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Claimed by the Elven Brothers: Decision and Fate: Elven King Series, #2

Claimed by the Elven Brothers: Decision and Fate: Elven King Series, #2

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Claimed by the Elven Brothers: Decision and Fate: Elven King Series, #2

ratings:
5/5 (1 rating)
Length:
184 pages
3 hours
Released:
Apr 16, 2017
ISBN:
9781386759553
Format:
Book

Description

This edition is the complete collection of the Claimed by the Elven Brothers novella series.

#1 DECISION
It started with a dream—a dream of two pine trees with a dead branch fallen between them along the jogging path she often frequented, but when Megan Reyes is driven to seek out the place in reality to rid herself of what was quickly becoming an obsession, instead of the big fat nothing she expects to find, she discovers more than she bargains for when she steps between the pines and is confronted by a very familiar pointy-eared man she last saw in her dreams.

He and his brother have been waiting for her, and what they want will test how far she is willing to go to escape the dullness of her everyday life just for the chance to spice things up.

#2 FATE
After transitioning smoothly into the elven realm and settling into a routine of various social engagements and a newfound hobby, it's easy for Megan to forget that a pregnancy could soon throw her world into disarray. However, when months turn to years, she soon learns that the lack of a pregnancy can be equally as disruptive, especially when it's so easy to forget that not everyone is happy with her arrangement with Seren and Locien and tinkering with her memories is the least they are willing to do to ensure its failure.

Released:
Apr 16, 2017
ISBN:
9781386759553
Format:
Book

About the author

Cristina Rayne is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives in West Texas with her crazy cat and about a dozen bookcases full of fantasy worlds and steamy romances. She has a degree in Computer Science which totally qualifies her to write romances. As Fantasy is her first love, she feels if she can inject a little love into the fantastical, along with a few steamy scenes, then all the better. She is also the author of the Claimed by the Elven King, Claimed by the Elven Brothers, Incarnations of Myth, and The Vampire Underground series.


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Claimed by the Elven Brothers - Cristina Rayne

Part I

Decision

Author’s Note: Decision contains ménage sex.

It started with a dream—a dream of two pine trees with a dead branch fallen between them along the jogging path she often frequented, but when Megan Reyes is driven to seek out the place in reality to rid herself of what was quickly becoming an obsession, instead of the big fat nothing she expects to find, she discovers more than she bargains for when she steps between the pines and is confronted by a very familiar pointy-eared man she last saw in her dreams.


He and his brother have been waiting for her, and what they want will test how far she is willing to go to escape the dullness of her everyday life just for the chance to spice things up.

Chapter 1

The more I looked at them, the more I wanted to just turn around and head back to the jogging path and my car and forget I had even come here on this crazy wild goose chase. Yet they were there, two tall pine trees about a meter apart with a single fallen branch devoid of all its leaves lying horizontally between them from trunk to trunk, and I couldn’t deny that I had seen them.

I had come out here expecting to find nothing—well, that wasn’t exactly true. I was expecting to find peace of mind again after two days of this very image consuming my every waking thought, an image from a reoccurring dream from the past two nights. That I was now seeing it in reality was mindboggling.

I stood frozen before it, unsure what to do. In the dream, I had accidentally sent the cell phone I had been clutching in one hand flying between the two pines after rounding a corner on the jogging path and promptly tripping on a root. It was only after I had stepped over the fallen branch to retrieve the phone that the dream had taken a turn for the bizarre.

From one moment to the next, the surrounding trees had disappeared only to be replaced with an open field of ankle-high grass dotted with white, yellow, and purple wildflowers. The sky had been gray, hazy, as though the entire area was engulfed in a thin fog.

After that initial scene, I could only remember bits and pieces of the rest of the dream—walking across the field, then sitting on a pearl-colored, silk blanket sipping a cool liquid from a small china teacup that I distinctly remembered being sweet like honey with a slightly bitter aftertaste. I also remembered that I had been sitting with two really good-looking blond men, that we had been talking even though I couldn’t for the life of me remember what exactly we had been talking about, just that it was something important.

