Spirit Bonded – Excerpt

"Forgive me," Mikol spoke softly. The sensuality in the way he said the words brought a moan from Annika's lips.

Heat filled her cheeks as she struggled to control her reaction to him. Horrified, she couldn't meet his eyes. Having him near her was amazing. The strange contentment radiating from Mikol was suddenly euphoria. She never wanted him to leave her again. The weirdness reminded her of hearing a troubled classmate describing getting high when they were freshmen. This sensation was like being high on Mikol.

He moved closer and knelt beside her bed. He was so large and male that he seemed out of place in her pink sanctuary. He tilted her face up so that she gazed into his big brown eyes. Annika bit her lip. Her breathing came out in erratic little pants. She wanted to lean forward and kiss him. He pulled away enough that she realized she was moving toward him unconsciously and stopped.

"The creature who attacked you was an assassin sent to kill you. They know you're here and they're strong enough to cross the portals. Your spirit—what makes you Annika, and gives life—was almost consumed." He paused as his tongue darted out and moistened his lips. He took a deep breath. "We have to go. Your parents understand it's time to run. You were never destined for this world. Greatness, beyond anything Earth can offer, awaits you."

Drama much? She blinked several times, waiting for him to crack a smile or for someone to jump out and shout "gotcha". But he wasn't kidding. No one could say something so wild and keep a straight face for this long unless they were serious.

"I don't understand," she answered, and scrubbed a hand down her face.

He touched her cheek with such tenderness her eyes watered. "You will, in time all will become clear."

There was incredible comfort in the way his fingers ran down her cheeks. He wiped away the moisture from her eyes with the pads of his thumbs as he cradled her chin.

The soft shushing sound he made reminded her of how someone might comfort a child, but his countenance promised that wasn't how he saw her. Attraction. The emotion hit her as if someone had thrown it at her. Somehow she knew he was feeling it and so was she.

"Close your eyes and breathe with me," he ordered.

She closed her eyes, and he touched her chin. He pressed his index fingers lightly against her temples. They breathed in and out. Her heartbeat synchronized with his. She didn't question it. Mikol calmed her.

"There are many things you will learn, but for now I need you to trust me. Can you trust me?"

How could she not when his voice was compelling her to? She didn't like this. Somewhere deep in her rational mind, she knew his calming her was wrong and he was messing with her head.

"Stop," she pleaded as she opened her eyes to look at him.

He ran the tip of his index finger over her lip. She noticed the tattoo around his eye seemed to glow. "If only I could. Come, there is clothing for you in the bathroom. I know it looks strange, but you must get dressed. Our time is running short."