Sunday, December 1, 2013

Yowza! New Adult Novel

I'm so excited to be one of the first to announce the release of Naked Edge by Charli Webb. This is a new adult contemporary romance that is sure to excite. It's sweet and sexy in all the right ways. The best part is the original music that goes with the novel. For the next ten days, anyone that purchases a copy of Naked Edge on Amazon will get free copies of the songs Where You Are and The Naked Edge. Just send a copy of your receipt or a link to your verified review on Amazon to and you'll get the songs.

This book is for readers 18+.

“I didn’t want the story to end. Loved it from start to finish.”
“I couldn’t put it down! 5/5 stars. Can’t wait to see where Charli goes from here.”
 “Naked Edge fills a gap that I didn't even realize I had in the New Adult books I've been reading…I felt for Skylar and Rowdy. I cheered for them. I ached for them.”
“If Rowdy is out there somewhere, please let me get stranded on the side of a mountain...Good lord that man is yummy and perfect. Yup. Perfect.”
“Naked Edge has a great balance of angst and love, longing and affection, sexy and scary to satisfy most romance reader's needs. If you like your romance with less angst and more drama, this book is for you.”
“Naked Edge is one of those amazing stories where you want to be friends with the characters.” 
“The sex scenes got me hot and bothered. I was definitely in the mood after the passage was over.”

Monday, November 18, 2013


I'm looking for ARC Review of my next novel, Sadie (Book 1 of the Alpha Series)

Please email me at if you are interested.

Thank you!! XOXO E.L. Todd

Here is the first chapter.

