Crave Me Forever
I'll make you CRAVE ME FOREVER
A single image of a male she has never met fuels her fantasies and torments her dreams. Alexia has had a crush on Frek Nar Ortalon for six years and knows he will never return her feelings, but it doesn’t stop her from contacting him when his son’s life is threatened by the impending visit of the King of Alloria. One brief conversation with Frek and Alexia is thrust into a situation that threatens to drive her mad.
Frek has been waiting for six years to find out if he has a son, but the female who contacts him is not the mother of his child. One glimpse of Alexia and Frek believes she is the mate he has been waiting for, all he needs is one taste and he’ll know for sure. But mating isn’t the only thing he has to worry about when he arrives on Borakoy.
Frek and Alexia must choose to either fight their overwhelming attraction to each other or give in to a passion that might consume them. But forces are at work to keep them apart and danger comes from unexpected places. Will Frek be in time to save her or will Lexie be forced to endure the nightmare of her past again?
Length: 205 pages.
I stared down at my sister with my hands on my hips. She was being so freaking stubborn! Why wouldn’t she just listen?
I tried to persuade her again. “Lita, you need to contact him. If you don’t contact him, something awful is going to happen to Alek.”
“Lexie, you don’t understand. I can’t tell Frek. I just can’t.” She smoothed her hand over the swollen bump of her belly.
It was more than a bump—she was due in two weeks. This would make baby number three, and the second of her children to her husband, Jarrel. Alek, her first son was the product of her helping a male she’d met six years ago with his rut. She’d helped him, and he’d helped her. To complicate matters, Frek—Alek’s father—was the Crown Prince of Alloria, the heir to the throne.
Alita had agreed to contact Frek if she gave birth to a boy, as the child was now in line to be king of Alloria one day. Our father reached out to the King of Alloria and notified him of the birth, but there was never any return contact, until now.
Alek was almost six, and now the King of Alloria wanted to meet his grandson. I knew that if Frek wasn’t here for the meeting something terrible was going to happen. Alek’s life would be in danger. I’d seen it.
I blew out a frustrated breath and let my gaze skim over the opulent splendor of her sitting room. Done all in shades of blue with accents of gold and white, it reminded me of one of the guest suites in the palace. A large vase of flowers sat on a duchess and perfumed the air with the scent of heeli blossoms. Alita and our mother both loved them, but I couldn’t stand the strong, excessively sweet scent.
I got down on my knees in front of her chair and gently placed my hands on her belly. “Please, Lita, if you don’t get in contact with Frek, Alek is going to die. The only way for him to survive is if Frek is here when his father arrives. The King is going to be here in just over two weeks, and you have no idea how far away Frek’s ship is.”
The baby in my sister’s belly kicked against my hand, and I felt a little thrill like I always did when I felt the movement of one of my nieces or nephews. Tears welled in Lita’s eyes and slid down her face.
“I can’t, Lexie. I promised Jarrel I wouldn’t ever contact him. He doesn’t know I had a boy.”
I stared at her, my mouth hanging open before I snapped it shut. “Why would you do that? Are you crazy? He’s in line to be king! Frek has a right to know you had a son. Oh God, I can’t believe you never told him!” I tried really hard to keep the anger and incredulity out of my voice.
“I know, I know!” She swiped at the tears running down her face. “Alek was only a few weeks old, and I think Jarrel was terrified Frek would come and take him away. I swear sometimes he loves Alek more than he loves me.”
My lips tipped up in a smile, but I was still furious with her. “Now I know you’re being silly,” I said. “Jarrel is besotted with you and you know it.”
She huffed out a wet throaty chuckle before her face crumpled and she cried out, “What am I going to do, Lexie?”
“You need to contact Frek and tell him. Alek’s life being in danger is more important than Jarrel worrying that Frek will take him,” I told her firmly.
