Carnal 1 (Box Set)
by Kate Hill
eBook ISBN: 04386-01406
[ Dark Fantasy Romance ]
Altah, Ruler of the Vampire Nation, must bond with her werewolf guardian to seal the pact between their races. The best warriors from each werewolf family do battle for the right to serve the woman who holds the greatest power in the world — but no one, not even the Ruler of Vampires, can tame true alpha werewolves.
This collection contains the previously released novellas Carnal Surrender, Carnal Indulgence, Carnal Obedience, and Carnal Discipline.
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Altah’s heart beat more wildly than the drums that accompanied the brutal fights underway in the courtyard of her palace. All afternoon the finest werewolf warriors from families throughout the world had been tearing each other bloody with the hope of earning their place as her guardian.
The competition was an old custom. Altah considered it cruel and archaic, yet werewolves more than any race clung to the past. They accepted technology only to keep their place in an ever-advancing world, yet they still hunted with tooth and claw. They procreated like wild beasts, without the careful scientific intervention that made Vampires superior to every other species on the planet.
In spite of their many faults, wolves remained her people’s closest allies and continued to serve them well. Now it was part of Altah’s duty to see that the relations between Vampires and wolves remained intact.
When her mother died two weeks ago, Altah had taken her place as Ruler of the Vampire Nation. Though not the most physically powerful species, Vampires’ intelligence, wealth, and technological advancements made theirs the most powerful nation in the world. Like werewolves, they lived for several centuries, yet unlike their canine cousins, Vampires required blood to fuel their regenerative powers.
Tradition stated that each Ruler accept a werewolf guardian to remain by her side until death claimed one of them. Their bond, sealed through mating, was among the strongest in the world.
Vampire Rulers rarely married and created heirs through artificial insemination with selected donors to ensure an untainted bloodline. Though marriage between a Vampire Ruler and a werewolf was not allowed, their relationship with their guardian often turned to love. Over the centuries, many feverish affairs had heated the palace’s walls. Altah believed her mother’s love for her werewolf had hastened her death. When her guardian passed on, the old Ruler had followed less than a month later.
Altah had never understood the attraction. To her, werewolves were arrogant, disrespectful and filthy. Sure they had a certain physical appeal and she wasn’t exactly opposed to mating with her new guardian, whoever he might be, but to fall in love? The chances of Vampires giving up blood drinking were better.
Below, two pairs of werewolves grunted, growled, and tore at each other with fangs and claws. Blood sprayed the white stone ground. A vast crowd filled the courtyard. Wealthy spectators, both Vampire and werewolf, had the best seats on the colonnade. Poorer folk packed in as best they could along the walls while armed guards stood watch. Everyone booed and cheered throughout the fight.
Almost simultaneously, two of the werewolves defeated their opponents, knocking them bleeding and unconscious to the ground. Altah stared with great interest at the winners, for these two would fight for a place at her side.
Both tall and well-formed, they were of similar height and weight. One was black-haired, the other blond, and both had eyes of such vivid blue that Altah could see them clearly from her balcony. Both wore their beast shape for the fight. Though crude, the beast form was nevertheless intriguing. They stood on two legs, like men, but their naked bodies were covered with an animal-like pelt, one blond, the other black. Elongated ears, thick fangs and curved claws on their hands and feet completed their bestial features.
Once the defeated wolves’ bodies were dragged away, the referee — a burly middle-aged werewolf with a grayish-brown pelt — signaled for the last fight to begin.
The two wolves didn’t hesitate. They sprang at each other and their bodies locked with a slam that echoed through the courtyard. Their claws sank into each other’s backs and dragged downward, leaving deep, bloody gashes from shoulders to buttocks. Savage fangs, far thicker than any Vampire’s, ripped and gouged flesh.
Frenzied, the werewolves fought as if rabid, lasting longer than any match yet.
As the battle raged on, Altah’s belly clenched, her fists squeezed so tightly her fingers ached. Surely if they continued this brutal fight they’d kill each other. The onlookers had fallen silent, so only the growls and ragged breathing of the werewolves sounded in the courtyard. They broke apart, circling one another, their eyes tinged red from fury and exertion, yet neither looked ready to surrender. Again their bodies locked and crashed to the ground. The blond landed atop the black-haired wolf. With a mighty heave, the black-haired one reversed their positions. They rolled along the pavement, their powerful limbs squeezing one another while they bit and clawed.