            I pulled my dress down as far as it would stretch but it snapped right back to my thighs. It was so short I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to sit down. When I looked at myself in the mirror, I cringed. I looked awkward and uncomfortable. I wasn’t the kind of girl that went to the bar—dressed like a whore.
            Natascia rolled her eyes. “Oh my god, Sadie. You look fine.”
            I pulled down my dress again but it was useless. It bounced back to my upper thighs. The black dress fit my curves tightly and made my ass and chest extremely prominent. I was feeling more uncomfortable by the second. The last thing I wanted was for people to look at me. “This doesn’t even fit.”
            “Yes, it does,” she snapped.
            I pulled it down again. “Uh—no.”
            Stephanie fixed her hair in the mirror. It was silky and brown and reached far down her back. She dyed her hair so often that I wasn’t sure what her real hair color was. But it always looked beautiful. “Leave her alone. She’s nervous.”
            Natascia placed the hair band in her hair. “She needs to grow a backbone.”
            I tucked my brown hair behind my ear then smoothed my dress out again. I sighed as I stared at myself. I didn’t look horrible, but I definitely felt out of my element. I glanced at Natascia. “Why are you so mean to me?”
            “I’m not,” she said with a laugh.
            “Well, you’re making me go out to a bar—something I have no interest in doing—and you’re making dress like a slut.”
            Natascia crossed her arms over her chest. “You never do anything, Sadie. You never go out and you just stay home every weekend. The only time you actually want to do anything is under the light of day when we are eating lunch or lounging at one of our apartments. You need to go out!”
            I sighed. “See, you’re being mean again, making me do something I don’t want to do.”
            “I’m just calling you out on your shit. Come on. It will be fun,” Natascia said.
            I sighed. “I guess I don’t have a choice.”
            Stephanie nodded. “You really don’t.”
            We grabbed our bags and left the apartment, heading down to the street. When we got inside the cab, I thought my dress was going to slide up and give the driver a treat. Luckily, I held it down and kept my goodies hidden. Natascia, always the leader of our group, gave the driver the address.
            I tried to get my mind off of what we were doing. “How was work?”
            Natascia sighed. “I forgot to pull out my samples after the twenty four hour incubation period so I had to start over.”
            “That sucks,” I said.
            She rolled her eyes. “You have no idea.”
            Stephanie checked the time on her phone then returned it to her purse. “Well, at least it was only one day you lost.”
            Natascia sighed. “I guess so.”
            Natascia was a researcher at a microbiology lab in the city. When she got the position she was really excited about it, but now she hated doing research every day.
            I looked at her. “Just be a high school teacher. Isn’t that what you want to do?”
            Natascia fixed her head band again, pulling the brown hair back. “Yes, but my parents would never accept my decision. They didn’t pay for my education so I could just teach at the high school level.”
            “Well, it’s your life,” Stephanie said. “It shouldn’t matter what they think.”
            “I know.” Natascia sighed. “I’ll think about it.”
            Stephanie looked at me. “How’s the store?”
            I smiled when I thought about work. My father owned an antique book store in the city, and together, we ran it. The smell of fresh print books always made my hands shake. And sometimes if we were lucky, we could get the authors to sign a few of the books. I had the coolest job ever. “It’s doing well. I wish I was there right now.”
            Natascia rolled her eyes. “We’re going to have fun tonight. Just relax.”
            I cringed.
            The cab pulled over and we climbed out. Natascia threw some cash at the driver then followed us to the sidewalk. The sidewalk was saturated with people as they walked through Manhattan. I could tell the bar was busy just by looking through the window. I held my breath as we walked inside. Music was playing over the sound system but it wasn’t too loud, thankfully. We took our seats at a table in the middle of the room. I held my dress as we sat down.
            When I peered around the room, I immediately saw some of the men staring at us. I avoided their gaze as much as possible.
            “I’m getting a pina colada,” Natascia said. “I love those things.”
            “Too sweet,” Stephanie said. “I prefer wine.”
            “Well, that’s because you’re picky,” I teased her.
            “I am not,” Stephanie said, affronted.
            “Yeah okay,” Natascia said sarcastically.
            Stephanie rolled her eyes. “Whatever.”
            “I’m going to have a long island iced tea,” I said.
            “That’s some serious alcohol,” Natascia said with a smile.
            I looked at the menu again. “It is? I thought it was just tea.”
            Natascia sighed. “I should have known.”
            A man came over and approached our table. He held a tray with three drinks. They were cosmopolitans—I think. I wasn’t very knowledgeable about alcohol. “This is from the gentleman at the bar.”
            Natascia looked over her shoulder. There were men everywhere. They all seemed to be looking at us. “Uh—which one?”
            “The one in the black suit.” He turned around and walked away.
            Stephanie stared at the front of the room. “Uh—almost all of them are wearing black suits.”
            I shrugged. “Well, at least it’s free.”
            Natascia nodded. “Exactly.”
            “So how’s school?” I asked Stephanie.
            “This year has been the best. I’ve actually had time to have a life.” Stephanie drank from her glass and put it down. “I actually went to the gym the other day. My pants were getting tight.”
            I laughed. “You’re the skinniest person I know.”
            “Yeah,” Stephanie agreed. “But my pants were still getting tight.”
