Forbidden Love, A Vampire Romantic Suspense
By: Terry Spear | Other books by Terry Spear
Published By: Terry Spear
Published: Apr 29, 2011
ISBN # 9781458101891
Published By: Terry Spear
Published: Apr 29, 2011
ISBN # 9781458101891
Word Count: 88,208
Available in: Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.mobi), Adobe Acrobat
DescriptionHuntress Alena MacLeod is given a mission: work undercover to discover a rogue vampire’s secretive work, then terminate him.
Ephraim MacNeill, aka Sutton Bastrop, knows Alena is his Elizabeth MacLeod from an earlier time, and he’s determined to return to the past and right all the wrongs to end the curse placed on the love of his life before it’s too late—again.
Together, they must risk all to stop a war between a newly formed Brotherhood of rogue vampires, tired of the status quo, and the League of Hunters, who have ruled for centuries over the vampires—both changed during the Black Death—some of the survivors becoming vampires, and others hunters of the same.
Reader Rating: Not rated (0 Ratings)
Sensuality Rating: Not rated
Campbeltown, Scotland, 1701
Ephraim MacNeill would kill anyone who stood in his way.
His head held high, his sword readied, he stalked toward the motte and bailey castle in the twilight of the eve. Still not believing his luck at locating Elizabeth’s current place of imprisonment, he feared the rumor a ruse, or worse—a calculated attempt to draw him into the spider’s web. But the sight of a woman paralleling his path in the deepening shadows drew his attention. Her red curls trailed behind her like a knight’s banner, whipping in the breeze, while she fled across the rain-soaked valley. Praise God, his beloved had escaped.
“Elizabeth!” Ephraim resheathed his sword and dashed for her. A thread of joy filled his heart that she appeared unharmed. But despair they’d soon be caught cut short the brief elation.
“Ephraim.” His name half choked, half sounding desperate from her lips made his mouth go dry. Bolting through sweet heather, she altered her course in the direction of his voice.
Elizabeth, his only reason to live his immortal life.
Damn the clan wars that kept them apart. But no more. Tonight he’d blood bond with her and forever... forever they would be joined as mates.
Clouds darkened the sky as the sun sank beneath the earth. Yet with his nocturnal sight, he saw her as clearly as if the golden sphere still lighted their way. She clutched her petticoats high to keep from tripping on them, her knuckles white from the grip. Her creamy cheeks were flushed pink from the nippiness in the air and the rush of her run, while her small, leather shoes crunched on the earth in a frenzied pace.
His heart thundered while he fought the panic rising in his blood. If her brothers or any of the rest of her kin tracked them now…
Concentrating on his vampiric power, Ephraim attempted to fly to her, or to vanish and appear before her, but his new found abilities eluded him at the most dangerous of times. Damn the plague that had made him and others vampiric. And damn the same plague that had made others like Elizabeth and most of her kin stronger, too. Only the bloodlust in their hearts was a different kind. A kind that turned them into hunters of vampires.
Sprinting toward Elizabeth, Ephraim’s boots pounded the wet earth. Her eyes widened, searching for signs of him in the dark.
“Elizabeth,” he said under his breath this time, not wanting anyone to hear if someone suspected she’d already escaped as he closed the distance.
Reaching her, he grabbed her up in his arms, elated to finally hold her again, drugged with her womanly scent. But fear of being caught overshadowed the bliss. He whirled around, then ran back the way he’d come. She smelled of sweet lavender and woman, and he drank in her fragrance with a deep breath, holding her warm body against his in a fevered embrace. A year had he searched in vain for her... a lifetime, craving her soft touch.
“Oh, Ephraim,” she choked out, still trying to catch her breath, “Malcolm will kill us both. Where can we hide?” She burrowed her head against his chest and warm tears trickled down his shirt, stirring his heart.
“An abandoned croft nearby, love,” he whispered against her head, the pleasure he felt in holding her close hampered by the fear he could still lose her.
