A little something for your eyehole…from the upcoming paranormal bdsm collection featuring Bonni Sansom, Margie Church, Marianne LaCroix and me.
The story is: Solan is a man fighting, searching for his destiny when he’s struck down in battle. Katherine comes to his aid only to cryptically hint at her interest in him and need for him to own her. Can Solan realize his life belongs to the vampiress or will his selfishness cost him the one thing he needs to be complete?
Unedited First Chapter:
Light from an explosion blinded him. Another detonation rocked the ground beneath him, forcing him to his knees. Solan gripped the hilt of his sword, pulled it from its sheath and stabbed the ground. Using the sword for leverage, he forced himself to his feet just in time to free the sword and counter the attack coming at him.
His blade connected with the other man’s and rang out, sparks flying.
“You die now, warrior.” With a grunt, the behemoth of a man swung his blade at Solan.
Solan parried and jumped back. Eyes narrowed, he focused on the weak spot in his opponent’s armor. Dressed in leather boots, gauntlets, and clean rust colored armor, the man known simply as an Outsider heaved his sword back. With one hand, he swung the giant blade at Solan.
Solan jumped away and charged in, swinging his sword across the Outsider’s midsection. He cut into the leather but barely scraped the skin.
The Outsider laughed and struck back, lunging at Solan, fist cocked back.
Solan took the blow to his lungs, wind whooshing out of him. He swore bone cracked. That wasn’t good. No hospitals in the area for at least two days journey meant he’d probably have to repair the injury himself, along with his other numerous cuts and scrapes.
In rapid fire succession, the Outsider jumped again at Solan, thrusting sword and fist at him.
Solan could only leap back and out of the way, each time feeling the wind from the Outsider’s attacks bite into his skin.
Instinct told him he could only keep this up another few minutes at best before the Outsider’s blade cut into him and tore him to pieces.
“I could keep this up,” the Outsider swung again, “for hours. My strength is legendary.”
Solan said nothing as he blocked the sword coming at his head. Straining, he parried the blade away and countered with an attack of his own.
The Outsider stopped his advance, held up his free hand. Thick fingers curled and uncurled, a white ball of light formed and hovered just above his palm. Soundless energy swept up into a point, making the air crackle. Solan saw his chance.
The Outsider cocked his fist back and started to throw the light.
Ducking just in time, Solan thrust his sword up, catching the Outsider just below his ribs. “Victory will be mine.”
Surprise slowly spread across the Outsider’s face. He coughed blood and looked down at the new wound in his chest with wide eyes.
“You cannot heal that wound. This blade is made from special iron and has been blessed by the Goddess Herself. This battle,” Solan withdrew his blade, “is over.”
The ball of light dissipated into glimmers of light, disappearing and the Outsider fell to his knees, blood dripping down his chin. Solan had cracked ribs and his blade punched through the attacker’s body completely. Solid metal pierced the lung, silencing the wounded man.
With sword still in hand, he swung one last time at Solan.
Too close to deflect the blow with his weapon, Solan spun away in attempt to catch the blade in his weak arm.
The tip of the blade caught him, tearing deep in his flesh.
He grit his teeth, wiped sweat from his brow and looked around, scanning the barren land. Several hundred yards from where he stood, an army made its way through what used to be lush forest and crystal clear streams.
Now, only soot and gunpowder filled the air. The blue skies had turned gray, the ground empty, devoid of life.
Another explosion landed near him, sending him flying several feet back. Mortar and shells fired off in rapid succession as the invaders sieged the lands and pushed back the humans attempting to defeat what Solan could only label as otherworldly beings.
He had to get away. The cut on his arm was only one of many he’d endured before meeting the Outsider.
He’d lost a lot of blood. Only dedicated skill had saved his life. The Outsider had him outweighed by at least a good, solid hundred pounds. His skill, speed and strength combined had him in Solan’s face so using his whip remained impossible.
He’d lost the short sword earlier in the day, had to pin two attackers to a tree. If he pulled out the blade, they’d heal. If he left it in, they’d die in hours.
By only a miracle, he still breathed.
His lungs burned inhaling smoke and death, his eyes stung, sweat ran down his forehead. He reached into one of his kilt pockets, pulled out a rag and tore it into strips. With difficulty concentrating, he tied the makeshift bandage around his arm.
His stomach grumbled. He hadn’t eaten in two days. The last village he passed through had been so impoverished, and his warrior’s code wouldn’t let him take from those lesser of him.
Silence echoed loudly around him, leaving him alone with his thoughts.
“No cut too deep,” he took a step forward. Then another. Dirt and gravel crunched beneath his boots. “No road too long. No wind too hard…” The strain in his voice became apparent. Even speaking felt like work.
Nothing around this desolate battlefield would sustain him. With darkness setting soon, he could only hope for respite from his journey in the form of sleep. Healing sleep and nourishment were the cornerstones of sustenance yet he’d lacked both. The war between humans and the Other raged and he still didn’t know which side he belonged on.
He supposed in the end, he was his own side.
One last shell screamed through the air, whistling high enough that the sound carried and hurt Solan’s ears.
He had to make it through this battle. Had to live. Had to fulfill his destiny, whatever that was.
Yet, he saw only spots now, his vision blurring. Something dug into his uncovered knees and cut into his skin.
Then Solan realized it was his scream permeating the air.
Tears streaked down his cheeks. He could not fail. He had yet to figure out what that witch meant by finding his destiny.
Someone, something, in the air flew towards him. A figure. But, what? He could only make out slender features in the fog and mist before the ground came at him too quickly and he saw black.