            “Well, maybe that was a good thing.” I stared at my friends and ignored everyone else in the room. I was thankful that no one came over to talk to us. Perhaps I was overreacting about going out to a bar. I did feel the stares fall on us, but I wasn’t sure who they were looking at, me or my friends. If they were staring at me, they probably knew how awkward I looked. My thin arms and white skin didn’t look appealing in contrast to the dark color of my dress. I went to the gym but I never did weights. I had no muscle tone. I was just thin. I liked my hair. It was thick and wavy. But that was the only thing I liked about myself. I was pretty ordinary.
            The bartender returned to our table and I felt my palms sweat. I barely started my first drink. I couldn’t possibly drink a second one. “This is from the gentleman at the bar.” He placed a red rose on the table right in front of me, making it clear who it was for, then turned around.
            “Wait,” Natascia said. “Which one?”
            “This one,” a man said from behind me.
            I tried not to flinch but I did. I hadn’t noticed a man standing so close to us. The bar was packed, so it wasn’t odd to have someone nearby. When he stood next to the table and looked at me, I felt my heart fall. He was over six feet tall, brown hair, blue eyes, he wore a beautiful suit, and I could tell that he was toned and firm under his clothes. I immediately felt the panic descend. He was staring right at me. There was no confusion who he was interested in.
            “Hello. I’m Ethan,” he said with a smile.
            I said nothing. My voice was caught in my throat. I knew I looked idiotic but I still couldn’t speak.
            “She says hi back,” Natascia said awkwardly.
            Ethan nodded at Natascia then returned his gaze to me. He was beautiful—very beautiful. There were gorgeous women all over the bar, so why was he talking to me? And giving me a rose?
            “I wanted to buy you a drink but some guy beat me to the punch, but since you’re hardly touching it, I suspect the flower is a better gift anyway.”
            I blushed at his words. I was holding the stem in my fingers and I quickly released it.
            He tilted his head to the side as he watched me. He was waiting for me to speak, but I still didn’t say anything. “And what’s your name?”
            He nodded. “Are you named after the Beatles song?”
            “Yes,” I said as I tucked a strand of hair behind my ear. I was impressed that he knew that.
            His eyes glanced to my exposed thighs and the cleavage of my dress. A second later, he looked back at me. His look made me uncomfortable. While I was flattered that he was attracted to me, I was also nervous. He obviously assumed what kind of girl I was, judging by my slutty attire.
            “Thank you for the flower but I’m not interested.”
            His eyes widened. He clearly had never been rejected before. That wasn’t a surprise. I mean, the man was gorgeous. “Did I offend you in some way?”
            “No. I’m just not interested.”
            Stephanie kicked me under the table. “What are you doing?” she whispered.
            Ethan smiled. I assumed he caught the exchange. “Tell me why you aren’t interested and I’ll walk away.”
            I was irritated that this guy wasn’t backing down. I made it clear that I wanted him to leave. “I’m not the kind of girl you think I am. I’m sorry if I mislead you. I just don’t want to waste your time.”
            He raised an eyebrow. “And what kind of girl do I think you are?”
            Even when he looked perplexed, he still looked sexy. Damn. “I’m not having sex with you tonight,” I said bluntly.
            Natascia tried not to laugh but her chuckles came out.
            Ethan laughed. “So you think the only reason why I came over her was because I wanted to take you back to my place?”
            I swallowed the lump in my throat. I didn’t mean to come off conceited. I just knew how guys behaved in bars. It was a place where they hooked up with chicks, not searched for relationships. “Yes.”
            He smiled. “Well, I think you’re a very beautiful woman, but that wasn’t my intent.”
            I started to laugh. I couldn’t help it. “You’re such a liar.”
            Instead of being offended like I thought he would be, he chuckled. “You caught me.”
            “So my answer is no. I’m sorry that you wasted your time.”
            Ethan nodded. “I don’t think I did.” He stared at me with his heated gaze. I felt unnerved by the look. The man was handsome, one of the best looking guys I’ve ever seen, but I didn’t want to sleep with him then never hear from him again. That wasn’t something I was interested in.
            “Have a good night,” I said politely.
            “Let’s get some coffee.”
            “Excuse me?”
            “You know—espressos, cappuccinos, stuff like that.”
            “Don’t be an asshole.”
            He smiled. “Sorry.”
            “And you buying me a cup of coffee isn’t going to get me to sleep with you.”
            “That’s fine with me.”
            I stared at him suspiciously. “I mean it. You may as well work your magic on some other girl.”
            “But I’m only interested in you.”
            I felt my spine shiver. As much as I hated to admit it, this guy had game. “No thank you.”
            Stephanie kicked me under the table. “She would love to.”
            Natascia nodded. “Take her. We’ll help you.”
            I turned and glared at him, giving them a look of hate.
            Ethan placed his hand on the table, placing it dangerously close to mine. “Well, your friends seem eager to get rid of you.”
            “Please,” Stephanie said, practically pushing me out of the chair.
            I leaned toward her ear. “I’m going to kill you.”
            “Okay,” she said. “But wait until after your date.” She nudged me again.
            Ethan grabbed my chair and pulled it out, helping me stand. I pulled my dress down again, not wanting him to see too much. He grabbed my clutch and handed it to me. “Shall we?”
            “Great,” he said before I could finish. “Let’s go.”
            I looked back at my friends one more time, glaring at them before I walked with Ethan out of the bar.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Forever and Always (Book 2) is also available. If you can't find it, here's the link:

