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His Darkest Devotion

His Darkest Devotion

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In the dark embrace of their bond, Lorieyn belongs to Cyderial in every sense—except one. She does not love him.

As war threatens to tear their world apart, the terrifying general will risk everything in the battle to conquer her fears and draw her to him. To prove himself worthy of possessing her mind, body, and soul. 

Teach her that she will be fulfilled kneeling at his feet.

And in exchange for her love, he will give her everything.

But first, he must break her heart.

Expose the dark world for what it is, and show his darling Lorieyn why his path is the only way—for the humans are not what they appear.

He will stop at nothing to earn her affection—even if it takes a thousand years. Even if he has to burn the world to ashes…

Dive into a world where love is a dangerous game and surrender is the ultimate victory. His Darkest Devotion, book two in the Insatiable Instinct duet, will leave you breathlessly in love and dangerously obsessed.

Main Tropes

  • Omegaverse Reimagined
  • Compelled Breeding
  • Prehensile Cocks
  • Knotting, Swelling
  • Sexy. Dark, Yet sweet
  • Abuse of Power
  • A Kind, Determined Heroine
  • A Powerful And Relentless Hero
  • Age Gap
  • Possessive Hero
  • Love Conquers All
  • A Fulfilling HEA


In the dark embrace of their bond, Lorieyn belongs to Cyderial in every sense—except one. She does not love him.

As war threatens to tear their world apart, the terrifying general will risk everything in the battle to conquer her fears and draw her to him. To prove himself worthy of possessing her mind, body, and soul. 

Teach her that she will be fulfilled kneeling at his feet.

And in exchange for her love, he will give her everything.

But first, he must break her heart.

Expose the dark world for what it is, and show his darling Lorieyn why his path is the only way—for the humans are not what they appear.

He will stop at nothing to earn her affection—even if it takes a thousand years. Even if he has to burn the world to ashes…

Dive into a world where love is a dangerous game and surrender is the ultimate victory. His Darkest Devotion, book two in the Insatiable Instinct duet, will leave you breathlessly in love and dangerously obsessed.

Intro into Chapter 1

I was doomed.

There was something sinister about the way a wet male body could feel against an innocent girl. How easy it was for Cyderial to distract me with touch. All under the guise that I would be calmed and feel better after a hot shower.

“Come.” Finger crooking, he’d drawn me from the bed. 

Like a nervous vorec cub, I followed.

The more I learned of this man, the more I recognized that my years of observation, of my aversion to his iron fist, had shown me none of his true colors. I had been utterly fooled, and so had the humans who’d placed him in power.

He was dangerous in ways I had not considered.

A potential landmine of enticing smiles and soft words, set to explode and wreak havoc should his mate “be compromised.” And what that might mean to a brain as drunk on my song as his? 

I now understood that newly mated males were unstable.

And Cyderial had already been unstable for years.

What did that make him now?

He led me across his bedroom toward the washroom, gentle with me, slow, as if I might bolt or struggle. Drawing me forward with eager grace and softly murmured encouragement, he persuaded. “Trust me to show you how well I can care for you.”

Trust? I had none. But I did have the impetus to learn all I could, to measure his behavior, and study the person who might have absolute control over the rest of my ageless life.

Someone who was already far more experienced, a proven tactician, and well-connected. 

A General.

Where I had not even officially graduated from the academy—a subpar student with a reputation for deviousness and escape.

“Lorieyn, you do not need to look so scared.”

Scared? And here I thought I was being brave, allowing him to pull my naked body closer to the shower. I even thought my expression was passive. After all, it was the same countenance I would wear each time I cheated on my exams.

Yet, Cyderial could see right through me.

He could see through me, but I could not fathom what went on in his mind. 

Another reminder I was thoroughly outmatched.

After leading me right into the cage of his bathing cubical, smiling, he urged me deeper into the enclosed space. With a wary eye, I watched as he adjusted the settings before water began to cascade over the pair of us. 

I jumped with that first hit of spray. I may have even let out a very unsoldierlike yip. But jets of hot liquid came and warmed stiff muscle, pulsating up and down my spine, moving around me in a dance that rinsed the worst of the previous night’s residue from my skin.

“I knew you’d enjoy it.” His grin was feral, as was the way his eyes ran over my body when a long breath escaped my throat. “Good girl. Allow yourself to relax. You are safe with me.” 