Alita’s blue eyes shimmered with tears. She had our human mother’s eyes, just like my straight human brother, Arik, and Altair, another brother. I had my father’s eyes, a bright magenta with shots of black, but Alita and I both had Borakoy hair. Lita’s was cerise while mine was a darker pink my human mother had told me looked like raspberries.
The patter of little feet on the stone tiles reached us a few seconds before Alek burst into my sister’s sitting room. “Mama, Jarra drew all over the wall!”
I turned and watched my nephew run on skinny little legs over to us. He was the most beautiful child I had ever seen, a stunning combination of the four species that contributed to his genetics. He had my sister’s cerise hair with streaks of pastel rainbow we’d discovered came from the Hrenkie, and Frek’s bright gold eyes courtesy of his Allorian heritage. His skin was an exquisite shade of pale bronze that seemed to shimmer in the sun. But, it was his face, his bone structure that made him stunning. He looked like Frek—same nose, same lips, same cheekbones.
Every time I looked at my nephew, I was reminded of the male I’d had a crush on since I was fourteen, even though I’d never met him. Staring down at Alek, I realized I would do anything, whatever it took, to keep him safe. Even if it meant doing something my sister wouldn’t want me to do.
“Jarra drew on the wall? Well, we’d better tell Fronka, and he can get one of the girls to clean it up,” Alita said to Alek. She reached out a hand and stroked his shining hair before turning back to me. “I can’t, Lexie. Even if Jarrel would let me, it’s been so long. How would I explain to Frek why I didn’t tell him?”
I stared at my sister, anger and frustration tightening my stomach, which made me grit my teeth. That was my cue to leave. If I didn’t, I would do something I’d regret and yell at her. I rose to my feet and stepped away from my sister and her son. “Lita, I have to go.” I looked down at her, at her tear streaked face, and knew it wasn’t only Alek I was protecting, but my sister as well. Losing Alek would destroy her.
She looked up at me with wariness in her eyes. “Lexie, don’t do anything you’ll regret.”
“I won’t,” I reassured her before I left, knowing it was a lie.
Jarrel’s family home was close to the palace, only a fifteen-minute walk. I enjoyed the stroll through the Elite’s quarter of the city. Tall fences and lush gardens surrounded each elegant home. Maintenance crews kept the wide streets clean, and other than the pleasant sound of nature and the occasional vehicle, it was blissfully quiet.
My mother had shown me images of her world. In some ways, Borakoy was similar to Earth. Our water was blue, our sky also blue, but much paler than the sky of Earth in the images I’d seen. But our flora and fauna were completely different. Borakoy was all shades of blue, from ones that were almost green, to my favorite, those with a hint of red, turning them delightful shades of purple.
Thankfully, I looked enough like a regular Borakoy to not be worried about being stopped on the street, and most people took one look at me and recoiled out of horror, even those who had known me before. The staff in the palace, of course, knew who I was, and it took me another fifteen minutes to make it up to the family’s wing.
Escaping Pertisnel, one of the lesser stewards with his multitude of questions about the ball my mother and I were organizing for the arrival of Frek’s father, I practically ran into my room. I shut the door quietly and moved directly to the comm system on the far side of my sitting room. I barely paid attention to the soft pastels of my suite and the scent of kerilc. Usually, it sent a flutter through me.
I’d chosen the colors when I was sixteen and finally old enough to move out of the family’s private apartments into my own suite. They were the same colors as the pastel streaks in Alek’s hair. The same colors Alita had told me Frek’s hair was naturally and the scent of kerilc never failed to calm me down. Mother said it smelt like cinnamon from Earth.
I sat down in front of my comm system and turned it on. The Fallen Star. That was the name of the ship Frek had given my sister six years ago. Would he still be on it, or would he have moved on? There was only one way to find out. I punched in the details and sent out the signal.
My comm system rerouted the communication through our planet’s main communication channel, through a number of satellites in our solar system and beyond. It was a long shot, I knew. They could be millions of light years away. It could be months before they could reach us, and by then, it would be too late.
