A love that only a very select few people experience, but one that everyone desires. Gideon, has been a special ambassador to the Royal Lycan Family for over 200 years. Living a fast paced life without commitment other than to himself and the crown, he has given up on a mate and even love entirely. Gideon stumbles into the life of a young woman who instantly changes his life forever. Lyla, at only 22 years old, does everything within her power to not disappoint demanding parents, despite wanting nothing more than her own freedom. However, love comes fastest and hardest for those not searching for it. Keep scrolling to read the entire first chapter of this unforgettably explosive romance or download the app to read the entire series.👇
Chapter 1 – Different Worlds
“Lord Archer! Fancy meeting you here.” Alistair Pembroke. Founder of Pembroke Motor Corporation—the maker of everything from small airplanes to fancy automobiles to boats and yachts. Playboy extraordinaire. He’s as pretentious as they come. Eager and desperate to make a connection with the Palace. If only he knew that the Crown Prince and his pack were here, in California. He reaches for my hand and pounds my back like we’re old friends. “Mr. Pembroke.” I acknowledge him because to do otherwise is rude, and I am anything but uncultured. It doesn’t mean that I like the prick. “Ms. Helen Aristophanes.” He turns his attention to my companion. “How do you do?” I have to refrain from making a snide comment because I know they knew each other in a biblical sense…more than once, even though she professed to be loyal only to me. “Mr. Pembroke.” Helen bestows him with one of her sultry and seductive smiles and offers him her hand. His eyes make a quick scan over her body before he lifts her hand up to his lips. “So, what brings the legendary Lord Archer here tonight?” he asks, bringing his attention back to me after slowly releasing her hand. “I never thought I’d see you among humans.” I dig my hands into the pocket of my pants and look around us. The Charity Gala is in full swing: flowing champagne, live music, men in their thousand-dollar suits and women flaunting themselves in designer dresses. This place is crawling with humans. I only see two other lycans here tonight. They’re probably Pembroke’s security detail or his friends. It’s the place to see and to be seen. No one really gives a damn about the cause. “Why, to support the charity, of course,” I deadpan. “Yes, of course,” he replies. “There you are, Alistair.” A beautiful lycan woman sidles up next to him. “I was looking for you,” she says before she casts her eyes up to me expectantly. “Lord Archer, let me introduce you to my date, Juana Vega,” says Pembroke. “Juana, this is Lord Archer and his date, Ms. Helen Aristophanes.” “His companion, actually,” says Helen before I have the chance to say anything. She curls her fingers around my arm. “It’s nice to meet you.” “Oh, my…you’re Lord Archer,” breathes Juana Vega. Her eyes brighten in her face. “Alistair, you never told me that you knew Lord Archer.” “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Ms. Vega,” I tell her, shaking her offered hand. “The pleasure’s all mine.” She’s still looking starstruck. I feel Helen’s hand tightening around my bicep and try to hide my annoyance. I need to have a talk with Helen about this possessiveness soon. We both understand that she has no claim over me—as I have no claim over her. “Well, you have to sit with us.” Pembroke raises his hand to indicate the VIP section at the front. “I’m afraid we won’t be staying,” I tell him. “Oh, do stay, please. The dance floor will be cleared for dancing soon,” he insists. Pembroke has been trying hard to get close to me for years. I’m guessing that’s because of my connection to the palace. “I wish I could, but I have work to do, Mr. Pembroke.” “Darling, you’re always working. The party looks like fun.” Helen pouts. I’m sure Alistair Pembroke finds her pout sexy. I find the sight irritating. “You know very well that I can’t stay. Besides, we have that reservation at Providence,” I tell her. I’m here to deliver a message from the palace to one of the most powerful allies outside the Kingdom. Message delivered. My job is done. I need to leave. “Perhaps our paths will cross again in the future, Mr. Pembroke.”
Helen pouted and didn’t say a word at the back of the limo. Since the moment we sat down for dinner, however, she’s been talking my ear off. I see her mouth moving but my mind is occupied with other matters, and that’s a bad sign. I made the arrangement with Helen to be my companion five years ago. No strings attached. I found her to be entertaining then. It’s understood that this is not going to be a permanent thing. I’m never going to make her my mate. That offer is never going to be on the table. If one of us finds our erasthai—or if we’re simply bored with one another—we will end our arrangement at any time without any bad feelings. Even with this arrangement, we’re not always together. Sometimes we’re away from each other for months, sometimes for nearly a year. When she leaves, she claims to be spending time in Mykonos where her parents live, but I doubt it. I never question where she goes. It’s none of my business. Nor do I answer to her where I’d been or what I’d been up to. I’ve found her more irritating than usual these last few months… Well, actually, it’s been a lot longer than that. I don’t quite remember when she stopped being entertaining. Every word coming out of her mouth is grating on my nerves. After my last stint with the Crown Prince Caspian and his pack, trying to save his erasthai Quincy from the clutches of her former pack, I am positive that I need to end things soon with Helen. Maybe meeting with genuine females in Caspian’s pack reminded me of how it should be with your partner. Or maybe the way Helen threw herself at the Prince and tried to create trouble between the royal couple despite my warning is getting to me. I have long given up all hopes of ever meeting my erasthai, but I need someone I can trust and genuinely like. For a werewolf, his mate is the other half of him. For a lycan, an erasthai is almost what a mate is for a werewolf. She is the one who your instinct tells you would be most compatible with you—mentally, emotionally, and physically. Your instinct tells you that, in time, this is the female that you could fall deeply in love with for the rest of your life—above all others. That is if you’re not already in love with her at first sight…or the first scent. She will be your obsession. Your life. Your everything. “I heard there will be a Mating Ceremony at Banehallow Palace and that the Crown Prince and his pack have flown back to Russia. I’m sure you’re invited,” Helen’s voice penetrates through my thoughts. “Why don’t we go back to Russia? I’m sure the ball is to die for.” Indeed I was invited, but I have a few things to do here and in other places. “I don’t think so.” She pouts again. “You’re such a workaholic,” she complains, not for the first time. “Oh, just as well. I heard that the Prince is going to reject his intended. “I still can’t believe he’s going to make that woman Quincy his queen. She’s a little too plain, don’t you think?” She knows all too well that Quincy St. Martin is anything but plain. That woman is stunningly gorgeous and powerful. In fact, Quincy St. Martin was the only woman I found intriguing enough to even consider mating with. Too bad she’s the Crown Prince’s erasthai and my future queen. I’m loyal to the crown; I don’t bite the hand that feeds me. “I’m bored. We’re in L.A. I feel like partying even if you don’t.” “Very well. You’ll have the car at your disposal tonight. I’ll let the driver know.” I have no doubt she’ll be with Alistair Pembroke. I’m feeling relieved to be alone. He’s not the first man she’s spent the night with. He can keep her if he wants her. I think it’s time to cut her loose. This is not working for me anymore. It’s good to end things while we’re still amiable. I just have to find a way to do it without her going crazy. Maybe I can sweeten her up with an expensive parting gift… She loves expensive gifts. I call myself a cab and drop a few extra hundred dollar notes on the table to make up for Helen’s rudeness to our server tonight.
Home in the Penthouse
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