Altah wasn’t sure how much time passed before their movements slowed. Though completely exhausted, neither was willing to give up. At a motion from the referee, several wolf guards armed with rifles approached the two warriors. It took several moments for the guards to pry them apart. They stood, panting and growling, their faces masks of pure rage.
Torn between disgust and arousal, Altah stared at the werewolves.
She turned to a young female messenger standing beside her holding a sealed note atop a gold tray. Immediately she knew it was from one of the wolf leaders, for they were among the few left in the world who still used handwritten messages. Annoyed at the interruption, Altah snatched the note, broke the seal, and read.
If she were the fainting kind, she would have hit the floor from sheer excitement laced with fear. The message, signed by the leaders of the two families who had sent the blond and black-haired wolves, suggested that she accept both as her guardians.
Altah drew a deep breath and released it slowly, once again staring at the wolves who were still restrained by the soldiers. As far as physical appeal, both were magnificent representations of their race. Yet their excessive strength and stubbornness made them even more dangerous than normal werewolves. If she agreed to accept them, she must mate with both to seal the traditional pact between their kind and hers.
Altah picked up the gold pen resting on the tray and willed her hand to remain steady as she wrote her consent on the message and resealed it.
Her heart throbbing so hard she thought it might leap through her chest, she waited. Though only moments passed before the messenger approached the referee, to Altah it seemed like hours.
The burly wolf broke the seal, read the message quickly, then announced in a deep, rumbling voice, “By royal decree, it has been decided that Altah, Ruler of the Vampire Nation, shall claim an unprecedented two guardians. The werewolves Rex and Kyros will be bonded to her this night. The battle for dominance is officially over.”
Murmurs swept throughout the crowd and the wolves, Rex and Kyros, ceased struggling. Their expressions changed from anger to shock then back to anger again. They no longer glared at each other, but turned their fierce gazes to Altah.
In spite of the fear winding through her, Altah wore her most regal expression and held each of their gazes in turn. No one, particularly such savage beasts, would intimidate the Ruler of the Vampire Nation. They were born to serve her and she would see that they never forgot it.
* * *
Kyros and Rex remained silent and fuming as they allowed the soldiers to escort them through the castle and up to a spacious chamber, far too richly decorated and comfortable for wolf warriors. Before leaving the courtyard, the leaders of their families had met with them but refused to listen to their complaints that assigning two guardians was an insult to both men.
“You will be grateful for not only our generosity, but Lady Altah’s. Had the fight continued, you would both be dead,” said Luki, leader of Rex’s family.
“No. Only one of us would be dead,” Kyros snarled through gritted teeth.
“Yes, you!” Rex growled. His fangs, still bloody from the fight, shone against his lips.
“Silence!” roared Tallis, leader of Kyros’ family. “You will not bring shame upon our families by acting like mindless beasts. You will accept the honor you have been given and perform your duties flawlessly.”
“Death is preferable to sharing duties.” Kyros lifted his chin to look down his nose at Rex, difficult considering the man was as tall as he was.
Tallis’ fangs flashed. “If you do not conduct yourself in a manner befitting our family, you will suffer a worse fate than death. You will be disowned.”
Rage flooded Kyros. His nostrils flared with each harsh breath. He could not be disowned and dishonored in such a way, forfeiting all he had worked so hard to achieve.
“Before you protest, I warn that you will suffer the same fate unless you agree to the joining of three,” Luki said to Rex.
The black-haired wolf looked furious, but kept his silence. He and Kyros glanced at one another coldly, yet hatred bubbled beneath the surface of their eyes. Kyros gladly noted that Rex looked as wrung out from battle as he felt. Though he would never admit it aloud, Luki had been right. If the fight had continued, both he and Rex would most likely have killed each other.
With curt nods, the two agreed to share guardianship of the Vampire Ruler.
The soldiers left Rex and Kyros alone in the chamber. Still panting and dirty from the fight that had ended just moments ago, they glanced around. A large black marble bath stood on a raised platform. The faucets had already been turned on and the tub filled with steaming water for the wolves to bathe in. It was fine for them to shed their sweat and blood fighting for the right to protect Altah, but she wanted them scrubbed and dressed in finery before sealing the pact, lest her smooth ebony skin be soiled with their bestial filth.