To my surprise, it only took forty minutes for my console to receive a ping back. I pressed the button to connect the call, then I was staring at a fearsome male with swirling markings all over his face and a bald head. Black eyes stared back at me and sent a chill down my spine. In the background, I could see gray walls and nothing else.
“This is the Fallen Star. Why have you contacted us?” he demanded in a deep gravelly voice.
I cleared my throat. “I am Princess Alexia Sarnektor of Borakoy. I’m looking for a male who was one of your crew six years ago. I need to speak to Crown Prince Frek Nar Ortalon of Alloria.”
My heart thumped wildly in my chest, the beat echoing in my ears. Please say he was still there. The fear that he was no longer a member of their crew was almost as bad as my fear of seeing him face to face for the first time. All I’d had for the last six years was an image of him—an image my sister snuck while he’d been asleep in her bed. An image that never failed to warm my insides and send heat coiling through my core.
Seeing him for real and hearing his voice would be like a dream come true, and my heart felt like it was about to burst out of my chest. I clenched my hands in my lap, the grip so tight it hurt.
“Frek is still a member of the crew. I need to tell him what this is about before I put you through.”
Swallowing the lump that formed in my throat, I said with all the haughty indifference I could manage, “It’s about his son.”
I had a brief second to see the male’s eyes widen slightly before the screen went black, and a small icon appeared telling me the communication was still connected.
In the fifteen minutes I waited for the call to resume, I fidgeted furiously. What if he refused to talk to me? What if he demanded to know why Alita hadn’t told him about Alek sooner? I couldn’t lie to him, but it wasn’t really my place to tell.
When the image of the male I’d been crushing on for the last six years suddenly appeared on my screen, I almost fainted. Oh, God! I can’t do this. I couldn’t. I wanted to reach out and touch him. I wanted to stroke my fingers through his hair, which was still a bright orange, just like in the image I’d stolen from my sister and copied. But to see his face awake, to finally see the golden eyes my sister had described to me so thoroughly and his pale honey gold skin—it froze me. My mouth wouldn’t work. My mind was a complete blank as I stared back at him.
My body, however, was doing something it shouldn’t be doing. It was warming up. Heat was surging through my veins as the markings on my thighs, mound and groin started to throb. He was…he was stunning. His face was beautiful, not in a delicate feminine way, but in a masculine, almost harsh way, with strong straight brows and a smooth high forehead. His cheeks were wide and sharply defined, and his lips, oh God, his lips. The bottom one was full and pouted slightly, while the top one was a little thinner and had a tiny scar that cut through the edge of the left side.
“You are not Alita,” he growled.
I shook my head and swallowed. His voice! A low whimper tried to fight its way out of me. Heat flooded my face, and I knew my bronze skin, almost as pale as Alek’s, but without the shimmer, would be darkening across my cheeks.
“No, Your Highness,” I finally managed to get out. “I’m her sister, Princess Alexia.”
Something in his demeanor changed the instant I started talking. His whole body tensed, or what I could see of it. His golden eyes seemed to fire in the bright light of whichever part of the ship he was in.
“Why have you contacted me, Alexia? I’m assuming from what you told Kesh that Alita had a boy. Why did she not contact me before now to tell me?” His voice was softer, gentler, but left me in no doubt that he expected an answer, and hearing him say my name sent a spasm of pleasure shooting through my body.
“Yes, Your Highness, Alita had a boy. Your son is almost six. I only found out today that she didn’t contact you because her husband made her promise not to, but my father contacted yours when Alek was born and told him of Alek’s existence. We never heard anything back,” I replied, trying hard to control the tremble in my voice and keep my mask of dignified calm around me.
I’d thought Jarrel was a little scary when he was angry, but it was nothing compared to Frek. His eyes darkened to a deep bronze with his fury.
“Why would Alita’s husband ask such a thing of her? We had an agreement.”
I rubbed at my forehead in part to disguise the slice of fear that shot through me at his low growl, but also in part because it wasn’t just fear I felt. Every part of me from my knees to my waist was throbbing in time with my erratic heartbeat.
