Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Two Chapter Teaser

Hello everyone! Hope your week is going well smile emoticon Stopping by with a mid-week ‪#‎teaser‬. How does the first two COMPLETE chapters of HER DARK HUNTER sound? This is from my 2013 ‪#‎EroticRomance‬ release, Under the Harvest Moon. Hope you enjoy!

HER DARK HUNTER

Chapter One
The eve before the autumnal equinox, 5,561 B.C
(The premise for one-day Samhain)
(In the general area of would-be Scotland)
     Enid resisted giggling as the strand of wheat skimmed down
her nose and over her lips. The sensation tickled and made her lips
itch for Ciarán's kiss.
     "Ciarán!" She grabbed for his wrist and yanked the stand from
his fingers, tossing it to the side and rolled atop him. Enid bent and
took the kiss she so desired, but Ciarán was quick to push her back up and roll her off him.
     "You ken, you're no to do that. If one of your brothers or
father caught us thusly, they would kill me before I had the chance to
ask for you," he said, half-serious as he looked around for anyone
who might have seen before resting back. A betraying smile lingered
at the corner of his mouth, however.
     Enid giggled at him. "And will you ask for me, then?"
     He cocked a brow at her. "Aye. Maybe I already have."
     "Then why do you wait?" she asked, pinching at the straw
under them. "Don’t you ken if I were wed, tonight would be no threat
to me?" She lifted her stare to meet his, but he looked away.
     "I've spoken with your father, but you've only just become of
age. He's not answered me as of yet. I want to wed you, Enid, but I
want to do this right." Ciarán reached up to cup her cheek, caressing
her with his thumb gently. "You've no need to fear, lass. I told you,
I'll no let anyone take you tonight."
     Enid flopped to her back in the crushed wheat-field. Though
the men had brought the harvest in, stray stalks littered here and there.
     Ciarán peered down on her, propped up on his arm at her side.
     She reached up to toy with the end of a dark plait hanging over
his shoulder. "I am still afraid. Afraid for the other girls of the village,
and even for those I do not ken. I am afraid that when the hunters
come, you will not be able to stop them if I am chosen." Enid blinked
back the tears threatening to spill.
     The same feelings frightened her every equinox, since she'd
begun blossoming into a woman. On her nineteenth year, she
considered herself lucky to not have been taken by the Drochdraci
hunters for their ritualistic pleasure yet. But then, her father and
brothers had always taken extreme measures in hiding her away.
     Ciarán flattened himself back and pulled her into his side. "Do
not fret."
     "How can I not?" she asked, resting against him, relishing the
hard muscle beneath her. "There are rumors every year, spread from
those who have been taken. They say the last virgin to be captured is
not just taken to pleasure their leader, but a Fae prince. Whoever he
touches never returns the same, if they return at all."
     Ciarán shook his head. "All the women of our village have
returned. Some have even enjoyed their time with the Drochdraci."
Enid rose up then. "I've heard there is no comparison for his
evilness, that he gorges on the flesh of our kind."
     "Stop, Enid!" Ciarán demanded. "You are only frightening
yourself more. This serves no purpose. Even if hunters take you, I will
not let them have you. You are mine!"
     "Then why will you not have me now?" Enid searched his face
for the answer. She didn’t understand why he wouldn’t take her when
it was clear he desired her as much as she did him.
     Ciarán tore his gaze from her and rose to sitting, draping his
arms over his bent knees. "I will not allow these Drochdraci to dictate
our life together, that is why. I've told you this before. We have gone
over why. You will become my mate by year's end, but this will be
done the right way and no other."
     Enid sighed in frustration, rising too. "I love you, Ciarán. Yet,
I am afraid you will no longer love me if another takes me first. That
is all."
     "Is your faith in me so small?" he asked.
     Enid bit her lip. "No," she said quietly. She gazed sidelong at
his hard expression. Ciarán was a perfect specimen of their race.
     Lean, strong, tall. A warrior. He was lethal to their enemies, but when he looked upon her, his dark-green gaze always softened.
     "Trust me. When you awaken day after tomorrow, you will be
the same as you are now."
     Enid rose up and kissed him again, her lips lingering against
his. Ciarán slowly reached behind her, threading his fingers through
her hair, and deepened their kiss.
Chapter Two
     It was a long while later, but when Enid did return home, her
father and three brothers were already there, sharpening their blades
before the hearth, all wearing grim expressions.
     "Where have you been?" her father asked without looking up.
     Enid paused, raking her stare over them. They looked prepared
to do battle. "Out, with Sinead," she lied.
     Her father slowly rose from his stool before the hearth. "Is that
so?" His gaze locked on her hard and he lifted his sword to point at
the door. "Then I find it strange that you were no with her when she
stopped by looking for you."
     Enid looked away, abashed, catching her oldest brother's
cutting stare as he ran the whetstone down his blade. She flinched at
the sharp sound.
     "Where were you, Enid?" her father asked again.
     She furiously looked back to the big bear of a man, pursing
her lips, heat rising into her cheeks. "Why does it matter so?"
     "Have you defied me?" he asked. His face began to mottle
under his beard.
     Enid narrowed her stare. "I love him! I choose to be with
Ciarán!" She pointed into her chest.
     Her father let out a roar, turning on his heel, swinging,
smashing though pottery on the hearth with a swipe of his blade. "I
have not chosen Ciarán for you," he yelled. "I've told you to no be
around the lad anymore."
     "I choose him for me," Enid screamed back. "I am his no
matter what you say, no matter what anyone else says. I will not bind
