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The Dragon Prince's Beloved

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Blurb

#Book 1; The Dragon Prince’s Beloved#

#Book 2; Adored By The Dragon King#

*COMPLETED*

The softness of his lips made contact with mine. It was like making contact with a bolt of lightning; a static charge lit up nerve ends so fiercely that I could hear them crackle. I tried to pull away but it was already too late. His other arm had snaked around my waist to hold me firmly against him. Even as I released a protesting gasp, his dark head was still there.

Oh, I tried to fight him. I twisted and turned and went through a series of denying groans and quivers, but ended up kissing him back as if I couldn't get enough of him. It was awful and I was appalled at myself, yet my mouth clung hungrily and my body yearned for more. I gave up, and it lasted for a few seconds, or so I thought.

Suddenly, he let go of me, and I gasped for air, my lungs dry and starved. Eragon rested his forehead against mine, his breathing as hard as mine. This time, however, when I stared into his eyes, they were back to silver, and when I turned to look at his hand, the scales weren't there anymore.

"You felt it, didn't you?" he whispered.

Of course, I felt it. But this wasn't the kind of proving I had in mind. "No," I replied, and saw his gaze slid down my swollen lips. "I didn't. You're still showing me that you only need my body and not me. I won't be giving myself to someone not worthy of having me." I shoved him away, clearly, it wasn't my strength that did that, but I did, and I quickly sat up, wrapping my hands around my body.

I quickly scrambled to my feet and looked at him one more time before I turned and fled away.

"You just wait and see," he called. "I'm going to make you mine!"

***

Captured and taken as a slave by Eragon; the handsome Dragon Prince of the Kingdom of Tanamoot, Arrelia Vincent had always thought of herself as nothing but an ordinary human. A weakling without powers.

Meeting Eragon was her fate. Falling for him was unavoidable. Despite knowing that there were obstacles waiting ahead to tear their blooming love apart, Arrelia still chose to give her heart a try.

But not after the dark secrets were unleashed alongside her powers. Not after she realized that a crown awaited her outside. One that would turn the table around and have her thirsting for the blood of the murderers of those who loved her.

A madness driving guilt which she would live with forever. A madness which will force her glory to be placed upon the blood fountain of men.

Who would save her from the chaotic state she had casted herself into? Who will lift her out of her fallen asylum?

What tale does this book have to unveil?

