The Go-Between (The Nilaruna Cycles Book 1)

The Go-Between (The Nilaruna Cycles Book 1) by Andrea Ring Read Free Book Online

Book: The Go-Between (The Nilaruna Cycles Book 1) by Andrea Ring Read Free Book Online
Authors: Andrea Ring
gratitude.”
    She smiles sadly. “But you have
it. I have not felt…I’ve never felt…you made me feel beautiful.”
    “You are beautiful.”
    She rolls her eyes. “Maja,
please. We needed each other. It was perfect for me, a perfect moment. But you
do not have to continue. I know how this ends. I…I’m telling you to end it. No
more compliments. No more endearments. It only cheapens the experience.”
    “What in the seven hells are you
rambling about?” I say.
    Her eyes harden and she sits up
opposite me. “You were lonely. I was available. I get it. Enough.”
    “Lonely?” I say. “Available? You
think I just took what I needed without a care for you?”
    Nili looks away. “What we both
needed,” she says. “I understand needing someone. I needed it, too. It’s okay.”
    “Bloody, bloody hells, Nili, look
at me.” She doesn’t, so I grab her arm and spin her around. “Look at me! I was
lonely, yes, and you were here, yes, but you were here! You! Not just anyone. Nili, I love you. I’ve loved you since you
tried to kill me. Since you told me your name, since I felt you enter my lands,
maybe lifetimes before. This was not about a physical need. This was about you
and me and what I feel here, in my heart. I love you.”
    Nili stares at me, pouty mouth
ajar, jade green eyes boring into mine. I hold her gaze as I climb to one knee
before her. I grasp her hands tight in mine.
    “Nili, please. I love you. Tell
me you feel it, too. Marry me.”
    She says nothing, but her hands
start to tremble in mine. I can see the tremors climb her body, until her lips
quiver and her temples pulse and a single tear shimmers at the corner of her
eye, then falls. Followed by another. And several more.
    Until she’s sobbing in my arms.
And suddenly we are kissing again, and feeling each other again, and we make
love for hours in the perfect glowing light, until my strength gives out and I
know I can hold this form no longer.
    “Nili,” I gasp. “Give me some
room. I have to change.”
    She doesn’t move. She simply
places a hand on my shoulder. “I’m here.”
    “I need room,” I say again, and I
crawl off the pallet to my corner.
    “Maja,” she says, swallowing,
“prepare me.”
    “No time. Just…do not be afraid.”
    I meet her gaze. She nods. I nod
back. And I close my eyes and swiftly change back into a black dragon.

II. PRINCE KAI
    “You’re insufferable, and prince or no, I can strike you down without
breaking a sweat!”
    I watch Shiva yell at me, and I
yawn. Just to let him know where we stand. Shiva only understands strength.
    He grasps my neck with one
massive hand and lifts me from the ground. “You will learn your place, mortal,
or I will grind your bones to dust!”
    I roll my eyes. “I get it. You’re
big and bad. Can you put me down so we can actually finish this?”
    He throws me across the room, and
I land in a crumpled heap. My ankle feels like I twisted it, but I ignore the
pain, hop to my feet, and dust myself off.
    “Thank you. Now, as I was
explaining to you, I’m in need of a wife.”
    Shiva growls. “You summon me to
play matchmaker?”
    “No, I summon you to help save
our kingdom. I am the last of the royal line. If I do not marry in the next
three moons, I forfeit the crown. There will be great unrest as every
power-hungry man alive fights for the title of king. Is that what you want to
happen?”
    “I am destroyer,” Shiva says. “I
would revel in such a struggle.”
    “You are also builder,” I say.
“Be King Builder this day, I ask you. I am your most faithful servant.”
    I bow low to the ground, and
Shiva sighs loudly.
    “Damn it, Kai, I don’t have time
for this shit.”
    I laugh, straighten up, and put a
hand on his shoulder. “I know. Did I take you away from Lili again? I’m sorry.”
    Shiva grins. “She’ll wait. She
always does. So you need a wife? I thought you had to marry in your
twenty-fifth cycle.”
    “I’m in my twenty-fifth cycle,” I
remind

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