Atlantis, Book 3

Gena Showalter

To Leigh Michelle Heldermon and Shelly Mykal.

Cousins. Extraordinary women. Angels (a long time ago I might have added 'fallen' before that last one, but that's neither here nor there).

To Jill Monroe. You had me at hello, and now you complete me. You are the wind beneath my wings. I am nothing without you.



UPON AWAKENING, Valerian, King of the Nymphs, untangled himself from the naked, slumbering woman beside him... only to discover his legs were entwined with two other naked, slumbering women.

With a sleep-rough chuckle, he fell back onto the softness of the bed, dark strands of feminine hair cascading atop his shoulder. Silky red tendrils floated over his stomach, intertwining prettily with another woman's blond tresses. Satisfaction hummed inside him.

There were only four females in residence, and all four were deliciously human. Utterly sexual. Captivating. A few weeks ago, right after his army had taken control of this fortress, the women had accidentally entered through a portal leading from the surface world. The gods must have been smiling upon him last eve because three of them had found their way into his bed.

He grinned slowly, and his gaze traveled over the sated beauties sleeping so peacefully around him. Tall, rounded and sun-kissed they were, with faces ranging from daringly bold to endearingly plain.

Whatever they looked like, he didn't care. Quite simply, he loved women. He loved his power over them and wasn't ashamed of it. Wasn't repentant. Oh, no. He enjoyed. Relished. Savored.


Though none in particular had ever been more to him than a passing fancy, he adored every luscious inch of them. Their sweet softness, their breathy moans. Their decadent flavors. He loved the way their legs tightened around his waist (or head) and welcomed him into paradise, allowing him a gentle slide or a rough pounding— whichever he happened to prefer at the time.

As he lay there, light uncoiled slender fingers from the crystal ceiling above, caressing everything it touched and bathing his companions in a haze of glittery shadow and shimmery illumination. Desire scented the air, nearly palpable in its headiness. Heat radiated from each of the female bodies, weaving a dangerously seductive cocoon around them.

Yes, he led a sweet, sweet life.

Women had only to look at Valerian to crave him. Smell his erotically seductive Nymph fragrance to ready themselves for his pleasure. Hear his husky, wine-rich voice to strip for him. Feel a single caress of his fingertips to erupt into peak after delicious peak and beg for more. He was not boastful about this; it was simply fact.

Just then the female with the raven hair stirred and rested her small, delicate hand on his chest. Janet? Gail? He wasn't sure of her name. Couldn't recall any of their names, really. They were bodies, in a long line of well-pleasured bodies in which he found succor; females who had chosen to eagerly allow him inside.

'Valerian,' the dark-headed one breathed, an exquisite prayer. Her expression remained soft from sleep, but her hand began a slow, downward glide and wrapped around his cock, stroking up and down, awakening it from slumber.

Without sparing her a glance, he reached down and clasped her palm to his, stilling her movement and bringing her fingers to his lips for a chaste kiss. She shivered, and he felt her nipples harden against his side.

'Not this morning, sweet,' he said, speaking in her native tongue. It had taken him the entire length of the past two weeks, but he'd finally mastered her oddly fluid language. Once he'd figured it out, it was as if some part of him had always known it. 'In a few moments, I must be on my way. I'm needed elsewhere.'

As much as he would love to stay and lose himself in another hour (or two) of such delicious debauchery, his men awaited him in the training arena. There, he would help them hone their sword skills and vanquish the frustration plaguing them so fiercely all these many days. Hopefully their ever-present carnal needs would be forgotten as they prepared for the war he knew waited on the horizon.

War. He sighed. Since his army had conquered this palace and stolen it from dragons—dragons already weakened from a previous battle with humans—war had been inevitable. He accepted that. But now his men were weakened. Not from battle, though. They were weakened from lack of sex. And that was unacceptable.

Sexual contact helped their minds and bodies retain strength. Such was the way of the nymphs. Perhaps he should have brought the nymph females with them to this palace. But to keep them safe, he'd forced them to remain behind. He had not anticipated being separated from them this long.

Since the initial battle was over, he had summoned their females here. Unfortunately, they had not arrived and there was no trace of them in the Inner or Outer cities. Concern grew inside him daily. He'd sent a battalion of men to search for them—with an order to kill anyone who might have hurt them. Woe to that enemy, for a nymph's wrath was a terrible thing.

Despite his concern, he would not doubt if the females—who needed sex as desperately as the males—had stumbled upon a group of men and had yet to end their orgy. That didn't help his men, however.

'Hmm, you feel good,' the dark-haired woman beside him whispered. 'Being near you is better than making love with any other man.'

'I know, sweet,' Valerian uttered distractedly.

With no end in sight to his army's abstinence, he should have felt guilty for his excess last night. And he would have felt guilty, if he'd been the one to summon the women here. But they had followed him, tearing at his clothes and tracing their tongues over every inch of his flesh before he stepped a single foot into the room.

Truly, he had tried to peel them off and send them to his men, but the women had attacked him all the harder. What else could he have done but give in? Any other man—with a fully functioning cock, that is—would have done the same.

Perhaps, after the training session, he would suggest once again that these delectable morsels find other lovers.

'I know you have to leave, but... I'm dying to touch you, Valerian.' Black lashes fluttered coyly, and the raven-haired female dipped her lips into a pouty frown. She eased to her elbow, placing her lush breasts in his direct line of vision. 'Don't tell me no,' she beseeched, tracing a fingertip around his nipple. 'You took such good care of me last night. Let me take care of you now.'

On his other side, his other companions stirred.

'Mmm,' the one with the fiery curls breathed. 'Morning.'

The other stretched like a contented kitten, uttering a low, throaty purr. As she inched into a sitting position, her disheveled golden locks tumbled onto her shoulders. When she spied him, she smiled slowly, seductively. 'Good morning,' she drawled, sleep clinging to her voice.

'You were amazing,' the redhead said, her pale blue eyes wide with remembered satisfaction.

'As were you... sweet.' Again he tried to remember her name, but couldn't. He shrugged. It wasn't important, anyway. They were all sweet to him. 'Morning has arrived, and it's time for everyone to go about their duties.'

'Don't send us away. Not yet,' the dark-haired one said. Her warm breath fanned his ear a moment before her tongue flicked out and traced the curve of his left cheek. 'Let us have another—' she kissed his jaw '—taste

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