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Authors: Evi Asher

Burning to Ashes

Burning to Ashes
Eternals [2]
Evi Asher
eXtasy Books (2014)

Can they run fast enough to escape the heat? 

With the Enforcers close on her heels and strange new symptoms, Scarlet is doing everything she can to keep up and to deny what she is starting to feel for Archer. But every time she uses her flames she burns worse, and her inevitable death by fire is imminent. Can Archer save her before that happens?

Can they run fast enough to escape the heat?

 

 

With the Enforcers close on her heels and strange new symptoms, Scarlet is doing everything she can to keep up and to deny what she is starting to feel for Archer. But every time she uses her flames she burns worse, and her inevitable death by fire is imminent. Can Archer save her before that happens?

 

 

 

The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

 

Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

Burning to Ashes

Copyright © 2013 Evi Asher

ISBN: 978-1-77111-751-7

Cover art by Carmen Waters

 

All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.

 

Published by eXtasy Books

Look for us online at:

www.extasybooks.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burning to Ashes

Eternals Book Two

 

 

By

 

 

Evi Asher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Gavin and Mommy, who can now retrieve their collective boots from the vicinity of my behind.

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

Archer was talking in his sleep, but not using a language she could understand. He seemed to be arguing with someone. He barked a command and then curled into a ball as if a wave of pain had wracked his big body.

Scarlet had the undeniable need to sooth his pain, so she leaned over him, her hand stroking the long dark hair off his forehead.

“I’m here, Archer. Try and breathe through the pain.” She murmured consoling nonsense, leaning forward to bring her mouth closer to his ear, letting her voice sooth him.

His hand shot up, grabbing her wrist, and unbalancing her. He yanked, and as Scarlet tumbled forward, something sharp dug into her wrist. Archer flung her onto her back, and he was on top of her in one fluid motion.

Scarlet stifled a scream. It wasn’t Archer on her, at least not the Archer she knew. She noticed his lower and upper fangs pronounced, protruding from his mouth. His eyes were a glowing yellow—no, amber—no, yellow. They were flickering between the two colors. He had become his wolf-man.

Archer had her pinned down, her shoulders pressed to the mattress by his clawed hands on her upper arms. He loomed over her with no recognition in his changeable eyes. His ears twitched, and before she could say anything, he reared back as if he’d been hit by something, his body flinging off her, but he was back on her in a moment. Striking forward, he sank his teeth into her shoulder at her collar bone.

Scarlet screamed as pain lanced through her like white-hot lighting. She didn’t think—she reacted. Flame burst from her skin in an explosion of force and heat.

Archer was thrown from her again. He struck the TV, knocking it from its stand only to shatter on the floor. He landed in the debris and didn’t move.

“Crap,” Scarlet grunted as she sat while pain spiked through her again. She was praying her knee-jerk reaction hadn’t killed Archer.

She stumbled from the bed, her hand going to her torn-up collar bone and went to kneel on the floor next to him. He was breathing—thank God, and there was no sign of burns on his skin.

Strange.

He should look like a charcoaled turkey. She knew her skin was hot, as if she had a mild sunburn, and the bedding was scorched even though her flame had been projected outward at Archer.

Scarlet ignored the pain in her shoulder. She would see to it in a bit. First, she needed to get Archer back on the bed, and she had no damn idea how she was going to do it.

 

* * * *

 

Archer was breathing hard, his lungs sucking in oxygen in the weird Dali-esq dreamscape.

This had been all kinds of weird, but one good thing had come of it. He stood alone, his beast had become part of him again when he brought their last foe to the ground—the ground soaked with thick black blood and slippery viscera. Thank the gods that was done.

He wanted to close his eyes and rest. He wanted to fall to the dirty ground and sleep for a month. He wanted to crawl into a soft bed, and hold Scarlet.

Where the hell had that thought come from?

Archer shook his head. He couldn’t let himself get involved with her.

Too late.

He remembered the kiss—that searing kiss before he’d been dumped in Dali-hell.

Gods, he’d never tasted anything so sweet. Her mouth was succulent, her warmth pushing him to a level of lust he’d never experienced before. Their tongues had tangled, meeting in a twirl of heat, their lips melding as if sculpted by angels for that purpose.

Archer felt that she would have let him take her there, on the bed, in the heat of what they were feeling.

He’d breathed in the sweet scent of her arousal, and his beast had howled in hunger. Then, the darkness had come, and he’d learned what had happened when his inner wolf had been torn from him to enter Scarlet and chase Geo from her dreams.

Archer knew two things with certainty. One, Geo would not be able to weave into Scarlet’s dreams or head again, and two, the intervention had damn near ripped his werewolf from him forever, something that would have killed both of them.

That was why he had fallen into unconsciousness. That was why Archer and his lycan side had to fight the soul wraiths—the demons who had tried to kill them both, and take their souls.