He was going to stay there, wasn’t he? Crowding me in the shower as he watched me scrub.

My unsaid irritation at his lingering presence evaporated far too quickly, warm water rinsing away my shame. And I did indulge a little. Otherwise, how was I to stay sane? Tipping my head back when a waterfall began to pour from above, feeling a silken stream running over my face, I sensed he sidled closer, placing his body between myself and the door.

Still, I sucked in a gasp when his whisper came to my ear. “Do you know how beautiful you are?”

One moment, I had been marveling at how exotic it felt to wash in warm water; the next, I was so startled I failed to snatch my arm away before he might take a hold of me. Yet, his onslaught seemed innocent enough; he only meant to rub silken foaming gel into my flesh.

He intended to clean me as if I were a child.

Yet, this was no innocent ritual. Wielding no pretense, Cyderial sought to entice. Long strokes, kneading fingers, while he lathered my arm as if touching it was a gift.

And I could not find it in me to rebel. 

Not when I could calculate.

Having already allowed the general to do much to my body, to be inside my body, this didn’t seem the moment to protest. What harm was there in giving the male this opportunity, so I could observe what he would do with me?

I needed to be clean. 

This was clearly how it was going to take place.

And whether I liked him or not, it felt very good.

The male knew exactly how to manage me. After all, he’d had ten years to study everything he might find to draw me into his proclivities.

“Trust me. Allow.” A terrible request from someone wielding a disarming, fixed stare.

Had it even been forty-eight hours since I woke to find myself in his bed, in his den, fully bonded and in his complete power?

Closing my eyes to him, I pulled in a breath and felt my shoulders ease away from my ears.

“Good. That’s good, Lorieyn.”

Anxiety rode me hard when his attention to washing my arms ended. An open palm slick with foam landed on my flat stomach, leaving a trail of sensation in its wake. From hip point and across my navel, he then stroked until he cupped my ribs and began working his fingers between the bones.

All the while, he cooed his soothing praise, moving slowly as if I were some frightened animal.

Knowing he prepared for intimate moments of this nature for years.

That he imagined all outcomes, had contingency plans in place for every nervous breath I might take, each complaint I might voice. 

That, should I strike or refuse him, all he need do was thrum and scent the air.

Shift my weight to the right? He’d shift to the left. Should I turn my head away? He’d lay a kiss on my exposed throat.

Should I grouse, he’d thump out a single brazen pulse that calmed my racing hearts.

And when his diligent fingertips found a spot that made my breath catch, he’d chase out every tingle he might inspire my body to experience.

I’d never really understood the term “luxuriate” before.

Now, I understood why that word rolled over the tongue, why you had to feel it with your whole mouth. Rounded, sensory yet cognizant, it was a waving energy that lulled even as it roused.

And I liked it. After years of hard labor, pain, discipline, and hypervigilance, I liked it in a way that made me understand how tenuous my self-control might be under an expert touch.

Parting my lashes, I dared take an unhurried look at the seductive, grand liar with his hands all over me.

He was delighted to do as he pleased. Had been waiting for me to rouse enough to remember to glower.

Green eyes found mine through the steam.

This man was no stranger, no lover, no prince come to whisk me away to his castle tower.

No, the one testing techniques he learned from God only knew how many manuals was the very authority figure responsible for every day I endured since we met. 

My mate.

“Lorieyn…” Taking his time choosing his next words, his tone matched his self-satisfied smirk. “It isn’t like you to be this obedient. You must want something.”

“I’m collecting data.” And that was not a lie.

“Hmm.” He eased closer, close enough that his body brushed mine. Looking down his nose at me, transfixed as if he’d chosen that precise moment to count the droplets of mist that collected in my lashes, he demanded I explain. “And what have you ascertained?”

“That you’re touching me in a very specific way… because you want something as well.”

Fingertips tripped down the side of my throat, leaving me to shiver and lose ground. His voice was molten. “I do want something.”

But if that something were sex, his cock would have already begun to burrow. Instead, it clung to my hip, stroking me just as his hands did.

Disinterested in falling into the trap of asking what it was he sought, I dropped my gaze and moved my attention to his chest. Water beaded on pale skin, little rivulets running where they would. Like mine, his scales caught the light, flecked here and there in enticing patterns. 

