This week, I got the cover for my next Resplendence Book, Blood Bought. I'm absolutely thrilled by how it came out. Here's a little taste of what the book is about:
For months, Jonah Genjhury has hunted Athena. Waiting. Planning. Dreaming. Finally he finds his prickly mate and he knows it’s time to claim her for the Cruentus clan—and himself. Athena, however, isn’t easy to convince. She fights a union with everything in her. In desperation, Jonah makes her his blood slave, binding her to him. But now he must convince his angry slave that she is indeed his mate while an age old battle with the Dragon enemies rages around them. And if he doesn’t convince her quickly, they might both perish.
The woman’s anger, unmistakable rage, radiated across the parking garage and hit Jonah full force as his sports car raced up to the third level. Grimacing, he pushed his body past feeling the pain that had plagued him for the six months since she’d left him. She was his mate and his body craved her, not that she gave a care about that.
No, she’d run rather than mate with him.
His jaw locked as his own anger joined hers. His only solace was in the knowledge that she’d be feeling equal pain, as was her rightful punishment for running from their union and kidnapping the Elder’s mate in the process. A thin smile momentarily curved his lips. Soon all the pain would end and his mate would bear another punishment for her desertion, one meted out by his hand, one he’d sorely enjoy.
The smile faded as she came into sight. Athena Xanthopoulos, his intended mate. Two of the Dragons from the New York clan held her and everything inside him rebelled at another male touching his woman, but it was necessary or she’d run. Athena was good at running as he discovered since she’d fled the Cruentus compound.
The two Dragons, who were in human form, seemed relieved that he’d arrived. Athena on the other hand looked even more pissed off. They had her chained between them as a safeguard. Impotently, she fought, her long black hair flying wildly around her head. Even from this distance, he could see the fury in her dark brown eyes while the muscles of her arms strained against the manacles that held her. Jonah knew she wouldn’t escape her captors.
She glared at his car though he was sure she couldn’t see who was inside, not in this dim part of the parking garage. Oh, she knew… As her struggle increased, her teeth bared in contempt.
“Get out here, you bastard, and call off your dogs,” she screeched.
“Um, honey, we’re Dragons,” the taller of the pair holding her said dryly. “And if you weren’t Jonah’s mate—poor sucker—I think I’d barbecue you.”
“Hey, no toasting my Velree, Levi,” Jonah cut in as he slid from his silver car. He drew a black leather case from the backseat and approached the trio.
“I’m not suggesting toast.” He glared at Athena. “I’m thinking banshee on a spit.”
Jonah shook his head, biting back his chuckle as he met Athena’s stormy brown eyes. Silently, he surveyed her while she just as silently glared back. He’d searched fruitlessly for her since she’d run away. Often he’d arrived just after she’d left wherever she’d stayed, her scent still in the air and tormenting him. The mating call would then twist his insides, the innate need to be with her bringing him physical pain. Did she not feel the same?
She must. In her short-sleeved T-shirt, he could see the mating mark on her left arm that matched the one on his right. How did she control the call? It should be so strong that even the Dragons holding her wouldn’t be safe from her need.
He shoved away that repugnant thought that would cause him to hate his friends who held her. Intent, he headed for directly for Athena, holding her gaze. One thought filled his mind. One thought? No many. Full thoughts escaped him. His head was filled with random images. Her neck, his teeth, her blood.
She was his and it was time she realized it.
Holding her gaze, he stopped opened the case and stopped before her. Her eyes widened at the leather shackles he removed, and she fought as he deftly replaced the iron that had held her.
“What?” she sniped. “You’re not man enough to handle me without tying me up?”
“Sweetheart, I’m not taking any chances of you jumping from the car.” He lifted her wrists to inspect the gashes from the metal shackles.
She pulled away. “Back off, Fang. I’m not dinner.”
“You’ll be whatever I choose,” he replied, content to spar with her as long as she was with him. At this proximity, the need to couple with her increased, but the pain somewhat receded. It was the first relief he’d felt since the mating mark had appeared on his arm.
He shook his head at her continued belligerence when he knew the need was pulsing through her as well. He could see it in the way her nipples pushed against her shirt and hear it in the way her heart was thundering. It certainly wasn’t caused by fear. Jonah was convinced this woman felt none.
His tongue pressed to the bottom of his front teeth and he slightly parted his lips, drawing in a breath. Yes…there it was. Her arousal filled his senses as he tasted the air. The heavy flavor of her desire nearly had him yanking her into his arms and dragging her away. The other Dragons would be able to scent it as well, and she was his! He wanted her as far from other males as possible until he was fully united with her.
Shaking, he pulled himself from the edge of frenzy. This was the mating call driving him. He had more control that this. Gently, he stroked her cheek and his skin tingled at the long-awaited contact.
His skin tingled as he stroked her cheek.
“Get your hand off me or you’ll see what it’s like to be bit,” Athena growled.
“In my dreams,” he murmured. He sighed. “Still a shrew, I see.”
“Jerk,” she said, her voice hardly a whisper as desire darkened her eyes.
He’d played around long enough. Before the thought was half-formed in his mind, Jonah’s arms snaked around her, one capturing her waist and the other banding her shoulders.
“Velree,” he murmured as his hand threaded through the hair at her temple and tilted her head to the side, revealing the vein that throbbed from her struggles. She tried to fight him, but his unbreakable grasp held her still. He insinuated his knee between her legs as he angled his body to hers. In the position, none of the self defense moves she’d mastered and he’d been warned about would work. He held her more helpless than the chains.
She shivered as his tongue flattened and dragged over the vein. “Can you already feel me inside you?” he murmured. “Is your body even more wet knowing the one who will master it has now captured you?”
“No,” she whispered hoarsely, but he knew it was a lie. She quivered against him and her body heated with her lust.
“Mine,” he replied, his lips brushing her skin. His teeth sank into the soft flesh at the base of her neck to punctuate his declaration. Euphoria filled him, as her blood sank across his taste buds, the flavor of his Velree, the one woman destined just for him.
Athena moaned, her body arching into him, as the aphrodisiac from his bite flowed through her body, making her wild with her pent-up need. It would have affected Jonah as well, if he hadn’t prepared against it. He could not afford to be weakened by the lust for his mate.
Shuddering as he pulled his mouth away from the Nirvana of her blood, he took a step back. It took a moment for him to collect himself. Finally, he was able to look at the men who still held Athena who was now writhing and crying out in her mindless need. Jonah looked away quickly, knowing he was an inch from giving in to her.
He nodded to the men then led the way to his car, where he popped the trunk. He hated to put his mate there but it was the safest place for her at the moment. She was so far gone with her desire, she would barely notice anyway.
“Jonah, I need you,” Athena whimpered.
Levi pulled him back when he took a step forward to answer her pleas.
“Soon enough,” Levi whispered.
Jonah nodded as the trunk was shut. He’d bitten her and fed his Dragon who’d waited so long for his mate. It sealed the contract. She was his. Bought with blood.