Ice Warrior: (Dark Warrior Alliance Book 13), page 19
Alex was happy to see her mom’s excitement. Kate’s initial reaction to Alex marrying a vampire was a far cry from the woman standing before her now. She’d screeched and started hyperventilating. Alex had to grab a paper sack from the pantry so she could catch her breath. And her brother wasn’t much better. Brad dared to get in Bhric’s face, accusing him of controlling Alex’s mind.
Alex couldn’t be upset with her family. They feared for her safety. Every myth about vampires bubbled to the surface. And, it didn’t help that Alex looked like the poster child for domestic abuse after her ordeal with the demons. It was Bhric’s patience and persistence that eventually won them over. He answered every question, and concern, putting their minds at ease.
“Just wait until the party. You’ll get a good look at them then,” Mack added as she puckered her lips, applying lipstick.
The spiky-haired woman had an aura that screamed ‘fuck with me and you die’ yet she was fun and spunky. Alex liked her a lot.
“Why’s that? Should I be concerned?” Kate asked, brows furrowed.
“Don’t let Mack scare you. It’s like any other wedding you’ve attended. There will be lots of food, drinks, and dancing,” Elsie shared.
“Yeah, but don’t forget the sex,” Mack countered, waggling her eyebrows. “I wouldn’t go into the pantry…or the bathrooms…or closets.”
Her mom’s eyes went wide. “Okay then. Duly noted. Although, I can see why with all the hunks in the house. I wish I were twenty years younger. I’d love a piece of Nate,” Kate stated and smiled.
“I guess it’s too late to ask you not to embarrass me,” Alex muttered as she rolled her eyes.
The truth was, her mom looked fabulous for a sixty-year-old woman, and these men would be lucky to have her.
Izzy skipped over and patted Alex’s arm. “You look beautiful, Auntie Alex. You just need some sparkles,” the little girl said as she held up a large makeup brush filled with glitter dust.
Alex glanced down and considered the strapless bodice she was wearing. Her injuries had healed completely, thanks to Jace, and the bustier Breslin stuffed her in did a great job enhancing her cleavage, so she might as well flaunt it.
“You know what? You’re right,” she told Izzy who laughed as she danced around, touching her skin with the brush.
After circling Alex’s body, applying sparkle here and there, the little girl stepped back and assessed her work. Her tiny eyebrows drew together and her lips pursed before she placed a couple more strokes across Alex’s shoulders.
“Perfect!” Izzy exclaimed as she waved her arms in the air. Glitter flew everywhere and rained down to cover her curly black hair.
Kate made a few last adjustments to Alex’s hair then laid her hands across her daughter’s shoulders. “My beautiful Alexandra. I’ve never seen you more radiant. I couldn’t be happier for you,” Kate confessed, and Alex met her watery eyes.
“Thank you, Mom. I’m beyond happy to mate Bhric, and thrilled that you’re here to share this day,” Alex said then turned to Kate, embracing her.
Alex’s first marriage was a quick trip to Vegas, and it had broken her mother’s heart when she didn’t get to see her walk down the aisle.
“I love you,” Kate whispered.
“Love you, too,” Alex replied.
“It’s time to join the others,” Elsie announced. “Alex, you look stunning. That dress fits you perfectly.”
Alex turned back to the mirror and glanced at her reflection. She felt like a fairytale princess in the pale pink strapless gown. The beaded bodice sparkled more than her glitter-dusted skin, and the tulle skirt flowed softly to the floor. Breslin insisted Alex get the matching satin stilettos, even though Alex warned her she might trip on her way to the altar. It was a magical dress for an enchanting event, and Alex couldn’t contain her excitement any longer.
“Thank you, Elsie. I hope Bhric agrees,” she replied on an exhale.
“Are you kidding me?” Mack interjected. “Dude is going to blow a load the moment he sees you,” she added, and their small group burst into laughter.
“A load of what, mommy?” Izzy asked curiously, which prompted another round of giggles.
Alex watched the others file out of the room, and she overheard Elsie trying to dance around her daughter’s question. Alex and her mom followed several steps behind the others as they made their way down the stairs and to the patio.
