Queen of Ruin: A Dark Paranormal Fantasy (The Broken Immortals Book 3)
Queen of Ruin: A Dark Paranormal Fantasy (The Broken Immortals Book 3)
- Dark Fantasy with a Dose of Steamy Romance
- Fated Mates
- Witches and Werewolves
For a thousand years, the two most powerful families in the world of witchcraft have been at war. To end the violence once and for all, they arrange a union between their children, Tessa and Rafik.
At a dinner party meant to finalize the marriage negotiations, the ancient feud comes to a bloody end.
Barely escaping, Tessa is forced into hiding for ten years. But on her twenty-third birthday, she receives an invitation to study with the best potion maker in the world. Ready to start her new life, she goes to England, only to be confronted by the man who deceived her all those years ago.
Sparks fly between these star-crossed lovers as Rafik tries to make amends to his mate. Unfortunately, Tessa isn't the only one who wants him to pay for the sins of his past.
The most miserable part about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies, but they’re all about to discover what a wicked witch Tessa can be.
Intro into Chapter One
Intro into Chapter One
The Grandfather clock’s ticks synced up perfectly with the tap of Jasper’s shoe against the black-and-white checkered floor until he finally shifted his eyes to the stairs. “Hurry up, Sugar.”
After he tousled the dark curls on his head in the mirror, his eyes dropped to Teddy’s reflection. “Will you go drag your sister down here, please? She’s going to be late for her own goddamn birthday party.”
From the warm, burgundy wall he leaned on, the young warlock pulled his hand from his pocket and pointed his finger gun at his father. “Don’t you worry about a thing, Daddy. I’m on it.”
The ting of his fingers bouncing off the cast-iron spindles of the staircase kept time with his shoes as they slid across the Oriental runner that led to Tessa’s room.
Her lips made a perfect pout as she slathered on her red lip gloss and shook out her dark, curly hair. “Hell’s Bells. I’ll be down in a minute, Daddy. You think a face like this grows on trees?”
While she peeked down over herself, she straightened her simple black dress and tugged on her pearl necklace. “This is my party. I’m supposed to make a grand entrance. All those pricks can just wait until I’m good and ready.”
Just hours shy of thirteen, Tessa prepared herself for the first formal affair at her Order.
These were the days when the witching world’s families introduced their children and hoped for them to find their someday mates. Or to at least like someone enough to arrange a future marriage.
Among the Savannah elite, alliances start early and tonight promised to be interesting. A new family recently arrived from Morocco with five sons, one close to her age and rumored to be devastatingly handsome.
Teddy leaned against the doorway and shared the mirror with Tessa. “Aren’t you ready yet?”
While he tried to tame the wayward curl that poked his forehead, he tilted his head to the side as he appreciated his reflection. “We’re all waiting for you, you know. You’re being rude as hell to our guests.”
“I give nary a shit about any of those parasites.” The nerves she battled all day long dripped from her fingertips, and she shook out her hands when she turned to face him. “Do we really need to go to this thing? I don’t feel very well.”
A smile came to his lips, and the always relaxed Teddy winked his green eye at her. His sister never turned down an opportunity to complain, and he never wasted the chance to provoke her. “Time to find you a mate, Tess. You’re nearly an old maid.”
Her arms wove across her chest, and her eyes rolled in defiance. No matter the outcome of tonight’s party, she would be unimpressed by any specimen presented to her. “No goddamn way. You know I don’t believe in that old-timey bullshit.”
He chuckled to himself as he pointed at her because he expected nothing less from her smart mouth. Although her mother was a regal, graceful woman born of royal blood, Tessa inherited her father’s quick temper and love of profanity. “That’s it. That kind of talk will sweep any potential suitor right off his feet.”
“Like I give a damn.” While she wiggled her toes into her high-heeled shoes, she flipped him the middle finger. “I can’t believe I’m going through with this. This whole mating thing is one tradition that needs to die.”
As Teddy stole one last look at himself, he straightened the bow tie he could never figure out.
Only a smidge less vain than his sister, he puckered his lips at his reflection and shrugged off her concerns. “Don’t work yourself up into a tizzy over it yet, Tess. It’s only a party. No one said you have to jump the broom tonight, and nobody will expect that of you for a couple of decades or so.”