“We could finish the fight now,” Rex suggested, raising his clawed hands.
He and Kyros growled deep in their chests and circled one another. His heart pounding with battle lust, Kyros noted the quickening of Rex’s breathing and smelled his anger.
“If we do that, she will most likely deny the winner,” Kyros said. “Still, it might be worth it to determine which of us is the better wolf.”
“I know who’s the better wolf!”
In spite of how their bodies ached from the previous fight, the men lunged at each other, biting and grappling with vigor borne of wounded male pride. Kyros was vaguely aware of a servant woman entering with scented oils. She screamed and ran for the guards.
Moments later, werewolf and Vampire soldiers alike pried them apart. Luki, Tallis and Altah entered the chamber seconds after.
Beyond the rage that nearly blinded him, Kyros was entranced by the sight and scent of the Vampire Ruler. The woman was mouthwateringly beautiful. Tall with erection-inspiring curves, elbow-length black braids, and eyes that shone like polished amber, she stared at her new guardians with contempt. Kyros gritted his teeth. How dare the bitch look at them like that? Her guardians, her mates who were willing to fight and die for her?
A glance at Rex and he saw the other wolf also watching her with anger and arousal.
“Unless these beasts prove themselves worthy of me, I want nothing to do with them,” Altah stated. Without another word, she turned on her heel and strode out of the chamber.
“Did you hear that, fools?” Tallis growled. “Your pride is about to destroy a relationship between werewolves and Vampires that has existed for thousands of years.”
“This is your last chance,” Luki stated. “You will accept your positions and perform your duties or face disownment. If you wish to destroy each other, say so now and have enough respect for your families and Lady Altah to leave this palace before you finish each other off.”
“We will control ourselves,” Rex muttered.
“And accept our positions,” Kyros said.
With growls of disgust, the werewolf leaders left, followed by the soldiers.
Once again alone, Rex and Kyros stared at each other warily. Both were panting hard from their fight, but now their anger wasn’t completely focused on each other.
“It is not fear of you that made me accept the ultimatum,” Kyros stated.
“Nor I. It was the look on that Ruler bitch’s face.”
“Vampires are known to look down on every race but their own. If we work together we can show her that wolves are superior beings.”
“When I get through with her, she will know who is superior.” Rex grunted with laughter. “I can hardly wait.”
“Why wait?” Kyros said, curling his lip. “She wants us perfumed and groomed like a couple of fops before we touch her fine skin, but we are wolves –”
“Not Vampires,” Rex continued. “I say we go to the woman now and show her what wolves really are. What we want.”
“And what she wants. She might have appeared disgusted by us, but did you catch her scent? Lust, pure and untainted. The wolf in us is what she wants.”
Rex smiled, a wicked twisting of his lips. “Then let’s make sure it’s what she gets.”
The men threw back their heads and howled long and loud, a sound of males ready to claim their mate.
Kyros tore open the door just as a servant woman was about to enter. Gasping with surprise, she backed away as the men strode by. It took mere seconds for the wolves to follow Altah’s scent to her chamber.
* * *
Altah stood by a floor-length mirror in her chamber while a female servant unfastened the zipper on the back of her gown. The strong yet pleasant scent of herbal oils wafted from the adjoining bath where she planned to enjoy a swim before joining with her new guardians. Not that it mattered to beasts like them. Just moments ago she’d witnessed how animal-like they truly were. Still bleeding from their battle in the courtyard, they had tried to finish each other off in the guest chamber. She’d only glanced at them for a brief moment, torn between lust and repulsion. The most desirable quality for a werewolf guardian was power, yet to serve in the palace they must conduct themselves appropriately. Rex and Kyros seemed unable to restrain their animal side. Unless they could carry themselves in a manner befitting her, she would not allow them to serve her, even if it threatened the treaty between their peoples.
The servant slid the dress down Altah’s torso and over her curvy hips. She stepped away from the garment. While the servant picked up the dress and placed it over a cushioned chair, Altah removed her slip, bra, and underpants. Naked, she studied her reflection in the mirror. Tall and well-padded, she considered herself attractive. Slanted amber eyes and full lips gave her face an exotic look inherited from her father’s bloodline.
“Which nightgown would you like to wear tonight, my lady?”
