King Tomb (Forever Evermore)

BOOK: King Tomb (Forever Evermore)
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King Tomb

A Forever Evermore Novel

Scarlett Dawn

www.escapepublishing.com.au

King Tomb
Scarlett Dawn

From Scarlett Dawn comes the stunning, sexy, sensual, surprising, spell-binding conclusion to the best-selling first Forever Evermore trilogy.

Queen Shifter, Lily Ruckler, has found solace in brutal warfare. Her bloodied fists and bared fangs fill the holes left in her memory, the blank spaces that leave her soul aching and empty. Her only pleasure is in blood; her only salvation is the relationship she has with her infant child, the baby of unknown origins who brings her solace and stability.

When Elder Harcourt summons Lily and her protector Antonio back to the United States, Lily thinks nothing unusual about the change of location. But a standard reconnaissance mission leaves her trapped inside King Zeller’s private quarters, and at his mercy. Surprise attraction rapidly turns to a battle of wills and an intense power struggle that leaves no clear victor but plenty of resentment.

They are not allowed to nurse their wounds. In order to win the war against the Commoners, the King Vampire and Queen Shifter must work together. It should be easy. The war is turning, the battle is deadly, and both Lily and Ezra love the cold cleanliness of combat. But their chance meeting has led to more than an unlikely alliance. Secrets have a way of surfacing, especially on a torn-up battlefield, and Lily and Ezra are about to re-learn all they cannot remember. If they can’t control their emotions and responses, it will be to their own ruin and the destruction of everything around them.

About the Author

Scarlett Dawn is drawn to all things quirky and off-beat. She believes there are no boundaries for an imaginative soul. Her love of the written word started at an early age, when her grandmother would take her to bookstores every weekend. Dreams came alive within the books she found there, and now, she is thrilled to share her stories with others who fall deeply into fantastical journeys. Scarlett resides in the Midwest of the United States with her husband, three children, and two dogs.

You can interact with Scarlett Dawn on her Facebook page at
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorScarlettDawn

Acknowledgements

First and foremost, I want to say thank you to my family. You put up with craziness, and I feel blessed that you haven’t booted me out of the house yet. *snickers* In a world full of hair-pulling moments, you are my laughter.

I want to give an enormous shout-out to Escape’s managing editor, Kate Cuthbert. The woman is amazing. She constantly reminds me of what it is to be truly patient in a world of chaos — even if she doesn’t like it. She is a woman made of the right stuff.

Big hugs to Laura Bradford, my agent and beta reader. Thank you so much! Happy dance with M.A. Grant, my beta reader. Mwah!

Thank you so much to Nicolene Hale, my line-editor. She put up with a lot of crap from me during this round of edits. For the simple fact that she loves the color red, she is utterly fantastic. She is everything that I could ever want in a line-editor. I cannot wait to work with her again!

Amendment to
King Cave
’s acknowledgments: Apparently, I had a certain Mage physician on my mind when I wrote my previous acknowledgements. My cherished beta reader of
King Cave
is not named Bindi. *hangs head in shame* Her name is Brandi. Sorry about that, hun. Much love!

To Pooter,

Fear hovers,
Courage contains it.

Shadows cast,
Light creates it.

Happiness lives,
Grace nourishes it.

Dawns beam,
Each new day praises it.

‘Sparkles’ forever,
—S.D.

Contents

About the Author

Acknowledgements

Bestselling Titles by Escape Publishing…

Chapter One

June 12, 2014

Felix — one of my two elite guards — bent behind me, whispering against my ear, “Queen Ruckler, are you feeling all right?”

Teeth clenching, I glanced across the room where Bindi, a Mage physician, sat, watching me like a hawk while wearing an expression of aggravated frustration she wasn’t even trying to hide. Already having to deal with her, I did not need — nor want — Felix’s added worried attention.

Because no, I wasn’t all right.

I had been in
labor
for the last
five hours
.

My abdomen was contracting, squeezing painfully as if sadistic blades were stabbing my nine-months-pregnant belly — on a repeating loop — as if the muscles were gratified to cause me even more agony than I was normally in. I was sweating worse than a Thanksgiving turkey roasting in an oven, and feeling much like that too. I knew I was going to have this baby soon.

But I was needed here, in the headquarters.

Since Bindi had ordered me to do only
extremely
light physical activity. I had originally told her to go to hell when she had first attempted to put me on bed rest when I was only four months pregnant. But I had given in and met her halfway; I stopped blasting into actual combat when I became six months pregnant — that was three months ago.

Although, even now, I wasn’t surrendering completely.

Not just yet anyway.

I breathed in through my nose and slowly out through my mouth as another contraction attacked, making me light-headed and want to double over in brutal agony. Struggling to push past the heinous ache, I managed to remain focused on Commander Lyons speaking into my ear through a headset while I stayed standing straight and stared at the infra-red images on four different screens. All monitors showed different angles of the Com Royal Australian Air Force base in Brisbane, Australia that we were currently infiltrating. Under my direct lead, my camp had worked its way up from the coast of Sydney, Australia seven months ago when Mystical/Commoner World War II — MCWWII — had begun.

This mission against the Com RAAF was imperative to our next push northward.

Too bad my elite guard started to hover even more when I didn’t answer.

Perfect.

“I’m working, Felix,” I whispered so I wouldn’t disturb the techies, the other operatives, or the Elders hustling around us, everyone wearing headsets and talking to our group of Mysticals currently in the heat of battle. “Leave.” I put a bit of my Shifter power into the command. I needed him to go away so I could focus on not collapsing on the floor of the tent we were in.

