Sunday, March 17, 2019

Sunday Spotlight - Marie Medina and Claimed by His Beta

Welcome Marie Medina back to Sunday Spotlight! She's sharing her new release, Claimed by His Beta (Wolves in the Fae Court, Book 2)

And great news -- you can grab book 1 for FREE to check out the series!


Luke accompanied his Alpha to the fae court to do his job, nothing more. Since his mate’s death, he’s been fine with a few nights of solace here and there. He’s never needed anything more than that.

But his gaze keeps drifting to one fae in particular—Dane, the best friend of his Alpha’s newly found mate. When he finds out a human hurt Dane years ago, his protective instincts rise and refuse to be calmed. Protective feelings soon turn possessive as he learns more about the beautiful fae. Dane’s more than willing to come to his bed, but Luke wants more than that. Far, far more.

Get Book 1 Free HERE

Luke fought the desire to leave his Alpha’s side as they strolled through the silk-clad crowd with the king. He’d been brought to the fae court to do a job for Gregor, not to find someone to warm his bed. He frowned as he thought about just how cold his bed had been recently, how big and empty it had felt since his mate Sabina’s death two years ago. He glanced to Gregor once more. He’s right. Sabina would be sad, maybe even angry, to see me alone the rest of my life.

His gaze roamed the courtyard and found Dane again. The beautiful blond fae drew him like no other had since Sabina, even though they hadn’t even spoken to each other yet. It made Luke wonder if, this time, he might find more than a single night of comfort with someone. Luke cast his eyes down when Dane looked up. He’d already been caught staring more than once, and by more than one person.

He’s Jared’s best friend. Once Gregor and Jared are mated, Dane will be around all the time. I won’t be able to hide my attraction to him. I can’t even hide it now. He looked over to Dane yet again. He’s so beautiful. He must have admirers, even if he is shy, as the king said.

Luke cut his gaze over when Gregor cleared his throat. “Yes, my Alpha?” he asked.

“You said you wish to speak for yourself instead of letting others play matchmaker. Go do it. That’s an order,” Gregor said, pointing over to Dane.

“You don’t require my services for a while?” Luke asked.

Gregor rolled his eyes. “Stop talking like that. You’ve been doing it ever since we arrived. If I wanted to hear someone talk as if he’s from another century, I’d have brought Vadik instead.”

Luke smiled a moment, wondering what the fae here would think of the large, brutish Beta who was always armed and patrolled their pack lands like a warrior from another time. “I have a duty, best performed at your side, just as Vadik is doing his duty best by watching over our pack,” Luke said. “And we’re in a royal court. I’m trying to act appropriately.”

“Yes, you do have a duty. Obeying me.” Gregor stepped closer. “March over there and introduce yourself. As my mate’s closest friend, Dane will be an honored guest of ours. Often, I would think.” The Alpha smiled. “You two should be well acquainted.”

Luke turned slightly toward King Asmund, who was making a point of looking the other way and pretending not to hear them. So alert to everything around him yet so polite. Not sure our pack is ready for the cunning subtlety of the fae just yet. But he shook that thought off and nodded. “Whatever my Alpha wishes,” Luke said, earning another eye roll from Gregor.

Luke’s heart beat faster as he made his way through the crowd that had gathered to watch The Hunt, an old fae ritual that had been resurrected to commemorate Gregor and Jared’s mating. Luke still didn’t completely understand the game Gregor and Jared were playing with each other, but at least it would be over soon.

When Luke was only a few feet away from Dane, the blond man turned toward him, a faint smile on his face as he leaned against the palace wall. The exterior of the palace consisted of sparkling gray stones, with blue slate on the roof. Purple vines unlike any Luke had ever seen before twined all over the building, and they seemed to sparkle at times as well. The beautiful backdrop only made Dane even more attractive. Luke’s throat constricted as he closed the distance between them. “Dane?” he said quietly, feeling as if the noise of the crowd was already fading away as he approached the spot where Dane stood alone.

“Yes,” Dane said as he pushed away from the wall.

“I’m Luke, Gregor’s Beta.”

Dane smiled, his green eyes so bright they seemed to almost glow. “I know. I’ve seen you patrolling.”

Luke struggled for words, settling on saying, “Gregor and the king thought we should meet.”

“Because I’m close to Jared?”

“Yes, but—” Luke took a step forward, “I wanted to introduce myself anyway.”

Dane’s cheeks went a little pink. “You’ve caught me staring?” he said, with a little laugh.

“Just as you’ve caught me staring, if I’m not mistaken.” Luke moved forward one more step. “The king says you’re a scholar. You’ve been researching us since the negotiations started.”

“His Majesty called me a scholar?” Dane said, a broad smile coming to his face.

“He did. Said you’re an excellent scholar. That you two discuss history and other things some nights.”

“His Majesty has always taken an interest in me. We’re alike in our interests, plus I befriended Jared when other children our age were still a little wary of him because of his shifter blood. The king is a very good man. We couldn’t have a more loving monarch.”

“It certainly sounds like you love him.”

Dane looked up. “Yes, but not like that. He’s like a big brother or uncle, in a way.” His eyes took on a faraway look as he said, “He even saved my life once.” His expression cleared as he smiled, but the curve of his lips seemed forced this time.

“He did?” Luke thought back to what the king had said about Dane being attacked by a human, and his wolf growled deep inside. He wanted to ask questions, but he couldn’t be sure how Dane would feel about the king having revealed that information. Above all else, he didn’t want to scare Dane off.

Dane nodded. “Yes.” He gave a little shrug. “I was young and careless. Got into some trouble in the human world.”