“The silver one, please, Kyla,” she replied.
Kyla nodded and headed for the trunk at the foot of the enormous bed covered in moss-green satin sheets and pillows. Altah’s pulse leapt when she thought that tonight she would share that bed with two alpha werewolves. She only hoped they hadn’t injured each other so badly that their performance would suffer. Though she couldn’t help feeling a hint of sorrow for the pain they had endured during the fights, she thrust such thoughts aside. They had chosen to accept the challenge insisted upon by their kind. It was wolves who thought the binding ritual so important. When Rex and Kyros had been honored by being appointed her guardians, they’d rudely carried their personal vendettas into the palace walls. Such disrespect made them unworthy of her compassion.
Before Kyla could open the trunk and retrieve the nightgown, the chamber door burst open. The servant screamed at the sight of Kyros and Rex, their blue eyes gleaming and fangs bared.
They strode toward Altah and paused so close she felt heat emanating from their bodies and saw the sides of their strong necks pulsing to the staccato rhythm of their hearts. Still panting from the physical and emotional strain of their fight, they defined werewolves at their most savage. Their musky scent filled her with every breath. The wolfish pelts covering them from head to toe gleamed with blood and sweat, the muscles beneath well defined.
Altah drew a sharp breath and resisted the urge to bury her hands in their furred chests, if only to satisfy her curiosity about how they felt in their wolf form. Her gaze met Kyros’ and a slight smile touched his lips, as if he sensed her attraction and curiosity.
The two soldiers who had been stationed outside Altah’s door staggered inside. “We tried to stop them, my lady,” said one of the soldiers. He and his companion aimed their rifles at the wolves, ready to fire at her signal.
“Wait,” Altah commanded, then fixed her attention on the werewolves. “Why have you come here, unwashed and unclothed?”
Their gazes swept her nude body. Kyla quickly opened the trunk, took the silver nightgown and turned to Altah, but Rex tore the garment from the servant’s hand.
“My lady.” Kyla looked frightened.
“You may go, Kyla.”
A fierce look sent the young woman scurrying out of the chamber.
“We have come to claim our reward,” Kyros stated.
“My lady?” one of the soldiers asked. Both watched the werewolves with a hint of fear.
“Leave us,” she ordered. They looked hesitant, so Altah repeated, “I said leave us. My guardians have arrived. Your services are no longer required.”
With a final glance toward the werewolves, the soldiers left the chamber.
As soon as the door closed, Altah glared at Kyros and Rex. “Except for a life or death situation, do not ever burst into my chamber like this again, especially covered in filth and –”
“We’re covered in filth because of you,” Rex said, his deep voice laced with anger. He ripped the nightgown still clutched in his claws and flung it aside.
“You will be punished for this insult,” Altah snapped.
Werewolves’ strength and reflexes far surpassed that of Vampires. Altah had no time to react before Kyros grasped her wrist and tugged her against him. His arms wrapped snugly around her torso and he held her close to his chest. The hot, damp pelt felt strangely sexy against her flesh. He spoke close to her ear, his voice deep as Rex’s but his phrasing shockingly cultured. “Have we not endured enough for your sake, my lady? We deserve repayment for shed blood and ravaged flesh. I swear to you, rewarding us will not be unpleasant.”
“And I swear that unless you get your claws off of me, I will wear your balls on a bracelet,” she snarled.
When Kyros’ hold tightened the slightest bit, she turned her head and sank her fangs into his hand. Grunting, he shook her slightly.
“I’m surprised the lady soiled her fangs on your dirty flesh.” Rex chuckled. He grasped her ankles and she kicked hard, yet he didn’t release her.
The wolves carried her, twisting and snarling, toward the bed.
“No! Don’t ruin the sheets!” Altah shouted. “Take me in the bath. Through that door.”
The men paused and held each other’s gaze. From her position, she couldn’t see Kyros’ face, but Rex tilted his head to one side, his expression thoughtful.
“We’ll fuck her in the bath,” Rex said.
Altah’s heart pounded wildly. In spite of her fury, she couldn’t control the thrills coursing through her at the thought of being claimed by these primal wolves.
“Fuck me, you wolfswine?” Altah raged. “You don’t fuck the Ruler of the Vampire Nation. You make love, if you’re lucky!”
She felt Kyros’ chest rumble with laughter, and Rex grinned savagely.