Because he had several times the strength of men not visited by the plague, she weighed no more than a sack of goose down to him, instead of the weight of a full-grown, curvaceous woman he craved to devour. He held her tightly against his chest while he ran, wanting to reassure her he would protect her now and always.
“For twelve long months have I searched in vain for ye.”
“Aye, and I prayed ye would find me.” She clutched him tighter, her voice full of tears. “Malcolm’s determined to marry me off to my cousin. Oh, Ephraim, if it hadna been for Mary, she risked her life to bring me food and drink that wasna drugged. And she drugged those who guarded my chamber.”
“Your second cousin’s a good lass, love.” He kissed Elizabeth’s bonnie head, his heart soaring like a feathered bird in flight.
For three miles he ran, never tiring. The sky darkened to give them sufficient cover while the scent of peat smoke drifted in the breeze from some distant dwelling. “I’ve booked passage on a ship sailing to the Colonies on the morrow. I’ve changed my name to Sutton Bastrop, and ye will be my wife.”
“‘Tis time ye married me.” Tilting her chin up, she looked him squarely in the eye, teasing him in her devilish way. No matter the dire circumstances they found themselves in, she always had a way of lightening the mood to chase away the dark.
“You were the one who wished your father’s blessing, and once he was murdered by the MacLean, your brother’s,” he reminded her with a kiss on the cheek.
She shook her head, her voice bitter when she spoke. “I was a fool to think they would allow me to marry anyone other than my cousin. Love means naught to any of them. Power and privilege, that’s all that matters.”
“He willna have ye.” Determined to keep her out of her kin’s hands, Ephraim would do anything—give up his title, his lands—anything to have her for his own.
She stared into the darkness, but he knew she couldn’t see a thing, not like he could.
Yet her sense of smell and hearing were vastly improved like a vampire’s. She breathed in more deeply, and he knew she was trying to smell danger anywhere nearby.
“Won’t they look for us there, Ephraim?”
Just the way she said his name, lovingly, stirred his loins. He had been separated from her overmuch too long. “‘Tis off the main road, no worn paths lead to it. None should find us.” At least he hoped not. He had no other place to keep her safe until they shipped off. ‘Twas the best he could do after learning of her whereabouts.
He shoved the door open to the hovel, and it squeaked on its hinges.
She shuddered. “I feel as though we have sent a warning bell ringing across the valley.”
“We should be safe for the eve.” He prayed his words would prove true. “We will leave before first light.” He set her on a makeshift straw bed in one corner of the room, the hay still green, soft, leafy, and sweet smelling.
“You just made this bed, love?” Her brows rose in questioning, her lips twitching upward at the corners.
“Aye, as soon as I learned you were being kept hostage in the castle. As soon as it was dark, I intended to free ye and ravage ye here.” He hurried to the door and wedged a rickety wooden chair against it.
She sounded as desperate as he felt as she said, “Make love to me, Ephraim. The thought of being with you again is the only thing that kept me alive these past many months.”
‘Twas his most fervent desire, yet he wanted much more than that. Crossing the floor, he crouched in front of her and ran his fingers through her silky tresses. “We must blood bond if we are to be together forever, love.” He could not risk losing her again.
She looked at the dirt floor, earthy smelling and slightly damp from the recent shower.
Had she changed her mind? The notion tightened his stomach into knotted hemp. Raising her chin, he gazed into her aquamarine eyes flecked with amber, the eyes he had so longed to see again. “We must.”
She nodded. “Aye.”
“Even if your family is against it?”
“‘Tis my life to give, no’ theirs.” She tilted her chin up, and he saw the determination in her eyes.
He was not waiting for her to change her mind. Forever, they would be together. Forever, soul mates, as one.
Grasping the silver brooch attached to the green and white striped arisaid at her breast, he hurriedly unfastened it. Then he tackled the silver belt secured over the shawl beneath her breast. She began to yank off her petticoats while he worked on her blue jacket and tossed it aside.
“You need to wear less clothing, lass.”
She slapped his shoulder. “And have me called one of those loose wenches?”