The energy peppered her skin and dumped adrenaline into her system. She was about to mate her sexy Ice-Man.
This was so much more than her first marriage. This was forever. Literally.
Alex loved Bhric, but, more importantly, she trusted him. Every insecurity she’d ever had about him vanished the night Bhric got down on one knee and declared his eternal devotion.
The ceremony came quicker than she expected. When she agreed to mate Bhric, she had no idea it was going to happen within a week. Apparently, in the Tehrex Realm, matings could only occur on a full moon, and Bhric didn’t want to wait another month.
Alex considered putting it off until Breslin told her what the mating brand was doing to Bhric. He suffered with every passing moment that their mating wasn’t completed. Bhric had kept that detail to himself, which made Alex love him more. He’d been willing to suffer endless pain while she took her time preparing for the ceremony.
Nerves froze Alex in the entryway as she approached the enclosed patio. There were at least a hundred supernaturals gathered for their mating ceremony. She hadn’t expected the event to be so grand.
She’d spent the past week getting to know everyone in the compound, and, so far, she liked them all. The females seemed to get along well with one another. Well, almost all, Ember being the exception. Alex immediately felt the tension between Ember and Elsie. From what Bhric explained, Ember and Elsie had gotten off to a rocky start and they hadn’t put it behind them yet.
Swallowing hard, Alex hugged her mom and watched Kate join her brother. Breslin’s elegant gown snagged her attention and Alex watched as Breslin waved a hand and lit hundreds of candles. Alex knew the woman wielded fire, but seeing it firsthand was indescribable. By this point, Alex had seen so much that she didn’t think anything could mesmerize her, but the grace and power Breslin displayed did precisely that.
Bhric turned to face her and Alex’s breath left in a whoosh. Bhric stood in the center of the room with his brothers, all wearing traditional, Scottish attire. A smile spread across his face, and she was in motion before she realized it.
Alex swore his broad shoulders were going to bust through the material of the crisp white shirt. Bhric was noticeably larger than anyone else in the room, except for a guy with long brown hair standing off to one side. He had a five o’clock shadow, dark brown eyes, and a cigar between his lips. Where her Ice-Man’s presence made her feel warm and fuzzy, this guy made her want to turn and flee from the room.
Alex ignored the hulking man and focused on Bhric. She appreciated the black and gray kilt, wondering if he wore anything underneath it. The fabric draped over his shoulder matched his kilt and there was a sporran around his waist. The tiny flashes holding up his long, white socks should’ve looked ridiculous on such a big guy, but he owned it. He was sexy in anything he wore, but this outfit made her ache with need.
Bhric and his brothers were standing next to a tiled image of the Triskele Amulet. Bhric described how he and the other warriors placed each piece by hand and created the large image in honor of the Goddess Morrigan. He also explained how the amulet was stolen and then later returned with the birth of Isobel. The little girl represented the amulet and was their direct connection to the Goddess. Alex couldn’t help but think it was too heavy a burden for such a young child to carry.
Izzy grabbed Alex’s hand and led her toward Bhric. She smiled down at the princess, who wore a serious expression on her beautiful face. When they reached the men, Izzy placed her hand in Bhric’s and went to stand by her dad, clasping his hand.
Heat rushed to Alex’s cheeks at the desire in her vampire’s eyes. She was the luckiest woman in the world.
Zander cleared his throat, interrupting their moment. “Friends and family, please form a circle around the couple,” the king instructed.
Quickly, several circles were formed around them, with her mom, brother, Breslin, and Kyran standing directly in front of them.
“We have gathered here in this beautiful place, under the eye of the Sun and the glow of the Moon. Let the circle be blessed and consecrated with Fire and Water,” Zander recited.
Bhric let go of Alex’s hand and stepped forward with Breslin. With an elegant wave of her hands, fire shot from Breslin’s outstretched palm to flow around the outskirts of the circle. The fire rose from the earth to the heavens, like fireworks lighting up the night. Bhric raised his hands, and Alex saw snow form above the fire before the heat turned it to water that cascaded down in a sheer waterfall, extinguishing the fire.