“One look in your eyes, my lady, and it’s obvious you don’t want a man to make love with you,” Rex said. His azure eyes shone like jewels against sleek black fur and long black hair. She wondered what he looked like in his human form, with smooth skin and claws withdrawn. And Kyros, how would he appear when the beast in him subsided? She could hardly wait to see.
“Any wolf worth his teeth fucks. He fucks long and hard. He fucks until his woman screams from the pleasure,” Kyros said, the crude language a contrast to his beautiful speaking voice.
His words tightened her belly, made her clit ache and her nipples tighten.
They carried her through the door. A large square pool of heated water filled the center of the room. Moonlight shone through enormous oval windows and light from many candles placed at the corners of the bath glimmered on the water. Near the pool were baskets filled with towels and containers of perfumed soap and oils.
Rex released her feet and Kyros swung her fully into his arms so that she was forced to hold his neck. For a moment their gazes locked and she noted his eyes were a bit larger and a lighter blue than Rex’s. Fringed with thick platinum lashes, they blinked slowly, seductively. She’d been with these men only a few moments, but already she was starting to know them.
Rex was all fire and raw emotion. He would willingly sacrifice his life for something he believed in. She guessed by his speech he had come from poor kin, but had worked his way up as a warrior. Kyros, though no less passionate, had learned to temper his emotions. He was crafty, his intelligence nurtured by a classical education. Most likely his kin were wealthy and of an upper class.
“You’re a lovely bitch,” Kyros said and before she could reprimand him, he covered her mouth with a kiss.
Her first impulse was to struggle, but curiosity and pure lust got the better of her. His firm, soft lips moved slowly against hers. Once she relaxed, he thrust his tongue into her mouth. With a soft sigh, she tightened her grip around his neck and met his tongue stroke for stroke. His fur tickled her face, but to her surprise, she felt it retract and become a man’s smooth flesh. She opened her eyes to see him in his man form and he tossed her into the water.
Gasping with shock, she stood, water coursing down her torso, and wiped droplets from her eyes.
“Bastard son of a dog!” she hissed at Kyros.
Now in their man form, the werewolves stood side by side, chuckling. She studied them with interest. Rex had a light olive complexion while Kyros was pale with a rosy undertone. Sparse dark hair dusted Rex’s chest while a heavier mat of golden curls covered Kyros’. Though their wounds had already begun to heal, several still looked painful and oozed blood. Both males possessed old scars from what must have been severe injuries, since their wounds usually regenerated completely.
Their cocks, though different, were each magnificent in their own way. Rex’s long, well-veined shaft rose from a wiry thatch of black pubic hair. Altah could scarcely wait to wrap her hand around it and stroke the velvet skin. Kyros’ cock, slightly shorter and thicker, had a ruddy head that Altah longed to suck. She couldn’t decide which she wanted to feel inside her first. Each would undoubtedly be more than satisfying.
The men exchanged glances.
“Maybe this won’t be so bad,” Rex said.
“Might even be worth sharing, if her appetite for mating is as strong as she is beautiful.” Kyros walked to the steps leading into the pool and waded in with the dignity of a king at his coronation.
Rex growled and jumped into the water, spraying Altah. He reached for her and nuzzled her neck. His tongue lapped her tender flesh, the sensation so pleasant that she closed her eyes to better enjoy it. Wrapped in his arms, she pressed even closer and ran her hands up his back. Powerful muscles flexed beneath his smooth skin. Her breasts flattened against his broad chest and his cock, trapped between their bodies, swelled to even larger proportions.
While Rex’s tongue continued to flick over her neck, she felt Kyros move behind her and slide his arms around her waist. He lapped her shoulder while his slender fingers sifted through her pubic hair and rubbed her clit.
Wedged between the two gorgeous wolves, she tried to control her lust and not give them the satisfaction of knowing how much they aroused her. It was impossible.
Rex sank lower in the water and took one of her nipples between his teeth. His tongue teased it and he nipped gently. Kyros grasped her other breast and pinched the taut bud, then rolled it between his thumb and forefinger. All the while Kyros continued licking her shoulder and the side of her neck.
Kyros’ cock brushed against her ass cheeks. It felt like silk over steel. Unable to resist, she reached behind her and wrapped her hand around the hard shaft while her other hand threaded through Rex’s thick, wavy hair.
