“Your sword is useless against us, you know.”

Ly’essa’s heart pounded in the base of her throat as she held her sword in a two-handed grip and stared at the raven-haired woman before her. So, she thought, this was Naamah?  Her brain could not process that reality. It was not possible, was it? This woman was a GODDESS?

She was devastatingly beautiful, there was no denying that, with her ivory skin, as flawless as a newborn infant, and huge golden eyes fringed with thick black lashes. Her nose was strong, and her lips full. Still, goddess or no, Ly’essa refused to sheath her blade, and she continued to stand over Tiggy’s body, as if that could protect her sister from these strange women.

Ly glanced down at her sister’s near-lifeless body, her heart all but shattering as she saw the gaping holes made by poisoned spikes, and the blood that covered nearly every inch of her. Ly’s eyes shifted to the left for a split second. Kaid was in no better shape than Tiggy, and she could see blood pooling on the ground around him. If he was still alive, he didn’t have much longer to live, she thought.  She looked up and locked gazes with Avon for a heartbeat or two. He stood much as she did—his sword drawn, crouched in a fighting stance over Kaid’s body, doing his best to protect his brother.

Ly’essa’s breath stuttered in and out as she saw the agony on Avon’s face, and knew his heart was being ripped from his chest, as surely as was hers. She and Tiggy–Avon and Kaid, were siblings, aye, but they were also twins. They’d been inseparable since birth, and the love that bound the four of them went far deeper than familial ties would warrant. It was easy to read Avon’s thoughts in his eyes. He had every intention of fighting to the death–here and now–protecting Kaid and Tiggy, despite the fact they were all but dead anyway. She knew Avon felt as she did. If their siblings died, they had no reason to live. It was as simple as that.

“Don’t be so melodramatic,” the golden-haired goddess said, her soft laugh and gentle smile buffering the chastisement in her words. “They will na die, and neither will you.”

“But…you said…” Avon started to protest.

 “Pppffftt,” the blond goddess said. “It sounds worse than it is, but…” she paused, as if for dramatic effect, and then continued, “we must act fast. We have little time now.”

“What the fook are you talking about?” Ly’essa hissed, tired of hints and cryptic words.

Gaeia raised her hand, and a golden orb appeared from nowhere. Ly’essa’s gaze riveted upon the shimmering ball of light. She didn’t see Naamah move until it was too late–not that she could have prevented what happened.

In less time than it takes to blink, Naamah was upon Ly’essa. She had Ly’essa’s arms pinned tight against her body with one unnaturally strong arm, while her free hand corded in Ly’essa’s hair and yanked her head back, baring her throat.

Ly’essa heard Avon’s shout, but it was already too late.

So fast! It happened so fooking fast!

Ly’essa felt the flick of a tongue along her exposed neck, and then fangs sank into the vein that pulsed there. Her scream died in her throat, unvoiced, and a split second later she felt her body come alive as she’d never experienced before.

Every nerve ending tingled. It was as if–rather than sucking blood from her body–the goddess injected Ly’essa with an aphrodisiac. Her blood ignited with an erotic fire so intense, she began to tremble. She could feel electrical pulses between her thighs, and she grew wet with need. She groaned, feeling her muscles tighten as her body raced to climax–and then it was over.

Naamah released her, easing her to the ground as Ly’essa realized her legs could no longer hold her upright. She had no strength left, and she felt cold. So damned cold. With numbed awareness, she realized she no longer wore clothing. When had that happened? Ly wrapped her arms around her naked body, and began shaking with the aftershock and loss of blood. Her heart was racing still, furiously trying to pump blood through her body. She could not catch her breath, and her lungs screamed for oxygen. Her head was pounding as if someone wielded a mace from somewhere inside her skull, and spots of black came and went in her vision. She was going to pass out! 

The goddess squatted beside Ly’essa. Raising her wrist to her mouth, Naamah nicked the flesh with a fang. Rich, dark red drops of blood seeped from the wound, and Naamah grasped the back of Ly’essa’s head, gently forcing her mouth toward the bloodied wrist.

“Drink, little one,” Naamah said, her voice a soft purr of sound.

Lyessa glanced up and met those startlingly golden eyes, and it was as if she’d been hypnotized. She did as she’d been told, wrapping her lips around the wound on the goddess’s wrist, and suckling.

Almost instantly, she felt another bolt of energy course through her. With the speed of a horse galloping at full speed, Ly’essa felt her body respond. The orgasm hit her like a tidal wave until she bucked under the onslaught of it, crying out with an ecstasy she’d never experienced before.

“Very good,” Naamah whispered close to her ear, one hand coming up to stroke Ly’essa’s hair, cording through the long strands, and then brushing it from her face. “That’s my girl.”

Ly’essa looked up, breath coming hard as her heart hammered in her chest. She felt languid, as if she’d suddenly morphed into a crock of butter that had been melted over an open fire, until it was little more than a puddle of pure, sated delight. She smiled, feeling wonder and awe, the fear and worry for her siblings completely vanquished from her thoughts.

“What the fook are you doing?” Avon roared.

Ly’essa glanced toward her brother and smiled. He was held firmly in place, but not by hands–earthly or otherwise. It seemed the goddess Gaeia held him frozen with her raised hand and golden orb. Ly’essa could see Avon struggling to free himself, but to no avail.

With a smile that resembled that of a sleek, black panther sighting prey, Naamah’s narrowed gaze focused on Avon. “Your turn, young warrior.”