Zander looked down to Izzy and smiled then continued in his Scottish brogue, “We call to the Goddess Morrigan, and invoke her to bless this mating.”
Izzy extended her closed fist, and Bhric put his hand out, palm up. Izzy placed a smooth, round, granite rock into Bhric’s palm.
This was their mating stone. Bhric told her about the rock, and Alex recalled her confusion regarding the stone’s role. He explained that their souls entered the stone and merged then went back to them and the stone protected their mating. It didn’t make sense at the time, but it was becoming clear to her now as she looked at the rock.
Electrical pulses crawled up Alex’s arm when Izzy grabbed her right hand. The power increased to a painful level as her hand was placed on top of Bhric’s hand that clutched the stone.
“We call upon the spirits of the East, of Air, Spring and new beginnings. We call upon the spirits of the South and the inner Fire of the Sun, Summer and personal will. We call upon the spirits of the West, of Water, Autumn, and healing and dreaming. We call upon the spirits of the North, of Earth, Winter, and the time of cleansing and renewal. Join us to bless this couple with your guidance and inspiration,” Zander recited.
An effervescence filled Alex as magic enveloped her and Bhric. She was overwhelmed by so many emotions when she met his amber eyes. She’d suffered throughout her life, and this man wanted her, despite her scars and brokenness. He didn’t see her that way at all. To Bhric, Alex was perfect.
Izzy pressed her lips to their joined hands and joy spread from the little girl’s body to theirs. Then the child stepped away, leaving their hands clasped together, surrounding the stone. Bhric placed his left hand over her heart, which prompted her to do the same.
Bhric had given her a quick rundown of the ceremony, and her actions were simple, but she was still nervous. She hoped she didn’t embarrass him by making a mistake.
“I bless this mating under the Sun and the Moon. This circle of love and honour is open and never broken, so may it be,” Zander’s voice resonated with his blessing.
Heat built between their hands as the stone became hot. A gasp escaped her as both souls left her body to enter the stone. Alex was momentarily heartbroken over the loss. She wanted them back. She wasn’t the same without them, and she feared never feeling the same love and comfort that was there before. Urgency had her wanting to lift her hand to see what was happening with the stone.
Bhric leaned down and kissed her forehead, calming her frayed nerves. He squeezed their hands tighter to keep her hand from moving. No one told her what would happen if she lifted her hand during this stage of the ceremony, but she sensed it would be catastrophic.
A brilliant light flashed between their fingers and Alex’s skin tingled. She never knew magic existed, until Bhric, but there was no doubt it was behind everything that was happening to cement their bond. The connection they shared became a solid link that she could see shining between them. The golden thread from before became a thick, golden band that wrapped around her heart and ran to his, interlacing them.
Suddenly, their souls surged back into her body, and she smiled at the love spreading throughout her entirety. Looking up, she saw tears brimming in Bhric’s eyes. Her big, strong warrior would never shed them, but he was overcome with emotion. This was a moment she’d never forget.
Alex was whole for the first time in her life. Bhric’s soul combined with hers was intertwined from top to bottom and linked at regular intervals. This was beyond any wish she’d ever dreamed. She finally understood Bhric’s insistence that he’d never look at or think of another woman again as she became aware of Bhric’s every thought and emotion.
Before she could dig deep and explore his seductive thoughts tickling her brain, she heard a strange woman’s voice whisper in her head, and Alex jumped at the intrusion.
“I am the Goddess Morrigan, little one. Your bravery and courage is a shining example to all, even myself. I admire your grace,” the Goddess murmured, surprising Alex.
Her mouth dropped open. A Goddess was in her head, telling her she admired Alex. That was a major compliment and made Alex stand taller. “No power, not even death, can sever your bond with Bhric. Mating stones protect and bless different aspects for different couples. Yours blesses and protects your womanhood.”
The Goddess’s words went from enchanting to disappointing. The truth was, chemo and radiation had left her barren. She didn’t even have breasts anymore. She would never be a whole woman again.
Alex refused to spoil their ceremony by telling the Goddess she was wrong, and she prayed the woman wasn’t reading her mind. She was grateful to have Bhric and to mate this incredible man, and that was all that mattered.