“You’re braver than this. Look at me, sweet mate.” Fingers caught my jaw, urging me to turn my chin up. 

Yet I kept my eyes down, wondering how this man was able to deceive me for so long. 

And it was more than the fact that he heard my song.

It was his callousness toward human life.

In all his years overseeing the academy, how many times had I heard him recite our vows? The hybrids’ solemn promise to protect humans at the cost of our lives. To remember why we had been created and blessed with such gifts. To acknowledge we would never grow old, that our vigilance must never slip. That the survival of everyone building a new society on this harsh planet depended on us.

And this man blatantly refused to keep his word.

“Promise me you will not harm the humans.” 


What else was he lying about? What other schemes was he up to?

Thumb tracing my pout, he murmured, “So, it's not that you’re afraid. It’s that you’re angry.”

Yes, he could read me as easily as he could any book. But it also wasn’t that simple.

This man had been responsible for my rearing and lessons. For my pains and punishments. To learn he was capable of things I would’ve never imagined had shaken me.

And I was powerless in our dynamic.

His obsession with my song gave me no ability to curb or contain him. 

His whispered refusal of my pleas and coldness toward the humans was absolute, colored by a dark history Miranda had only hinted upon. 

“And now you are full of fire.” Spoken with such benevolence from such a bad man, as if he knew the exact trail of my thoughts and mused to himself of my folly. 

How had I not known we shared a lifetime of cat-and-mouse, in which I had been pounced upon and devoured time and time again? Yes, at the academy, I had grown cunning to get what I required. But my every last rebellion had been nothing compared to what he’d done.

I lived all those years full of dreams and had only just seen the stars. 

Fog abounded—it was going nowhere. And I could not find my way to it. A century or two of time would mean nothing to a mate intent on keeping me.

Talons drumming against my thigh, my focus blurred as my mind worked through the absolute mess my life had become. 

Suffering uncomfortable honesty with myself, I realized much of this was my fault.

I had been trained for war yet operated from a place of idealistic ignorance. I may as well have been playing with dolls and having tea parties during my tenure at the academy.

Ignorant of the ways of hybrid men, the odds were entirely against me.

So, I needed to work with what I already knew, reform my thoughts, alter my reactions, and consider uncomfortable facts. 

Fact one: I had made Cyderial crazy enough to terrorize the academy. I even inspired him to hang boys. Therefore, every living creature outside his door was in danger, should he perceive them as a threat to me.

Fact two: I had no idea how to calm him into reason.

Possessing his unwilling mate made him all the more temperamental. How was I to handle an overly empowered male already under the influence of an urge to obsessively hoard his prize? 

All he need do to round my opposition would be to lock me away, keep me drugged on his company, and fuck me into oblivion. Corner me in a shower and lavish me with touch, and I’d swoon, make little noises, and perhaps even enjoy it.

It could not be denied that I had a visceral reaction to his tactics, my own animal instincts calling from the most ancient parts of my brain that being locked away and fucked silly was exactly what I needed most.

That I should submit to his authority and be pleased.

That the fog could not fuck me, fill me, or keep away the fever.

To the awakened vorec stretching lazily under my skin, her urges must be appeased; otherwise, my higher thought was a slave to her demands. 

And she did not want cold, wet, dangerous fog.

She wanted cock, and food, and to be petted until she purred.

As I rolled one shoulder under the downpour, the decadence of Cyderial’s touch roving where it would, the sweetness of his scent let me know his own monster had demands as well.

I could hear the beast whispering in his thrum, knew it roared in his mind, feeding the general’s burning desire to keep me for himself. To indulge his insanity and consider anyone outside his door a threat.

To do to me what had been done to Miranda—lock me away for ten years.

Armed as he was with over a century of experience, a mental reliquary of sexual tactics, and no one to challenge his motives, how was I to defend myself?

Nothing could stop Cyderial from doing whatever he wished.

And it frightened me. 

Miranda’s disturbing warnings frightened me.

But it did not frighten the animal part of me in the slightest. Not now, since she had been acknowledged and compartmentalized. 

As if to draw my thoughts back to him, Cyderial’s bold touch cleansed our shared fluids from my seam while he caged me in like cornered prey. 

