Prince Vampire
me that way…”
    Aureliann knew what he meant. There was a fierce hunger for him that she doubted would ever be quenched. “You have to go do prince stuff, remember? The whole ‘save your people and the kingdom’.” A week ago that statement would have made her snort in amusement. It was so soap opera. And yet I seem to have walked into one.
    “Yes, I do.” Valdemar’s mouth descended onto hers and kissed her with the hot, needy passion of a man in love.
    They walked out to the forecourt of the castle. Aureliann had not seen much of her surroundings but what she had seen was mind-boggling. The building they were in was a huge gothic castle set on the rise of a hill. The city below seemed to spread out for miles. She had to admit she was eager to further scope out new surroundings.
    “Wow.” She watched in amazement as what seemed like a battalion of elves stood ready, waiting to serve the heir to throne.
    “They are very loyal men.” The original three elves who Aureliann had taken to calling Bob, Bill and Binky appeared. “They will look after you.”
    Aureliann liked these men and enjoyed battling wits with them. “What do you do?” She arched her eyebrows and looked at them with mock interest. “Bite people’s ankles if they attack? Maybe gnaw on an enemy’s toe?”
    “You’re a bitch,” one of them retorted with a reluctant smile.
    “But we kind of like you,” another one added.
    “Ah, you’re just saying that to get on my good side.” It was nice to have someone other than Valdemar in this strange land. While she loved him, she knew he had his duties to perform. She expected no less of him. But having someone else to talk to, albeit a challenge, was a bonus.
    “Maybe we are, maybe we aren’t.”
    Aureliann put her hands on her hips and looked down at them. “Listen, don’t try to do inscrutable with me.” They stamped their feet. She stamped hers back. “You’re not going to rattle me, lads. I’m a bigger pain in the butt than all three of you combined.”
    Valdemar shook his head in amused confusion. “Are you all going to play nice?”
    “The gnomes—I mean elves—and I are just having some fun.” Aureliann stuck out her tongue at them.
    “Yeah, she’ll be fine with us, your highness.” All the elves nodded. “We’ll show her where she can swim in the tar pits and maybe let her play in the snake house—”
    “Oh boy,” Valdemar murmured in concern. “Maybe I had better stay.”
    Aureliann put her hand on his arm. “Bill, Bob, Binky and I will be fine, Val.” She leaned in and kissed him, savoring the taste of pure male on her lips.
    “Oooh Val,” the elves all cooed in girly-sounding voices as they made smooching noises and hugged themselves. Aureliann pushed him away. As she watched him go, she wanted him back already. Yeah, I’m in love. She turned to the trio. And I have smart-ass elves. What more could a girl want?
     
    Valdemar did walk away but stopped and turned back to stand behind a pillar. While he trusted the elves, if anything happened to Aureliann it would kill him. He smiled as he heard Aureliann’s voice.
    “So, do you lads have girlfriends?”
    Valdemar smiled. Few people understood elves straight away but she did. Elves liked to test people. They came across as nasty and a pain in the ass to some. But others, like Aureliann, understood right from the start that it was all an act on their part. Once an elf gave you loyalty, it was forever. Valdemar admired her more than he could put into words. He had given her the shock of her life and yet here she was ready to stand beside him and face whatever would come.
    “We have hundreds of women.”
    “Of course,” Aureliann responded cynically.
    “Elves are highly prize for their sexual prowess.”
    “Wanna know why?”
    “Gee, no thanks.”
    Valdemar could almost see the look of amusement on his beloved’s face. He suspected Aureliann was unaware of how expressive her features were and how they

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