After Exile’s Not-So-Secret Lesbian Romance
An Emperor for the Eclipse, Alternate Bellora & Ayzhus blurb:
At least that’s what ‘witnesses’ said. It isn’t true, but the bars of the imperial prison don’t know the difference. Sure, she’d committed crimes. Lying. Illegal trafficking of goods. But not this. Never this.
And why not a little excerpt from one of their scenes?
The important thing to remember was that the woman had survived whatever had made those marks. Kadrian Ayzhus had not earned her place as General by way of her bedroom conquests. Bellora would not win in a fight.
And now the bitch wants to bargain with a round of Catch.
It was a game often used to settle disputes between Parthi lovers or spouses, and a frequent wedding night tradition. The winner could claim victory in the argument and often some other agreed-upon prize. Bellora had a feeling she knew what General Ayzhus would claim as a trophy.
At least if it was a man, I’d know how to handle this. Pack it all.
“Yeah,” Bellora said, finding her way around the opposite side of the table from Ayzhus, well aware of what would come next, “I’ve played Catch.”
Silence stretched as she watched the blonde woman tie off her braid again with the leather strip Bellora had lifted while they were standing close. The general had tried to conceal her shock, but the lightning fast raise of brows and subtle intake of air told her she’d managed to slip past the taller woman’s defenses with her thefts. Ayzhus had power, but Bellora had speed and stealth, and it would serve her to make full use of this disparity.
The general stood, waiting, calm, and Bellora humphed.
Time to get this over with.
“What are your terms?”
“You win—I don’t catch you before time runs out”—she gestured to a small sand clock on the table—“you walk out of here untouched. Go back to your life, your home, if you want. Anywhere, really. Won’t be any business of mine by then. I’ll release you from your service. Forever.”
“And if I lose?”
“If I catch you,” the general said, leaning her weight on her palms at the edge of the table, “you owe me satisfaction. Tonight.” The woman shrugged, straightening. “But once I’m satisfied, you can go anyway.” She took in the surprise on Bellora’s face and laughed. “I don’t want to take advantage of you forever. One night’s enough. You’ll get out of here either way; it’s just a matter of what games you’ll have to play first.” At this last, blue eyes wandered away from Bellora’s and down to her throat, her breasts.
“I assume I already know what you mean by ‘satisfied’?” Bellora’s tone was dry.
Ayzhus winked. “I’m pretty sure you do.”
Bellora let out something between a grumble and a sigh. There would be no getting out of this.
“No use of Will,” the general said, eyeing her tattoos.
“Saw that coming,” Bellora fired back with a grunt of resignation. “Fine. No intentional pain then, either.”
“Fair enough.” The grin on the Parthi’s face grew predatory as the warrior’s body prepared for the chase, hips shifting, neck bending to one side with a not-so-subtle loosening crack of bone. “And take that off,” Ayzhus said, nodding at her charade of a toga. “You’re not hiding anything with it and you won’t want to give me the advantage of an extra hand hold. Fair is fair.” She finished off with another shrug.
Bellora narrowed her eyes at the woman and held her gaze as she reached down to grab the bottom edge of her garment. In a fluid move, it joined the general’s on the floor.
“We’re agreed?” the Parthi said.
Ayzhus took up the sand clock. “Be ready,” she said, giving a quick, upward twitch of her brows, eager for the competition.
A tangible silence grew in the room as the two women squared off, tensing for the moment.
The clock flipped. Bellora bolted.
And so much more!
What’s even more ridiculous is Raothan & Niquel, Bellora & Ayzhus aren’t even the only couples the series follows. Book 1 barely scratches the surface of Doxolemy (the First Chronicler/astrologer to the emperor) and his wife, Janeva. And there’s another pairing set to flare up in book 2, but one of the characters hasn’t been introduced yet, so I can’t talk about it. Muahahaha!
If these two strong-willed ladies intrigue you, Emperor is available on Amazon, and is also free in Kindle Unlimited.