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Published by: api-19797401 on Nov 29, 2009
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It didn.t happen instantly, but slowly her limbs relaxed against him, and she was
no longer emitting those heart-rending whimpers, which had come from her
throat earlier. She laid still in his arms now, her shudders slowly lessening.

.Arriane, tell me what it meant,. he whispered when he felt her body slowly relax
against him. He kept his voice quiet, soothing, as he questioned her.

.It means I am doomed.. She trembled against him once again, her arms
tightening around him as his hands gently stroked her back. .She has returned
for me, and there will be no escape..

The hollow echo of betrayal in her voice tore at him. He opened his senses, not
probing, but merely accepting whatever slipped past the protective veil.

Joshua was shocked at what came to him. A remembrance of the scene played
out in her bedroom this night. But this time, it was not a woman who held such
startling powers, but a child, hollow eyed and moving slowly, hypnotically towards
the twisting, deadly forms of the snakes.

.Who has come for you, love?. He kissed her brow tenderly, fighting his own fury
against whoever had set up such a scene for her. .Who would dare to hurt you
here?.

.They would dare.. Her cry was ripped from her soul, and Joshua fought the
hysteria he could feel rising inside her once again.

Joshua closed his eyes; he fought to wrap her senses in safety once again,
terrified that the horror filling her would take her so far away from him that he
would never be able to draw her back.

Some dark premonition slid softly around him as he did so. A relaxing of her
guard, a brief glimpse of the shadows, the blood, and a death that would destroy
them all slid around him. It wasn.t clear, it came to him like a brief glimpse
through a thick, darkening mist, but it was there all the same.

Then it was jerked back just as quickly, the veil sliding between her and his
senses as she became aware of the shift in the power.

.Easy, love,. he whispered when she would have moved away from him. .There
is no need to fear me. I swear to you, I will not slip past your guard when you.re

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so weakened. What good is a sparring match when your partner has been
weakened by someone other than yourself?.

The vein of self-mocking amusement in his voice must have reached her, for but
a brief moment he felt her breath hitch as though in agreement with that ironic
laughter.

As Joshua held her close to his body, he gritted his teeth with the pain her
warmth caused him. God, he could smell her arousal, even through her fear as
she rested against the rigid length of his manhood.

He shifted, attempting to draw her back, then nearly cried out from ecstasy. Ah
God, she would not, not again?

He had worn no shirt as he rushed from the room. Arriane.s lips were stroking
the smooth expanse of it, her tongue darting out to lick and to caress.

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