While they walked down the hall, she continued her list of grievances about her over-privileged lot in life. “I wish I were human. They can decide for themselves who they end up with.”
The antique, textured burgundy-and- gold wallpaper tickled the ridges of his fingertips as he slid them across while he did his best to calm her down. “Yes, that’s true, but they often pick poorly. Your mate is hand-picked for you by the Fates. These things are meant to be.”
Her head jerked no, and Tessa delivered her usual response to anyone who disagreed with her as he opened the front door. “What a load of shit. No one’s going to tell me how I’m going to live my life, especially not some crusty, old sky wizard that doesn’t even know anything about me.”
His fingers wrapped under her elbow as they came down the stairs because Teddy was more than a little worried she might throw herself down them to avoid tonight’s obligation. “Whether or not you believe in the old gods, they sure as hell got your number. If you’re not careful, someday you’re going to get struck down by lightning for your blasphemy.”
Her eyes rose to the full moon above her, and she held up her arms as she dared Fate to test her. “Well, now would be a perfect time, you sons of bitches. Why don’t you go on and put me right out of my misery?”
When they met their parents on the other side of the street, Jasper wrapped his arm around her shoulder. “Are you excited?”
The thick, black eyebrow arched to scold him. “Absolutely not. These cotillions are like one of those livestock auctions in the country.”
While he tipped his head to the people walking by, the old wizard laughed out at the comparison because she wasn’t far off. “I just want to introduce you to some people. After that, you can hide in my office for the rest of the night if you want.”
He pulled her closer to his side and kissed the top of her head. “I wanted to show off my number one girl. All those guys brag on their pathetic daughters, but they haven’t met anyone like you before, Tess. I guarantee it.”
His arm around her shoulder tugged her tighter as he waved his hand at the building before them. “You’re going to run this whole thing one day. Believe me when I tell you that this world is a hell of a lot easier when you have someone loyal and strong by your side to back you up.”
Even the guard who manned the front door dressed to the nines and lowered his head in respect of his leaders before he parted the thick wooden doors for them.
As soon as she crossed the threshold, she gasped at the flip-flop sensation in her chest. A steamy breath blew from her mouth, and she fanned her face to collect her nerves.
The unconscious primal side awoke as her whole body buzzed, and the little beast’s eyes darted around to search for the other racing heart that called out to her.
Her entire world blurred into a messy smear of faces that melted into nothing as her mind tried to narrow her focus and zero in on its prey.
When Jasper stretched his neck, he caught her tugging at her pearls from the corner of his eye and smacked her hand away. “Don’t you show them any weakness, Tessa Mason. These people are vultures. They’ll use any tactic to gain the upper hand with you. Don’t let them see they can intimidate you.”
When he realized how much he put on her shoulders at such a young age, Jasper sighed out his regret as his hand gripped her chin. “Sometimes I have to remind myself that you’re a kid because you two just act so grown up. This life we live isn’t easy, and I want you both prepared for the realities of it.”
Her father was one of the few people she respected at all, and she gave him the sweet smile she reserved especially for him. “I know that, Daddy. You don’t have to worry about us. We can handle ourselves just fine.”
“I do not doubt that at all.” He pushed her hair back off her shoulder while he beamed with pride at his most treasured work of art. “These folks are only spectators in your world who want to see you fail. Don’t give them the satisfaction.”
Already ten minutes late, he used one last second to brush down his jacket and check the shine on his shoes as he gave her some final words of wisdom. “Burn the entire world down and kill them all if you have to, but you make them understand you’re not the witch to mess with. Don’t show them mercy because they won’t be so kind as to offer you any. You get what I’m saying, Sugar?”
A sneaky smirk curled up on her lips as a spark flashed across her emerald green eyes. Even though the rest of the world tried to hold her back, only her father truly understood her nature and gave her permission to be the foul-mouthed, wicked witch she was. “Perfectly, Daddy.”
With his fakest smile plastered on, Jasper lifted his chin at the doorman. “It’s showtime, Sugar.”
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