* * * *
Something wet and warm slid across his forehead, bringing him back from unconsciousness. Solan didn’t move, but he opened his senses more. Beneath him, softness.
“No night too dark.”
The sound of something dripping pulled his attention to his left, before the warmth dabbed at his forehead again.
“No road too long.”
The voice was feminine, soft, with a foreign lilt that sounded sweet to his ears.
“No wind too strong.”
A washcloth. Reality intruded the dull haze he’d been in as muscles ached and he let out a groan.
Carefully, he opened his eyes.
Blurred vision gave way to reveal the face of an angel.
Or a demon.
Midnight blue hair hung straight, framing an oval face. Ruby red lips meant for easing the suffering of man only caused him to harden.
Her eyes seemed lifeless at first, but Solan stared harder into the pools of her irises, found himself sinking slowly into the depths of Krylon blue before he shook himself out of it.
Pain sliced through his limbs.
“Be careful. I’ve given you something for the pain, but,” she ran a hand through her hair and he imagined what it would feel like to tangle his fingers in it.
She smiled, showed tiny fangs.
He gasped, “You’re a,” he tried to move, agonizing pain cut through him. He grit his teeth, the warrior in him refusing to scream.
“Yes, warrior. I am the undead.”
“Where did you learn those words?”
“I don’t know,” she set a washcloth back in the basin. “They have been in my head for many years now. I cannot remember a time when I didn’t think of them. Why do you ask?”
Solan closed his eyes. “No reason.”
Her arm brushed against his, sending a jolt of arousal coursing through him. Again, he grunted, more in frustration at not being able to move or react, than anything else.
“This will sting a bit, but it’s necessary to change the wounds on your shoulder. The cut is very deep and we had to replace a lot of what you lost.”
His eyes widened.
“No,” she shook her head, ‘Not with our blood. There are willing humans who donate to us as we require in return for our protection. Our herbs would not cure you, the state your body was in.”
The first time in ages he’d talked to someone who wasn’t trying to kill him and it had to be a vampire. What did that say of his life? “I see.” He inhaled slowly, careful not to send another shock of pain through his system. Exhaling was slightly more comfortable.
“When I found you, I tried to heal you with magic but the wounds wouldn’t close. Something bad…”
“An Outsider.” He turned his head to look at the basin and remove her pretty face from his sight.
“Yes.” She picked up something metal, he caught the gleam of candlelight reflecting off it. “You’re not-”
Two fingers pressed against his mouth. “You have bomb shrapnel in you. I’m simply going to remove it.”
The contact of her fingers against his lips made his throat dry. He had to have her despite her being…
“Look away, it will hurt less.”
“You don’t have medicine to numb me?”
She swiped the knife through a flame, held it at eye level and blinked. “I do not.”
Eyes wide, Solan jerked against her, sending pain lacing through his body. His heart skipped a beat. “You can’t bespell me?”
She shook her head slowly. “Sadly, no.”
His eyes met hers and he found himself getting lost in her gaze, yet it wasn’t the intentional power of persuasion screaming in his head that stole his focus. It was just…her.
With careful attention, she brought the knife to his flesh and cut along the injured area.
Solan stared down the line of her body, jerked from the knife cutting and pain, but found he liked the way the purple dress fit her. Large breasts spilled from the lace top. If he had to guess, the dress reached floor length and tapered at the waist. He couldn’t move past her breasts.
Her eyes met his and her lips curled upward in an appreciative smile. Then she frowned.
“Ouch,” the sting bit into him, and his arm suddenly felt lighter.
“Just as I suspected. The Outsider’s blade had magic woven into the folding of steel.”
“You can detect magic?”
She nodded. “There are many things not understood about our race, but the humans won’t ask. And the Outsiders seek to control us.”
He’d heard. The Outsiders sought to rule the world and blanket it with chaos. Humans fought bravely but lost out due to the sheer size and strength of the typical Outsider. Vampires hadn’t been a factor. “Rumors and legends abound about your kind.”
Again, she nodded, and the light reflected off her pale skin. Shadows danced over her flesh. Solan swore he saw demons running over her skin but then again, he could be hallucinating.
“The spell works to slow down the opponent upon drawing blood. It’s as though weight is added to compound the severity of your injuries. The mind cannot process the additional weight so fast, so you end up spent before your much larger opponent.”
“No wonder he seemed so much faster.”
“I am Katherine, by the way.” She threaded a needle and began stitching the wound in his arm. “Most of your other wounds I can heal with magic if you will allow. For now, you should rest.”
Solan started to protest but the pinch of her needle stopped him. Then his stomach grumbled.
“I have no doubt a fierce warrior like you needs provisions. I shall see to it that you are fed. Right now, we’re hoping the blood we gave you remains in your system.”
He cocked a brow. “My body could reject it?”
“While our magic is strong, our knowledge of medicines and the human body is…lacking.” Her voice dropped. Katherine looked away.
Though it pained him, Solan lifted his left arm, grit his teeth and touched her cheek.
He had no idea her skin would be so soft.
Running the pad of his thumb along her jawline, he turned her face toward him. “I can only thank you for your kindness. If I can do…”
Katherine smiled. “Your money would be no good here, warrior. Do you…” she set a hand on his chest lightly, “have a name?”
Heat warmed him, hardened him. Somehow through his wounds he could still feel intense desire for this woman. Yet, a warrior’s name was something to share only with those whom the warrior trusted. At that moment, Solan felt like he could trust her, even if she was one of the walking dead. Yet, his eyes closed, breathing evened and warmth settled around him.
“Very well, Solan. I shall love you back to full health.”
The last thing he heard was the sound of her breathing before sleep overtook him.