He stiffened. I could tell he didn’t want to go. Felix was wanting an affirmation I was all right, which I could not give him because with his Shifter nose he would scent the
lie
. I ignored him, grabbing a set of papers one of the techies gave me on the current coordinates of our people versus the Coms inside the air force base as the battle raged on. Felix eventually backed away.

Flicking through the sheets, I swiped my forehead, amazed at what I was feeling, the block of ice I had become having been chipped away these past five hours as the pain of the labor had intensified. Right now, I wasn’t the arctic Queen I had become. I wasn’t the way I needed to be. The way I had to be to keep me sane.

After listening to Commander Lyons ask for my opinion on field position, I responded, “Sweep the north end. Elder Farrar,”
ah, there was the ice, a breeze sweeping through my veins
, “is to the west; his team is minutes from entering the target. I want you to hold the north for any Coms that will more than likely flee in that direction.”

“Hostages?” Commander Lyons asked with a chuckle.

I felt nothing. Just saying the name of Antonio, Elder Farrar, the man I thought of as ‘Dad’ once upon a time, shot ice water through my veins. “Do a spell to find their highest ranking official before they get to you. Take their leader as hostage, so I can interrogate him or her,” I heard Commander Lyons chuckle again quietly, “and kill the rest.” I snapped the paperwork closed, a contraction shattering the ice, heat flooding my system so hard I shivered as I placed a bracing hand on the desk near me. “These are the bastards that lined up and shot the hostages they had acquired outside Southport.” Their hostages were a group of Mysticals that had only included two elderly grandparents trying to flee with their five grandchildren — after the children’s parents had been hanged on flagpoles by the Com army here as a blatant ‘fuck you’ to our forces that were kicking their asses. “We need to show them what a ‘fuck you’ really is.”

Quiet, then dead seriousness. “Understood, Queen Ruckler.”

My lips pinched as I felt a sudden heaviness between my thighs. “Commander Kester will be taking over the relay with you.” I pressed my legs together, feeling a need to squeeze my thighs together to keep from pushing, the baby was pressing so hard. I glanced at Bindi as I leaned heavily on the table, barely able to see her because my vision was so blurry. No answer came over the headset. “I need an affirmative that you heard me, Commander Lyons?”

“You’re leaving command? Right now?” he finally asked, sounding bewildered.

He probably was, since I never left during a battle. “I have to take care of something. Here’s Commander Kester.” I tugged the headset off, thrusting it against a surprised Commander Kester and telling him, “It’s Commander Lyons on the north end, waiting for stragglers. You’re now his relay.” I left it at that, slowly turned, and began walking as gently as I was breathing so I didn’t faint. I was no stranger to pain, having been shot and stabbed multiple times, but fuck, my vision was now blurring to pinpoints. This raw, agonizing pain was on a whole other level. A whole other stratosphere, if I was honest with myself. I never cried over pain anymore, having decided my tear ducts had frozen over along with my mind, but right now, I wanted to drop in the middle of the floor and bawl like a goddamn baby. Though I trembled, wobbling, I still managed to brush off Felix by letting my wolf take voice, growling at him.

Bindi was instantly next to me, grabbing my arm, and gently but firmly leading me outside the black tent into the camp, away from the few individuals who had taken notice of my incoherent state. I wore a charm around my neck that Antonio had made, hiding my pregnancy from all eyes but his and Bindi’s, and the added heartbeat inside me from Vampires’ ears, but I still must have looked like shit because those who had eyed me had worn expressions of worry. I hardly remembered what worry felt like. Only pain and numbness and anger had been my shifting emotions since a spelled mind sweep had been done on me.

All because I, Lily Ruckler, Queen of the Shifters had at one time had sex with a Vampire.

No one had confirmed this. The two I had deduced that knew, Bindi and Antonio, never communicated who the father was, under some damn spell themselves, which Antonio had never tried to reverse to help me. Instead, when I occasionally lost it completely and screamed at them to tell me who the father was, they turned into stone, never giving a damn thing away. Not even when I started naming Mysticals at random. Nothing. They did fucking nothing to help me, and some may say that, sadly, they were the closest people to me. I never let anyone else near, not wanting anyone else.

I spent my free time alone, caged by the barely leashed chaos I had become. My mind was tormented by memories I couldn’t access, fractions of time completely absent. I could remember waking in bed at the former King Shifter’s home, after that, nothing, then suddenly I was at school at King Hall. The time between was a yawning void, but still, I had knowledge — it
had
to be knowledge — within the voids of my mind, because I knew things but couldn’t remember how I had gained the information. It was just there. That, in itself, made me dizzy at times.

And all of this because I had slept with a Vampire. These were the bare bits of evidence I had: a black and red ring with an inscription that read
The Beauty Is Found
, and a man’s overlarge grey t-shirt that read
Live Hard or Die Bored
, which I had been wearing when I had woken from my mind sweep. Add in the risks of having sex with a Vampire — Law 6002 set up specifically for a spelled mind sweep and separation if two Mysticals of different factions were found guilty of sexual relations — and the intimate ring, those two things combined indicated that we had loved each other. A useless emotion, if I ever saw one. And that was all I did. I
saw
how other Mysticals loved each other, because I sure as hell could not remember it with whoever was the father of my unborn child.

BOOK: King Tomb (Forever Evermore)
7.16Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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