Happy Release Day!

The first three books in the Forever and Always series have officially been released. Thank you for all your support during this adventure. I have the greatest fans ever! All the compliments and sweet words made my heart squeeze, and while I don't feel worthy of your praise, I'll take the compliments anyway. =). Now I have to get back work and write the other books!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Edge of Love-Chapter 1

Here's the first chapter in the third installment of the Forever and Always Seres!

I pulled the blanket over my legs and rested my hands in
my lap. The temperature was always so cold on planes, and it
made me shiver. I glanced out the window and saw the clouds in
the sky. Even though the plane was soaring at an immaculate
speed, the floating white marshmallows remained stagnant. Sean
and I were flying to Connecticut for the weekend. I still didn’t
understand why.
I leaned my head against the seat and looked at him. “Is
this necessary?”
Sean looked up from the book he was reading. “I want to
tell them in person.” His eyes returned to the novel.
“Do they even know we’re dating?”
He looked back at me. “Of course they know, Scar. I told
them as soon as we got together. Believe me, they were thrilled.
They love you.”
“You’re still dropping a bomb on them.”
Finally, he put the book down, abandoning his attempt to
read. He stared at me. “They’ll be happy, Scar. I think my parents
deserve to hear about my engagement in person. I know my
mother will be ecstatic.” His shirt hugged his body tightly and I
could see the muscles of his torso. They covered his ribs and his
stomach, making him appear chiseled. His arms were large,
almost the size of my legs, and I found myself staring at him. I
couldn’t believe we had been friends so long, but this attraction
didn’t stem until recently. It was odd. Sean was gorgeous. How
did I not notice it? Staring at the blue irises in his face made me
feel hot and bothered. The idea of staying with his parents and
sleeping down the hall from their bedroom wasn’t appealing
“Sean, I want to stay at a hotel.”
His eyebrows furrowed in confusion. Every time I came to
visit Sean’s family, I always slept in one of the guestrooms. I
never asked to stay elsewhere. “Why?”
“We are a couple now—it’s weird.”
He shook his head. “My parents don’t care, Scar. We can
sleep in the same bed in my old room. There won’t be a problem.
You are my fianc√©. Besides, they know we live together.”
I rolled my eyes. Sean could be so slow sometimes. “You
don’t get it, Sean.” I pulled the blanket further up my body,
fighting the cold. “I want to have sex.”
Sean’s face broke into a grin. “I know you do.”
I rolled my eyes again.
“Scar, you are such a slut.”
“You like me that way.”
His grin widened. “Hell yeah I do.”
“I mean it, Sean. I don’t want to stay there. The idea of
having sex in their house makes me really uncomfortable. You
won’t be getting any from me.”
He rolled his eyes. “Okay,” he said sarcastically. “Like
you aren’t just going to rape me anyway then ask me to fuck you
as hard as I can.”
I glared at him. “You are so conceited.”
“Only for you.” His blue eyes stared into mine. The look
gave me shivers. “I know how much you want me—all the time.”
He was completely right. I wanted to have sex more often
than he did, which was why this trip was annoying me. I couldn’t
imagine practicing sexual abstinence for three nights in a row.
“Sean, I mean it.”
He sighed. “You know how my mom is. She’ll never let us
stay anywhere else.”
I knew he was right. “Fine. Then we aren’t having sex this
He stared at me, and I felt unnerved by the look. He leaned
closer to me, and I could smell the scent of his skin. It reminded
me of the sweat that dripped from his chest when we made love. I
always licked it away because the sight turned me on so much. His
voice came out as a whisper. “I can have you whenever I want,
I tore my gaze away and ignored him. His supernatural
ability to arouse me with just his words annoyed me sometimes. I
didn’t want him to realize how much power he had over me so I
acted indifferent to him. Besides, this was a long flight. I didn’t
want to be horny for the entire journey.
Sean leaned closer to me and I felt his arm brush against
mine. He rested his hand on my thigh then moved underneath the
blanket. My heart accelerated in my chest when I realized what he
was doing. I knew I should stop him, but the slut within me
wouldn’t let me. His palm ran up my thigh then slipped under my
dress. His fingers started to rub my clit gently, teasingly. I stared
