It's here, everyone! Immortal Surrender's RELEASE DAY!!
I hope you'll help me celebrate by running over to your favorite book-buying place and pick this up. If that's not in your budget, please spread the word that today Farran's story is available.
Need to catch up on Tuesday Teasers?
Immortal Surrender, Prologue
Immortal Surrender, Chapter One
Immortal Surrender, Chapter Two, Part 1
Immortal Surrender, Chapter Two, Part 2
Immortal Surrender, Chapter Two, Part 3
Immortal Surrender, Chapter Three, Part 1
Let's get back to Farran and the injured Noelle!
The Curse of the Templars, Book II
A rush of fiery rage surged through his blood. A seraph! Gabriel sent him to guard a seraph and failed to include that important bit of information.
God’s teeth, ’twas a wonder the demon had not killed her.
He slammed a fist into the snow and ground his teeth together until his jaw hurt. He did not want this responsibility. ’Twas bad enough she was a woman. A seraph, the promised salvation for the weakened Templar knights, would mean trouble tenfold. Anne’s arrival had proved that. And yet he could not escape this duty. Not as long as they remained away from the temple. Once he returned her there, however, he would gladly pass her safekeeping to Lucan.
Scowling, he tossed his coat over her body. As his gaze fell to her face, something deep inside him rolled around like a ball of lead. He had failed her. As well as his brothers. The most sacred gift to the Templar, and he had neglected to even consider Gabriel might have cause to keep her safe.
He tucked a strand of her wet hair behind her ear and brushed his thumb over her cheek. “I will get you someplace safe,” he murmured.
Headlights flashed across the snow, accompanied by the squeal of tires. Farran snapped his head up, instincts on alert. Too late, he remembered he had left his sword in the upside-down vehicle.
Looking to the road, his gaze settled on a silver SUV. He expelled a long breath, and fitted his hands beneath Noelle’s shoulders as Lucan jumped out.
“I was not far away,” Lucan supplied. “How does she fare?”
“I do not know.” Farran glanced down at her delicate face, his frown deepening. “Help me get her into the back. I shall take her to Louise’s adytum. ’Tis nearby, is it not?”
“Aye, brother. Within a half hour from here.”
Lucan reached for Noelle’s feet, but before he could touch her ankle, Farran scooped her into his arms. “I will attend her. Fetch the things from the truck.”
Though he tried to be careful, he stumbled as he rose. The jostle brought another faint groan from her lips. Farran grimaced. Saints’ blood, he should have allowed Lucan to carry her. Lucan possessed more grace, a gentler nature. He would not have aggravated her wounds. As Farran made his way through the snow to the running vehicle, he glanced down at Noelle’s pretty face.
Without her glasses to cover her eyes, he noticed tiny freckles adorned her high cheekbones. Faint sun marks placed there to make her appear more youthful. A smile tugged at his mouth, but he squelched it before it could transform. ’Twas naught to smile about. He had contributed to her injuries, and lest he managed to keep the archangels uninformed, ’twould be hell to pay.
Under his perusal, her lashes fluttered. Farran paused, less than a yard away from the SUV’s rear door. He drew in a sharp breath, held it whilst he waited. They stirred again, dusting the tops of her cheeks like butterflies wings. She opened her eyes. Closed them. Then with an airy exhale, she tried a third time. Those fawn- brown eyes lifted to his, and for a moment, his heart stopped.
“Farran,” she whispered.
The hand she kept in her lap lifted. Her fingers curled into his shirt as if she clung to a safety rope. Ever so slightly, she shifted, bringing her cheek closer to his chest. Somewhere deep inside him, buried in some forgotten portion of his soul, something did a long, slow roll.
“Aye,” he murmured as he cradled her closer.
“I’m so cold.”