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1.
I remember the darkness, as clearly as though it happened a year ago. I was suffocating. And it was dark; so dark that I couldn’t place where my fingers were. Despite the paleness of my skin, I couldn’t see its colour through the thick and heavy darkness. I caught a putrid stench as I turned, like the smell of sweat with just a touch of horrid mouth odour which reminded me of a troll. My hands were tied behind me, secured to the ground by a pair of cuffs and a short-chain. Every movement caused the cold metal to dig into my skin painfully. I wanted to throw up. The room was overcrowded with other helpless captives like myself, whose feeble body movements reminded me of cockroaches clawing at the walls of a ditch. They were beginning to stir, clearly oblivious to their predicament. The lack of breathable air was starting to get to me. Even as I felt my head going numb, I tried to recall the last gruesome memory before I ended up in this hell-hole. A cold chill slithered down my spine, and a damp trail of sweat dampened my cloth. The horrific scenes played once more in my mind’s eye. I remembered seeing my mother’s body quivering, a trail of crimson blood trickling down from her open lips. I remembered the terror in her eyes, as she realized that she was about to die. The agony cut through me like a virgin blade. I remembered how the attackers molested the women while others slew the men. I saw them tie up my friends, my aunts, my parents, and everyone I’d ever known and loved, casting them into the fire like a gruesome offering. Bile rose to the back of my throat as I remembered the dismembered parts of my father strewn out at my feet. The name returned to my lips so suddenly that I had to pause before I could remember who it belonged to. "Alan?” I distinctly remembered seeing my brother right before everything went dark. I remembered seeing him holding three attackers off with nothing more than a staff. Alan had always been the strong one; at the age of twelve, he could wield a sword better than most others could. “Alan?” I whispered again, holding my already faint breath. A horrible realization sunk into my thoughts. If Alan was captured, then they wouldn’t have put him in here with us. He would have been deemed as more of a threat, and they’d have put him somewhere else. Somewhere where they could keep a watchful eye on him. I clung to the thought like a lifeline. Mother’s last words suddenly returned to me, mere sputter about the locket which was thankfully still tied around my frail neck. They must have thought nothing of it if they decided to leave it on me. The memory of her words returned, liked jagged pieces of a puzzle I couldn’t quite put together. Most of what she’d said came out as a faint whisper, but I remembered something she’d said about magic; something which involved me opening the locket. I looked at the dangling locket tied on my neck from my sitting position, and wonder what in the world it is. I tried as much as I could to remember my mother's last words, but nothing came to me. I reckon that my brain was totally empty as of that moment. Some screeching noises and clatters prevailed in the eerie silence before a sudden eye-blinding flash of light spewed into the dungeon, so bright that I had to close my eyes to shield them from the brightness. The footsteps ceased, and a low voice hissed something inaudible. I popped an eye open and managed to look beyond the blinding light source, noticing the iron cage door pulled opened and the statuesque figures of a dozen soldiers lined up just outside the cell. Their leader was a tall, faceless giant dressed in a grey robe decorated with several pearls on it. “Light up the candles.” His strange, gruff voice caused me to jolt with fear, but I quickly rearranged my limbs to hide my fear. The small, congested enclosure suddenly exploded with tons of candle lights and I could almost count the total number of captives in there. There were nearly thirty of us, each tied in more or less the same manner as I was. My eyes frantically searched for Alan amongst the sea of strange faces, but he wasn’t there. The fear cut deep into my heart as the tall figure turned his cloudy eyes on me, narrowing them to slits. He was ferocious, his fingers flexing beside him dangerously. His large arms naturally drew my eyes, and there was something about the way he moved that announced loudly to everyone that this was a very dangerous man. His long hair was sleeked back, his prominent cheekbones giving his face an angular look. His eyes were hooded, and his lips slightly parted in a bored expression. He was handsome. The realization hit me square in the face. It was like a rude awakening, so unexpected that I was left simply gaping at him like an air-headed loon. He had no right to be this stunning; no one did. He stood with the leisurely confidence of one who knew how their appearance might affect someone else. His broad shoulders and narrow waist gave him the fitting look of a warrior. Whenever he flexed his fingers, the muscles in his arms would ripple in response. He was truly a sight to behold. But then his eyes shifted on me, and I was once again reminded that he was the enemy. “What did you do to my brother?” I asked, my voice sounding harsh even to my ears. I was trembling from head to toe, and no matter what I did to try and appear calm, he no doubt could see right through my facade. The walls displayed the silhouette of the dominant leader peering down on me, a scrutinizing look in his eyes as he studied my crumpled frame in one glance. He hesitated for a brief moment, scanning through the prisoner’s faces before he finally strode forward. His focus centred on me alone as he made his way towards me. The air began to thrum with his energy as each step brought him closer and closer to me. It was as if I were the only woman his eyes could capture amidst all the other war captives. A very short, very round figure of a scaly man suddenly wobbled in, visibly unsteady as he panted with each laboured step. Tufts of hair stuck to his chin and jaw, while several long strands peeked out from both of his nostrils. He was a gruesome sight to behold, with short, stubby legs that curved inward and gave him a more stunted demeanour. When he spoke, his teeth were charred and stained a hideous black colour. If anything, he was a most likely part troll. When he spoke, I recoiled instinctively away from him. His voice reminded me of nails being scratched across a board. “She has no manners, my Lord. We should get rid of her now or at least, show her how to treat her leaders with respect,” he suggested as he stood a little bit behind the leader of the group, waiting to see what he planned to do. I could see his face squirming with twisted happiness at the thought of punishing me. The sadistic smile on his face was telltale, no doubt fueled by the way I sat so docilely. The man never spoke. Though his eyes never left my face, he said nothing. I garnered my courage enough to look up at him once again, only to lower my head immediately as my eyes met his. I didn’t, however, miss the wicked snigger crossing his face at the time. He was enjoying this. He finally stopped before me, the snigger now gone from his voice. When he spoke, there was an unmistakable aura of respect and authority about him. I found myself wanting to obey whatever he had to say. Which was surely not going to happen. “From this moment, you will bow your head when you speak to me," he said, towering over me so that his shadow enveloped me completely. I felt small, weak and defenceless before him. He must have done so intentionally, no doubt to make me feel exactly how I was feeling right now. But father had trained me against showing my fear of the enemy. Gritting my teeth to give me courage, I looked up at him once again, this time holding his gaze. "And