Authors: Annabel Wolfe
The Starlight Chronicles 4
Secrets of a Reckless Princess
A future queen and the two males who desire her...
Luckily, Princess Jayla of Anasta doesn't have to choose. Damon Le Clerc is a political rebel who is exasperating, yet devastatingly attractive. Marc Kartel is an handsome ambassador with a diplomatic agenda that includes marriage.
Having two virile lovers who are so different is interesting, but as disaster for her planet looms, she finds that that is only to her advantage. Perhaps between the three of them they can save Anasta from a danger that is more elusive and deadly than it seems.
When she is taken hostage and the entire situation becomes explosive in a literal sense, both the passionate genius with a volatile personality and the cool negotiator are willing to risk their lives to save her...
Futuristic, Multiple Partners
SECRETS OF A RECKLESS PRINCESS
The Starlight Chronicles 4
Siren Publishing, Inc.
ABOUT THE E-BOOK YOU HAVE PURCHASED:
Your non-refundable purchase of this e-book allows you to only ONE LEGAL copy for your own personal reading on your own personal computer or device.
You do not have resell or distribution rights without the prior written permission of both the publisher and the copyright owner of this book.
This book cannot be copied in any format, sold, or otherwise transferred from your computer to another through upload to a file sharing peer to peer program, for free or for a fee, or as a prize in any contest. Such action is illegal and in violation of the U.S. Copyright Law. Distribution of this e-book, in whole or in part, online, offline, in print or in any way or any other method currently known or yet to be invented, is forbidden. If you do not want this book anymore, you must delete it from your computer.
WARNING: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.
If you find a Siren-BookStrand e-book being sold or shared illegally, please let us know at
A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK
SECRETS OF A RECKLESS PRINCESS
Copyright © 2011 by Annabel Wolfe
E-book ISBN: 1-61034-292-5
First E-book Publication: February 2011
Cover design by Jinger Heaston
All cover art and logo copyright © 2011 by Siren Publishing, Inc.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED:
This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission.
All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.
Siren Publishing, Inc.
Letter to Readers
If you have purchased this copy of
Secrets of a Reckless Princess
by Annabel Wolfe from BookStrand.com or its official distributors, thank you. Also, thank you for not sharing your copy of this book.
Regarding E-book Piracy
This book is copyrighted intellectual property. No other individual or group has resale rights, auction rights, membership rights, sharing rights, or any kind of rights to sell or to give away a copy of this book.
The author and the publisher work very hard to bring our paying readers high-quality reading entertainment.
This is Annabel Wolfe’s livelihood.
It’s fair and simple. Please respect Ms. Wolfe’s right to earn a living from her work.
Amanda Hilton, Publisher
Starlight Chronicles 4
Copyright © 2011
The guard stood blocking her way, which was a nuisance.
“I need to see the prisoner,” Jayla said in her most cool, commanding tone. “I am sure you recognize me.”
“Yes, of course, Princess.” The young soldier’s skin had taken on a dusky hue but he stood firm. “But please understand, my…my orders are—”
She cut off the stammered refusal. “To deny the daughter of your sovereign a request?”
“No, of course not. But…that is…well, I am not supposed to let anyone—”
“Open the door, please.”
Normally, she didn’t play the haughty highborn very well, but apparently desperation brought out the best—or worst—in her. What she was doing at the moment bordered on subversion and was at the least breaking about several dozen laws.
All for one infuriating male who had a knack for causing trouble not only for himself, but for others. Why she even bothered…
The guard turned and quickly scanned the code imprinted on his hand to open the door. Jayla hoped she looked composed as she stepped past the young soldier, but it was anyone’s guess. She was more suited to intellectual pursuits than intrigue.
Unlike Damon. When it came to complications, he was a master.
Her first thought was that he looked far too comfortable for someone who had been caught in a flagrant act of what was considered treason and incarcerated without so much as a trial. He sat in a careless sprawl on the single cot provided, his eyes half-closed as he watched her enter, a lock of dark, unruly hair spilling over his brow. The rest of the cubicle was sterile, with gray walls, a polished floor, and nothing more than a not very private entrance to a cleansing room without a door.