Protective instincts he had thought long dead rose like a fierce tide. He fought them back with clenched teeth. Yet ’twas futile. They stormed through him, awakening every particle of his body to the woman in his arms. He swallowed with effort and trained his gaze to the open hatch door. Too many years had passed since he had held a woman this way. Too many centuries. Once he had believed ’twas his purpose to protect the fairer sex. Once he would have died to uphold that fabled notion. Brighid changed all that. Changed everything. He could not allow himself to forget, no matter how helpless a woman might appear, beneath the surface they were as deadly as any man.
Choosing silence, Farran eased Noelle into the truck. He leaned against the wheel well, his legs stretched before him. Still she clung to him, her shivers now strong tremors. They vibrated into him, making it impossible to hold on to his resolve. With a defeated sigh, he wound his arms around her more tightly and pressed her body flush with his.
Lucan shut the door, extinguishing the light. In the darkness, the fall of Noelle’s breath against Farran’s neck taunted his senses. Heat rushed through his blood. Against his thigh, he felt the stirring of his shaft. On a silent mutter, he shifted.
“When I was little,” she said on a soft chuckle, “I used to dream of being rescued.”
Wincing, Farran tried to ignore the sensations her words stirred. He had not rescued her, he reminded himself. He had, in fact, injured her. What ever misplaced thoughts she entertained, they were naught more than a product of the injury to her head. “You should rest, damsel.”
To Farran’s relief, Lucan climbed inside. He flipped on the overhead light and looked back at Farran. “Do you not think we should take her to the hospital?”
“Nay, ’tis unnecessary.”
“Farran, she is but a woman. She may bleed inside. Uriel is far from here.”
Farran answered with a shake of his head. “To Louise’s, Lucan.”
Noelle’s hold on his shirt lessened, and he glanced down to find her once again at rest. He lifted his gaze to Lucan once more and lowered his voice. “She is a seraph. She will heal when her mate is found.”
Lucan’s eyes widened like saucers. In the rearview mirror, his gaze dropped to Noelle, and then he turned around. “Does she know?”
“I do not think so. Let us go to Louise’s. Lady Anne has catalogued the marks of our men. I shall contact her and ask for the list.”
With a slow dip of his chin, Lucan faced forward and dropped the SUV into gear. “How did you learn of this?”
“She wears the serpents.”
Farran leaned his head against the window and allowed the discovery to settle in. A second seraph. Gabriel foretold of their coming, as much as the prophecy did. It made sense now—Whence comes the teacher, she who is blind will follow.
Anne had been the teacher. Noelle’s sight marked her as the next.
Would she belong to Lucan? Mayhap Caradoc? Mayhap someone else all together. Whilst Lady Anne’s journal documented all the Templar in America, it only catalogued the few knights who had visited from Eu rope. Noelle could belong to one of them. Or another much farther away.
The Sudarium leapt to life within his mind, and he jerked his head up. “What trouble did you encounter at the airport?”
Lucan’s low chuckle preempted the amused shake of his head. “ ’Twas one demon. A young one at that. He took no care to conceal himself and ’twas over before it began.”
“And the cloth?”
Extending his arm above the seats, Lucan held up the small bag Noelle had given him earlier. “’Tis here.”
“Open your eyes, brother. You nearly sat on your belongings.”
Farran frowned at Lucan’s good humor. Looking down at the collection of things from the wrecked vehicle, he inventoried what he remembered—her purse, her glasses, his sword, the tube of lipstick.
“She is pretty,” Lucan remarked.
“Aye.” As lovely as an English field.
“Mayhap she is mine.”
“Mayhap,” Farran murmured. Though the thought tightened his gut so fiercely, he could scarce breathe. She was too pretty to belong to Lucan. Too delicate for Caradoc. Too quiet for Declan.
Damnation, what was the matter with him? He did not want a seraph. He much preferred the inevitable death that loomed ahead. For feeling naught would be a greater freedom than learning to feel again.
Thanks everyone, for participating! We go on a blog tour today, and I hope you'll watch that, as well as this blog, as there are some exciting things happening this month!