6 Embrace the Wild

000 Caris Roane - Author Photo 2A Mastyr Vampire. A beautiful fae Protector. Two hearts in the wild. Passion ignites for this blood rose and her mastyr vampire, but will the burdens they carry keep them apart?

Welcome to EMBRACE THE WILD, the sixth book in the Blood Rose Series. Now available, this book is a standalone. You’ll find a complete romance in EMBRACE THE WILD as you will in each of the Blood Rose Series books!

EMBRACE THE WILD

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And now here’s the fabulous cover created by Carol Webb of Bella Media Management!

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 EMBRACE THE WILD

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For two-hundred-years he’s lived a solitary existence until a beautiful fae, with enormous power, disrupts his world…

Mastyr Vampire Malik has only one goal: to serve the realm he loves. Battling both the dreaded Invictus wraith-pairs and an element in Ashleaf Realm that wants all innocent wraiths dead, Malik can’t afford to get distracted. But Willow has already become an obsession as he lusts for the powerful fae whose blood he craves. In turn, Willow has her own duties to attend to as the Protector of a large, vulnerable wraith colony. Without her shield, the innocent wraiths will be caught by the malevolent Society, a group intent on killing all wraiths and half-breeds. But her drive toward Malik, her need to be with him, to feed him, overrides her rational mind. Passion storms through her life, changing everything. But at what cost to herself, to Malik, to the entire Realm?

And now an excerpt from Chapter One!

#6 EMBRACE THE WILD

Chapter One

Willow swam in a large forest pool, trying to ignore the vampire watching her from deep in the woods. As she swept each arm through the water and kicked her feet, she felt his attention like a soft drag on her body, slowing her down and making her want things from him she shouldn’t want.

Of course she knew who he was; she’d known him since she could remember. He was Mastyr Malik, ruler of Ashleaf Realm for two hundred years, a warrior and a man of great worth, always willing to lay down his life for his fellow realm-folk.

For her, he’d become the standard by which she measured all men, especially since he fought on behalf of wraith civil rights every night of his life, protecting the tens of thousands of half-breeds who lived in Ashleaf Realm.

No other mastyr before him had done so.

Every few days for the past two years, Malik would seek her out at the end of his nightly patrols with his Vampire Guard, a half hour or so before dawn. And she made it a point to be at her favorite waterfall, swimming, her clothes left on the ground.
She’d been without a man for way too long, decades in fact because she’d vowed never to let herself get distracted from her duties. What she couldn’t deny, however, was that over the past two years since her encounters with Malik had begun, she’d grown to crave her brief time with him.

Even as she pulled through the water, her body felt heated and unsettled — needy. At times, her desire for the mastyr distracted her almost beyond reason and still she allowed herself this moment of perfect erotic sensation. She would pleasure herself later with the memory of what would soon follow, even though she forbade herself to touch Malik or even to engage in conversation with him. She risked too much as it was.

She felt his desire though, and could smell his powerful mating scent, very much like the richest parts of the forest. That Malik took pleasure in watching her swim made her feel as though she provided him a small service. She knew what he suffered, and not just the chronic blood-starvation that all mastyr vampires of the Nine Realms suffered, but because she knew he bore the concerns of his realm heavily on his shoulders.

Reaching the waterfall end of the natural pool, she flipped over and headed back in the mastyr’s direction, floating on her back, stroking toward the opposite bank. She breathed in his rough, wild texture, warrior that he was, so very male.

But she could feel the moment build within her when she’d have to rise naked from the pool and run. He always gave chase and she always ran, knowing that if he ever caught her, she wouldn’t be able to restrain herself.

And if she gave herself to Malik, she feared that his entire Realm would be thrown into the worst and most horrific chaos of its long existence.

She wasn’t just a wraith-fae half-breed. She also served as the sole Protector of an entire colony of pure wraiths that lived hidden and safe on her land. If it ever became known that so many full-blooded wraiths lived in Ashleaf, those aligned with The Society would come after them, slaughtering to the last living soul.

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Malik remained cloaked by the deep night shadows of the surrounding forest, knowing that in about three minutes he’d be chasing a very naked woman through a dozen intricate paths.

