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Fire Brand

Fire Brand

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Pirates have made an absolute fool out of me. After a violent invasion, I lost my crown and control of The Bay. My fellow sirens have vowed to take our invaders out one by one, luring them to their death with the one thing they can’t resist—sex. But I want to drive those bastards to their knees. I must form an alliance with the King of Chronopolis, the only man who can survive the night in my bed—phoenix shifter Asher MacKay.
Asher insists he loses a little bit of his humanity every time he spends the night with me. I think ruthless looks good on him. And each night I set his ashes free, I feel something more for him. Damn it. Falling in love was not part of the plan.
Now that the pirates have checked The Bay off their list of Things to Destroy, they’ve turned their sights to Chronopolis. Asher must choose a Queen that will strengthen his alliances in the region, and apparently, I’m not an option. I have a proven track record of failure.
I’ve woken up with the hangover from hell and a fire tattoo on my wrist that tells me what I’ve known all along. Asher and I are meant to be together. The clock is ticking—if we have any chance of saving our cities, I must convince him I am his Queen before the Blood Moon.

Main Tropes

  • She kills him every time they're together...but he rises
  • She's a rockstar
  • Fun female friendships

Read Chapter One

“This is the last time we can be together, Avila.”
Asher’s breath was hot against my neck. It was a sensation I’d come to crave.
As a siren, I was a water creature through and through, but Asher made the
chill of the damp night air go away; opened up a whole new realm of

I believed that I
could love him.

It was hard to
protest as his lips skimmed my collarbone and dropped to my breast, working
their magic. When he took my nipple in his mouth, I was willing to go along
with anything he said. He scraped his teeth against the sensitive bud and
nipped me.

I could protest. “You always come back to me.” I ground my hips against his
erection and he groaned. The vibration did unspeakable things to me in places
only he could reach. I was just as guilty as he was. I couldn’t get him out of
my head, or the taste of him off the tip of my tongue. 

I wanted Asher
MacKay, even if it meant I destroyed him every time I was with him.

He rolled off me
and pushed his hair, long and unruly like wildfire, away from his damp
face.  His golden eyes were fixed on the
ceiling of my houseboat. It was a moving target, and our power stirred the
waves into an unnatural pattern. His jaw set in determination, and the corners
of his lips quivered. I couldn’t tell if he was fighting a smile or a frown,
but it was something.

I drew the deepest
breath I could, panicking when it caught in my lungs, turning to something
solid. Stone. A siren’s death knell. No one had ever rejected me. If any man
was strong enough to resist a siren, he’d turn her to stone. I’d never actually
seen it happen, I’d only heard the legends. I refused to be the first in a
generation to prove it to be true.

“You always come
back to me,” I repeated.

“This time I have
to mean it. The hardest thing I’ll ever do is resist you.”

He wouldn’t look
at me. The swaying light did nothing to disguise the emotion that flickered in
his eyes. I knew as much as his head had convinced him this was the right
thing, his heart didn’t believe a word of what he was about to say.

“Every time I come
back to life, I’m not the same as I was before. Now the concept of peace for
the Kingdom seems unachievable. I’ve been King almost fifty years. I guaranteed
I could bring peace to Chronopolis. It’s the only reason I have my title. I’m
not sure if it makes me a liar or a fraud, but I know what it does make me. A
failure. You’re the only thing that doesn’t change. Actually, that’s a lie,
too. Every time I come back to life, I want you more. I crave the taste of your
skin. I’ll die without you—for real. I don’t know how you do it to me. I think
you dipped my heart in the ashes of all the other men you lured to the end.”

“You rise from
those ashes,” I reminded him. Asher was the only man I’d ever slept with who
didn’t deserve to die. “Is it bad I consider that a compliment?”

“No. I wouldn’t
expect anything less.” He reached for my hand and kissed it. When he did little
things like that, I could convince myself that he belonged to me. “The League
no longer sees me as a peacekeeper.”

“So what?” I
rolled onto my stomach and wrapped a lock of his hair around my finger. I
tugged and he closed his eyes, relishing the feeling. Asher loved it when I
played with his hair. If I kept it up, I could make him come just like this.
But I wanted that amazing cock of his inside me before he was totally spent, so
I only gave it one more playful yank, and positioned myself so he had no choice
but to meet my gaze when he opened his eyes. “Other kingdoms attacked
Chronopolis. What were you supposed to do, roll out the welcome mat and throw a
party? That’s not peace, that’s weakness. All of your actions have protected
the people of the city from future attacks.”

