Author Website: http://www.rmalexanderauthor.com
Author GoodReads: http:// www.goodreads.com/author/show/7364033.R_M_Alexander
GoodReads Page for Book:http:// www.goodreads.com/book/show/18721499-matter-of-choice
I stare unseeingly at the TV. Guess I’d always held out hope that eventually Sienna would come to me and I could buy her a house. Rob had all that. Someone to come home to, to eat with and chat about his day. Damn, I envied that. But what kind of man wants their best friends wife?
I’ve battled with that guilt for so long, I’m used to it now. And Rob is dead and Sienna needs someone. Needs me, even if she doesn’t know it yet. I jump up and grab a beer from the mini-fridge I keep in my room. Crack it open, I take a determined drink. I’m done standing by Rob. I did my part, played the loyal friend and watched as he fucked up Sienna’s life. In the military, loyalty is everything. You don’t fight for the politicians or whatever bullshit reason they give you. When you’re on the battlefield, you fight for your buddies. But I’m done being loyal to Rob, even in death. He wasn’t the guy I used to know, the boy I played soldiers with as a kid. And I’ll be damned if he is going to ruin my life too.
I don’t know what I’m going to do yet, but somehow I’m going to get Sienna and make her mine, once and for all
“Oh God, touch me, Nick,” I beg as his fingers skim my hips and dip beneath my jeans
“Come on, woman.” He kicks off his boots and yanks down his trousers. Frankly, I’m just enjoying the show. “It’s been two weeks and I have thought of nothing but you every second. Get naked and get in this shower.”
Nick drops a kiss to my lips, a brief one, and releases me. “Just so you know, you’ll always be the most valuable thing in my life. And I do want to possess you, I can’t deny that. But first and foremost, I want to love you.”
The Prince turned his head, scanning the area. Kiora could feel the corded muscles in his arms as he continued to hold her up. “Can you stand if I let go of you?” he asked.
She nodded, reluctantly pulling back from him.“Good.” Pulling his sword, he turned to face the wood, whispering to her over his shoulder. “Listen carefully and do what I tell you.”His eyes scanned, looking for any sign of their attackers. A long low growl came from his left. Kiora froze, following Emane’s gaze as he slowly turned to face it. Two sparkling black eyes shown out from the branches, intently fixed on him.“There it is,” he hissed.Growls and snarls began erupting from every side. Kiora whimpered, taking a step backwards. Emane reached back, grabbing her hand, and pulled her tight in behind him. Holding his sword out in front, they watched as set after set of eyes began emerging from the shadows of the trees.“What are they?” he whispered, his hand tightening around her wrist.The first set of eyes to appear stepped fully out from the trees and into the sun. Kiora’s heart sunk as the gigantic black creature came into view. It was a hound of nightmarish proportions, taller, wider. Its face was sharp with a longer snout and enormous ears. But what was most frightening was the evil intelligence that glittered behind those black eyes.Emane’s sword swung towards it. “Why does it look like it’s thinking?” he muttered. “I don’t like it, dogs don’t look like that.”“That is no dog.” Kiora whispered, her eyes wide. Their threads were plunging through her heart, icy cold and dark. She could not ignore them.Drool dripped from the beast’s wide, fang-filled mouth, as it gave another long growl. The rest of the pack emerged from the tree line, following command.Emane crouched lower, swinging his sword back and forth in front of them, trying to keep an eye on all of them.There were probably fifteen hounds, growling and snapping their jaws, but not one attacked.“What is going on?” Kiora whispered, her frozen heart still managing to beat madly. “Why are they just standing there?”The predators had boxed them in nicely against the river, but the pack kept its distance, each glancing periodically over at the largest of the pack. Almost as if they were…waiting for permission, Kiora realized, sickly. Emane began slowly backing up, pushing Kiora closer to the river. It was the only way left to go.The Prince whispered over his shoulder, not taking his eyes off the hounds. “Any ideas?”She scanned the creatures again, they were in trouble. “No.”The leader took a step forward, emitting a low angry growl. The others followed suit. “Back into the water, Kiora, now.”Kiora obediently took a step backwards, gasping as the frigid water splashed up her legs. Stepping back again, she gripped Emane’s shoulder as the current whipped around her ankles. It wasn’t only cold, but incredibly fast. Emane began backing up as well, keeping himself between the creatures and Kiora.“Run, Kiora,” he said calmly. It was the calm that frightened her most.She glanced behind her at the river, and then back at the hounds, “No,” she said clenching her teeth. “I am not going to just leave you here, your sword isn’t going to do any…”“Do it, Kiora, now!” he yelled shoving her away from him. The hounds snarled and snapped their jaws in response to the noise.“Emane!” she shouted.He took one more step backwards, “Kiora! Now!”Her gut wrenching, she groaned and turned to the river. The water splashed up against her in freezing spray. The river dropped off quickly, the shallow edges giving way to nearly waist-deep, freezing water. The current pushed back against her as her feet slipped on the smooth river rocks. Hearing splashing behind her she tried to move faster, hopefully it was Emane, but there was no time to look. The next thing she knew her head was underwater. She struggled to the surface gasping for air.“Emane,” she sputtered, before the river pulled her back under.Her lungs screamed at her as she slid along the bottom. Desperately reaching out she drug her fingers along trying to hold onto anything, but the rocks were smooth and flat. Panic pushed in on all sides. Her lungs ached for a breath. Three fingers lodged under a stone and her heart leaped, but then she slipped free again. Then, she felt fingers close around her wrist, jerking her up out of the water. Gasping great mouthfuls of air, Emane shouted in her ear.“Kiora, move!”Disoriented and coughing she turned to see the large black dogs leaping one after another into the water. Struggling to her feet and still gasping, she clung tightly to Emane as he attempted to drag her to the other bank. Slipping again, Emane tightened his arms around her waist, pulling her back to her feet with a grunt.A frightened yelp came from behind them. Twisting, she looked over Emane’s shoulder to see one of the hounds being pulled downstream. The others were struggling but making headway.Kiora had to do something.Leaning on Emane, she concentrated on the small rocks at the shore as she never had before. The rocks jerked themselves out of the mud flying towards the creatures, hitting three squarely between the eyes. They yelped. The impact was enough that all three lost their footing, each one falling victim to a river that did not forgive mistakes. Their heads vanished beneath the water and did not appear again.Emane dragged Kiora to the bank, roughly pushing her forwards. She dug her fingers into the mud struggling upwards, her feet slipping. Finally with her feet beneath her she searched for something else she could use. The remaining hounds were not far behind.Emane scrambled up behind her. Leaning on his knees, he panted, “I don’t know how much longer we’ve got, Kiora!”“Use your sword!” she yelled, scanning the bank for something larger than the few rocks she had already used.Emane looked at the remaining set of ten snapping jaws making their way towards them and back to Kiora, “I’m good, but I’m not that good.”“I’m trying, Emane!” she yelled. “I don’t know what else to use!” She spun in a circle, there had to be something, anything! But this side of the bank was mainly mud and trees. A greedy snarl turned her attention back to the bank as one of the giant heads appeared over the edge, his claws digging easily into the mud.“Emane!” she screamed.