myself to Brody."
     "You will! Or else I will cut Ciarán down myself," he spat.
     Her three brothers rose behind their father, all looking just as furious.
     Brody was their friend.
     Her gaze darted between them. They were all so set against
her love for Ciarán, all because of stupid rivalry. Ciarán had chosen a
different path as a warrior of their people, and he had risen higher in
their ranks because of his honor.
     Something none of her brothers, nor Brody, possessed.
     All others who were Ciarán's age were jealous of his position.
That her family refused to see past their envy and to turn their
thoughts to her benefits as being Ciarán's, she couldn’t understand.
     "Why cannot you get past yourselves?" Enid asked, looking at
them all. "He is a far better man than Brody!"
     "Match your tongue, girl! I made a pact with Brody long ago
for you," her father said. "You will not dishonor my word."
     Enid shook her head at him, tears pooling. "You dishonor
yourself by loving your daughter so little."
     A pounding came at the door, jerking her father's attention
from her before he could reply. He was quiet a moment, and then
ticked his head to her youngest brother. "Well, go on. Get the door,
lad," he boomed.
     Enid crossed her arms over her chest, holding herself. She
refused to look to see who called on them.
     The door squeaked open.
     "Jorin," a man said. "The watch found our sheep slaughtered.
All of them. The north fields are set ablaze as well. We need every
man we can get."
     "What the hell is this," her father said, sheathing his sword and
starting for the door. "It is early yet for Drochdraci."
     "They think bandits. Reivers," the man said.
     Jorin growled as his sons followed him, they continued on
without a word to Enid, but her father stopped to look down on her
hard. "I will speak more with you when I return. Do not go out again,
as dusk will fall soon. I will be back before then to protect you."
     Enid swept around him, running to the back of their dwelling,
and threw herself onto her bed.
     She wept for a long while, and at some point fell asleep. When
she awoke, Enid lifted her head from her pillow and found the
dwelling dim, with only their fire in the hearth casting a glow. The
dwelling was eerily quiet except for the cracking and popping of the
fire.
     Looking around her chamber, she frowned at the quietness.
     Her family had not returned, and something did not seem quite
right.
     Her first instinct was to hide, but where? Her brothers always
took her to the family crypt and hid her underground where the
Drochdraci could not find her.
     Enid pulled herself from the bed and crept from her room,
hesitantly peeking from her doorway to find her father and brothers
still gone and the door to their dwelling left ajar. She gritted her teeth,
her gut twisting. Enid cautiously walked to the opening, peeking out
into the foggy night. Her heart began to beat a little faster. The smell
of fire hit her instantly and a shot of fear struck her to her toes.
     Night had come.
     Why had her family not returned? Why had they not hidden
her?
     Enid looked out into the village to see parts burning, heavy
plumes of smoke rising into the night. "No!" she said, covering her
mouth and taking a step back.
     She heard them then: the screams of the women, and the war
cries of the men.
     Enid looked to her neighbors’ homes. Their dwellings were
quite far up the road from the center and were untouched, for now.
     Enid began to cry out, but sucked back in the scream she'd
begun to release and backed into the dwelling to shut the door. The
thin wooden frame would hold nothing back at all, however, the
barrier would at least keep her from sight. She began to pull it to when a thought hit her. If the door were left open, the Drochdraci hunters would think another had already been there and not bother to enter.
She began to push the door wider, but paused, listening. She'd
thought she heard something, but for a moment all she heard was her
own shallow pants and pounding heart.
     There it came again.
     Enid flinched.
     The clip and crunch of hooves coming up the road had her
jerking her arm back inside the dwelling. Her heart levitated as she
panicked and ran to the back of the dwelling. Enid quickly threw
herself to the floor and began to slip beneath the bed, tucking up her
legs and pulling down the covers to shield herself from view.
     Enid panted hard, fighting to remain clear-headed, but the
more she fought, the tighter her chest became and the harder her heart pounded.
     Clanking against the stone floor, a pair of booted feet came
into view between the flat stones and the fraying edge of the bedding
where just a slim space had been left. Enid shut her eyes tight, praying to every deity she knew that she would not be discovered.
     The steps continued toward her slowly, an eternity seeming to
stretch between each clip of the Drochdraci's heel.
     A rough, distinctly inhuman, but comparably male,
contemptuous laugh came from just above her bed. Enid peeked open one eye to find the boot toe at her face. She held her breath until her lungs ached.
     "Your plan could have worked, schea, could I not hear your
thoughts, your heartbeat." It paused. Its voice sounded like thousands
of hollow cries all compacted together and contained under a harsh
whisper. It sniffed. "If I could not smell you!"
     The bed flew up and crashed on the opposite wall behind the
     Drochdraci.
     Enid screamed as it jerked her to her feet. She clawed at the
hunter blindly, her fingers catching on the inky black torque about his
neck and she cried out again at the icy burn her skin received from the unearthly metal.
     Balling her fist to ease the pain, she at last willed herself to
look upon the Drochdraci holding her, but when she did, she found a
being so beautiful it hurt her soul to look upon him.
     The Drochdraci looked like a man, except for his eyes. The
swirling empty orbs were like an approaching storm and branded him
as anything but a man.
     "You will do nicely," it said.
©2013 Kerri M. Patterson