Light of Dawn · Romance · The Crucible · Writing

Light of Dawn Excerpt

So, I’ve been promising an excerpt from Light of Dawn recently, and I finally decided on a short bit to put up. Yay!

Before reading, just take note of the fact that this excerpt was formatted for posting on this blog, meaning it’s not the full version of the original! And as always with WIP’s, this isn’t the final draft, so things are always subject to change! Besides that, I hope you enjoy!

* * *

The only good that came out of being so attracted to Ulric was the reassurance of her worry that she’d never get over Mitchell. In comparison to her growing interest in the draconian, Mitchell seemed like a distant afterthought.
But it was still unsettling to feel that way when she barely knew him. Letting a sigh, she decided it was just his supernatural qualities that had her so fascinated, and left it at that.
Several moments after Charlotte settled on the couch to wait, Ulric stepped back inside just as shirtless as when he’d left, and once more, her gaze roamed over him appreciatively. Okay, so maybe it’s not just his supernatural traits.
She forced her eyes away from his chest, mentioning, “I saw you outside. Feel better?”
“Much,” he replied, looking her over in his shirt with a surprised expression.
“I hope you don’t mind, my shirt was stained and wet, so I borrowed one of yours.”
“I don’t mind,” he confirmed, walking to the bathroom before he returned a few moments later in a clean black t shirt of his own—which did nothing to diminish his physical appeal.
Charlotte wondered about his reaction as well. He almost seemed to like the way his shirt looked on her, though she needed to wash her hair and clean up in general. If getting Ulric’s attention was actually a priority, she’d have a hell of a hard time doing it right now.
Was he even single? He had to have a ton of women trying if not. True, some might find the markings on his face and along his chest to be a turn off—then again, most mortals couldn’t see them—but to her, every definition, from his size to the vividly blue color of his eyes, was nothing less than perfect.
As he walked to the couch, she pushed the thoughts away and focused on something more important. “So who’s Lillian?”
Ulric settled down a seat across from her with one arm stretched over the back of the couch, answering, “Vampires have different factions, and Lillian’s a magistrate of one. She’s also got one of the biggest bounties on her head I’ve ever seen, which is saying something.”
Charlotte groaned. “I guess that means she won’t be easy to get rid of.”
“Probably not,” he agreed. “But I think I know how she found you so quickly. Have you donated blood recently?”
That seemed like a strange question, but Charlotte answered honestly. “Just after I was married, why?”
Ulric’s expression became unsettled when she mentioned her marriage, nearly making Charlotte forget about the topic at hand in favor of asking why he always seemed so offended by her nuptials.
But he beat her with a question of his own. “That was recent?”
“Yes,” she muttered.
“When were you married?”
Wondering where this was going, she hesitantly answered, “Nine months ago.”
Ulric sat forward, draping his arms across his knees while regarding her with narrowed brows and slanted lips. “You were only married for half a year?”
“Ulric,” Charlotte grumbled, “just tell me why donating blood has anything to do with how they found us tonight.”
He looked reluctant, but finally conceded. “If you donated, it’s likely they found you through a blood bank. Sometimes vampires raid them when they’re keeping a low profile, or to stock up for emergencies.”
“That still doesn’t explain anything.”
Sitting back again, Ulric started, “Vampires can track specific people after ingesting their blood. So it’s likely Lillian’s already drank yours, and that’s how she found us. She may even still have some leftover.”
“Are you kidding me?”
“No, blood is a powerful tool, and not just to vampires.”
That all made plenty of sense, not that Charlotte felt more at ease. Instead, dread churned in her gut as she asked, “So they’ll be able to track me for the rest of my life?”
“No, only as long as your blood lasts in their system, though if they have more, someone would have to find and destroy the source, or kill the vampires who’ve tasted it.”
“But . . . could it be done?” she asked on the off chance that maybe it wouldn’t be too difficult.
“It’d take time to track down their lairs, but it could be done.”
Though a positive response, Charlotte’s mood sank with disappointment. His answer meant she’d be in danger long after Ulric had gotten the box, making her near future seem hopeless when she had no idea what she should do and was too drained to figure it out.
Actually, she almost felt like crying.
Ulric’s voice broke through her thoughts, and she looked to see a determined expression on his face that was full of promise as he slipped over next to her.
“I’m not going to let anything happen to you.”
Though his reassurance was appreciated, she had to remind him of how short their trip was going to be. “Ulric, we’ll probably reach Tallahassee sometime tomorrow, and I doubt things will change before then.”
Frustrated, Charlotte tried to stand, but Ulric grasped her wrist, making her stay put. She stumbled, almost landing on him, casting her gaze to his face. He looked ready to tell her something, but the moment their eyes met, her thoughts came to a screeching halt, sitting close enough to detect his rain washed scent and feel the heat radiating from his body.
Without thought for consequence, Charlotte leaned in to kiss him, and Ulric moved at the same time, letting the sexiest, most masculine groan she’d ever heard as their lips met.
Ironically, it felt as if lightning struck, and Charlotte grew lightheaded. She’d never experienced anything quite like it, slipping her arms around his neck as his tongue brushed her lips, and she parted them to let him in. Their tongues entwined as Ulric tugged her onto his lap like she weighed a pound, wrapping his arms around her tightly.
Whenever she’d kissed before, it was always pleasant, but now, her entire body responded, her heart thumping in her chest. He was so hard, his big hands traveling up and down her back, making her shiver with a desire that tingled across her skin.
She whimpered in surprise as his tongue skillfully thrust into her mouth the way he might’ve done between her thighs, making an unfamiliar ache blossom at her core. Clawing her nails at his back, Charlotte was lost as his mouth slanted over hers greedily—possessively.
Kissing had never felt this way before, not once. It was always a pleasant display of affection to the person she loved, not a mere hint of something that promised to go so much more deeply it would hurt if she didn’t give in.
That ache became so strong it brought reality back, and she suddenly went tense, realizing she was in Ulric’s lap, kissing him as if her life depended on it. Not only that, but she was so aroused it actually did hurt. Every inch of her body was awake with need, begging for his touch, and confusing the hell out of her.
What am I doing! Charlotte broke her mouth from his and sat back, panting. “No, wait!”
He let her go, though she could tell he was just as affected by the kiss as she’d been, though perhaps not as mortified. I don’t even know if he’s single!

