Wednesday, August 31, 2016

FINISHED & SUBMITTED: Stealing A Warrior's Heart


Warrior of Akasha
coming September 29th!
Níximon Aeglos is a thief, and he makes no apologies for it. He's done what he's had to do to survive. When he spots a handsome warrior walking through the marketplace, he sees an easy mark, and a purse full of coin.
Stealing from the Captain of the Royal Guard of the House of Elvellon was never in his plans. But revenge is. When Mael takes without asking, Níx decides to teach the man a lesson. When it backfires on him, Níx can't decide whether to protest or ask for more.
Maelon Hatholor is proud to be an elite soldier in the king's royal guard. He's even more proud of his restraint when a sexy little thief tries to rob him. When Níx comes back for more, Mael is all too willing to give him what he wants...over and over again.
When soldiers come for Mael, it's up to Níx to use the less than lawful contacts he's made over the years to help Mael discover why the king is after his head before they lose whatever is growing between them.
And we have a winner.
Níximon Aeglos smiled slyly as he pushed away from the stone wall he had been leaning against as he scanned the crowd, effortlessly sliding into the bustling throng of people moving about the marketplace. He hurried to catch up with his mark, knowing the well-dressed man ahead of him would have what Níx wanted.
Determining who was an easy mark and who was not was an art form, one that Níx had mastered many years ago. He had perfected his technique over time, becoming quicker, stealthier, better. He could pick someone's pocket in under three seconds, take a pocket watch in two, and then disappear into a puff of smoke in one.
Blending in to his surroundings was the first thing he had learned. He was non-descript. Even if someone saw him lift a watch or a coin purse, no one would be able to describe him. Níx worked very hard at appearing uninteresting.
The simple clothing he wore was a big help. Many people wore bright vivid colors to stand out in a crowd. Níx wore earth tones, browns and tans and creams. People tended to look past him to the more brightly colored outfits, which was exactly what Níx wanted.
Níx weaved his way through the crowd, keeping his eyes on his target as much as he could while scanning his surroundings. As good as he knew he was, there was always someone better. And there were always soldiers patrolling the marketplace looking for troublemakers and anyone else that broke the laws set down by their king.
Being a thief might not be a legal or moral occupation, but it put food in Níx's belly and kept a roof over his head, at least on most days. His upbringing didn't come with treasure chest full of gold coins, unlike the man he was tracking.
It was obvious from the fine silk of his white tunic and the perfect stitching of his black leather pants and vest that the man came from a rich background. He wouldn't even miss the coin that Níx planned to lift from him.
After making sure there were no eyes watching him, Níx moved in closer to his mark. As he caught up with the man, he couldn't help but appreciate the way the black leather hugged the man's ass and thighs like a second skin.
Whoever sewn those leathers deserved an award.
From the backside, the guy was gorgeous enough, and Níx bet he was just as stunning from the front. It was really too bad that Níx needed the coin this man could garner him. If he didn't need the money, he'd consider giving up thoughts of stealing from him and just invite him to the alley for a little fun.
Alas, as gorgeous as the man looked, the sword at his side dissuaded Níx. In his experience, not only did soldiers not take kindly to being propositioned for a little fun in the alley, they tended to believe they were better than the average man on the street.
Níx wanted nothing to do with them, no matter how hot one of them might be. Slightly saddened that things had to be that way, Níx slid up closer behind his prey. He carefully checked his peripheral vision, making sure no one was watching too closely and no patrols were in sight.
Once he was sure that the coast was clear, Níx moved in. He waited for just the right moment, watching as the man started to weave his body, turning one way then the other as he moved through a thickening crowd of people.
Just as someone started to bump into the man, Níx slid his small bladed dagger through the leather straps holding the man's coin purse. He was turning away before he even finished cutting them.
Once the small black leather bag was free, Níx slid it into the hidden pocket on his vest. He casually walked away, plastering a look on his face that he had perfected through the years, the one that said he was innocent of anything and everything.
And that would have worked great…if he wasn't suddenly grabbed from behind and dragged into the closest alleyway. Níx grunted with pain as he was slammed into the hard stone wall, his cheek scraping along the uneven plaster holding the gray stones together.
Hot, heavy breath beat down on the nape of Níx's neck, sending his heart beat soaring. Níx could feel the buttery softness of leather brushing against him as his hands were pinned against the stone wall.
He had a pretty good idea who had him. He just couldn't figure out how he had gotten caught. The whole process had been flawless. He knew that. He had done it a hundred times in the past. There was absolutely no reason that he should have been caught.
And yet, he was.
Now, Níx just had to figure out how to get free.
Níx quickly went through his options. He could play innocent and cry about being bullied. He could play innocent and get angry that he was being accosted. He could give the guy a boon and admit what he had done, again crying or getting angry.
Or he could just stand there with the gorgeous man pressing him into the wall.
"Stealing is wrong."
Níx groaned as his body reacted to the deep voice rumbling behind him, warming, heating, arousal making his skin tight. Maybe he should consider asking if the guy wanted to have a little fun in the alleyway.
Níx's lips twisted in a wry smile. "I don't know what you're talking about." Níx could barely believe his words and he was speaking them. Sometimes he even amazed himself. "You must have the wrong guy."
"No, I have the right guy." Níx's eyebrows shot up when he heard a hard sniffing noise near his ear. Was the guy actually sniffing him? "It was you in the marketplace. I could hear you walking behind me. I could smell you."
Níx's denial plan was starting to come apart right before his eyes. He really seriously needed to come up with a different game plan. It looked like it would either be crying or getting angry.
"Of course I was in the marketplace, you idiot. That's where you grabbed me."
Okay, anger it was.

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