Rowan: Branch 1 of the Tree of Life
Lion shifter Adrian and vampire Simon are best friends and business partners. When they discover Rowan, each wants her for his own. Rowan does her best to dissuade them, for a supernatural matebond means the end of her freedom.
Then demons begin hunting sidhe and Rowan is a prime target. She agrees to exchange her freedom for survival. But which male will Rowan accept? And can she survive when one of them dies in a battle to keep her?
Consciousness arrived slowly, making me dimly aware in disjointed fashion that I was naked, that I was bandaged, that I was not lying in my own bed, and that I hurt. I opened my eyes slowly, the lids felt heavy and crusted. Reflexively, I raised my hands to rub the sleep from my eyes and winced and hissed with pain from my left shoulder. Wounds front and back throbbed. I gently eased my left arm back down and rubbed my eyes with the right hand. Eyes clear of sleep, I opened them fully and looked upward at a white ceiling in a dark room. The air on my face was cool, but not cold, so I decided that someone had the air conditioner running. I delicately sniffed. There was a trace of vampire, a trace of something else, and a whole lot of beeswax and lemon oil. Someone kept a tidy residence.
Lowering my right arm, I attempted to lever myself into a sitting position. With a grunt, I quickly lowered myself back down. I’d found the wound in my belly. The screaming pain incited by movement informed me as nothing else could that the damage was severe and my body was going to be several more days in healing. I wondered when it would be safe to eat and immediately felt nauseated as my damaged stomach rebelled at the very thought of trying to digest food right then.
The door opened; I heard it before I was able to turn my head to see who came through. There was a crack of golden light, temporarily blocked by the tall, muscular form of the man who poked his head into the room.
No, not a man. A vampire.
Shit, I cursed mentally. I was in no condition to fight off a vampire.
“How is my guest doing?” he asked quietly in a perfectly civil tone.
“I’m alive,” I answered hoarsely, realizing my throat was horribly dry and raw. “I’d prefer to stay that way.”
The vampire sighed as though disappointed with my assumption that I hadn’t long to live. Then he answered, “I didn’t bring you here and bandage you just to kill you.”
“That’s reassuring,” I whispered as though I truly believed him. Within my head, I felt the brush of thoughts not my own. With a mental snarl, I closed off my mind and blocked him out. I might be physically incapacitated, but I refused to relinquish mental control.
Tree of Life Series
Hard boiled, scrambled, over easy, and sunny side up: eggs are the musings of Holly Bargo, the pseudonym for the author.
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