Watching him watch me, I observed his green eyes narrow as if he could read my thoughts and found them charmingly indiscreet.

But there seemed to be no offense in the male. Silently, he invited me to look my fill.

To consider.

To weigh facts and experience against imagined horrors and physical pleasures, just as I had been trained to do in the academy. Even as one finger breached me, swirling twice in my depths… because he could.

The involuntary hiss that slipped through my teeth, it wasn’t only a bark of warning. Not when the slut beast beneath my skin urged me to open my legs just enough to ease his path and left me trembling when I denied her.

After all, this man prepared me for this, had me beaten into greatness at the academy, so I could stand up to a monster such as he.

Prepared me to face an enemy. Given me the resources to manipulate almost everyone around me so I might thrive.

Learning from one’s failures was an art.

So, I steeled my spine as his touch withdrew from my slit. And I swear I saw his eyes flash a far more dangerous shade of green.

What pleasure there was in witnessing him tamp down his darker urges to take what I didn’t offer.

And perhaps, that in itself was power enough.

Cyderial wanted me to submit willingly; that was his ultimate prize. Not an easy overtaking of a weaker body—that had been the game Miranda’s mate played, and it had not gone well for him.

Cyderial knew this.

So the power I had over this man was solely in what he observed in those around him, the challenges he set for himself in my wooing, and in what he really wanted at the end of the day.

A companion who enjoyed his company.

He had waited for me to submit willingly before heat might make my opinion on the matter of sex impossible. I’d acquiesced, and he’d accomplished the first steps of his goal—to give me a taste of what could be had if I were willing.

As if he could read my thoughts, in that very moment, his glittering gaze said as much. “Tell me your secrets, Lorieyn.”

The brush of his wet body against mine was anything but innocent as he urged me to comply.

Because this dangerous and beautiful man was anything but innocent. Manipulation of every possible factor he might exert control over had taken place from the moment he’d heard my song. 

I could not assume any interaction between us would ever be organic. 

And narrowed my eyes to know all I suspected was blatantly true.

Time stretched noiselessly between us before he broke the silence, a soft smirk on his cruel mouth. “Come now. Tell me what you are ruthlessly adding up.” Thumb brushing over my lower lip, voice honeyed, a hint of danger lurked in his tone. “Do not think to hide your thoughts.”

Certain every last word would have to be expertly chosen or the consequences might be severe, I considered saying nothing at all. But in the end, in that scented steam, I dared test exactly where that line in the sand might be.

Back to the smooth shower wall, still marveling that the water was not ice-cold, as it would have been in the academy, I tried and failed to ignore how his cock hooked my hip and stroked as it clung. 

“Cyderial.” I tasted his name on my tongue, rolled it around as if to soften its hard edges. “You want a secret? Last night, you left me here alone, to wake up to an empty dwelling after you forced me to sleep. I’m certain you imagined I would be angry.”

He smirked and made noises that did things to the part of my brain that could not be trusted.

“It was the first time I had been alone, completely cut off from others of my kind, in as long as I can remember,” I said with just enough venom to soften my voice’s natural sweetness.

He hummed. “That must have been strange for you.”

“I hated it.” And that was a secret I could openly admit. “Leaving me alone in this house will change me into something you will not enjoy. Not if you want me more than you want to fuck.”

And every last word was true.

Hands to my hips, offering me his full attention, he said, “You’re thinking of Miranda and her decade of—”

“Prison.” There was no better descriptor for what her mate did to her.

Candid, Cyderial displayed nothing but pride in my actions. Smirking, he even offered a gentle purr. “Do you imagine in those early days that Miranda felt comfortable enough in her mate’s home to blatantly move objects anywhere she pleased?”

Raising my chin, I straightened my spine. “You put those things in the wrong places. I corrected your misjudgment.”

And, yes, I spent hours doing as I wished no matter how frightened I was. I touched all of his things and did as I wished with them.

Grin growing, his chest began to softly thrum. “It pleases me more than I can say to have you nest in our home. Explore the gifts I have prepared for you. Move whatever you will anywhere you wish.”

“You knew I would go outside and… see stars.”

“Did you like them?” All eagerness, he leaned closer.