Rex moved to her other breast, sucking hard on the sensitive nipple. Between her legs, Kyros’ fingers rubbed faster, then he explored her pussy lips. A long finger slid part way inside her and a wolfish fang gently scraped her stimulated nipple. Altah gasped, her heart pounding. She clutched Kyros’ cock harder and rubbed faster. At the same time her fingers tightened in Rex’s hair.
The mingled scents of their arousal filled the air.
“Now, my lady, tell us what you want,” Kyros said and brushed his cheek against hers. It felt so good, his smooth face pressed to hers so intimately.
“What do you think?” Altah panted.
Rex bit her nipple a little harder, causing her to jump with combined pleasure and pain. “Tell us,” he growled and tilted his face toward hers, his blue eyes alive with desire.
Tendrils of black hair clung to his forehead and she impulsively brushed them back. “I want you to do what you came for. To seal the pact.”
“To seal the pact we must perform intercourse,” Kyros stated. “Therefore you could recline like a corpse and we could insert our cocks. The pact would be sealed. Is that what you want?”
“It’s all that’s neces… necessary! Ah, gods!” she gasped when Rex sucked so hard on her nipple she thought it might pop off. At the same time, Kyros rubbed her clit, parted her ass cheeks, and used his finger to tease her taut sphincter.
“But is it what you want?” Kyros repeated.
“No,” she breathed. Her dignity as a Ruler kept her from begging these wolves for what she most desired. The woman in her screamed for their hands and lips upon her, for them to rut her, like untamed beasts, with their cocks until she passed out from excess.
“Tell us what you want,” Rex demanded. He continued sucking one nipple while rolling and pinching the other.
“I want… oh gods!… yes,” she gasped. Kyros cupped her soft mound with his large hand and slid two fingers into her pussy, exploring and at the same time massaging her clit, while his other hand worked her ass. His fingertip tapped rhythmically against her sphincter. The tight little ring contracted and her heart beat out of control.
“You want?” Kyros whispered in her ear.
“I want you to fuck me. Fuck me! I want your cocks in me and I want to suck them.”
“Let’s go.” Rex straightened and slung Altah over his shoulder. It was an undignified position for a woman of her rank, but at the moment she didn’t care. All she wanted was to be fucked, licked, kissed, and sucked by these two untamable wolves.
Rex strode out of the pool using the stairs, but Kyros hoisted himself over the side so that he could more quickly grasp an oversized towel from one of the baskets. He spread it on the polished stone floor and Rex placed Altah upon it with shocking tenderness. Kyros knelt behind her and pinned her hands above her head. She glanced up into his eyes. Beneath their controlled surface leapt flames of lust. He ran the tip of his tongue over his slender lips. For the first time she noticed the delicate bow of his upper lip and longed to kiss it again. Rex used his knee to spread her legs. His lips were fuller than Kyros’, the bottom one especially so. It jutted out slightly in a cute little pout. She wanted to nibble and suck it.
Rex was about to mount her when Kyros suddenly released Altah and thrust the black-haired wolf off her.
“Wait,” the blond wolf growled. “Why should you take her first?”
His lip curled, Rex glared at Kyros. “What’s the difference?”
“If there’s not, then let me have her first.” Kyros turned back to Altah and lowered his mouth to hers for a kiss. She closed her eyes and reached for him in anticipation, but the kiss never came.
Rex knocked the other man away from Altah. “You’re not having her before me.”
Ignoring Altah, the two began circling one another. Their growls echoed throughout the room, their eyes blazed and their scents changed from lustful to furious.
Altah pushed herself onto her elbow and wrinkled her nose. “I don’t believe this. These bastards are crazy.” Trembling with unfulfilled passion, she was almost mad enough to join in the fight, but she wanted her frustration eased in another way.
The wolves looked ready to spring at one another and she shouted, “Hey! Wolfswine! I don’t give a damn if you’re the sort of man who makes love or fucks, you don’t keep a lady waiting.”
They paused and glanced at her, then back to each other. Neither moved from their defensive stance, nor did they attack, which Altah thought was a good thing. At least she had some semblance of control over them.
“She’s right,” Rex said.
Kyros raised a sleek blond eyebrow and held Altah’s gaze. “Then perhaps the lady should choose who stakes the first claim.”
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