“Thank you, Goddess,” Alex mentally replied. “And, thank you for choosing me for Bhric. I will love him until the day I die.”
“I know, child. Be at ease and enjoy your Eve of Eternal Union,” the Goddess replied before Alex’s ears popped.
Alex hadn’t been able to tell when the Goddess’s presence joined her mind, and assumed it happened the second Izzy touched her hand, but she definitely felt the moment she took her leave.
Alex lifted her hand from Bhric’s to cup his face and caught sight of the mating stone. The ordinary granite rock was now the biggest, most incredible piece of amber she’d ever seen. It matched her Ice-Man’s eyes.
Bhric wrapped his hand around her back and hugged her close. Her five-inch heels didn’t add much height, and she still had to go to her tip-toes to reach his mouth.
“I believe you mentioned a blood exchange?” she asked with a wicked grin.
“I want your fangs in my flesh,” she sent him telepathically, testing the connection she sensed snap into place. “And, I want my mouth wrapped around your thick—.”
“Shite, a chroí, you’re going to make me lose it in my trews. We canna escape until we greet our guests and have our first dance. Then, I’m taking you to our room where I plan to sink my fangs into every delectable inch of your body.”
“If you’re sure we have to wait. I’m wet and aching for you,” Alex teased.
“Fuck,” he husked, causing her arousal to double. Alex had a feeling he wouldn’t last long before carrying her away. Well, that was her wish, anyway.
Zander, Elsie, and Izzy were the first to congratulate them. Alex smiled when she heard Bhric growl in her head every time a man approached and greeted them. The feel of his arm tightening around her waist was protective and comforting. This vampire would die before he allowed anyone to harm her again.
Congratulations, Bhric,” said a tall, well-built man with pale green eyes. The stunning woman by his side had long, green hair and the little boy between them was no doubt their child. His bright green hair matched the mother’s and his facial features were a mini-replica of the man.
“Angus,” Bhric boomed. “‘Tis good to see you again. Och, and look at
The boy, Blaze, had to be three or four years old and was another example of how much Alex still had to learn about Bhric’s world.
“Aye, but things are different now. Khoth healed when I returned and ‘tis back to normal. Time in Khoth passes more quickly than in your realm. I forgot aboot the passage until we arrived. I expected Izzy to be a teenager, not a precocious toddler like my Blaze,” Angus replied.
“Angus, Keira, this is my mate, Alex,” Bhric introduced, and they exchanged a few more pleasantries before moving on.
“Good to see you so happy,” said a masculine voice from behind. Alex and Bhric turned to see the hulking man with a cigar between his lips.
“Thank you, Hayden. I’m verra glad you came tonight. Please meet my beautiful mate, Alex. Alex, this is the Shifter Omega, Hayden Jesaray,” Bhric introduced.
Alex extended her hand, and Hayden grasped it in his palm before placing a light kiss to her knuckles. His touch was warm and inviting, and Alex felt guilty for thinking him so terrifying. He was nothing but a big, ole teddy bear.
“Very pleased to meet you, and might I add, you’re way too pretty for this here scoundrel,” he barked in a deep, raspy voice.
“Hey, now. Don’t go ruining my image. She thinks I’m perfect,” Bhric joked with the man.
“Don’t let him fool you. I’m not that gullible,” Alex answered and winked towards the shifter. She couldn’t wait to ask Bhric what animal he became when he shifted.
“Ha! She’s got your number. You, my dear, are going to fit in just fine with this bunch around here. Please accept my invitation and come to pack land for our next hunt. We have a massive bonfire, and there’s music and dancing until dawn,” Hayden explained as Breslin walked up to their small gathering.
“Hey, handsome. How aboot you take me for a twirl around the dance floor,” Breslin cooed seductively.
BRENDA TRIM SERIES:
Other author's books:
- RamielGuild MasterShattered Warrior: (Dark Warrior Alliance Book 8)Rowan Sisters' TrilogyRavinMaven Warrior: Dark Warrior Alliance Book 20Rivaled WarriorCaptivity
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