Embrace the Passion

By: Caris Roane

Blood Rose Series #4

Chapter One

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.

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