The Seeker

By: Jamie K. Schmidt

Chapter One




Rose pushed aside the grimy curtain of the window and cursed. She had hoped for a few more days before the mage hunter caught up with her. Seconds later, the door to the cottage flew open from the force of the thug's boot. The big man forced his way inside, and kicked the door shut behind him.

He was tall and broad, dressed in fine clothes that were dusty from the road. Twirling his sword once over his wrist he sheathed it with a grin.

“I have you now,” he said, advancing on her.

"How did you find me?" Rose asked, flexing her fingers to will a spell into being. If she could level him with a sleep spell, she might be able to get away.

But he was too fast for her. Rose struggled when he pulled her into his arms for a brutal kiss. He smelled like the night air and tasted like spearmint. One of his hands held her squirming body close to him. The other fisted in her hair, holding her head in place.

Rose punched him in the shoulder, the spell she had been casting fizzling with the jarring impact of their bodies. He walked her back to the nearest wall and leaned his heavy weight against her. Bucking, she tried to free herself, but all she did was rub across his hardness.

Mouth still plundering hers, he cupped her breast. Rose bit his lip.

"Witch," he panted, ripping his mouth from hers. "You'll pay for that." His tongue dabbed at the spot of blood, as he glared down at her with piercing green eyes. He was a handsome devil. Too bad he was so damned irritating.

"Oh, shut up and fuck me already, Bret," Rose said, climbing up his body to wrap her legs around his waist.

"Are you wet enough?" he asked, sliding his hand up her night dress. "I was hoping to find you asleep."

She pulled his hair until he kissed her again, wiggling against his trousers until he pushed them down. Her head knocked against the wall when he slipped inside her.

"Why?" she gritted out between her teeth. The jolt of being slowly filled by him made her tremble. "So you could put me in a sack and throw me over your saddle?"

It was almost worth getting caught and sent back to her gilded cage for this.

Almost.

He let out a puff of breath as she tightened around him. "No. So I could bury my face between your thighs and lick you awake."

His words shouldn't have sent a spark of warmth that filled her down to her toes. It would have been easier to hate him. But he was too damned good looking and more charming than a sworn enemy had a right to be.

"I'm not going back," she told him, writhing as he took his time easing in and out of her.

"Yes, you are. Your parents pay me damn good money to bring your delectable ass back to the coven."

Arching into him, she cried, "Harder."

Bret complied, slamming into her with a force that shook the walls of the cottage.

Yes.

"Of course," he grunted. "I don't have to do it right away."

"Less talking. More fucking," she demanded. The damned thing was she craved the hard pace of his body entering hers. She wanted this wild ride the bounty hunter provided when he found her. And he always did. It was like he was part blood hound.

Rose loved watching his face contort as he tried to hold himself back from coming before she did. If she could have stopped herself, she would have denied herself just to torture him. But it had been too long and she was a few strokes away from paradise. When he bent his head to nip at her throat, every muscle in her body locked and shook.

"Fuck," she groaned as pleasure flooded through her. Ecstasy winged over her as she trembled in release.

The self-satisfied smile on Bret's face would have been annoying if it wasn't wiped by the same blissful wave that had crashed over her.

"Rose," he whispered. "Beautiful Rose."

She didn't want her heart to flutter at his reverent words. She knew she wasn’t beautiful. Her mirror told her how very ordinary and plain she was. Still it tickled her belly and made her stupid heart skip a beat that he admired her.

Flopping them both down on the bed, he held her tightly. Even in the after haze of their love making, he wasn't letting down his guard.

"Cast at me and I'll mask you," he said lightly.

Without her sight, she wouldn't be able to target her spell. If she really pissed him off, he'd tie her hands as well. It hadn't taken Rose long to figure out that fighting Bret just made things unpleasant.

Stroking his hand over her back in long loops, he kissed the top of her head. "Why did you run this time?"

Rose combed her fingers through his short, black hair and sighed. He didn't understand why she needed freedom. He only saw that she lived in wealth and privilege, protected by her family. But she couldn't tell him the truth. The real reason she left her home.