I closed my eyes and made a face. Yes, I even remembered that the tips of their ears had been pointed and sticking up through their hair as though they were some kind of Zelda cosplayers. The only thing odder than me dreaming something as convoluted as that was that I had dreamt the exact same thing two nights in a row—at least the parts I could still remember.

How many times had I jogged past this very clump of trees over the past three years? Wasn’t it possible that I had seen this setup dozens of times without it really registering consciously? I was probably just freaking myself out over nothing and was suddenly glad that I hadn’t asked any of my friends to come out here with me. They would have wanted to know why, and I never would have heard the end of it if I had actually told them about the dreams, about how I had been obsessing over them.

This is so stupid, I grumbled to myself. Just walk across and be done with it!

Another hour or so and the sun would set. It would take me at least thirty minutes to make it back to my car. I definitely didn’t still want to be mucking around the woods in the dark.

With a burst of irritation, I stepped over the fallen branch, trying to ignore the sudden pounding of my heart. The effect was immediate. From one breath to the next, the air was heavier, moist, as though I was standing in the middle of a lake with my head barely above the waterline.

No—not a lake, I thought as I frantically looked from side-to-side, refusing to accept what my eyes had initially seen. However, the view was the same no matter which direction I turned my head or how hard I blinked my eyes. All the trees were just gone as if they had never been there in the first place, and in their place was a field of grass and colorful wildflowers as far as the eye could see under a darkened, overcast sky.

I stared at the familiar, yet impossible, landscape for the space of a breath before I promptly turned on my heel in order to march back over the branch and between the twin pines. I had seen this horror movie, thank you very much, and had no intention of starring in its sequel.

Where are you going, Megan?

I froze instantly, but not because the person who had spoken knew my name. That should have sent me sprinting between the trees at full speed without a backward glance. No, I knew that soft, deep voice, and now that I had heard it, there was no way I could leave without driving myself crazy with questions for the rest of my life.

I slowly turned around, and there he stood, so close that I could have reached out and easily touched his chest. It was one of the blond, pointy-eared men from that dream. He was dressed in a black, long-sleeved tunic and equally black breeches, looking as if he had just wandered out of a Renaissance fair or fantasy convention.

Home, I answered, surprised that my voice came out so steady. I’m gonna have a couple of shots of tequila, then I’m going to bed and just pretend that none of this craziness ever happened.

His mildly curious expression instantly melted into something like panic, and before I could even move a muscle, his hand shot out and grabbed one of my upper arms. Wait! Can we not at least talk about this a bit more? he pleaded. As we said yesterday, there is no need to make your decision right now.

"Decision? What decision? I demanded with a sinking feeling. No, scratch that. Who the hell are you?"

Why was I even still talking to this figment of my imagination? I should be getting the hell out of there, not digging myself in deeper! I jerked my arm back and was shocked when I easily broke his hold. In the back of my mind, I had prepared myself for a fight.

He held up his hands, looking contrite. I am sorry. I should not have grabbed you, I know.

Who are you? I repeated against my better judgment.

Who—you really do not remember, do you? he said slowly. It’s no wonder you look so scared now.

I frowned. Did I really? My heart was certainly pounding a mile-a-minute, but I thought I had a better poker face than that.

I am Seren of the House Elerren. You have been coming here to meet with my older brother, Locien, and me for the past few days. We talked about several things—important things.

I shook my head. I thought I was dreaming. For the past two nights, I had a dream of sitting with you and another blond man and talking, but I can’t remember what we talked about. I paused. That’s it, isn’t it? I’m still dreaming.

There was no way this was actually happening, that someone as beautiful as the man before me could possibly exist in reality. There had only been a couple of times in the past that I had realized that I was dreaming while still in the dream, so that’s probably what was happening right now. I felt the tension in my shoulders begin to ease.

Seren took a step closer, carefully, as though trying not to startle a wild animal. "I assure you, although the Inbetween has very dreamlike qualities, this is very real. I am very real. He held out his hand to me. Come. Let us go meet with Locien and figure out what has gone wrong here, why you cannot remember our time together."