straight ahead and tried to control my breathing. My heart was
racing out of control. His ministrations increased and I started to
sweat. It felt so good and I couldn’t hide the pleasure I was
feeling. I started to breathe loudly. Quiet moans started to escape
my lips. I turned to Sean and buried my face in his neck, trying to
be quiet. I could hear the smile in his voice.
“Open your legs,” he whispered.
Even though I was ashamed, I did as he commanded. His
fingers rubbed me harder and he slipped two fingers inside me. I
grabbed his forearm and gripped him tightly. I was so aroused, so
excited, that I didn’t care that people were around. I continued to
breathe into Sean’s neck while he pleased me the way I liked. A
part of me felt ashamed, but the other part of me couldn’t care
It felt so good. “Sean.”
He rubbed me harder, and I felt the orgasm build inside of
I grabbed his neck and moaned into his ear, anticipating
the explosion about to take place inside my body. Suddenly, he
pulled away then grabbed the book he was reading earlier, picking
up where he left off. He didn’t look at me while he turned through
the pages.
The loss of his fingers sent me into a withdrawal. I still felt
the sweat on my breasts and the arousal between my legs. I knew
what game Sean was playing. I wanted him to lose, but I wanted
to come more.
I grabbed the book and put it down. Then, I leaned closer
to him and pressed my lips against his ear. “I want you to fuck me
in the bathroom.”
His smile was wider than I’ve ever seen it. “That’s what I
I pulled down my dress then rose from my chair. I walked
down the aisle of seats until I reached the bathrooms. I grabbed
the first one that was unlocked then walked inside. I waited a few
moments for Sean to join me. My body was in a blaze of longing,
and the desire was escalating the longer I waited for him. I was
angry at Sean for making me feel this way, but at the same time, I
loved him even more. I couldn’t resist him.
The door opened and Sean walked inside. As soon as he
locked the door behind him, I grabbed his face and kissed him
hard on the mouth. I unzipped his jeans as fast as I could and
pulled them to the floor. I felt his hard dick in my hand and
listened to Sean moan quietly. He was panting for me, wanting to
fuck as much as I wanted to.
The bathroom was cramped, tiny, but we didn’t need much
room anyway. Sean turned me around and pushed me against the
sink. He stared at me in the mirror while he lifted up my dress.
Then, he grabbed my leg, removed my shoe, and rested my foot
on the sink. I was very flexible, and Sean loved that about me. He
continued to stare at me while he pressed his dick against my
entrance. Just the touch of his cock against my clit was enough to
make me crumble.
He grabbed my raised thigh then my opposite hip,
prepared to pound into me as hard as he could.
I knew he was teasing me, building me up until he actually
penetrated me. He stared at me in the mirror, waiting for me to
beg him. He wanted to prove his point. That he could fuck me any
time, any place.
I met his gaze. “Fuck me.”
He smiled then inserted himself inside me. The feel of him
moving within me, stretching me, made me gasp involuntarily. He
leaned his lips to my ear and hushed me. He thrust himself hard
and fast inside me. I gripped the rim of the sink as he slammed
into me, over and over. I bit my lip as I tried to keep quiet. It felt
so good that I didn’t want it to end. I felt the orgasm start to take
over my body. Sean, who knew my body better than I did, pressed
his lips against my ear.
“Enjoy.” He rubbed my clit as I rode the wave of my
orgasm, gripping his neck while he continued to fuck me like a
dog in heat.
“Yeah, baby.”
“Sean.” I gripped him tighter as the euphoria spread
through my body, long overdue.
“You are such a slut and I love fucking you like a dirty
I moaned as I finished my orgasm. My body still felt
tender as he moved inside me.
“Now it’s my turn.” He pounded into me harder than ever
before. I watched his face as he met his pleasure. He leaned his
head back as he gasped, his lips slightly open. He closed his eyes
and moaned, coming inside me. He grabbed my hips and bucked
into me. “Yeah. Fuck yes.” The sight of him getting off aroused
me again. He rested his head on top of mine and caught his breath.
“Finger me.”
Sean smiled. “That wasn’t enough?”
“I love watching you come.”
He moved his finger to my clit and rubbed me
aggressively, fingering me at the same time. “I do, too.” He stared
at my reflection in the mirror as he shoved his fingers deep inside