Asher shook his
head. He was so beautiful, even when he was being stubborn. He stretched his
long, lean body, filling much of my bed. Every bit of him was sun-kissed and
weathered in a way that made it easy to trust him.  This man had experience. He’d come back from
the dead more times than I could count, and he’d live forever.  His reputation as a peaceful creature made
him King, but in battle, he was absolutely magnificent. I’d only seen photos
and heard the legends of him shifting to a phoenix to fight, red and gold wings
as brilliant as the surface of the sun broke through his back. His fingers
would become talons, and he obliterated any opponent that dared fight him with

“They’re afraid of
you.” I sat up and used the only weapon that stood a chance against him—my
body. Warmth tickled my skin as he took it all in. Fire and water, we’d turn
each other to smoke. And if Asher made good on his promise to stop seeing me,
he’d be the one to destroy me.

 Asher pulled me down on top of him, and my
lips crashed against his. His power coursed through me. I tangled my hands in
his hair again, doing absolutely anything I could to change his mind. But I
couldn’t complete my mission. I squirmed in Asher’s grip, just above his cock.

“Let me have you.”
I could hardly break the kiss long enough to get the words out.

His nails
sharpened, piercing the skin on my shoulders. I held in my scream. Shit. It
wasn’t the blood that scared me. So much of this man was still a mystery to me,
even though I knew every inch of his body in its human form. This could be the
beginning of his shift and if he shifted, it was game over. He exhaled smoke.

“I want you. More
than I can ever explain. Each time I rise from the dead, you give me life.” He
struggled to get the words out. “Never again after tonight. The League will
never allow me to be King with you as my Queen. They already see you as a
weakness. The city hasn’t been attacked, Avila.” He laid me down beside him,
and his fingers looked normal as he ran them over my body, stopping between my
legs and cupping my throbbing pussy. A couple of quick passes over my clit and
the heat threatened to sear me. “I provoked those attacks. I threatened to invade
other kingdoms’ land.”

He didn’t fight
fair with me, so it was no surprise he’d be cunning with his enemies. But when
he broke me apart, he put me together better than I was before. Every time we
were together, I took a little of his strength, and in turn, he received some
of my madness. Soon we’d be so much a part of each other he never be able to
resist me. I had what he needed.

“Take their
cities. If they can’t defend what they have, they don’t deserve to keep it.”

He smirked. “True.
But right now, I’m vulnerable. Everyone’s watching me. The League has declared
me a security risk, and they insist that I show a strong line of unity with
their ideals, or the people of the Kingdom will be quick to blame me for any
attacks. They’ll see it as retaliation. They won’t be willing to fight for us.”

“Same goes for
them. You’re one man. Let the people see the real you, not what The League wants.” I’d never shake my
disdain for the council that ruled Chronopolis. Asher was King, but it was a
symbolic title. “They’ll fight for you. A real person. A title is too abstract.
Everyday people can’t identify with King Asher. But Ash MacKay they’ll be
willing to lay it on the line for. If not, you can’t save what no one is
willing to defend.”

Asher’s fingers
quickened, swirling around my clit with purpose. No more lazy circles. My
vision clouded. He was determined to win this argument by any means possible.
He smiled in satisfaction as my climax rolled through me.

“You can’t…blame
this…on me.” I gasped the words as he plunged his fingers inside me. My inner
walls throbbed, trying to trap him inside me. Our nights together always ended
the same way, but this couldn’t be the last one. I refused to let it be.

“I want to make
good on my promise to the Kingdom. Rule Chronopolis the way I said I would.” He
licked the taste of me from his fingers as I caught my breath. “By any means

“Tell me what that
means.” I didn’t have to add for me.

He chuckled.
“That’s what I’m trying to do. You’re as stubborn as you are beautiful.”

Exactly what I
thought about him. I rolled my eyes. “Flattery will get you nowhere. Maybe
that’s why your title is in jeopardy, Your Majesty.”

“It means that I’ll
choose a Queen that will restore the people’s faith in the stability of
Chronopolis. I can’t please everyone. You know that as much as I do.”

That stung. I’d
been in his position, as Queen of The Bay, before his precious League stripped
me of my crown. My legs were still jelly, but I didn’t have the luxury of time
tonight, even as an immortal. The finality of his declaration scared me. I
always got what I wanted.

I straddled Asher
once again. “Are you telling me you’re in love with another woman?”

He shook his head,
pursing his lips together like he might regret the words that would escape from
them. “It’s duty, Avila. Nothing more.”

