Authors: Eve Vaughn
The Romanov’s Pursuit
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.
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The Romanov’s Pursuit
Copyright © July
ctronic book publication July
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To my readers who
continue to support me and pushed me to write a story for these characters.
Thank you so much for supporting me, and keeping me going. I hope you’ll enjoy reading this book as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.
Thank you Wanda for
all you do. You’ve been a constant support and I appreciate it.
The wind whipped against her bare skin, aggravating the open wounds on her back and buttocks. What had felt like icy razors moments before had now become minor irritants at best. Nya was slowly becoming numb to the pain that had racked her body. The cold hard
ground that was now her bed had
become a familiar friend. Her breathing grew shallow an
d her vision was blurry as she
lay face down in the dirt without a stitch of clothing to give her cover. Night had fallen and she was certain that by the time the sun rose again, she’d be dead.
Death was the one true freedom. She’d finally be away from the constant torture and humiliation from the hands of people who saw her as lower than a dog, subhuman and unworthy of the love and charity the Bible preached about. She used to cling to the pastor’s words about loving your neighbor and being good to each other, but they were meaningless when you weren’t even counted as human. She stopped believing in that stuff a long time ago. What kind of loving deity would take away everything that was so precious to her and dump her into this pit of despair? She no longer believed in Heaven, but there certainly was a Hell and she was in it.
The day she lost her Mama was when everything in her life took a turn for the worse. What she thought was a loving home was just another cage with a slightly nicer jailer. Randolph Fields might have been larger and picturesque to visitors, but for people like
it was a living nightmare. Admittedly she had it harder than
because she had no one. No family, friends, or support of any kind. While the people in the big house went out of their way to make her existence miserable, the workers didn’t make it any easier. They’d marked her as different because of the way she talked and their belief that she was favored by the Master. If they only knew the truth, they might actually feel a bit sorry
her and turning their backs to her whenever she
by. They might even be a little ashamed for talking about her loud enough for her to hear if they knew what really happened
She wasn’t given special treatment. The only thing that could be guaranteed when she stepped over the threshold of the servant’s entrance was that she’d be subjected to abuse,
and humiliation. There were whispers among the others that she thought she was better than everyone else because she kept to herself.
That wasn’t the case. She
felt nothing but pity for people who were as caged as
but still clung to the belief that one day they’
d find relief with their false h
eaven that awaited them on the other side. It kept them in line, this idea that if they were good servants and did their master’s bidding without complaint and a smile on their face, that they’d be rewarded with eternal salvation.
reward would be the sweet oblivion that was finally upon her. No more beatings, no more being forced on her back to endure the disgusting attention of men who felt it was their due to use her as they please. And most of all, no more pain or guilt, or the shame of not being able to save her most precious gifts.
No one came out of their shacks to check on her, or to throw a blanket over
her nudity, because they didn’t care or were too scared
. And when she was finally gone, she couldn’t think of anyone who’d shed a single tear
for her death
. No prayer would be said for her and she’d be forgotten within days.
Her eyelids felt heavy, so with a final sigh, she closed them for what she hoped would be the final time.
, you will not die this night,” a whisper so soft
thought she’d imagined it, whispered on the wind.
When she felt a gentle caress of fingers flitting across her forehead, she realized someone really was there. It was obviously a person brave enough to defy the Mistress’s order to leave her where she lay. The woman of the house was far worse than her husband. Master’s abuse was physical, while his
was psychological. She played the game of cat and mouse and broke down her prey until they begged for mercy. It was because
had stood her ground that she found herself in this predicament, not that she minded. This was exactly what she wanted. She wasn’t looking for a savior nor did she want one.
Though she didn’t want to open her eyes, she reluctantly did just that. Too weak to lift her head, the sight that greeted her were a pair of large black riding boots. “Please...” she managed to croak out. “Leave me be. Let me die.”
Before her lids became too heavy to stay open,
heard the voice again. “I’ll never leave you alone. Not ever.”
The next thing she knew, she had the sensation of being lifted into the air and then caged against a hard body.
She fought to open her eyes to get a good look at her rescuer.
She’d never seen this man before but he seemed so familiar. He had
and looked at her so intensely she
shivered despite the awakened pain in her body
. “No,” she whispered again before everything went black.
The next time she
opened her eyes, she was cocooned within piles of pillows and blankets. The crackle of a fire burning caught her attention and she noticed a fireplace in the corner of the room. Where was she? This certainly wasn’t the little hut she resided in
on the plantation
. And it definitely wasn’t any room she’d remembered seeing in the big house. This bedroom was grander than anything she’d ever expected to find herself in. Her first thought was how she’d gotten there, and then she remembered the man with the red hair.
She sat up in the bed and the first thing she noticed was there was no pain in her movement. In fact, she felt better than she ever had, re-energized and rested as if she wasn’t beaten to within an inch of her life earlier. On instinct, she raised the sleeve of the nightgown someone had dressed her in and noticed the deep lacerations that had decorated her arm were gone.
then slipped her hand down her back, finding smooth skin. Had
today’s ordeal been a nightmare?
She couldn’t figure out what was going on.
“You should be resting,
She had been so caught up i
n her self-examination she didn’t hear anyone enter the room. Besides the light of the fireplace, the room was dim but she was still able to make out her visitor’s silhouette. It was him!
As he moved closer to her bed,
froze. Maybe she was going crazy because his eyes seemed to glow in the darkness. He halted until his thighs tou
ched the mattress. “I trust
you’re feeling better?”
“Where…where am I?”
“Where you belong.” He snapped his fingers and the room was suddenly awash with light.
had no idea where the source of the
originated because there were no candles that she could see, and the kerosene lantern by her bedside had not been lit. Now that she could see better in the newly illuminated room, she could get a good look at her host. Before she could stop it, a gasp escaped her lips. She’d only seen
him briefly through a haze of extreme pain but now that she could view him properly she was stunned into silence
He was the most beautif
ul male she’d ever laid eyes on
. Tall, and broad-shouldered, this was all man. He stared back at her just as intensely with eyes the color of liquid gold. He cupped her face with his hands. “How are you feeling,
?” His voice
deep and slightly accented.
Her tongue cleaved to the roof of her mouth making it difficult for her to form words. She couldn’t move or stop staring at this man who seemed to hold her captive in his gaze.
The bed dipped as he sat down next to her. He grinned, revealing the whitest teeth she’d ever seen. “Your wounds have healed quite nicely, I see. I’ve taken care of the one who dared to mar this perfect skin. Willis, I believe his name is.”
Willis had been the one to wield the whip at Mistress’s orders.
His words broke her out of the trance she was
flinched away from this man’s touch. “Wh...what have you done to me? I’m not supposed to be here. I should be dead.”
“You’re far too young and lovely to carry a death wish, my dear.”
Ignoring his words, she asked her question again. “How am I healed? What happened?”
“A little of my blood did the trick.”
wasn’t sure if the man was complete
ly insane or some kind of
he seemed to believe what he was saying
. Either way, that
made him dangerous. She scooted away from him to put some distance between the two of them, but he caught her by the wrist.
“Don’t pull away from me.”
“Let me go.” She
attempted to yank herself out of his hold but he was too strong.
“Never. I’ll never let you go.”
To her horror, his eyes began to glow and he opened his mouth to reveal long sharp-looking fangs.
She began to scream and couldn’t stop.