Can the mysterious vampire Javad and the elusive Seraf nymph Terra escape the nightmare that nearly destroyed them in the past? An all-new story in Alexandra Ivy’s Guardians of Eternity series is out this week, and I have an excerpt for you.
Terra blinked away the darkness that clogged her mind. What had happened? One minute she’d been stepping through a portal. And the next, she’d been knocked out.
Cautiously, she took in her surroundings. She was lying on a hard floor that felt like stone. Heavy darkness pressed against her and indicated that she was in some sort of underground space. But a cool power also brushed over her like a breeze.
Terra stiffened, and the familiar scent of saffron and raw male desire teased her nose. She turned her head to discover the vampire kneeling over her.
“Javad,” she breathed, tingles of pleasure exploding through her.
She hadn’t forgotten her physical reaction whenever she caught sight of the lean, perfect face. Of how those dark, smoldering eyes made her blood heat and her stomach twist with anticipation. But she’d told herself that it had more to do with the emotional trauma of being held hostage in the fighting pits. Everything was more intense when she was in a constant state of terror.
Now, she realized she’d only been fooling herself.
The sparks and flutters and breathless excitement were just as acute as ever. No, even more so, she realized as she forced herself into a sitting position.
She didn’t know where she was, or if they were in danger, or even if Javad was injured. But every instinct she had screamed at her to wrap her arms around him and never let go.
Instead, she contented herself with devouring him with her gaze, taking in every delicious inch of him. From the top of his glossy, dark hair and down the hard body covered by his familiar silk tunic and pants. Her mouth went dry, and her heartbeat thundered by the time her gaze returned to his face, sweeping over the starkly chiseled features.
“Where are we?” she finally managed to croak.
“In a cavern beneath the Mojave Desert,” he told her. “How did you get here?”
She frowned. Why would they be in the Mojave Desert? And why was Javad staring at her as if he were troubled by her arrival?
“I used a portal.”
“Yes, but why?”
Her frown deepened. Had Javad taken a blow to the head?
“You called to me, don’t you remember?”
He slowly shook his head. “What are you talking about?”
Terra grabbed the chain around her neck, pulling it up to reveal the medallion hidden beneath her robe.
With a muttered curse, Javad jerked his hand up to touch his neck as if searching for something that wasn’t there.
“How did you get that?”
Terra moved so she was kneeling, directly facing Javad. She couldn’t heal a vampire, but she might be able to clear the obvious confusion from his mind.
“It arrived at the temple this morning.”
He hissed in anger. “Someone must have taken it off me while I was laying here unconscious. The same time they stole my dagger.”
“Impossible. Only you could have used the magic to return the medallion to me.”
“Me?” He sent her a fierce glare. “I would never have done that.”
Terra flinched, shockingly hurt by his response. Not only his insistence that he hadn’t used the medallion but also the seeming horror at the mere thought of seeing her again.
“I…see.” She bowed her head, hiding the stupid tears that filled her eyes. “Sorry. My mistake.”
There was silence, then she felt the soft brush of Javad’s fingers over her hair. “Terra, do you want to know how many times I’ve held that medallion in my hand and longed to speak your name?” His voice was low and harsh with unexpected emotion. “Just to see your face. Or hear your voice.”
She shivered. “You don’t have to make excuses.”
His fingers moved to cup her chin. “Look at me, Terra. Please.” He waited for her to reluctantly lift her head and meet his steady gaze. “Surely you remember my arrogance?”
She did. She used to watch Javad, amazed by the crowds of demons who scampered to get out of his path whenever he strolled through the club. His confidence had vibrated the air around him, containing enough power to make the earth shake. Terra had instinctively remained in the shadows, but astonishingly, he always sensed her presence, pausing to offer her a mysterious smile.
More than once their gazes had met and held. And held. For what seemed like an eternity, they would simply stare at each other, a strange sense of awareness settling in the center of Terra’s soul. She’d accepted that wasn’t just another frightening warrior who inhabited the pits. He was fascinating and exotic and so sexy, her knees had gone weak.
A wistful smile touched her mouth. “It’s hard to forget.”
His thumb absently brushed her lower lip, his eyes dark with memories. Were they the same as hers? The thought made her muscles clench with a hunger she’d tried so hard to forget.
“Then you know that I say exactly what I think,” he murmured. “I’ve never stopped thinking about you. Just as I’ve never stopped rejoicing in the knowledge that you were safe in your temple, performing the healing you were born to do.”