But he was quickly reaching the point where just watching Willow swim at the base of the waterfall wouldn’t be enough. He needed to be with her, to talk to her, to touch her, and do a thousand other things he shouldn’t.

The woman’s name was Willow and she always ran, and always eluded him. Clearly, she didn’t want to be caught. So why did he keep giving chase?

Though he’d long since given up on his rational process having any effect on this obsession, that old saying about insanity and repeated behavior slid through his head. Yet, just once he wanted to hold the powerful elusive fae-female in his arms, maybe sink his fangs and drink until he was Goddess-be-damned satisfied.

He could smell her blood as well, a fresh forest-rain scent, even at a distance of forty feet. He had to pant through a couple of serious stomach-killing cramps just to keep from doubling over. He wanted her blood like no other woman he’d desired in the past century.

His blood-starvation from the time he’d risen to mastyr status two hundred years ago had been his closest friend and one he cursed nightly. Though he had a stable of faithful and extremely reliable doneuses who fed him twice a day, he still suffered as though he never tapped a vein.

The mastyr curse was a real bitch.

But with that curse came power and lots of it, and more than other vampires in Ashleaf Realm.

Yet, he still couldn’t catch the quick-footed fae. Each time she scurried down intricate forest paths, he followed suit, putting on as much of his renowned vampire speed as he could, but he never quite caught up.

Her track might be different each time, but the end was always the same; she would reach the vine-shrouded gate to her land and simply vanish. How many times had he stood near the massive tangle of vines, feeling her presence, calling to her, begging her to show herself, but without ever having her respond? He wasn’t sure, but somehow he believed she had a connection to those vines, that they gave her shelter.

Once he’d actually tried to force her hand, waiting until the break of dawn before heading home. But all he’d gotten for his trouble were a few extremely painful sunlight-blisters, having cut it that close to sunrise.

But she hadn’t revealed herself to him. Not even then.

For a few days after each chase, he would resolve never to return to her. However, his need for what she possessed in her veins called to him repeatedly so that with hope raging in his chest, he would find his way back to this exact pool and her beautiful, naked body moving through the water.

So here he was … again … hoping against any rational possibility that tonight would be different. Maybe she’d stumble, and he’d catch her. Or maybe he’d find just enough additional power to capture her at last. Then he would hold her and ease her head to just the right angle, exposing her long, beautiful throat and pulsing vein.

A vampire could only hope.

She swam easily in the water, long strokes from the waterfall at one end, to the other where ferns abounded. She hummed a soft folk tune now, something that sounded fae, something she would accompany with a lyre.

Even as she hummed, he felt that her entire being was focused on something else, something other than the water or the song, or plying her arms and kicking her feet, or even on him. This he always felt as well, as though her mind was fixed on an object he didn’t understand.

He’d known Willow since her parents had died as a result of The Society, a group bent on ridding Ashleaf Realm of all wraiths and half-breeds. Willow was one-quarter wraith and her mother, a lovely fae-wraith, had been slaughtered by The Society.

Willow’s father had died as a result of grief-insanity. He’d lashed out, trying to find his wife’s killers, but ended up facing off with Malik and his Vampire Guard. The tall full-fae man, an honorable teacher of ancient history at Ashleaf University, had died while holding an innocent troll hostage, a knife to his neck, blood flowing from the troll’s throat.

Willow had been thirteen at the time, almost seventy years ago now. He’d known her back then, and that Alexandra the Bad, the most powerful fae in the Ashleaf Guild, had shortly afterward sent Willow secretly to live with a family in the far north. She’d been given a new identity in order to keep her safe from The Society.

Then two years ago, he’d seen Willow in the market town of Cherry Hollow. He hadn’t known who she was at the time, not having seen her in decades. But he was drawn to her auburn hair and soft hazel eyes, as well as an ethereal, almost otherworld quality she carried with her.

He’d called out to her, but she’d disappeared into the forest. He’d given chase that very night, his interest developing quickly into a profound desire.

