Authors: Caris Roane
Tags: #vampire romance
EMBRACE THE PASSION
Blood Rose Series #4
Embrace the Passion
By Caris Roane
Copyright © 2014 Twin Bridges Creations LLC
All rights reserved. No part of this eBook may be reproduced in whole or in part, scanned, photocopied, recorded, distributed in any printed or electronic form, or reproduced in any manner whatsoever, or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or hereafter invented, without express written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.
Formatting and cover by Bella Media Management.
Welcome to the fourth installment of the Blood Rose Series,
EMBRACE THE PASSION
. In this book, Mastyr Seth hungers for his bodyguard, the powerful fae-shifter-wraith, Lorelei. But how can he trust any woman when his heart has been betrayed?
For a thousand years, he’s lived a life of solitude…
Seth has sustained his solitary existence out of a deep sense of survival. But when Lorelei enters his realm to serve as his bodyguard, he finds himself drawn to her in ways he’s never before experienced. He hungers for her, and her wild shifter nature calls to a part of him he’s repressed for centuries. When his cravings for her blood and her body drive him into her shifter-den, he marks her as his own, biting down hard. Discovering that she’s also a blood rose and has the power to end his vampire blood-starvation forever, his need for her explodes into uncontrollable passion. Yet, how can he complete the blood rose bond with a woman whose close connection to the enemy puts his realm in jeopardy?
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Coming Soon: Book #5, Jude and Hannah’s story:
EMBRACE THE NIGHT
Be sure to check out the Blood Rose Tales --
-- shorter works for a quick, satisfying read.
As the snowy December evening gave way to full-dark, Lorelei took up her bodyguard position outside Mastyr Seth’s backdoor. She was about as qualified to guard the mastyr of Walvashorr Realm as a rabbit taking on a hawk, but she was here by Queen Rosamunde’s orders, so here she’d stay.
Her real problem, however, went way beyond her lack of any real battle skills, since she’d done the unthinkable and actually fallen in love with the man. Seth had a long history of keeping his distance from anything that smacked of a relationship and he had absolutely no reason to be interested in a realm-person of questionable parentage.
Lorelei’s mother was the present scourge of the Nine Realms and the power behind the recent, deadly Invictus insurgence. No self-respecting mastyr could ever involve himself with the daughter of the ancient fae, Margetta, the one responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of realm-folk.
Yet hope, as always, refused to die.
She trembled now as she waited for him, standing in the snow, her heart thumping heavily in her chest. She savored this first moment of the night, anticipating the long hours ahead in Seth’s company, traversing the realm beside him, hunting the enemy of the Nine Realms, the dreaded Invictus wraith-pairs.
She heard him moving through the house, heading in her direction. He knew by now to expect her the moment the sun set fully in the west.
His wonderful mossy scent reached her first, an erotic musk that rippled along the air and teased her shifter vibration first, then her overworked fae mating vibration. From the first time she’d seen him at the queen’s castle two months ago, she’d had the worst crush on the vampire.
A moment later, he came into view through the glass door.
He arrived at the kitchen threshold and paused to buckle the belt that angled across his long leather Guardsman coat. Meeting her gaze though the glass door, he frowned, his expression, as usual, disapproving.
He lifted his chin. “You might as well come in. I have a call to make and you’re shivering.”
She couldn’t tell him the truth, that she wasn’t cold at all, that she shook because of him and not because of the below freezing mountain temps.
She opened the door and stepped inside, but her breathing stalled out. Her sensitive shifter-based DNA might have been able to catch his scent while standing outside his home, but now that her furry boots were planted inside his kitchen, a redolence of moss and Seth combined almost knocked her over.
She swallowed hard, trying to control the sudden swell of desire that washed through her. “Good evening, mastyr. I’m here to serve.”
He shook his head as he straightened his belt. “One of these days you’ll realize how foolish this is. You’re not battle trained, Lorelei, so how the hell can you serve as my bodyguard?”
She smiled. “We’ve been over this how many times? You’re not getting rid of me so you might as well get used to it.”
“Stubborn. Very stubborn.”
He might be scowling, but Lorelei saw the faint glimmer of amusement in his soft gray-green eyes and that his lips almost curved. Desire once more curled through her. Was it possible he wasn’t indifferent to her?
He pulled his phone from the pocket of his black battle leathers and turned away from her slightly to make his call. “Hey, Aaron, how are things shaping up? Is the Guard on patrol?”
He spoke with his second-in-command, the man in charge of the Walvashorr Vampire Guard. She’d been by Seth’s side a full month now, so she could repeat verbatim how this conversation would go, that Aaron had all the Guardsmen out on patrol throughout the southern half of Walvashorr realm, which also included the lower portion of the Shauck Mountain Range. Seth would ask if there’d been any fatalities among his realm-folk, and he would scowl if Aaron told him there were.
