Authors: Caris Roane
THE CONTINUING SAGA OF
~ 2 ~
RAPTURE’S EDGE 2: Veiled By Caris Roane Copyright © 2015 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 “Veiled”, the second installment of the Rapture’s Edge Series. This story is part of my Guardians of Ascension series and continues the journey of Rachel and Duncan and the black ops team of Second Earth. In many ways, each episode is a standalone story, but reading the series in order is highly recommended.
Endelle and Luken, from the original series published by St. Martin’s Press, are featured prominently in the Rapture’s Edge saga and each will finally find love as the series unfolds.
I chose to continue the series in an episodic form, because it was the best way to tell the ongoing journey for all my hunky Warriors of the Blood and those Militia Warriors advancing to “What-Bee” power.
“Veiled” comes right after “Awakening”, a story that began the romance between Rachel and Duncan.
You’ll find a terminology appendix at the end of the book in case you want to look up the meanings of a few words here and there.
“Veiled” opens one month after events in the previous episode, “Awakening”, and we find Duncan and Rachel struggling to connect with each other despite Duncan’s professed willingness ‘to try’.
The breh-hedden (vampire mate-bonding) is still alive and well, and harassing both Duncan and Rachel, as it has all previous eight warriors so far: Kerrick, Marcus, Antony, Jean-Pierre, Thorne, Leto, Gideon, and Samuel.
Brief Synopsis of Veiled
Duncan wants to love his woman, but he’s tortured by his past…
For the last few weeks, since Warrior Duncan professed his intention ‘to try’ to make his relationship with Rachel work, he’s failed on all fronts. But how can he explain that a serpent lives in his gut, poisoning him against her? As his visions return in full-force, and the black ops team heads back to the Third Earth darkening grid, he must confront his demons or lose everything he holds dear. But will Rachel be there for him?
Rachel longs for her breh, her vampire mate, but old issues keep tearing them apart…
Rachel refuses to give up on Duncan. Though he’s remained aloof because of his tortured past, she needs him more than ever. Her desire for him has reached outrageous levels as the breh-hedden continues to keep her focused solely on the man she loves. But will he finally be able to let go of his past suffering and embrace a life with her?
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Coming Soon: Episode #3 of RAPTURE’S EDGE, the continuing saga of the Guardians of Ascension, again featuring Duncan and Rachel. Check out RAPTURE’S EDGE on my website.
Coming Soon: Book #8 of the Blood Rose Series, Mastyr Ian’s story:
EMBRACE THE HUNT
Be sure to check out the Blood Rose Tales Box Set – TRAPPED, HUNGER, and SEDUCED -- shorter works for a quick, sexy, satisfying read. For more information:
She walks beneath a bright cloud
Hidden from all who would know her
Waiting for the unveiling
She sees him coming
A blond god of ancient Norse worlds
His arm bears a righteous sword
His eyes are lit with a holy fire
Lift the veil and know who I am
by Beatrice of Fourth
Duncan Wallace held his wrecker shotgun in both hands, knees bent, sweating like a madman. He knew if he didn’t take down the next Third grid warrior to come along, he’d be dead. He had only one advantage: Wreckers didn’t see him as any kind of threat.
But where the hell was the rest of his team? They’d been running a standard grid-entry drill through the portal Merl had in his private residence. Merl had been hoping to lock onto a location on Third Earth he thought might work as a base camp for the black ops team. He’d just fired up his wrist scanner when Duncan had gotten swept somewhere else in the grid.
He didn’t know what happened. One minute, he’d been standing next to Rachel and Merl, listening to the distant rumbling of wrecker warriors and waiting for them to appear. The next, he felt a soft vibration and now he was here.
He suspected Yolanthe, a Third Earth princess, was somehow involved. She’d held him in a trance for two weeks trying to bring him completely under her control. If she’d somehow found his grid signature and locked on, she could have gotten him away from the other two members of his team. But if that was true, why didn’t she simply bring him straight to her?
Unless she wasn’t in the grid yet. She may have moved him through an external grid operator.
Sweet Christ, he was in trouble.
