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Wilding Heart By Deborah McNemar

Melody’s dreams are filled with fairies but her nightmares are haunted by Arawn.

Wilding Heart

Prince Sol of the Tuatha de’ stared at his reflection, not for the first time wondering what was so terrible about him that Lady Luck hated him. He was handsome enough. With strong hewn features, sun gold hair and a physique that brought women to their knees, he had been told by countless admirers he was the epitome of male perfection. He had been called charming, a scoundrel, a lover that ruined women for all other men, and yet a simple compliment to a beautiful woman had seen his love life turn barren in an instant.

Turning away from the wall-length mirror, he gazed at his bed—his large, lonely, empty bed. Even the one woman who had reason to despise him, his brother’s bride-to-be, was willing to forgive and forget. Granted, being the embodiment of wishes, she had a soft heart. Her sister, the living embodiment of luck, couldn’t forgive whatever it was he’d said that offended her. He hadn’t had a woman in months and it was starting to wear on his normally cheerful demeanor.

He could change his luck for the better without her forgiveness, he knew. People could make their own luck with a bit of effort and perseverance, but something in him rebelled at the idea. She had to forgive him. She had to.

“Sol?”

His father stood in the doorway. Finnbara was eons old, but the Tuatha de’ king showed no signs of aging, a thing Sol was grateful for. He had no urge to take the throne any time soon.

“Yes, Father?”

“Your brother and his bride-to-be will arrive tomorrow morning.”

“I remember, Father. I’ll be sure to be there to greet them.” He managed a grin. “I want to meet this woman who has my brother so tangled.” A woman he’d placed in danger a few months ago because of his own thoughtless actions. He had much to atone for.

Finnbara nodded. “You aren’t the only one. Your mother is practically beside herself.”

At least his mother hadn’t started shoving any eligible women his way yet but, with Centauri marrying, it was only a matter of time. The idea would occur to her, of that he had no doubt.

“Good night, Father.”

Shrewd dark eyes swept over him and Sol knew he wasn’t fooling his father. After all, the bed behind him remained empty of a willing body as it had for far too long. Still, Finnbara merely nodded and left. Sol breathed a silent sigh of relief and sank down on the bed.

If only she hadn’t said what she had, he might find it in him to change his own luck. Do us all a favor and make the next woman you bed your wife. The words echoed in his head as if it had been yesterday. Now, when he looked at a woman, he couldn’t help but wonder what kind of wife she would make and that sort of wondering killed lust as fast as a douse of Winter in his lap. To be chained to the same woman for years was his idea of hell. He’d yet to meet a woman who could keep his interest for more than a night or three.

But how to find Lady Luck? How to get her to change her mind? The wondering kept him lost in his own thoughts as night moved on.

The dark scent of chocolate embraced in the chill of mint caught him and he looked up. Breath froze in his chest and he didn’t move, afraid the vision would vanish if he did. Maybe Wishes was on his side after all.

Red curls bobbed at her jaw line, fire and gold in soft ringlets around the face that haunted his dreams. Unlike the sensually challenging garments she’d worn the first time he’d seen her, tonight she wore dark, loose fitting pants and a baggy shirt that covered the delectable body he knew lay beneath. Emerald green eyes rested on him, wary. Lady Luck, in the flesh, and she didn’t look happy. She looked exhausted. She looked in need of a hug, not a tumble.

“Princess?” He couldn’t think of what else to call her. She’d never bothered to give him her name. She blinked, her slender body tight and her posture defensive. “Do you want me to let bygones be bygones?”

Oddly, there was no challenge in the words. Sol breathed slow and easy, trying to order his thoughts. What in the world could have brought her here?

“No.” The word seemed to surprise her as much as it did him. “I don’t want you to let it go. I want you to forgive me for whatever it was I did.”

“You get my sister in over her head because you can’t keep your pants on and then you come on to me? What do you think you did wrong?”

The arched brow and sarcastic tone was more like the woman he remembered. Still, he frowned.

“I asked your name, nothing more.”

“The face that will haunt my dreams,” she mocked in a falsetto that grated.

“The truth. Your face haunts my dreams every night.” He knew she heard the truth of the words because her mouth went tight and the contemptuous glitter in her eyes vanished into uncertainty. He rose slowly, not wanting to startle her. “Princess, what’s wrong?”

“Does something have to be wrong?”

“To bring you to my door?” He wasn’t going to ask how she got past the guards or how she’d found his room. “Yes.”

A smile flirted with the corners of her mouth but didn’t lighten the darkness that lay at the back of her eyes. She let out a breath and looked away.

“I need you to offer me hospitality,” she said.

“You want to be trapped here for a month?” He could be forgiven his disbelief. While part of him found the idea undeniably attractive, it was wrong on so many levels. “With me?”

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