“Because he loves Alek as if he was his own son, Your Highness, and he was worried you would come and take him. But that’s not why I contacted you.” I couldn’t look at him as I talked. Every time I looked at him, the need became worse, and keeping up with my haughty princess act was becoming impossible.
“Alexia, look at me,” he commanded, and I couldn’t disobey his rough voice, so much rougher than it had been when he first came on the screen. It was as if a part of me recognized I was his to command.
Tears started to burn my eyes, and I held them back through sheer force of will as I turned my gaze back to the screen. My nails dug into the palms of my hands as I gripped them tightly.
“Why did you contact me?”
“Your Highness, the King of Alloria is coming. I see things. Like Lita knows when someone needs something, I see the future. There are always two alternatives, and I’ve helped my family stay safe since I was six years old. If the king comes and you aren’t here, Alek will die. The only way to save his life is if you can make it to Borakoy before the king does.” I couldn’t hold the tears back anymore, not only because my body was rebelling against me and the need pounding through my system was starting to hurt, but because I loved my nephew, and the thought of him dying broke me apart.
He shoved his hands into his hair and growled, “Fuck!”
My whole body jerked at hearing the rough, forceful word. My family did not curse. We were royalty, and there were certain expectations placed on us in terms of behavior. Frek was also royalty, yet he just cursed like a…like a pirate!
The male with the dark markings stepped into view. “How long until Frek’s father arrives, Princess?”
I looked between Frek and the taller male. Good Lord, he was huge! He looked even bigger than Arik, my human brother, and Arik was taller even than papa, and so thick through the body, he had to have clothes specially made for him. Borakoy males, although muscular, were leaner, their muscles nowhere near as thick as Arik’s.
Frek was staring back at me, his gold gaze boring into me as he waited for my answer.
“He left Alloria five days ago. He should arrive in a little over a week. I would have contacted you sooner, but I only saw the vision last night,” I replied.
The big male turned away and spoke to someone off-screen. “Bask, plot a course for Borakoy, and give me an estimated arrival if we use the flash-drive.”
I couldn’t tear my gaze away from Frek. Something was happening. There was a look in his eyes I didn’t understand, but I felt exposed to the depths of my core. My whole body tightened in a spasm of need that made me grit my teeth to stop the small cry welling in my throat from escaping. After all this time, it was happening again. It was a medical impossibility, but it was happening.
A voice I couldn’t see the owner of came through the communications console. “We can be there in one hundred and sixty-nine hours. About six and a half days.”
Oh, God, they’d make it! It would be close, but they should arrive the day before the King of Alloria.
“Frek, get downstairs and sort this out with Tor’Arr. Once he gives the go ahead, we’ll be on our way,” the huge male commanded.
Frek turned away from the screen but looked back at me over his shoulder. “I’ll see you in a week, Alexia, and I’ll thank you properly for alerting me to the danger my son is in.”
My eyes widened. That sounded like a threat. A threat filled with carnal promise. It sent a shudder through my body and made my breath rush out of me in a gasp. Frek grinned a decidedly wicked grin at me before he was gone.
“Princess, you will need to inform your planetary defense personnel that we are coming so they don’t attack. See you in a week,” the black-eyed male said, then the screen went black.
I stared at my now blank screen, the words of the marked male swirling through my brain. Planetary defense? How the heck would I do that? I didn’t know how to contact them. Maybe Altair could help me, and if he couldn’t, Alkeshar or Arik would definitely be able to help. All three of my brothers were tied to Borakoy’s military, but would they keep this a secret?
There was another secret I would have to hide from them. A secret I would have to hide from my father, at least for a week.
Somehow, Frek had triggered my Craving. If Father found out, he would force me to pick a male to ease me. After the last debacle, he wouldn’t suggest the young men waiting to be initiated, but he would still insist I choose a slightly older male who had already gone through his initiation, one who wasn’t ready for marriage. However, there was only one male I wanted touching me, and he was a week away. I just had to avoid going insane before he arrived.