me, rubbing the flesh in the front of my vaginal wall. The
combination of his fingers and his thumb rubbing the nub at the
apex of my thighs had me shaking with pleasure.
“Come for me.”
I moaned. “I am.”
My head rolled back, leaning against his chest as I felt my
orgasm spread throughout my body, igniting my body in a blaze. I
started to moan loudly, but Sean covered my lips with his until the
moment passed.
When I caught my breath, I stared at our reflection in the
mirror. I looked exhausted and satisfied. Sean looked like he just
won an Olympic medal. He was grinning at me triumphantly.
He pressed his lips against my ear. “You’re a filthy
“Only for you.”
“You got that right.” Sean stepped back and dressed
himself. I returned the shoe to my foot then pulled down my dress.
My hair was a mess so I straightened it with my fingers. Sean
washed his hands then left the bathroom, closing the door behind
him. I leaned against the wall while I waited for the time to pass.
Sean was the best sex I’ve ever had, hands down. There were
times when we made love, and other moments when we fucked
like animals. I didn’t know which I loved doing more. It was a tie.
I couldn’t believe that I was marrying him. He was my best friend
and the greatest lover I ever had. Sometimes he could be a cocky
asshole, but I loved his flaws just as much as his perfections. To
me, Sean was absolutely perfect. We had our problems in the past,
but now I trusted him completely. I know he would never lie to
me, cheat on me, or hurt me in any way.
I waited a few moments before I left the bathroom and
walked down the aisle. When I reached my seat, the old lady
sitting in the row adjacent to us glared at me, clearly disapproving
what my fiancé and I just did. Her hair was gray and she wore
thick glasses that made her eyes look huge. She wore a classy
outfit like she was a professor at a prestigious college. I couldn’t
care less what this old bitch thought. I glared back.
Sean caught the exchange. “Are you going to throw
popcorn at her?”
A smile crept across my lips but I tried to fight it. I leaned
back in my seat and sighed. Now that I came, I felt satisfied and
sleepy. That was a really good fuck, one of the best we ever had.
We’ve had sex in public places, but this was our first time
screwing on a plane.
Sean leaned toward me and kissed me on the forehead.
Then, he pressed his lips against mine and kissed me gently. When
he pulled away, he rubbed his nose against mine while he looked
into my eyes. I felt my heart melt at the sight. It was obvious how
much Sean loved me. He knew when to be aggressive and
dominant when we fucked like rabbits in spring, but knew when to
be gentle and loving when we made love. It was the perfect
He smiled at me. “You feel better now?”
I felt my cheeks blush. Even though I was satisfied, I was
embarrassed by my previous behavior. I really was acting like a
total slut. I nodded but didn’t speak. He kissed me on the forehead
again. “I love you.”
My heart constricted at his words. “I love you, too.”
“I’m glad I please you so well.”
I smiled. “Well, today was a great performance but it
doesn’t change anything. We still aren’t having sex at your
mother’s house.”
Sean rolled his eyes then leaned back in his chair. “I’ve
had sex with tons of women at my parents’ house.”
I narrowed my eyes at him. “Is that supposed to persuade
me? Know your audience, Sean.”
He sighed. “Fine. We’ll stay at a hotel. But I have a feeling
my mom won’t allow it no matter how much we argue with her.
It’s inevitable.”
I leaned closer to him. “Just be firm.”
He smiled then grabbed my hand, placing it over his
erection. “Like I am with you?”
I hit his shoulder. “Don’t be gross.”
Sean pressed his lips against my neck and kissed me
gently. His mouth stopped at my ear. “You like it when I’m
gross.” He continued to kiss me.
I felt eyes bore into me and knew I was being watched. I
looked across the aisle and met the gaze of the woman who was
glaring at me earlier. Her look of disapproval had increased by
tenfold. Sean placed his hand on my thigh then trailed his lips to
my chest.
The anger ignited in my body as I looked at her. Without
thinking before speaking, I said, “Yes, we screwed in the
bathroom. Get over it.” Sean pulled away and looked at me,
shocked that I just announced our transgression to everyone in our
vicinity. The other passengers started whispering to one another as
they listened to my words. Within a few seconds, everyone was
talking about it. The pretentious woman finally looked away.
Sean smiled then shook his head. “Such a slut.”

