“So this is where you’re hiding from me.”
I hung my head and fisted my hair.
“I take it you saw me in there?” His voice hadn’t changed. “I saw you too. You tend to stick out in a crowd.”
Get the fuck away from me.
Since the ground wasn’t gonna swallow me whole, I steeled myself and stood up again, and I came face-to-face with Archie for the first time in five years. But as memories demanded I hurled every curse in the book at him, another part of me froze up, and I just stared.
Even under the cover of darkness, with barely any light from the porch, he was too damn beautiful. And no level of darkness could conceal the vulnerability in his eyes. Maybe that was why I couldn’t say anything harsh.
I’d seen that vulnerability before, when he’d known that our evening together was about to come to a swift conclusion. There was no forgetting the cold that’d filled me when I’d understood what was going on.
“You look good, Greer,” he offered.
Christ. I folded my arms over my chest. “Why are you here?”
He took a step closer. “I’ve been looking for you. For the…past year.”
I narrowed my eyes. Did he think I was stupid? “Try again. Because this isn’t the place that pops up if you’re looking for me.”
“No,” he conceded. “I found the business you share with your brothers first. Then I found their Facebook accounts, your nieces and nephews on Instagram and Snapchat, your two sisters-in-law on Instagram and Pinterest…” He released a breath. “You learn a lot about a man through the social media eyes of his family members.”
“An entire family on social media—except you,” he said. “Until I stumbled upon a comment section under one of your nephews’ accounts. Crew, I think his name was…? Someone named Finlay Ridge had wished him good luck, and there you were.”
I was, but I wasn’t. It was the name of my farm. I used the account for the food collective groups I was in. And, of course, to stay in touch with family and friends, but I hadn’t made a single post in public, nor had I uploaded any photos.
“From there, I went through all your friends…”
“I hear warning bells,” I replied dryly.
He nodded and looked down at the grass. “Can’t blame you. I got obsessed. I wanted to know everything about you.”
Fuck him. He couldn’t say that shit to me.
“So this is where you’re hiding from me.”
Night ignored the voice at the back of his mind that whispered to seduce the beautiful human standing before him. As much as he desired her, he couldn’t act on it. Bastian might not have placed his mark on her yet, but she was to be his. That was the reason his brother had asked him to watch her. She had agreed to become his servant in exchange for the benefits it would grant her, like a longer life and immunity to disease, and this mansion as her home. Night couldn’t break that contract.
He would do as his brother had asked and watch her.
In his own fashion.
“Where is your room?” Because he intended to lock her in it and have a servant bring her three meals a day until he was gone or Bastian had returned. When her lips parted, he spoke before she could, not sure he would be able to handle the sound of her voice if it was as beautiful as the rest of her. “Do not speak. Show me.”
He grabbed her arm.
And stupidly himself too.
She wasn’t owned. Touching her without Bastian’s consent wouldn’t hurt him or her. But part of him had been ready for a blast of white-hot pain and prepared to see her crumple in a heap as Bastian’s ownership of her took effect and punished her.
Night drew down a deep breath, catching her scent, and followed it up the stairs. He tracked it along the cream corridor, his shoes loud on the wooden floor, punctuating the heavy silence as the female followed him.
Her eyes on his profile.
Gods, she had to stop looking at him. His control was threadbare, and he feared it wasn’t because he had been due to feed tonight and had worked himself up for a hunt. Had he thought himself dead? He was no longer sure that was the case as his heart thundered, blood rushing in his veins.
He would be dead if he touched her though.
If he surrendered to the wicked urges she roused in him.
Blood on his lips. Power in his touch. A maelstrom in his eyes.
Blood On His Lips is an adult high heat, dark romantic fantasy, second in the Fae Prince of Everenne series. This not a standalone and ends in a cliffhanger. Book one must be read first.
For readers who crave enemies-to-lovers, obsessed dark heroes, murderous heroines, a battle of dark wills and enjoy authors such as Jennifer L. Armentrout, Michelle Sagara, Kathryn Ann Kingsley, and Laura Thalassa.
Alisyn Fae, the pen name of PNR & SFR author Emma Alisyn, writes high heat adult fantasy romance with heroines over 30, for readers who like their romance slightly dark, grown as *uck, with slap in the face tension and adventure. Learn more: www.emmaalisyn.com