“You have a
choice,” I reminded him.

“My choice is not
to do it.” He sighed. “But for the good of Chronopolis, I’ll form a union with
a neighboring Kingdom.”

He didn’t say

“I have
experience.” It pained me to bring it up.

“You were
overthrown.” There was no emotion in his voice. I’d been Queen of the Chronopolis
Bay for centuries, until The League cut The Bay off from the city, leaving me
vulnerable to attack. The sirens didn’t have the resources alone to fend off
enemies. Now The Bay was full of pirates and anyone else who’d been cast away
from their Kingdom. Full of trash, in our opinion. My fellow sirens couldn’t
seduce them as a whole with our song, because it wasn’t an organized alliance.
Instead we did what we could, taking them out one at a time.

I’d originally
started hooking up with Asher in hopes of getting back in the good graces of
The League. That’s all it was supposed to be. Until we realized we had much
more in common than a carnal need for each other. He came to me more frustrated
each time, needing release and more importantly, to feel powerful. The League
punished him for being a product of what they made him—an ineffective leader.

He needed me as
much as I needed him. It wasn’t supposed to be that way. Sirens didn’t fall in
love. And before tonight, I thought the feeling was mutual.

I pinned him down
by his shoulders, moving my lips over his skin but refusing to touch him with
more than a whisper of my breath. “Your only hope is if you choose a woman more
ruthless than me—”

“She doesn’t

“Exactly.” I
cradled his face in my hands. “Any other woman will be a sign of weakness. She
won’t be able to give you what you want. I’m not talking about sex. I’m talking
about respect. And the madness manifesting inside you—the thing you’re so
afraid of—she’ll feed it. Your plan will backfire.”

He needed a Queen
who gave zero fucks about what The League wanted, or he’d find himself without
a job.

The light in his
eyes extinguished. “I became a part of something bigger than myself when I
accepted this title. I have to think of the city first. My concerns come

brainwashed you. I promise if you don’t break away from The League, you’ll
destroy everything you love,” I whispered. The truth rendered Asher powerless.
I rose to my knees, positioning my still shaky legs to take his cock. I
relished the feel of him inside me. The power that coursed through his body
into mine.

He didn’t need
anyone by his side. But he’d chosen me. 

It had to mean
something to him. I never thought I was capable of this kind of emotion for any
other being.

“I worked my whole
life for this.” He struggled to speak as he moved me up and down his shaft.

“But you can’t
live without me.” That hard to speak thing was contagious.

“I can’t destroy
you.” He stilled, with the tip of his cock still inside me. My body went crazy
with the intense need for more. “I’m stronger every time I come back to life.
You make me stronger.”

I burst out
laughing. He totally contradicted himself. “You’re the mother fucking King. You
don’t need anyone.”

“They’ll rebel.
The people of the village will follow. Without The League, I have no military,
no money, and no support.”

Asher wanted his
title more than he wanted me. What he didn’t understand was his title would
destroy him. Chronopolis wouldn’t come back to life so easily. At least with
me, he had a chance to rise from the ashes. And his title and I had something
in common. Whether he wanted me or not—I was a siren. I lured men to their
deaths, no matter how powerful, no matter what army they had behind them. No
one had ever resisted my song. The countless bodies of my former lovers on the
ocean floor was all the proof I needed.

“I’ll come to the
castle.” I sunk down on his dick, taking advantage of his shock. “I’ll lure you
away from your Queen or you can watch me turn to stone. It’s your choice.”

“You can’t do
that,” he said through gritted teeth. “That’s why this is the last time I can
see you. You have to stay away.”

The heavy feeling
faded. Strange. No matter what King Asher of Chronopolis said, he couldn’t resist
me. His cock swelled, and we were running out of time together. “Never,” I

I scrambled off
him, taking him in my mouth without wasting a drop of cum. I relished the sweet
taste of him, even more when the flavor turned smoky. His body burned and crumbled,
turning to embers every time I brought him to climax.

Gathering the
ashes carefully, I scooped them into the ceramic dish I kept on my nightstand
for this purpose. The sea was violent tonight, a storm rumbled in the distance.
I held the rail of my boat, once again blowing the remains of Asher toward his
beloved Chronopolis. Away from me, back to those who ruled him, no matter what
his title was. That was our tradition, so he could find his way home. The walls
that shielded the city had been compromised, and the lights from the buildings
inside twinkled in response, welcoming their King back to where he insisted he

I could only wait
for him to rise and pray he came to his senses.

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