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Soul Binder Cover

Just received the image from the designer. It's beautiful and I love it!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Soul Binders is Done! Additional Excerpt!

Just sent the manuscript to my editor! Can't wait until I get it back. Thank you for all your patience. I know you are all anxious to read it! It will be available soon. And here is an excerpt as well.

He grabbed a bottle of whiskey and poured himself a glass. He downed the entire contents and placed the empty cup on the nightstand. Then, he grabbed Roslyn’s Blade and lit the tip on fire, letting the smoke fill the room. Now that Accacia was gone, he couldn’t sleep. This was the only time he could stay asleep for more than a few hours without a nightmare taking over. Well, he still had dreams, mostly of Accacia, but they were still painful. When he woke up, he realized that the events weren’t real, just stories of his imagination, and the knowledge was so excruitiating, he thought he would die. But he also didn’t want the dreams to stop. Aleco couldn’t win.
            He lied down on top of the bed and closed his eyes. The bedding had been completely replaced, at Aleco’s insistence, and he felt his muscles relax on top of the soft sheets. He inhaled the smoke in his lungs and felt his mind start to dwindle. He couldn’t think clearly anymore, or remember what he was thinking about. Finally, he was asleep. All conscious thought ceased.
            “Tell me,” she said.
            Aleco opened his eyes and saw Accacia lying beside him. Her green eyes shined bright and her thin lips were slightly open. She was completely naked, and he felt his heart accelerate. The curve of her hips shined in the light of fire, and he stared at her body for a moment. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. He still couldn’t believe that she was his. Somehow he knew what she was asking. “Nothing.”
            Her hand glided up his chest and made him shiver. He felt aroused any time she came near him, whether she was clothed or not. Even when they traveled across the Continent together and she was wearing guard clothes, he wanted her. He wanted her now. If he wasn’t so upset, he would take her. She smiled at him. “Don’t be an asshole.”
            He sighed, knowing he couldn’t hide anything from her. The look of despair in his eyes was enough to give him away. “I—I miss you,” he whispered.
            Accacia placed her hand on his cheek then kissed his moist eyes, which were starting to leak tears. “I miss you, too.”
            Aleco sighed then wrapped his arm around her waist. “I can’t do this, Accacia. It’s too hard.”
            “Do what?”
            “This,” he said quietly. He ran his hand up body and felt the curves of her frame. Her hourglass figure was eye-catching. Sometimes he couldn’t look away. “Be the Nature Priest. This should have been you.”
            “Well, I’m not here anymore, Aleco.”
            Aleco blinked back a tear. “Don’t remind me.”
            “You are a better leader than I ever was,” she whispered. “I’m too weak. You are the greatest man I have ever known, the person destined to be king.”
            “That’s total horseshit,” he said. “I would be a horrible leader. I don’t even know what it’s like to be sober.”
            She laughed. “Well, you hide it very well.”
            Aleco leaned over her and wrapped her leg around his waist. “But you see right through me.”      
            She ran her fingers down his cheek and looked into his red eyes. “You look miserable.”
            “That’s because I am miserable.”
            “Well, I’m here with you now.”
            “But you aren’t real.”
            She reached out and grabbed his manhood. “I’m always real, Aleco.”
            Aleco moaned as he felt her rub him in the way he liked. Her hair was sprawled out on the bed, and her eyes were lit like glowing orbs. She wanted him like she always did. The look in her eyes made his heart squeeze. The moment was equally exhilarating and depressing.     
            “Aleco, you have needs,” she whispered. “You don’t have to remain celibate because of me.” She rubbed him harder. “I want you to be satisfied.”
            He shook his head. “I don’t want anyone else.”
            She stroked him harder. “I don’t want you to be alone.”
            “There is no one else for me but you.” He leaned further over her and ran a hand through her hair. It was soft and silky like it always was. “I’m never going to change my mind.” He kissed her gently and separated her lips with his tongue. The idea of being with anyone else was inconceivable. He could never kiss anyone the way he kissed her. He couldn’t make love to someone after being with her. Accacia moaned as she reciprocated his embrace. Her fingers glided through his hair, and Aleco loved her touch. He loved it when she touched him this way. It reminded him that she loved him, really loved him.
