So bad news - I just checked Lit today and Chapter 7 got REJECTED! There was an author's note at the end where I added that you can go to my blog if you wanted to see the family tree or the map of the story - and that is not allowed. I really wanted to have the story up this weekend!
Alas, it's going to take the mandatory 72 hours before it is up again, so I am so sorry for that. So in the meantime, here is a short scene from Chapter 7!
Rose shivered as the cold storm blew a gush of raindrops at her face when she woke up to close the windows. The howling wind was so strong that the wooden cabin shook at its base, sending Rose in a state of panic.
Kirke’s hut had once been damaged from a falling branch and she remembered crying as she tried to escape from her room. Rose only hoped that she wouldn’t be trapped underneath the rubble should the cabin collapse.
Curling her knees to her chest, Rose huddled on the floor beside her bed, rocking herself silently for comfort. She had her eyes shut tight and head burrowed between her knees when a loud banging sound came knocking on her door.
Her fingers trembled as the reached for the sword under her bed. Just who would be knocking at her door at this hour and in this weather?
Tiptoeing towards the door, she tried to peep in the cracks, hoping to get a glimpse of the stranger but all she could see was a looming shadow.
“Open the door Rose.”
That voice – it could only belong to one person.
When she unlocked the door, the wood flung open, threatening to break at its hinges from the force of the wind. But the sight of her dangerous visitor, dark and drenched was a more frightening sight.
“My Lord! You’re bleeding!” Rose pushed against the door with all her might, locking it against the brutal storm.
The Pureblood turned to his back and snorted. “It will heal.”
But Rose was already rushing to her medicine cabinet. “Take off your shirt. You’re crazy coming here in this weather!”
The handsome, chiselled face had his chin up arrogantly. Sometimes, Rose didn’t know why she bothered with him. He was the most frustrating male species she had ever met!
He simply stood in the middle of the room, glowering at her.
Seeing that he refused to remove his shirt, she picked up a pair of shears from her kit and looked up at him.
She waited three heartbeats before rushing to his back, slicing the material through. As the wet silk peeled away, Rose couldn’t help but stare at the Pureblood’s naked back – a sight she had never been given privy to until now. Rose understood the concession he was giving her.
Dragon wings etched on skin; alive at her touch, the lines twitching as she stroked the sensitive arcs. True enough, the gaping hole on one of his wings had already started to clot, forming a healing membrane around itself. But with the rain, she didn’t want to risk it. An infection could happen at any time and from her experience at Kirke’s, she knew that many wounded died from those more often than the wounds itself.
“You need to get dried,” she fussed, tugging the remainder of his shirt off his body, ignoring the lean, defined muscles exposed to her for the first time. It took every ounce of resistance in her to avoid touching him unnecessarily.
He accepted the towel from her, wiping his damp skin before using it to draw out the water in his hair.
Meanwhile, she returned her attention to his back, patting a dry towel on his skin to whisk away as much moisture as she could. With a small cloth, she then wiped the wounded area gently with a disinfecting medicine.
“You were fighting.” She concluded, noting the familiar marks made by a sword.
“You disapprove.” Not a question.
Rose didn’t need to ask who he was fighting with for she knew that was the reason why he came back for her. She only hoped that Marcela was not injured too badly. Mean as she was, the Pureblood was not cruel.
“I’ve placed a protective gauze over it, so don’t get it wet with your hair. Meanwhile, you should take off the rest of your clothes and dry off.” She had to leave. “I’ll see if I can find something for you to wear.”
His laboured breathing stilled suddenly; silvery eyes fixed on hers. “You have male clothes in this house? Why?”
Rose didn’t bother to reply, planning to barricade herself behind the bedroom door. She could already hear him coming for her, the streak of possessiveness evident in every step.
She had barely locked the door when he banged against it.
“Rose. Open the door before I break it down.” Such a calm voice that no doubt belonged to a very dangerous Vampire.
“Not until you stop and return to the living room. You’re in my house now so play by my rules.”
“Don’t push me,” he growled but Rose could hear retreating steps from her door. Glancing at her cupboards, she decided it was probably better to have a naked Vampire in her cabin than a featherless Drake in the morning.
A blanket would have to do.
Lord Etienne was pacing around her living room with only a towel wrapped around his waist; his long hair draped in front of his chest.
“I promise I won’t kill him,” he said when she threw the blanket at him.
“I am staying here out of a favour to a friend so you will not lay a hand on him.”
Silver eyes narrowed suspiciously at her. “Then why won’t you come home with me?” When she didn’t answer, he stopped prowling and stared at her. “Of course, if you’d rather I throw you over my shoulder and carry you out.”
He’d do it. She knew that for certain.
“Why did you come here my Lord? You could have come in the morning.”
He covered the distance between them in one stride. The heat was gone from his eyes; only a gentleness when he caressed her cheeks lightly with his knuckles. “Because I need you tonight.”
She didn’t expect that.
“My bed is not big enough for us,” she whispered.
“Then I will sit by your bed and watch you.”
For Lord Etienne, that would probably be his way of saying he missed her. Rose felt her own resolve fading. Wrapping her hands around him, she allowed the contact, feeling his body sagging against hers. Rose knew that he would continue to seek her, to find solace to the nightmares that plagued him even if he would someday be mated to someone else.