Home > Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood #6)(5)

Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood #6)(5)
Author: J.R. Ward


Cormia brought her hand up and put it on the windowpane. The glass she stared through was

thinner than her pinkie, as clear as air, hardly any barrier at all. She’d wanted to go down to

the flowers for quite a while now, but was waiting for . . . she did not know what.


When she had first come to this place, she’d been racked by sensory overload. There were all

kinds of things she didn’t recognize, like torches that were plugged into the walls that you had

to switch on for light, and machines that did things like wash dishes or keep food cold or

create images on a little screen. There were boxes that chimed with every hour, and metal

vehicles that carried people around, and things you ran back and forth across floors that

whirred and cleaned.


There were more colors here than in all the jewels in the treasury. Smells as well, both good

and bad.


Everything was so different, and so were the people. Where she was from, there were no

males, and her sisters were interchangeable: All Chosen wore the same white robe and

twisted their hair up in the same way and had a single teardrop pearl around their necks.

They all walked and talked in the identical quiet manner and did the same thing at the same

time. Here? Chaos. The Brothers and their shellans wore different clothes and they conversed

and laughed in separate, identifiable patterns. They liked certain foods, but not others, and

some slept late and others didn’t sleep at all. Some were funny, some were fierce, some

were . . . beautiful.

One was definitely beautiful.


Bella was beautiful.


Especially in the Primale’s eyes.

As the clock started to chime, Cormia tucked her arms in close to her body. Meals were a

torture, giving her a taste of what it was going to be like when she and the Primale returned to

the Sanctuary.


And he looked upon the faces of her sisters with similar admiration and pleasure.


Talk about change. In the beginning she had been terrified of the Primale. Now, after five

months, she didn’t want to share him.


With his mane of multicolored hair, and his yellow eyes, and his silky, low voice, he was a

spectacular male in his mating prime. But that wasn’t what really compelled her. He was the

epitome of all that she knew to be of worth: He was focused always on others, never on

himself. At the dinner table, he was the one who inquired after each and every person,

following up about injuries and stomach upsets and anxieties large and small. He never

demanded any attention for himself. Never drew the conversation to something of his. Was

endlessly supportive.


If there was a hard job, he volunteered for it. If there was an errand, he wanted to run it. If

Fritz staggered under the weight of a platter, the Primale was the first out of his chair to help.

From all that she’d overheard at the table, he was a fighter for the race and a teacher of the

trainees and a good, good friend to everyone.


He truly was the proper example of the selfless virtues of the Chosen, the perfect Primale. And

somewhere in the seconds and hours and days and months of her stay here, she had veered

from the path of duty into the messy forest of choice. She now wanted to be with him. There

was no had to, must do, need to.

But she wanted him to herself.


Which made her a heretic.


Next door to her, the gorgeous music the Primale always played when he was in his room cut

off. Which meant he was heading down for First Meal.


The sound of a knock on her door made her jump and twirl around. As her robe settled

against her legs, she caught the scent of red smoke drifting ino her room.


The Primale had come for her?


She quickly checked her chignon and tucked some of the stray hairs behind her ears. When

she opened the door a crack, she stole a glance up into his face before she bowed to him.


Oh, dearest Virgin Scribe . . . the Primale was too glorious to stare at for long. His eyes were

yellow as citrines, his skin a warm golden brown, his long hair a spectacular mélange of color,

from the palest of blond to deep mahogany to warm copper.


He bowed in a short, quick body bob, a formality she knew he disliked. He did it for her,

though, because no matter how many times he told her not to be formal, she couldn’t stop



“Listen, I’ve been thinking,” he said.


In the hesitation that followed, she worried that the Directrix had been to see him. Everyone

in the Sanctuary was waiting for the ceremony to be completed, and all were aware it hadn’t

been yet. She was beginning to feel an urgency that had nothing to do with her attraction to

him. The weight of tradition was growing heavier with each passing day.


He cleared his throat. “We’ve been here for a while, and I know the transition’s been tough. I

was thinking you must be a little lonely and that you might like some company.”


Cormia brought her hand to her neck. This was good. It was time for them to be together. In

the beginning, she hadn’t been ready for him. Now she was.

“I really think it would be good for you,” he said in his beautiful voice, “to have some



She bowed low. “Thank you, your grace. I agree.”


“Great. I have someone in mind.”

Cormia straightened slowly. Someone?


John Matthew always slept naked.


Well, at least ever since his transition, he slept naked.

It saved on laundry.


With a groan, he reached between his legs and palmed his rock-hard erection. The thing had

woken him up as usual, an alarm clock as reliable and stiff off the ground as Big Fucking Ben.

It had a snooze button, too. If he took care of the thing, he could rest another twenty minutes

or so before it got up to stuff again. Typically the routine was three times before he left the

bed and once more in the shower.

And to think he’d once wished for this.


Focusing on unattractive thoughts didn’t help, and though he suspected getting off actually

made the drive worse, denying his cock wasn’t an option: When he’d backed off a couple

months ago as a test pattern, within twelve hours he’d been ready to fuck a tree, he was so



Was there any such thing as anti-Viagra? Cialis Reversailis? Limpicillin?


Rolling onto his back, he shifted one leg out to the side, pushed the covers off his body, and

started stroking himself. This was his preferred position, although if he came really hard he

curled over onto his right side in the middle of the orgasm.

As a pretrans, he’d always wanted an erection, because he’d figured that getting hard would

make him a man. The reality hadn’t worked out that way. Sure, with his enormous body and

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