            “Good.” She pulled him onto the bed and climbed on top of him. She straddled his hips and leaned over him. The look in her eyes sent chills down this spine. He wanted her, but she wanted him more. “I love you.”
            “I love you, Accacia.” The look of longing in her eyes had him more excited. She was his and his alone. No one could ever take that away. She was completely devoted to him, just as much as he was to her, and even though they weren’t together geographically, they were still as committed to each other spiritually.
            Accacia pressed her hands against his chest and leaned over him. She kissed his chest and ran her lips to ear. “I want you, Aleco,” she whispered.
            He felt himself move inside of her, and he leaned his head back and he moaned. “Accacia.”
            “Aleco,” she whispered as she rode him. The sight of her riding him sent him to the brink with pleasure. He grabbed her hips and dug his fingertips into her skin. He thrust upward and she moaned loudly. “You feel amazing.” She moaned again.
            Aleco rolled on top of her and placed her legs over his shoulder. He thrust himself inside of her hard. “Accacia.” He breathed. “I love you.”
            “And I love you.” She grabbed his back and pulled him closer to her. “I miss you.”           
            “I miss you,” he said between thrusts. “I can’t do this without you.”
            She kissed his lips. “Yes, you can.”
            “I don’t want to.”
            “We’ll be together again someday.”
            Aleco moved within her slowly, feeling every inch of her body with his. “Promise me,” he whispered. “I can’t go on without you.”
            She grabbed his hips and pulled him deeper inside her. “I promise. We’ll find each other again.”
            Aleco rocked into her while she gripped his back. Her green eyes shined bright as he made love to her, and he felt his body preparing for a moment of pleasure. Accacia leaned her head back and started yelling his name. The sight of her bliss sent him to the brink, and he exploded inside of her.        
            The moment of pleasure shattered his unconscious state. When he woke up, he realized it was all a dream. Her pledges of reuniting with him were false. Sweat was trickled across his body and his sheets were soaked. “Don’t go,” he cried. He grabbed the sheets and searched for her. Accacia wasn’t there. “Please don’t go.” He tried to return to the dream, but it was gone. His tears feel from his eyes like a heavy rain, and his heart throbbed in agonizing pain. “Accacia?” he whispered. “Accacia?” Every moment with her made him elated with happiness, but every time he left her, it was just unbearable. The tears welled in his eyes and he felt himself give in to the despair. He climbed out of bed and dressed himself before leaving the bedchamber.
            He felt Asylinth House and sprinted through the forest. It was dark but Aleco knew exactly where he was going. Not only did he know the forest grounds better than anyone else, but the Lorunien Tree guided him away from unseen obstacles, like an upturned root or a small animal. Aleco ran as fast as he could through the nighttime woodlands. He wasn’t sure where he was going or what he planned to do when he got there, but he kept going anyway.
            A few minutes later, he found himself at the empty harbor. There were no ships docked on the wharf. It was empty. Aleco walked down the pier and stopped when he reached the rope that tied Accacia’s ship to the wharf. It was the last place he saw her. The last place he would ever see her.
            He sat down and placed his legs over the dock, and listened to the sounds of the crashing waves. The wind blew down his hood, revealing his face, but he didn’t pull it back up. This is the most pain he had ever been in. He lost his parents, watched them die, but that was nothing compared to this. He had committed unforgivable acts, and when he repented for them, it still didn’t amount to this agony. Perhaps this was punishment for everything he had done. He was given a beautiful gift only to have it taken away. Aleco knew he was a bad person, but he still didn’t deserve this. He felt completely paralyzed by the loss of his life’s love. If he didn’t have to destroy the soul binders, kill his brother, or save the Continent, he might give into the darkness. It was just too strong to fight against. He couldn’t do this for a long period of time. Eventually, it would get to him.