And here he was, watching her do laps in a pool, listening to the sound of the waterfall and smelling the sweet forest scent of her blood until the muscles of his thighs twitched.

He desired this woman as though she was rain to his storm.

And from the scent that rose from the water, he knew she felt the same way and that she was fully aware of his presence. But why wouldn’t she come to him? Why did she run when he drew near? Why wouldn’t she even talk to him?

Dawn wasn’t far away now and he had to make his move soon, or he’d end up blistered by the time he made it back to his house some thirty miles to the south.
He’d patrolled Ashleaf through the night with his Vampire Guard, hunting for sign of the enemy, the dreaded Invictus wraith-pairs. But his realm was mercifully quiet and he’d sent his Guard home for the night.

The time had come.

And at nearly the same moment that he decided to move, as though somehow intuiting his intentions, she levitated out of the pool and started to dry off with her towel. He nearly passed out at the sight of her exquisite and completely naked body.
“Willow,” he called softly. “Don’t run this time. I just want to talk.”

She lifted her head, paused for about a split-second to meet his gaze, then spun around and took off. She half-ran, half-levitated, shifting side-to-side to avoid branches and thorny vines as she headed up a north trail.

He flew after her, his three hundred years of living in Ashleaf Realm equal to her deft maneuvers. She sped over waterfalls and down streams and gullies, her nakedness a creamy flash in the night.

The whole time, the scent of her desire trailed after her, letting him know exactly what these encounters meant to her.

Yet he knew so damn little about the woman as she hit a path to the west that veered quickly to the south. Her strategy might change, but she always led him back to that enormous vine-shrouded arbor above the gate to her property. If he didn’t catch her, she’d disappear into the vines, dawn would come way too soon, and he’d have to leave yet again without capturing his prize.

On he sped, sometimes losing sight of her because she was so fast. Even as he reached a fork with several paths, he only had to sniff the air to know which route to take.

He ate up the few miles, sweating furiously in his Guardsmen leather coat despite it was sleeveless. But he wouldn’t have stopped for the world.

He reached for her telepathically, yet couldn’t connect because the woman could block him. Exactly how much power did this fae hold? Possibly more than even Alexandra the Bad, the leader of the Ashleaf Fae Guild.

As her gate loomed, he started closing in. She’d grown fatigued. Part of her energy was still focused elsewhere as he gave chase. He didn’t understand what she was concentrating on so heavily.

If only she’d just talk to him; he had so many questions.

He was within fifteen feet … ten … sweet Goddess, only three feet, but there was the damn vine-covered arbor and gate, the place she would disappear. If she reached it, he’d be unable to find her.

He reached out, put on some speed and his fingers trailed down her red hair, half-dry now from running.

But she ran straight into the vines and like at least three dozen times before, she simply vanished.

He flew over the gate to the other side, but he knew she wouldn’t be there. Was she really somewhere inside the vines? How was that even possible? Yet, she had to be because he could smell her and she was close.

“Willow, I must talk to you. I don’t mean you any harm. I promise you. Won’t you speak to me, just once?”
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Bella Media ManagementI hope you enjoyed this excerpt from EMBRACE THE WILD!  Let the Blood Rose Series become a new journey for you!

EMBRACE THE WILD

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And now, have a wonderful day and an even better night! For more information about my books, keep scrolling! Live the fang!

Caris Roane Home Page

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Caris Roane Home PageDo you enjoy free books!?! All year, I’ll be giving away copies of my e-books through my newsletter. I also run subscriber-exclusive giveaways, so be sure to sign up on my home page in the right hand column where it says: Subscribe to Our Mailing List! Once you do, you’ll receive a welcome letter with a link to your free e-book! Enjoy and hugs, Caris Roane!

Be sure to look for your welcome letter which has the link to your free e-book! 

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Caris Roane is the New York Times bestselling author of thirty-seven paranormal romance books. Writing as Valerie King, she has published fifty novels and novellas in Regency Romance. Caris lives in Phoenix, Arizona, loves gardening, enjoys the birds and lizards in her yard, but encourages the scorpions to inhabit elsewhere! Her motto: Live the Fang!

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