

 

When he finally finds me, I realize I have feared succumbing to the wrong beast.

 

Ahman will not release me, even to death.

 

 

Fae Wolf’s Rose is a modern fantasy romance novella for readers who enjoy steamy enemies-to-lovers, rejected fated mates, possessive Fae lords and burdened heroines. This standalone can be read in one to two sittings, and is an expanded and revised re-release of a vintage Emma Alisyn short story.

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

Strong hands grip my shoulders as I look through my bedroom window over the city below. It’s raining again, and the lamp lights sparkle, a fine mist over the distant mountains. The castle perches on a cliff, a reminder to all who are below who rules. I have never been here in real life, but I know where I am. The prince’s capital city. In the chambers of a dangerous male whose lease he barely holds.

 

“Come to me,” my dream lover says, his voice deep and dark in my ear. “Why must you be so stubborn?”

 

I turn in his arms, though I know better than to look up to meet his gaze. His face is always shrouded, veiled from me. All I have is his voice and the shadowy outline of his broad shoulders and tall, muscular body. The weight of his possessive fingers on my body.

 

Even now those fingers pluck at the belt of my silken robe, pushing it down over my shoulders to drop to the floor. I stand before him bare and he cups my breasts, kneading my flesh.

 

“I might come to you if I knew where you were,” I say. It’s the same conversation we’ve had for years.

 

“Liar,” he says softly, and not for the first time there’s an edge in his voice. He’s growing impatient and with each dream his hands on my body are harder, rougher, edged in desperation.

 

In craving.

 

I sympathize. When I wake, it will be to a body hot and throbbing with unfulfilled need. It’s not just his body I yearn for. I’ve come to know him, come to believe that he is, indeed, the real sending of the mate I rejected years ago. His subtle sense of humor, his adorable streak of stubborn fairness. A Fae with a sense of justice? Inconceivable.

 

“You know why I can’t,” I say, grabbing his wrists.

 

It’s pointless. He won’t be swayed or stopped. His hands move down my body, cupping my mound, fingers diving deep inside me. He turns me around, pulling me against his chest and trapping me with one arm as he finger fucks me with the other.

His thumb presses against my clit and my knees buckle as I orgasm. “Come to me,” he growls. “Or if you will not come, allow me to come to you.”

 

“I can’t.” 

 

There’s agony in my voice, even I hear it. My valley is warded with strong magic, my magic. If I open it even a sliver to allow his seeking magic to penetrate the shields, then the darkness I’m keeping in will seep out. Even then, I’d harbored the secret of my family’s slow descent into madness. A malady now curse I struggle every day not to succumb to. I cannot, will not, subject a mate to such a fate.

 

 

I cannot allow that to happen. Even if I must sacrifice my own happiness, my own mate. My dream lover, who comes to me every night I allow it and woos me with words and kisses, with clever arguments and with commands. In the waking world I doubt he is used to not getting his way; it makes him snarly.

 

“Tell me why,” he demands.

 

I smile humorlessly, even as I catch my breath. He lifts me into his arms and strides toward the bed, tossing me down on my back.

 

There’s no sweet, gentle caresses this time, no seduction. He turns me around, pressing my face into the silken sheets and pulling my buttocks high up into the air. Minutes later I feel the head of his cock pressing against my entrance, a promise. A threat.

 

“I can’t tell you. You know that.”

 

For if he is not a dream, if he truly is the sending of the Fae Lord who is my mate, and if I then tell him where to find me, I forfeit my life. There are few laws among our people which are inviolable, and I’ve broken most of them in the last few years. That the breaking was to save my people doesn’t matter. Our people are harsh, and cold. Our prince doesn’t care for excuses.

He surges inside me, pummeling my body with all his frustration, all his want, all of his punishment for denying him over and over. He’s older than me and more powerful, but behind my wards he cannot compel me.

 

I grip the sheets, grit my teeth, and endure his rage. It’s the least I owe him for forcing him into this torment. I am his unclaimed mate and soon he might go insane from it, it has been so many years since the first spark of the bond between us.

When the pleasure overshadows pain, I scream. He snarls moments later, filling me with hot seed, hips grinding into mine. He covers my back, and his teeth sink into my neck in a feral mating bite. I cry out again, and even if I wanted to buck him off me I can’t. He won’t be moved.

 

His magic winds inside but it is slippery and elusive; as soon as it seems to dig its hooks into me, it evaporates. He howls in fury. His hands dig into the hair at the back of my neck, and he pulls me up onto my knees.

 

“Tell me your name,” he demands. “Tell me where you are. Whatever it is you face, I will face it with you. You feel my power. What is it that you fear more than my wrath?”

 

I laugh softly. “There is much more to fear than your wrath, my Lord.”

 

I lift up, grabbing the base of his once again erect cock, and slide fully down, sheathing myself.

 

We fuck hard, and furious. My denial and his anger.

 

My stubbornness and his bitterness.

 

And finally my blood, and my tears. His silence.

 

Lately, it always ends this way.

 

I cannot give him what he wants without a sacrifice I have no right to make.

 

“When I find you. . .” his voice trails off. He doesn’t have to detail the threat. My imagination is good enough.

 

When I wake, I am weeping, and my neck and thighs are sore.

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