A prison cell. She’d worried all along his rebellious activities would lead him to exactly this place.
They merely looked at each other for a moment. Then one side of his mouth quirked upward. “It took you long enough, Jay. Nice of you to stop by. Quite a place I’ve got here, isn’t it?”
“I wouldn’t be too encouraged by my arrival,” she said as calmly as possible. “My mother doesn’t know I’m here.”
“She wouldn’t approve, I’m sure.” He shifted his athletic, tall body. Just a fraction, but she knew him, and it was enough for her to tell he wasn’t as nonchalant as he seemed. “My father probably wouldn’t either.”
“For the first time in our lives, we agree on something.” There was no place for a visitor to sit—since there weren’t supposed to be visitors—so she stayed on her feet. Convention asserted itself even in this extremity for Damon rose politely, though he hardly need be a courtier when he’d been thrown in prison because her family disliked his political views.
“I am not going to back down,” he said softly, the lethal tone of his voice one she’d heard before, but never with such terrifying implications. “If that’s why you’re here, forget it.”
Didn’t he realize he
to back down?
He was disturbingly attractive. It was something she’d become gradually aware of as they had gotten older, the gangly child who had once been shorter than her by several inches now so tall the top of her head barely reached his shoulder, his face matured into sculpted lines and clean angles, his dark eyes holding the intensity of a full adult male.
“Did I ask you to back down?” Jayla feigned a nonchalance she didn’t feel. He had no idea how grave it all was. Or worse, if he did, he didn’t care. Even his father, her mother’s chief advisor, disapproved of his son’s actions and hadn’t stepped in to free him.
There was a short silence, and then he shrugged. “No. Good point. If that isn’t your purpose, why are you here?”
“To help you. Not,” she added with censure in her voice, “that I am convinced you deserve it.”
“Ah, my prim Jay.” Despite his less than auspicious circumstances, Damon laughed. “You never change. It is almost like the time I put a sand beetle in your bed. I remember you came to me with it in a silver goblet, and handed it over as if gifting me with a precious object.”
“You were always an annoyance,” she retorted. “You haven’t changed either.”
“Maybe I’ve changed a little.” The cocky smile faded from his all-too handsome face. “Childish pranks are long behind me.”
“True. Now you indulge in more serious offenses.”
“That depends on your point of view.”
“Mine doesn’t matter all that much.” Jayla wished it wasn’t true, but unfortunately, it was. “You broke the Federation law against civil disorder, Damon. We both know what that means. Your father is furious. When were you going to tell me about it?”
“I would have told you”—his smile was mocking—“eventually. All I did was publish a simple article.” He crossed his arms over his chest and cocked a dark brow. “The real reason your mother’s cabinet is so upset is the outpouring of support for my ideas. The taxation system needs reform, and arcane laws should be revoked, among other things. Tell me you disagree. When you rule—”
rule. My mother sits on Anasta’s throne.”
Stubbornly, he said, “You will soon, though.”
Secretly, she did agree with him on his radical views. Not all, but most. Some of the current policies were antiquated to say the least, but it was a fine line between traditions and practical changes. Eons before, when Anasta was but an Earth colony and not one of the most powerful planets in the Federation, the emerging royal family—her ancestors—had established a code to promote fair policy. Most of the principles were still sound, but some of the applications did need to be adjusted for a more modern society.
“Your publication has been seized,” she told him reluctantly. “The company has been dissolved. Not even my mother’s fondness for you on a personal level could stop that.”
He muttered a word she didn’t catch and suspected was not meant for her ears anyway. Damon paced the short distance across the cubicle and stared at the blank wall for a moment, his expression remote. Then he squared his shoulders. “I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.”
“No, you revolutionary idiot, you shouldn’t.”
He gave her a sardonic look. “Thanks. Your empathy is touching. I’m imprisoned and apparently out of a job and you—”
“We only have a moment or two more,” she interrupted, looking at the one amenity in the room besides the narrow bed, a digital reading of the time displayed on the wall. “Listen for once in your life, will you? I think I know how to not only get you out of here, but to give you some influence to instigate some of those changes you feel so passionately about, but you’d better be convincing.”