He closed his eyes and took several deep breaths, as he tried to figure out what had happened and what to do next.
He reached out with his senses and focused on Yolanthe. Seconds passed, each one like a drumbeat inside his head.
The former mind-link he’d shared with Yolanthe had left a residual sense of her. He could feel the woman now, which meant if she hadn’t been in the grid before, she was now. Fortunately, she was still pretty far away.
He had time, then, but not much.
He opened his eyes and glanced around. So, where was he?
Unlike Merl, he didn’t have a wrist scanner, a device capable of tracking other people once inside the grid, as well as establishing a location. Only those with Third Earth powers could use it and Duncan hadn’t reached Third level. For weeks now, he’d been stuck. He might have achieved Warrior of the Blood status on Second Earth, but he still couldn’t access his Third gifts.
He wasn’t alone since the rest of the black ops team had failed to advance as well, including Luken.
Basically, they were fucked.
He pressed himself up against the darkening grid wall, forcing himself to stay calm. At least he didn’t hear the familiar distant rumbling of the wreckers. For the moment he was safe.
He contacted Rachel telepathically, wondering if he’d even be able to reach her within the grid.
Rachel, are you there?
Duncan, thank God. I’m still with Merl, but we don’t know how we got split up. He’s using the grid scanner to try to locate you. What happened?
I felt a faint vibration and now I’m alone, though still in the grid. Has to be Yolanthe and I have a sense of her presence, but she’s not close, at least not yet.
Hang tough. We’re on it.
From the time he’d broken his mind-link with Yolanthe, she’d been working hard to pin him down and bring him back under her control. She wanted him to lead her to Rapture’s Edge, though at this point he had no idea where or what it was. Although, he knew in his gut he had to find Rapture’s Edge first if Second Earth was to survive its current state of war. The mythical place had the ability to enhance power to an astronomical level. The one who acquired a vast increase in ability could rule two worlds, which left Duncan and his team with one major goal:
to keep the bad guys on Third from taking possession of Rapture’s Edge.
He glanced at the opposite, semi-opaque grid walls. Images flew by, reflecting the ever-shifting property of the darkening as well as various places on Third Earth. Sometimes deep red flames would appear followed by a stretch of ocean, forest, desert, or cities, then more flames.
The darkening was one of the mysteries of the ascended dimensions, a place ‘between’, something occurring in each of the five worlds above Mortal Earth.
Third Earth ascenders had built a grid to form a structure through the darkening, making travel through it possible for most ascenders. The fluctuating aspect of this part of nether-space, however, meant he didn’t know where he would land if he tried to leave. Though he could blow a hole in the grid wall with his wrecker shotgun, he could easily fall into a wall of fire and be killed instantly.
The darkening required finesse as well as Third Earth power. Neither quality was in his current wheelhouse.
A distant rumbling set another powerful burst of adrenaline plowing his veins. Wreckers.
Rachel, tell Merl to hurry. I’ve got bad guys on my ass.
Remaining in place with his shotgun hidden behind his right leg, he let his preternatural power flow from his wing-locks, up his back, and down his right arm. Once the flow of energy connected with his wrecking shotgun, he could take on a grid wrecker.
A blast from another part of the grid blew a hole in the wall twenty feet distant and brought Duncan face to face with a wrecker. He was a typical Third Earth Militia Warrior, wearing a black leather kilt and maroon battle harness. Three long braids hung on either side of his face.
With a confident smile, he spoke into his com at his shoulder. “I’ve got him, Your Highness.”
Yep, Yolanthe was here.
The wrecker smiled.
The split-second the charge flowed over Duncan’s weapon, he pivoted, brought his weapon into the open and lifted it to his shoulder.
The wrecker mouthed the words ‘oh shit’, his brows high as Duncan fired both barrels.
The blast cut the warrior in two and spread his internals over a ten-foot radius. The smell alone was enough to make his stomach curl into a knot.
Plucking two more specialized cartridges from a chest-strap, he reloaded. The sound of additional boots slamming against the grid floor and coming from the same direction as the initial wrecker set his heart into over-drive.
he shouted telepathically.