why do I have to do that? After all, you're just a heartless cold murderer like all the leeches surrounding you. I refuse to bow to a cruel murderer like you!" I had no idea where that confidence had come from, but I was immensely glad it had. Or so I thought. The man's brows furrowed in confusion, but then the confusion dissolved, and a sadistic grin etched itself at the edge of his lips. "I see you're a feisty one," he stepped closer and looked down on me in a more pronounced manner. "I suppose you don't mind if I punish you for disrespecting me, right?" "You ought to, my Lord," the dwarf quickly interrupted. "I'll do you the honour of teaching her a lesson, my Lord." The man was clearly angry by the unwelcome interruption. I suddenly noticed that his eyes, which before I had thought to be silver in colour were suddenly red; a very deep shade of red that scared me to my soul. Before I could realize what was happening, the dwarf's head was suddenly rolling on the floor, his blood spurting all around, staining my face, my neck, my thighs and right across my cheeks. Terror seized me immediately, and I couldn’t prevent the gasp that escaped from my lips. Somehow I noticed that instead of red, the man's long fingers were covered in blue blood. Who in the world are these people? There were several gasps in the overcrowded cage, and a lot of the other captured people scuttled away from the tall man who had slid his sword back into place with a casual expression on his face. He was too calm, and a sudden smile of righteous satisfaction crossed across his lips. He turned and faced me, and he knew what he had done had brought me back to my senses. "Now, where were we, Little Pigeon?" I was quiet, weighing my options on what to say; something that wouldn’t end with him sending me directly death's way. I needed to stay alive. I needed to find my brother and escape this wretched place. I looked up a little and noticed that his dark hair had fallen downward and covered a little part of his forehead, one of his eyes invisible behind the locks. The effect made him look even more mysterious and dangerous. "I apologise for my rude behaviour," I managed to say through gritted teeth. "I suppose I need to be taught how to speak and address people here." The man bent down to my level slowly, I had to duck my head to avoid meeting his eyes. I was suddenly shivering and it annoyed me more than anything because it had nothing to do with the climate in the cell. It was merely a result of his close proximity. I felt the tip of his fingers graze my right cheek lightly before he curved them around my jaw and tipped my head up so I was staring directly at him. "I don't like it when I'm being disrespected, pigeon. But I also don't like people who are weak. You are a feisty one, and I like it. But," his voice was suddenly harsh, as he looked around the crowded cage, "do not make the mistake of trying that with me anymore. I'm not one you should try to anger, trust me. I rip souls away from human bodies just like I rip off clothes from my body. It is as easy as that. Do you understand?" he directed the question towards me, and I could swear that the shiver which ran down my spine at the time was unlike any I’ve ever experienced. He had lowered his voice, no doubt so that I would be the only one to hear his threat. There was a distinctive edge to his voice, one which told me that the wisest thing to do was to hold my tongue. Though I was scared witless, a strange feeling of gratification settled on me as I watched the dwarf’s decapitated body still writhing behind him. One less enemy in the world. The awful smell of defecation cut through the already thin air just then, and the man scrunched up his nose in irritation. "Who was that?" he asked darkly, turning to face the other prisoners. His fingers moved lovingly towards the hilt of his blade, and his shoulders squared as he took a step back. No one spoke; no one dared to even breath loudly. The culprit must have done so out of fear, or perhaps it was merely a case of natural urges. Either way, the man was not happy. The silence prevailed, with the sound of our breaths being the only sound which carried through the thin air. I was beginning to feel nauseous, not just from the odour but from the cramped space and the lack of clean air. My head began to spin. The man must have noticed then because he took another step back and snapped his fingers at one of the guards. "Untie her," he said. I thought about making a run for it as soon as the chains were taken off. I saw myself grabbing the sword tied to the man’s waist and making a mad dash for the door. Even as the guard approached, I positioned myself so I would be ready to attack. "Don’t even think about it," he said in a clipped tone. My eyes shot to meet his, and I saw the calculating look in them. It was enough to quench whatever plans of escape I’d begun to formulate. When the guard unchained me, the dark man stepped forward and scooped me off the ground as easily as though I weighed nothing at all. "Come," he said, in a tone that invited no argument. To the guard he said "Bring the sick ones up to the infirmary, clean up the rest and move them into individual cells. I will return later to inspect them myself." His strong arms wrapped around me protectively as he carried me out of the dungeon. Our ascent up the winding stairs was made awkward by the fact that he was carrying an unwieldy burden now, but there wasn’t a single sign of exhaustion upon his glorious face as we wound higher and higher. I could not keep my eyes on him, but I knew he was watching me. When we reached the top, he kicked the door open with his leg and we stepped out into the blinding sunlight. He set me down delicately on my feet then, the tenderness completely at odds with everything else he’d done since I met him. He didn’t speak; instead, he turned around and took a deep breath, no doubt pleased to have clean air around him once more. I took the opportunity of his distraction to study my surroundings. We were standing on a small tower overlooking what appeared to be an ancient city. Large houses built like stone castles stood firm on the ground, a dull grey colour no doubt weathered by the ages of exposure to the sun. The largest of all was in the middle, directly facing the way to the dungeon. The castle was built with stones; granite stones that shone across the large city. Tall bars made of gold were arranged in front of the castle, forming a narrow pathway. There were numerous guards moving all along the gates of the palace, spears and shields gleaming in the sunlight. "Feeling better?" His voice caused me to look back. He had been watching me carefully, eyes narrowed in a curious expression. Now that he was in the sunlight, the dark aura that had surrounded him back in the dungeon was somewhat lifted. His handsomeness was even more pronounced now, and he looked nothing like the vicious murderer I’d painted him to be in my head. Now, I could clearly see the sharpness of his jawline, the almost feminine beauty of his lips and the brightness of his eyes. He was a large man, but not brutishly so. His size had been exaggerated in the dungeon mostly because I couldn’t see him clearly. He stood merely a foot over me now. And his arms, though larger than normal, appeared to be those of a man who trained well enough to make sure he looked good. "What is your name?" he asked suddenly, causing me to jump. My eyes crawled up to meet his, and I was aware of the fact that I was wearing nothing more than a white, flimsy, two-piece gown which I’d thrown on the night before the attack. Suddenly conscious of my appearance, I wrapped my arms around my body and knelt down, avoiding his gaze. “I asked you a question,” he said, a biting edge to his tone. "It’s Arrelia," I whispered slowly. "Arrelia Vincent D’Amelio."

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