“What?” Damon frowned. “Convincing in what way?”
Jayla walked toward him. “Kiss me. And look like you mean it. Now.”
* * * *
The female moving toward him, her hips swaying in unconscious provocative enticement, her long hair shining in the artificial light, was just as unpredictable now as she had been when they were children. Of all the things Damon Le Clerc expected—a lecture, disapproval, a probably well-deserved scathing look from those spectacular green eyes, what he didn’t expect was an order to kiss her.
Not that he minded, but he was confused. “What?”
“Remember when a few days ago the surveillance system malfunctioned?” Willowy, with hair the color of a pale gold moon and perfect full breasts under the silken folds of her gown, Jayla kept her tone low. Her slim shoulders radiated tension. “It broadcast the view of one door into a janitorial area on every screen across the entire palace for several hours before they could fix it. The problem was pinpointed and taken care of. I bribed the technician who figured it out to do it again from this monitor.” She pointed to the corner of the room. “In about two seconds. Hurry.”
So if he kissed her, everyone who mattered would see it. The queen, her cabinet, his father, the guards…
look like you mean it
He’d been waiting for this opportunity his entire adult life. It wasn’t likely he’d let it pass by, especially with his future disintegrating like an unstable planet breaking apart. “What will this accomplish?” he asked, closing the distance between them and staring down into her face. “Your mother will be more angry than ever over yet another transgression. I—”
“Shut up and do it.” Jayla tilted her head back and caught his tunic, tugging him toward her. Eyes the color of pure Earth emeralds were luminous. “Damon…please.”
The hint of desperation in her voice gave him pause, but it was fleeting. She had the most beautiful mouth. He’d thought about it far too often for his peace of mind, dreamt about it during restless nights, and it was a tempting short space away.
He was fucked anyway, he reminded himself wryly, and though kissing the princess was not going to endear him to a government that currently wanted his blood, he wasn’t sure it was going to make his position all that worse either. Damon put one hand at Jayla’s slender waist, the other at her nape, and lowered his head to follow royal orders, which was not something he was in the habit of doing lately.
But damn if he didn’t want this kiss more than his freedom.
It took him about three long heartbeats to realize she’d never been kissed before. Actually, he wasn’t surprised. She was guarded pretty much everywhere she went and there was definite protocol over approaching the princess. Jayla stiffened when he traced the line of her closed lips with his tongue, and he could feel her shock when he got his way and began to explore her mouth.
She tasted sweet, like innocence and perfect seductive female.
He forgot about the monitor.
He forgot about everything.
Damon kissed her. And kissed her. Kept her close, warm against him, his arm wrapped around the small of her back, her body imprisoned in his embrace. Her breasts, warm and pliant, pressed against his chest and he tangled his fingers in her hair.
It was a convincing performance he was sure, because it certainly had an effect on him. He could feel the surge of arousal, his cock stiffened, and when Jayla’s fingers tightened on his biceps, he could tell she felt it too, pressed as she was so intimately against him.
“Do what you do best, something outrageous,” she whispered in a low hiss when he broke the kiss to take a long breath. “Something so they would never think we know the monitors are showing us. If anyone guesses we planned this, it won’t work.”
What was going to work was the charges were going to be upped from treasonous activity to whatever else they could throw at him because the queen protected her daughter with fierce security, and last he knew, there were negotiations going on for a marriage with the son of the governor of Minoa, the most powerful colony in the Interstellar Federation.
Outrageous? He still wasn’t sure what this display was going to accomplish, but he was hardly going to pass up a chance to play out one of his very vivid fantasies. He kissed her again, gratified when she participated with flattering enthusiasm, her tongue shyly brushing into his mouth. He slid one hand upward and, in a deft movement, caught the strap of her gown and pulled just enough.
When her bared breast filled his palm, he felt her stiffen in his embrace and he swallowed her gasp of protest.
She’d asked for outrageous, hadn’t she? Though he was pretty sure she hadn’t meant being exposed before the entire palace.
t, his brain whispered,
so worth it
Even if I rot in this cell forever…