I could see how badly he wanted me to give an emphatic yes, to let him know how I had marveled at the unimaginable view his home provided. But, the stars, the whole hidden world above the fog, would have to wait for another day. “They were… almost as pretty as the fog.”

A minute shift in his expression at that word.


So I tested his temper further. “I read a few chapters of the book in your study.”

Hiding none of my aversion toward the tome, my entire demeanor shifted into one far more guarded.

“Which book?” His pleasure to hear me speak to him was apparent, rampant, his every expression coaxing me to keep going.

The dreadful book bound in blue vorec leather. “Your Manual on Young Mates.”

Fingertips landing between my bare breasts, a featherlight stroke ran down my flat stomach. “What about the book displeases you?”

“It was written to guide hybrid men in techniques to trick an inexperienced girl into submission.” Horrible and effective. Cyderial had proven the book's lessons produced results as promised. “How can you trade knowledge that reduces a female to a concept—one that could be fed, watered, and fucked? You made a study of the author’s suggestions, followed his advice… and I reacted exactly how the manual claimed I would.”

It made me feel like more of a prized collectible than a person. “You want another secret? I’m mortified females can be so easily manipulated. I’m ashamed you wield such an unfair advantage. And I’m depressed to realize that the first time I awoke in your house, it was that very book you studied.” I felt my lip quiver as even the parts of me so thoroughly seduced in the shower retreated. “You did it all as the author instructed—delicious food, soothing drink, physical touch, banter, sexual pleasure. How dare males share such knowledge that is hidden from us females.”

He cocked a brow. “If I do not study, how can I ensure I do not make the same mistakes as those who came before me?”

Catching his exploratory touch before male fingertips might dare touch where they were not welcome, I warned, “You say you love me—”

“I do!” Quickly spoken and with grave intensity, he cupped my jaw, assuring he had my full attention as he repeated it. “I do love you, Lorieyn.”

“That’s not love. That is war. You have waged war on me from the day we met.” 

All gentleness and ease, he pulled me closer for a cuddle. “What do you know of war, you beautiful, fragile thing?”

I knew being fucked by a well-studied mate had been indescribably pleasurable. Which gave me good reason to fear the addiction might grow beyond my physical need for his fluids to soothe my heat. I might even begin to confuse his attention with intimacy, when I had no one else to talk to.

It might change me

Allowing myself to indulge in the comfort he offered, knowing it was wrong, I heard a tremor in my voice. “I’m going to miss my sisters, and it hurts to think of it. They love me, Cyderial, in a way you never could. You took me away from them.”

“I do not doubt they will miss you in the barracks.” A deep breath stretched his ribs, exhaled on a sigh as his arms became all the tighter around me. “But need I remind you that you were going to abandon your sisters for the fog?”

Shame ran in a shiver under my skin, a fair reminder I had chosen myself over the collective. “I envy males. You hear a song and know. Females are left ignorant, not only by nature but by the men who say they love us. Why do we not have such books? How am I to learn to handle you? All we are is shut away, locked in a vault to slowly go crazy until dreams of escape tempt us to wander the academy halls at night, lonely, knowing something is very wrong but having no clue what it might be.”

Solemn in his reply, he stroked wet hair from my face. “You will not be lonely anymore. You will not go hungry. You will be denied nothing I can give you for your benefit.”

And that was the issue I needed answering. “Who decides what benefits me?”

A fair question.

“I do.”

There it was. Verbal confirmation of how tenuous my position was. A powerful man with a wealth of knowledge, a disgust for humans, and an eagerness for physical pleasure would decide what he believed was best for me.

With the inquisitive gaze of a student eager to challenge her teacher, I prepared my mind with a real consideration of the hours I had spent in his presence since being mated. I navigated each remembered interaction. Cyderial had provided everything I’d asked for and a great many things I had not.

Promises of a comfortable lifetime as his stolen mate.

“Let me show you all will be well.” With that, his mouth fell to mine to feast upon my troubled words until I was breathless and shamelessly making sounds that betrayed how much his touch could undo me.

Less than forty-eight hours had passed since I awoke in his house, and still, my breath caught on a moan when he palmed my breast and blatantly employed another trick he must have known I read in his filthy book.

And it worked.

My insides were fluttering, my pelvis tilting, and a very small part of me prayed he’d force me down upon his cock.

Even if he scared me senseless.

Indeed, I was doomed.

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