Born of Defiance

By: Sherrilyn Kenyon

But that was none of her business. He was absolutely gorgeous and polite. Sweet, even. She couldn’t have asked for a better patron. And he was definitely better than the last male who’d tried to contract her.

You can’t do any better than this, girl. You know that. This was the kind of male most females prayed to marry. To have one as patron…

Unheard of.

“Very well, then.” Felicia swallowed in trepidation of what was next. “Would you like to inspect me?”

She had to bite back a laugh at how bright his cheeks turned this time. She’d never seen anyone blush so profusely. His caramel skin practically glowed.

And to think, she was the virgin in the room.

Once again, he glanced over to the guard and the broker, then shook his head. “I wouldn’t do that to you in front of them. I’ve already seen your photos, and that’s not the most important thing to me, anyway.”

“May I ask what is?”

“That you were as kind and gentle in person as you seemed to be by your profile answers and photos.”

Her heart swelled at his bashful answer.

She reached across the table and touched his hand before she offered him a smile. “Should we try a standard six-month trial?”

He finally returned her smile. “I should like that. How long do you need to move in?”

“When would you like for me to start?”

“It’s entirely up to you. I have a fully furnished condo within walking distance of your school, as your contract stipulated. All I need to do is have you added to the security and paperwork. Everything for the condo is billed directly to me. You won’t have to worry about anything.”

He was so unexpected. So preciously sweet.

She only hoped he stayed this way.

Please don’t be a lie. She’d had enough of lying bastards in her life.

“Day after tomorrow, then?”

He nodded.

Her broker stepped forward with his e-tablet. “Excellent. I have the papers already drawn up. Read over it and sign them. I’ll post them immediately, and the two of you can be about your business.”

Still a little nervous, Felicia was stunned that her patron hadn’t tried to negotiate anything. Rather, he’d agreed to every term she’d wanted. Right down to giving her all daylight hours so that she could continue with school… and a weekly maid service.

He hadn’t even balked at providing her with a place to live near her school – which was some of the priciest real estate in Eris. A small studio apartment was over four thousand credits a month. For that matter, she couldn’t even afford to live in the university dorms. They were almost as much. All the other patrons she’d considered had flat-out denied that request.

She signed the contract and waited for him to finish reading through it.

Once he signed it, he handed her a small card. “That’s the address to the condo, and the number for my link. If you’ll give me two hours’ notice, I can meet you there, and make sure that you get in without any problems. Security’s really tight for the building so you’ll be very safe there, alone. The downside is that even if I tell them you’re coming, they might not let you in without me there to verify your identity, and sign the paperwork to have you added to my lease as a licensed cohabitator.”

That was a nice bonus. In truth, she’d been a little afraid of living alone. Eris was a major city, with over ten million Andarions living in it. As much as authorities liked to deny it, it wasn’t uncommon for lone females to fall prey to vicious predators. It was the primary reason she’d wanted a short commute to school. “Then I’ll see you in two days.”

“Two days,” he repeated before he stood. “I shall look forward to it.”

As he started for the door, she rose. “Um, may I ask one thing before you leave?”


“What’s your name?”

He gave her a shy smile. “Talyn.”

What a beautiful, proper name. It suited him. “Thank you, Talyn.”

Inclining his head, he took his leave.

Stunned by it all, Felicia couldn’t believe that she’d been lucky enough to find a patron so young and handsome. One who didn’t seem to want to treat her like his property, and demand that she serve his every perverted whim.

Unlike the last revolting beast who’d almost assaulted her in front of her broker and guard. If not for them, she’d have been raped in this very room.

You know you can’t trust him. Males lie. Her mother had beaten that into her head from birth.

And yet, Talyn seemed honest.

They all seem like that, daughter. Until they rip out your heart and feast upon it.

She refused to allow her mother’s poison to infect her. Glancing down at the card in her hand, she frowned as she finally saw the address of her new home. With a gape, she looked to her broker. “Is this correct?”


She nodded.

“Then, yes. That’s the address we verified. He owns the entire top floor of the building. It’s a twenty-room flat, with an indoor pool and fully functional gym.”

Felicia was aghast at that. “Twenty rooms?” Seriously?