It’s time for Snippet Saturday! Each week has a theme or is author’s choice. This week the theme is Hot Pursuit – Going after the one you love.
This week my snippet comes from Unleash (Vampire Erotic Theatre Romance Series #6).
Aurora scooted away from him and off the bed. Snow sat up and tried to catch her arm before she could distance herself any further, wanting to finish what she had started even when he knew he shouldn’t.
She stared at him, her eyes wild with the panic he could feel in her emotions and the frantic beat of her heart, overshadowing the lingering trace of her desire, and then bolted for the door. She was out of it before he could get the covers off him.
Snow growled, hit the floor running, and gave chase. The lights were on in the black-walled corridor. His gaze sought her, his head whipping to his left. She had already reached the end of the hallway. Rather than heading down the staircase, she went up another one further back in the corridor. The roof. She intended to fly away from him.
He damned well wouldn’t let her.
He refused to let her run from her feelings any longer.
He sprinted after her, bare feet landing heavily with each long stride, and took the stairs two at a time, following them upwards.
“Aurora,” he called out but she didn’t slow. She kept running into the darkness ahead of him, her small feet making no sound on the steps. Her wings hadn’t made an appearance yet. Was that a good sign?
Snow couldn’t take comfort from it. She was still running from him after all. She intended to leave him again and he feared he would never see her again if he let her get away.
She hit the storage level at the very top of the theatre and kept going.
“Aurora.” Snow tried again, hoping she would listen to him this time. “Do not run from me.”
Not only because he wanted her to stay.
If she kept running, he was going to lose his temper and then his head. His bloodlust was liable to make a poorly timed appearance because the thought of her leaving was cleaving his heart into two.
“I have to go.” She didn’t look back. The scent of panic and fear swamped her feminine smell of lilies and snow, turning it acrid. “It was wrong of me to come to you. I should have stayed away.”
Because she was an angel? Guilt lanced him again, running his chest through. He had forgotten her and committed so many sins that her wings had turned entirely black. He hated that she had seen him all those times, and had probably seen him with women, witnessed the debauched things he had done and the destruction he had caused, ending countless lives.
She had seen him at his worst and he wasn’t sure that he had a best to show her to prove there was good in him, something to make him worthy of her notice.
Aurora broke out onto the flat roof of Vampirerotique and slowed to a halt, breathing hard.
Snow felt confusion breaking through her other emotions. Her feelings were clearer than ever now that he had become more attuned to her.
The desire he could sense and smell on her was the reason he bravely edged towards the door and the evening beyond.
She had been close to kissing him. Her touch had awoken him and he had remained still, feigning sleep in order to see what she would do. Her breath had been hot and moist against his lips, and he had come close to taking the lead and kissing her.
If he kissed her, would he taint her?
He stared at her where she stood on the rooftop with her back to him, a breeze tousling her fall of black hair and the layers of her pristine white dress.
He wasn’t worthy of this beautiful creature. Not after everything he had put her through and everything he had done. He was wretched.
Clouds hung heavily in the sky, blocking out the final light of the sun that was now below the horizon.
Snow cautiously edged out onto the roof, not because of the danger sunlight posed to him, but because of the fact he was stepping beyond the walls of Vampirerotique for the first time in over a century.
He blinked hard, unaccustomed to even the dim light, and braced himself as a million scents assaulted him and his senses sharpened. He tensed as the breeze caressed his bare flesh, unused to the feel of it now.
Unfamiliar sounds buzzed in his ears, making him twitchy and cranking up his tension until he feared the slightest thing would trigger his bloodlust.
A shrill noise came from overhead and Snow hunkered down, glaring up at the sky. A jet. He had seen pictures. Antoine took great pleasure in keeping him up to date about the world. Snow saw it as a sign of his brother’s unwavering faith in him and his need to cling to the hope that Snow would recover and gain enough control over his bloodlust to be allowed out into the world again.
Snow did not like aircraft. He decided it as he watched it lazily move into the distance. They didn’t seem to move quickly enough to maintain flight and the noise they made ground in his ears.
He glanced behind him at the dark stairwell, tempted to go back inside where the walls blocked out most of the noise and he didn’t feel so on edge.
He couldn’t. If he did, Aurora would leave.
He steeled himself and took another step forwards. The black tar was warm beneath his bare feet. He hadn’t felt the lingering heat of the sun in a very long time, even before his incarceration at Vampirerotique.
Aurora whirled to face him, fear in her eyes. “Go back!”
She was scared of him.
Snow halted, her words cutting him to his bones and lashing at his heart.
She hesitated, looking as though she was going to run again. Perhaps not. He had the craziest notion that she wasn’t intending to run, but was rather torn between standing still and stepping towards him.
Her eyes swam with panic, their striking green-to-blue colour bright in the evening. “I don’t want the sun to harm you. Please, Snow… go back.”
Not fear of him. She feared for him. He was glad that she was speaking to him again and concerned about him too. It was more than he could have hoped for and gave him the courage to take another step in her direction.
“I am old enough to withstand it.” He continued slowly moving towards her so he didn’t startle her into running again.
He drew in a deep breath and paused, savouring it. He hadn’t breathed fresh air in long decades, and although he could hardly call the grimy London air fresh, it was certainly better than the air inside the theatre.
Snow ran his hand over his hair when another aircraft cut across the sky directly above. He hoped that they couldn’t see him from that height, standing on a roof in only his underwear. It wasn’t how he had pictured himself dressed in his first foray into the world in over a century.
The light began to fade, the clouds darkening, and the scent of rain drifted on the breeze. The weather was about to turn abysmal.
He hadn’t missed that.
“Aurora,” he started and then wasn’t sure what to say. He had to do something to make her stay. The thought of her leaving hurt him, making his chest ache, and he would rather lay his heart on the line than let her go without a fight.
Did you enjoy the snippet?
More about the book:
A powerful vampire lost deep in his bloodlust, Snow is a savage animal, mindless with rage and a thirst for violence, and trapped with no hope of awakening from an endless nightmare… until a song draws him up from the abyss, restoring his sanity but leaving him haunted by the sweet feminine scent of lilies and snow, and fragmented familiar lyrics.
When the mysterious and beautiful songstress reappears in Snow’s room at Vampirerotique, she awakens a fierce protective streak and stirs dark desires that drive him to claim her as his female, even when he knows his touch will destroy her innocence.
A single forbidden taste is all it takes to unleash emotions in Aurora that she shouldn’t possess, tearing her between duty and desire, and luring her into surrendering to her wildfire passion and embracing hungers that burn so hotly they threaten to consume them both.
One act of kindness can lead to one thousand acts of sin though, each a black mark against the bearer’s soul and another grain of sand that slips through an hourglass. The clock is ticking and time is almost up. Can beauty save the beast?
Don’t forget to visit the other authors who are participating to read their snippets…
Mandy M. Roth