I eyed his hand as if it were a cobra, suddenly unsure of what was real again. Maybe it would be better if I just went back home, I said as I took a step back.

A look of dismay flashed across his eyes briefly before his expression softened to something completely benign and friendly. I took another step back towards the twin trees, now thoroughly alarmed. Why did he want me to go with him so badly?

"Did you talk with another Sidhe after you left us yesterday? he asked. Did he tell you something that scared you?"

What? I blurted before I could stop myself.

What the hell did he mean she? Come to think of it, he did have a slight accent, so maybe English wasn’t his native language. Was he just mixing up his pronouns?

"Something must have happened within the last day because even at our initial meeting, you did not show so much fear and suspicion, he insisted, letting his hand fall back to his side. It’s all right. You do not have to pretend to memory loss. We meant it when we told you that first day that we would never keep you here against your will, that the final decision would be yours."

Pretend? Final decision? The more he talked, the more confused I became. I absolutely had no idea what he was talking about, but at the same time, it was becoming more apparent that we had spent at least a little bit of time together. Dreams usually didn’t continue on where they had left off from night to night, so how could I explain this? Did I dare believe that all of this was real? Was I really standing in some weird place talking to a man with pointed ears? Was he really an alien and I had inadvertently stumbled through a portal to his ship?

Despite the fact that any sane person would have been well on their way back through the trees and heading for the parking lot by now, I couldn’t help but be curious. What if this was actually first contact, and I turned my back on such a monumental point in history just because I was a little scared?

Yeah, and what if he’s here to abduct humans for some kind of freaky experiment? my mind supplied helpfully. I really needed to stop watching so many horror movies.

Are you an alien? I asked abruptly, deciding to just lay it all out there. Is that what’s going on?

For some inexplicable reason, he suddenly grinned at me as if I had just told him a particularly lame joke. It made me want to punch him in the face.

"So we are back to that again, Seren said. He bowed his head. Here. Perhaps you would like to touch my ears again, to assure yourself of their authenticity?" The last was said with a note of challenge.

The moment he suggested it, my fingers almost began to itch with the desire to do just that. I scowled at him and clasped my hands tightly behind my back.

No thanks, I said dryly. You keep saying ‘again,’ ‘again,’ but all I remember is having a cup of some weird-tasting drink and talking with you and another pointy-eared guy. So either this is the most convoluted dream I have ever had, or someone screwed with my head and made me forget a hell of a lot of stuff. I narrowed my eyes suspiciously at him. "You’re the only one standing here, not answering any of my questions and talking cryptically. How do I know it wasn’t you that did something to me—I don’t know, like make me so obsessed with the dream I’ve been having for the past two nights that I had to come back or go crazy?"

He lifted his head, the grin gone, and regarded me for a long moment without any kind of discernable expression. After all the emotion he had freely shown me since the beginning, it was more than a little unnerving.

I am not an alien, Seren said finally. His entire demeanor had changed. His body was now probably as tense as mine.

But you’re obviously not human, either, I added pointedly.

He nodded. I am an elf.

I found myself nodding, accepting him at his word. Something about this conversation felt very familiar, which lent more credence to his claims of several meetings between us. There was no way I could leave now, not when I was finally getting some answers, crazy as they were.

Did I come here last night?

His shoulders relaxed a bit. Not during the night. Although it was well past midday within the human realm, the sun had not yet even begun to set when you arrived.

I must have come right after work. Come to think of it, I couldn’t even remember going home yesterday at all! Everything from the moment I had clocked out to waking up this morning was a blank except for the snippets of last night’s dream.

How long have I been coming here?

Today is the eighth time.

His answer hit me like a sledgehammer. "You’re telling me that I’ve been coming here to meet with you and your brother for a week now? I said a bit shrilly. Then—why the hell can’t I remember driving here? I can’t even remember what we talked about, for God’s sake!"

That is what I wish to find out, Seren said firmly. He held out his hand again. "Will you come

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