Attempting to calm herself from the ugly scene she had fled, she rolled her flushed face against the coolness of the wood. First one side, then the other, before she let the warming surface press against the useless dark rock that rested in her forehead. There was a distant sensation of pressure where the stone met her flesh, an unwanted reminder of her most obvious shortcoming. The stone that should have been a source of great magical power was nothing more than a daily reminder that she was, indeed, as flawed as a princess could be.
A low moan from the room behind her jerked her from her thoughts. Spinning around to find the source, Emilia stared openmouthed in surprise at the scene before her.
Firelight cast a dim light over a couple near the fireplace. A large male body reclined across the brocade cushions of a finely carved settee, one long leg propped against the back of the small sofa and one braced on the floor. His thighs were spread wide, giving her a clear view of the naked muscled chest that rose from a slender waist. A cream-colored shirt of the finest shadowsilk was unbuttoned across his skin, framing the sculpted muscles and smooth ebony skin in light.
His head was thrown back in abandoned pleasure, allowing shadows to flicker across the planes of his face. A rising flame threw him into light, and then his features were cast again into the shadows. Through the haze of shock she felt a stab of recognition. Rorek Northmark, Lord Magician of Darkknell, the visiting ambassador and blood cousin to King Torek of the Shadow Elf, was sprawled in lusty abandon as she had never seen him before.
I'm giving away a copy of Flawed - this one is open to anyone who comments here or on my blog between now and midnight, July 2nd.