“Humans cause a lot of trouble,” Luke said. And I’d like to cause trouble for the man who hurt you, even if the king insists he took care of the swine.

“At least you can walk among them without drawing too much attention,” Dane said. He pushed his hair behind one of his delicate pointed ears, the one outward sign he wasn’t an ordinary man. “I’m very good at glamouring them, but I still stand out in the human world.”

“Most humans have never seen anyone as beautiful as you are,” Luke said, reaching out and running two fingers over Dane’s jaw.

Dane drew in a deep breath but didn’t step back, though his eyes flicked down.

Luke let his hand drop. “I’m being too forward.”

“No, you aren’t,” Dane said, coming closer. He had to tilt his head back because Luke towered over him. “I’m … not used to getting much attention.”

“That surprises me.” Luke turned to look around at the other fae gathered in the courtyard. “Everyone here is attractive, but in my opinion, you surpass all of them.”

Dane’s gaze wandered over him. “Everyone is talking about you and your Alpha. How handsome and strong you are. Even the tallest and most muscular among us don’t compare to you two.”

“We’re different. That’s the appeal. Back among my pack, I blend into the background quite easily.”

Dane frowned a bit. “You seem different from Gregor. Gentler and more thoughtful.”

“Gentler? More reserved, perhaps.”

The other man studied his face a long time. Luke wanted to bridge the distance between them and brush their lips together, but he sensed that wasn’t why Dane was staring at him. “You seem sad.”

“Do I?” Luke said, taken aback.

“Yes,” Dane said, nodding slowly.

“Perhaps I am a little sad right now.” He nodded toward Gregor, who stood talking with the king and two other fae. “I’m happy Gregor has found his mate, but … it does make me sad because my own mate is dead.”

Dane’s eyes widened. “I’m so sorry. What happened to him?”

“Her, actually. Her name was Sabina. We found each other a little less than three years ago. We had ten months together, and then she died.” He swallowed and took a fortifying breath. “Cancer. Wolves are strong, but many human diseases still kill us.”

Dane reached for Luke’s hand, his eyes glistening. “I’m very sorry. I can’t imagine what it’s like, given all I’ve read about the power of the bond.”

“I wasn’t exactly myself for months. Gregor was a good friend to me in those days when I snapped and snarled at everyone and everything.”

“You must have loved her very much.” A tear spilled down each of Dane’s cheeks.

“I did. But I didn’t mean to come over here and make you sad.” He squeezed Dane’s hand in his and reached his other hand up to wipe at one of the tears.

Dane drew back and wiped at his cheeks. “Sorry.”

“Sorry? For what?”

“If I hadn’t said anything about you looking sad, you wouldn’t have been forced to think about it.”

He shook his head slowly. “I think about it almost every day. You did nothing wrong.” He took Dane’s hand again. “I’m sorry I brought up something so serious when we’re supposed to be celebrating.”

Dane looked around at all the other fae drinking wine and eating, talking and laughing. “They all think this was planned for their amusement. A throwback to celebrate the alliance between wolves and the fae.”

“Gregor and I were discussing that. How no one else knows that Jared really was resisting the mating. That he and Gregor are … you know, I don’t even understand it.”

“Jared’s being stubborn. He’s fallen for Gregor completely, but he’s trying to prove a point because Gregor made decisions without talking to him first. I think he’s glad Gregor read about The Hunt and decided to invoke it. He wants to yield to the Alpha, but he’s struggling with that first step.”

“Wants to submit without being seen as submissive?”

Dane nodded.

“They’ll both be happier once this is settled. He’ll soon realize that he’s going to be the one really wielding the power in their relationship.”

“How is Gregor? Is it harder to be denied because he’s an Alpha?”

Luke laughed. “To hear him tell it, yes, it’s much harder to be denied. He’s maintaining appearances well enough, but I can feel his longing when I’m near him. His wolf is going crazy because they haven’t claimed Jared yet.”

Dane looked to the forest. “I’m sure Jared won’t go far into the woods. Won’t make him work too hard.”

“It’s the perfect way to claim him. Very primal.”

Dane’s brows came together. “It’s a little confusing, the way shifters refer to their other half. Is your wolf truly like a separate being, or a part of yourself? You said they just now, talking about Gregor claiming Jared.”

“That’s very hard to explain to a non-shifter, but I can try.” He leaned against the wall, pleased when Dane came to lean beside him. He looked down into the beautiful man’s eyes and said, “I definitely feel as if my wolf is an independent being. Yet he’s a part of me. He’s with me now, listening to everything and watching you. Communicating with me. And when I’m shifted, I’m there inside of him doing the same thing. Neither of us ever fully retreats or gives over control completely. We are different in many ways. Think differently. Even disagree and argue with each other.”

“Did your wolf want to meet me as much as you did?” Dane asked.

Luke licked his lips. “My wolf is very interested in you. And likes that you aren’t as shy as I was told.”

Dane looked wary. “Everyone says I’m shy.”

“You don’t think of yourself as shy?”

Dane shook his head. “I’m quiet. It’s not the same.”

Smiling, Luke turned toward Dane. “Perhaps others say you’re shy because they want to know you better. They’re frustrated you’re making them work for it.”

“If I’m worth it, they shouldn’t consider it work.”

“True,” Luke said, anxious to touch Dane and trying to find a way to hold back. “Would you like to see my wolf?”

Dane’s face lit up. “I’d love that. Wolves are beautiful, and I’ve never seen a shifter in animal form before.”

Luke pushed away from the wall and glanced to the crowd. “Where can we go? I don’t really want an audience.”

Get Book 1 Free HERE

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