No scowl yet, but the night was young.
Because Seth had focused his attention elsewhere and had fixed his gaze well away from hers, Lorelei allowed herself one dizzying look at the Mastyr of Walvashorr.
He wore his long, thick brown hair pulled back in the heavy woven clasp that all the Guardsmen wore, allowing her an easy view of straight brows, strong, angled cheekbones, a slightly aquiline nose that gave him a sexy, hawkish appearance, and a firm jaw line. He was incredibly handsome with a serious demeanor that rarely changed.
He didn’t have the large, boisterous personality of some of the mastyrs like Jude of Kellcasse or Ethan of Bergisson. He was more like Gerrod in that he ruled with a stoic, dedicated drive that overshadowed everything else in his life.
More than all the other ruling mastyrs, Seth lived an almost solitary existence. He rarely had any of his Guardsmen over to his house for social reasons, not even Aaron. And though he had a small apartment in the southern plains of his realm, he only stayed there if he was caught out patrolling near dawn and couldn’t get back to his Shauck Gorge home. And this dwelling was tens of miles away from the nearest town.
He stood almost six-seven, something she loved because she was just shy of six foot herself. She’d be very comfortable in his arms, his kissable lips only inches away.
Of course this thought brought her back to her surroundings because she tried very hard to keep her personal fantasies, like longing for Seth’s arms, and yes, his bed, from affecting her professional relationship with him.
She cleared her throat and looked away from him. She clasped her hands tightly together behind her back in hopes that he wouldn’t notice her renewed trembling. To say she had a thing for Mastyr Seth was like saying the moon was round.
Her gaze drifted through the north-facing window of the breakfast nook and landed on the snow-crusted, steel railing that ran the length of the broad, wrap-around porch. Seth’s home was an amazing architectural wonder. He’d hired one of the Nine Realms’ leading architects to design a modern structure that could hang off the side of the granite-based gorge. The result was a single-story, elegant structure of dark wood and black steel supports, suspended two hundred feet above the Athalia River. She’d come to love the dynamic house, as much a representation of the owner as it was his permanent dwelling.
The shifter part of her relationship with him was simple; she knew Seth as her pack and she doubted that would ever change. But the fae part of her savored what was complicated and had fallen hopelessly in love with him.
Seth, however, hadn’t exactly taken to her presence and he definitely didn’t appreciate her being his bodyguard but he was right. She had no battle experience nor the physical strength to fight off an attacker.
But Queen Rosamunde had commanded Lorelei to serve as his bodyguard, and that was enough for her. And perhaps to some degree, enough for Seth, since he always permitted her to track him through the night. He was a man of the law and he obeyed the queen. At the same time, he didn’t hide the fact that he’d petitioned Rosamunde to have Lorelei removed from his service.
Her gaze traveled beyond the railing to the view of Defiance Falls in the distance. She could hear the falls though they were a half-mile away.
The view was exquisite, of the mountains and forest blanketed with snow. Rosamunde may have had her own reasons for sending Lorelei to Walvashorr, but Lorelei had never been happier. She loved the forest, the falls, the fast-moving frothy river below, and especially her new life serving Mastyr Seth.
She stood up a little straighter, proud that she was finally making a contribution to her world instead of living a half-life on the run as she had for the first ninety years of her existence.
Maybe she lacked traditional Guardsman credentials, but her faeness, always dipping into the future, told her that she would one day be of great use to Seth.
He hung up his phone and drew close, searching her eyes. “You do understand that I worry like hell every night you traipse along beside me?”
“I know. But the realm part of me understands that I’m supposed to be here.”
“I’m still petitioning the queen because I believe you put yourself at risk every time we head out.”
Again, she straightened her shoulders. “For as long as it lasts, I’ll serve as your bodyguard.”
She couldn’t say the rest—that she’d lay down her life for him, or for the queen who’d made her new life possible. Queen Rosamunde had taught her the layered enthrallment skills that now protected her from Margetta.
Even if Lorelei hadn’t had a deep attraction and very realm-like commitment to Mastyr Seth, she would have remained at his side simply out of loyalty and gratitude to Rosamunde.
He switched suddenly to telepathy, a sure sign he was ready to go out on patrol.
You intend to shift to wolf anytime soon?
Did she detect a slight curve of the mastyr’s lips? Was it possible Seth was teasing her? She’d been seeing more of this side of him over the past two weeks.
Just waiting on you, mastyr, but you sure are chatty with Aaron these days.
Chatty? You’re calling me chatty?
If the boot fits--
He passed by her and opened the door, holding it wide for her.
Let’s go, bodyguard.