They were lucky to have survived.

The dreamscape flickered, and Archer looked around with worry.

More Soul Wraiths?

“We begin to wake, something is happening in the world,” the growling voice murmured from the depths of his mind.

 

* * * *

 

Darkness had fallen by the time Scarlet was able to check the bite wound on her shoulder. She stood in front of the bathroom mirror and pulled her shirt over her head, wincing at the twinge of pain the movement caused.

The bite was deep, but not as bad as she had thought it would be, and it appeared to be healing already. Not for the first time, Scarlet was grateful for her new Eternal ability to heal faster. Had she been human, the wound would have been far worse than it was.

Wait a minute! She paused while swiping a disinfectant-soaked swab over the bite.
Does this mean I will become a werewolf?
The thought was troubling for a moment, then she laughed. Archer had told her that Hollywood always got it wrong. Besides, she was already an Eternal. That had to mean she couldn’t become a lycanthrope, too?

The question was moot. She wasn’t planning on asking Archer because she wasn’t going to tell him about the bite. There was no need to make him feel guilty for something he’d done in a delirium.

She still didn’t know what had happened between them, and she was puzzled why he wasn’t burnt by her flame. She held up her hands to look at them. Across the skin of her hands and forearms were fine little blisters. They weren’t anything horrible, but it was enough to make her worry. Was her fire going to burn her up?

Scarlet had first noticed the blisters when she had to wrestle Archer up onto the bed. He was no lightweight, and Scarlet had felt more pain from her blistered hands and arms than from his bite, but she had gotten him up. She’d settled him on the bed and tucked the blanket around him.

Scarlet cleaned up the shattered TV as best she could and then she had gone to the bathroom to check the damage to her shoulder.

She was clearing away the first aid supplies she’d taken out of one of Archer’s bottomless duffel bags when she looked up into the mirror and saw the flame-haired woman again. She met the woman’s eyes in the mirror and she smiled at Scarlet—not much of a smile, a small lifting of the corners of her mouth.

Scarlet couldn’t resist the urge to turn and look behind her, but as before, there was no one there and when she turned back to the mirror, the woman was gone again.

She shook her head. Her life was one big trip into weird central. That, and a space trip of emotions that she couldn’t or didn’t know how to handle. The thought of emotions brought the kiss back to her mind.

The kiss—that kiss—she tried to distract herself from the memory because every time she relived it, it made her toes curl and heat unfurl in her stomach and lower.

That male could kiss, and Scarlet was honest enough to admit she wanted more of Archer’s magical kisses, but not just his kisses.

A text coming through on Archer’s cell phone interrupted her musings. She picked it up off the counter and found the text.

Be there in 5. What # is room?Z.

She texted back the number thirteen and went back to the room, looking around for any more signs of Archer’s attack on her. She didn’t want Zane to see, or question her.

Scarlet wasn’t going to risk Archer’s guilt making him draw away from her. No way. She wanted him closer.

She felt a low rumble flow through her body, and tensed. What was that? It felt like an agreement. Like a growl of agreement?

She shook her head and decided to ignore it. She wasn’t going to go looking for more drama. Her body was stressed and she was imagining things, now.

She checked the wound on Archer’s chest. It was still there. It had healed more, but nowhere near enough yet, and she was still worried about him.

There was a knock at the door causing Scarlet’s head to snap in that direction. She walked with quiet steps over the worn rug that covered the floor of the motel room.

Standing by the door, she waited.

“Scarlet? It’s Zane…let me in, please.”

She pulled the door open a crack and, confirming that the blond vampire was standing outside, she stepped back, opening the door further to let him in. Scarlet nearly slammed the door in the face of the woman standing behind Zane. “Who are you?” she demanded.

Zane tilted his head as he strode over to where Archer lay on the bed. “Scarlet, this is Selene. She’s going to help us with Archer.”

Scarlet looked up at the tall woman that had entered the room after Zane. She must have been at least six feet tall. Her thick long hair was pure white, like fresh snow, or moonbeams. She was beautiful in a way that made Scarlet think about supermodels.

“Hi,” Scarlet said, feeling intimidated by the other woman’s beauty.

Selene nodded, but her eyes were on Archer. She gave him a hungry look that had Scarlet bristling and feeling the need to mark territory.

Selene strode past Scarlet to the bed, carrying a green cooler in her hand, one of those small plastic six-pack coolers used for beer or soda.

“What happened to him?” Selene demanded as she lifted the makeshift compress.

Scarlet had been afraid to bandage Archer up, scared she’d start the bleeding again.

“I don’t know,” Scarlet told the beautiful woman.

“Don’t you have a brain?” Selene asked her with pure venom lacing her tone. “How can he be this hurt, and you have no idea how it happened when you’ve been with him all the time?”

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