Ulric just experienced the most fulfilling kiss he’d ever shared, especially for how short it was—though he feared he may have jumped the gun.
He wanted to tell Charlotte how he’d been feeling before he made a move, yet she’d looked so downtrodden and worried over her future that all he could think about was kissing her until those troubles melted away.
The fact that she was wearing one of his shirts, looking so sexy when it kept falling off her shoulder, didn’t help his resolve.
Her lips were soft, yielding to his, and Ulric was surprised by how vividly she reacted when her nails dug into his back with a surprised whimper. It was as if he’d tapped into some need she didn’t know she possessed, making him ache as his tongue thrust into her mouth in a promise of how he’d satisfy it.
He could only imagine what it would be like to learn every inch of her, find out what she liked and take advantage of it until she was trembling with need, then make love to her for longer than she could stand. He groaned into her mouth over the thought, swirling his tongue around hers before slowly stroking, savoring every moment.
His vows didn’t seem important whatsoever, the mistreatment he’d suffered in the past nothing more than a distant memory with Charlotte so close, her presence soothing as he held her tight. When she clutched him back like her life depended on being with him, Ulric never wanted it to end.
But all too soon, Charlotte backed away. He knew he shouldn’t have kissed her when he’d yet to tell her the truth, but was just too damned distracted to think better of it. She’d fit against him like a missing piece to a puzzle, and tasted so sweet he thought he could get addicted. The notions were both overwhelming as well as disconcerting.
She’s mortal. One day she’ll die . . .

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