Smiling darkly, he pulled off her stays. “If ye wore nay stays, I would indeed call ye a loose woman.” He kissed her cheek, but she tugged at his jacket.
After yanking her shift over her head, he stared at her naked beauty. The moon’s silver streaks provided a faint light through an open window and part of the roof where the mud and straw had long since rotted away.
Her creamy skin as smooth as a bairn’s, lightly moist from their race to flee from her family, her breasts... firm, the dark pink nipples already extended like luscious forbidden fruit tantalized him. Her hair tangled by the breeze, draped in straggles over her blushing shoulders, and her full lips parted, begged him to kiss them. The curly red hair at the apex of her thighs garnered his attention next, and then his gaze returned to her eyes. He could easily get lost in their darkened depths. With a ragged sigh, he concluded once again, she was more beautiful than any Highland lass he’d ever met.
How he’d longed to be with her like this as they’d once been. Damn her family for keeping them apart.
Stripping his clothes off with vampiric speed, he leaned against her on their hastily-made bed. Whether it was the fear he’d never be with her again, the bloodlust rising in his system, or the concern they would get caught, he rushed his actions with a frenzied pace not normally his style. He conquered her mouth with determination, grasping her hair in satiny handfuls while he worked his body between her legs. Digging her fingernails into his shoulders, she urged him on, her knees bent, her legs parted, her tongue flicking against his.
“Oh, Ephraim,” she moaned against his mouth.
He sank between her legs and thrust his tongue into her mouth, desiring to fill her with every passionate ounce he had preserved for her. She caressed his tongue with hers in a zealous dance, forcing a deep-throated groan to issue. How he loved the red-haired goddess.
Her name slipped from his lips in adoration, “Elizabeth,” having said it so many times in the past few months in sleep, having believed her to be under him like now in the throes of passion, only to awake and find it a dream. His heart nearly burst with pride to be reunited with her.
Her soft warm body curved to meet his, her hips thrusting, forcing him to penetrate her feminine chambers more deeply, eliciting another groan from his lips. He never doubted they were meant to be together, bound for all eternity.
She moved her fingers lower, touching the base of his spine, pressuring him to give of himself, sending another shiver of need through him. He ground harder against her, their bodies damp with sweat in the cool night air. His teeth itched to extend, but making love came first, then the blood bond, if he could contain the bloodlust that threatened to overwhelm him.
“Ephraim,” she whispered against his cheek.
The sweet warm blood pumped through her veins at an accelerated rate, urging him to drink his fill. His teeth extended, his power to resist, lost. He grazed the sharp tips of his canines on her throat careful not to nick her skin. He plunged deeper between her legs, so close to the peak he could taste fulfillment.
Her body shuddering with climax gripped him with spasms of pleasure until he could hold back no longer.
He groaned as his seed filled her ripe womb. He sensed it from the heat of her body and the fluids that moistened her entrance for him, receptive to his seed. “Elizabeth MacLeod, I love you,” he whispered huskily against her mouth, nuzzling his to hers, before he shared with her the ultimate sexual pleasure.
“Bite me, love,” she urged, her voice huskier than usual. She licked his cheek, then turned her head, tilting her chin up, exposing her throat to him.
Unable to wait any longer, he sank his teeth into her soft skin. She gasped. He stilled his actions. Her fingers traced his spine, sending a tingling straight to his groin.
“Oh, Ephraim,” she moaned. “Why didn’t you tell me how good this could be?”
He touched her breast and felt the rigid peak against his fingertip. Then the bloodlust careened through him, the feral sensation entreating him to fulfill his need in the vampire way. He drew the sweet blood from the vein in her throat, relieved and gladdened she enjoyed his pleasuring her in a new way. All he needed to do was encourage her thirst for him, drink enough of her blood so that she had to drink some of his, then they would be blood bonded for the rest of their lives.
But the sound of horses’ hooves pounding through the area, and the shout of men’s angry voices shattered the moment.
“Oh, Ephraim,” Elizabeth cried in a whispered hush. “Hurry!”