Amethyst Flame 2 Chapter 1

000 Caris Roane - Author Photo 2Amethyst Flame 2 Chapter 1

Hi, everyone! Welcome to AMETHYST FLAME 2 Chapter 1. On this page, you’ll get to read the entire first chapter of AMETHYST FLAME, the second installment of the Flame Series. All the flame stories are set in the dark world of Five Bridges where insidious flame drugs have turned Phoenix upside down for the last thirty years, and kept the alter species locked in a war led by powerful drug lords! 

Five Bridges has several alter species: Vampires, shifters, fae, dead-talkers and witches.

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Vaughn, a powerful vampire serving as a Border Patrol officer for his corrupt world, falls for a dangerous witch who alone is the key to saving his long lost sister…

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Vampire Officer Vaughn of the Crescent Border Patrol gets called to a triple homicide in a deadly place called the Graveyard. When he finds that Emma Delacey has been summoned to the same crime scene, warning bells sound. He’s tried to suppress his desire for the beautiful witch knowing nothing good can come of a relationship in the alter world of Five Bridges. But her auburn hair and glittering green eyes call to him as no woman has since he became an alter vampire. As an evil wizard hounds them both, Vaughn must come to terms with his deepest fears especially when Emma proves to be the key to saving his sister from a madman’s torture.

~ ~ ~

And now, here is all of Chapter One of AMETHYST FLAME!

Chapter One

“We didn’t save them after all.”

Vaughn heard the break in Emma Delacey’s voice. His own chest was damn tight and his throat hurt.

He stood beside her at the top of a deep ditch in the middle of the area of Five Bridges known as the Graveyard. Bodies were dumped here every night to be cleaned up by a designated Tribunal squad in the early morning hours.

Tonight was no exception.

He moved closer to her, blood pounding in his head. He stared down at the bodies of three familiar teenage girls, triplets in fact. Two months ago, he and Emma had rescued the girls from a despicable human trafficking organization. Now they were here, naked, beat-up, and laid out like discarded mannequins. Their arms and legs were at odd angles, bones fractured.

The bastard who’d abducted them hadn’t just killed them, he’d tortured each one.

“Jesus. They’ve been savaged.” Vaughn found it hard to breathe, but he wasn’t sure if it was grief or blind rage. He couldn’t believe the girls had been kidnapped a second time.

Emma moaned softly like a wounded animal. She’d become a good friend in recent weeks, despite the fact she was an alter witch and his natural enemy. He slid an arm around her shoulders.

She didn’t pull away, either. “How did Wizard Loghry find them again? I thought they were safe. Their parents said they’d take them out of state.”

“Maybe they did. But you know what Loghry is. He has massive connections throughout the Southwest. He could have hired dozens of people to hunt them down and bring them back.”

“He must have done this for revenge.”

“I have no doubt about that.”

Emma shook her head slowly, her fingers on her lips. “Maybe if we’d left them alone, they’d still be alive.”

“You don’t know that, Em. Girls like these are trapped inside Loghry’s sex clubs with no way to escape. They get used up and after a time no one sees them again.”

She took a shuddering breath. “I’ve never felt so sick about being in Five Bridges.”

He got where Emma was coming from. Having saved the girls the first time, she’d believed they’d done some good. To have these beautiful girls abducted again added to his hatred of the world they’d each gotten stuck in.

But there was another issue they had to deal with, a critical one, as in why he and Emma had been summoned to the scene. He patrolled almost exclusively in Crescent and he knew Emma rarely worked this part of Five Bridges. It felt like a set-up.

His suspicions grew as another SUV pulled up. There was no reason to have this many officers at a Graveyard homicide scene.

He recognized the vehicle as belonging to the Elegance Border Patrol and he slid his arm from Emma’s shoulders. He didn’t want her to become a target because she’d been fraternizing with a vampire.

Vaughn recognized the officer in the police cruiser, a warlock he despised. His nostrils flared. He’d as soon kill the man as get near him.

There was no love lost among the five different territory Border Patrols. But he loathed those men and women on the take no matter which species. The warlock, who stayed in his vehicle with his com to his mouth, was in deep with the three cartels that ruled the underworld of Five Bridges. So, who was he reporting back to? Probably Donaldson at the Trib or maybe the corrupt chief at the Elegance station.

Vaughn became acutely aware he’d left his half-sword in his SUV. Easton had pushed him to get out here fast and to keep a low profile. He didn’t want shots fired in the Graveyard. And he definitely didn’t want Vaughn battling any Elegance officers who might show up. Vaughn was to leave his weapons in his SUV, head to the crime scene, take a quick look, then report back to Crescent. Get in, get out.

Despite Easton’s orders, Vaughn had his Glock with him.

Vaughn reverted his attention to the crime scene and started looking for anything out of place that might indicate a bomb. But it was hard to tell. The whole massive central area of the alter world, known as the Graveyard, looked like a war zone made worse by an explosion a month ago. Dirt, rocks and cement had been flung all over the surrounding ditches and at least a dozen small bridges that crossed them.

He spoke quietly. “We’re in trouble here, Em.” He’d started abbreviating her name a few phone calls ago. They were good friends now. They were at least that, though they could have been a lot more. In another life, they could have been everything.

Emma turned toward him and kept her voice low as well. “I know. Loghry’s hand is all over this. But Vaughn, even though we agreed never to see each other again, I’m so glad you’re here. I can’t tell you how much I’ve valued all our conversations since that first night. In fact, the only reason I think I can bear what Loghry has done to these girls is because you’re beside me.”

He felt the same way and resisted a powerful impulse to haul her into his arms and hold her.

His relationship with Emma had grown complicated since the night of the rescue. Afterward, they’d gone to a bar, one of the few that served all five alter species. He’d ordered a couple of beers, then another matched set.

By the time six bottles were sitting on the table, he knew he was in trouble. He’d walked her outside, then drawn her into the shadows and kissed her. When he’d suggested they go to his house, she hadn’t hesitated. Neither had she minded flying for the first time with a vampire.

The sex that had followed had been hot as hell though he couldn’t believe he’d crossed the line. Vampires and witches didn’t date.

Afterward, they’d agreed not to see each other again, but the phone had been a different case. He’d talked with Emma almost every night since. He’d call her after their respective shifts and a lot of those conversations had gone well past dawn. But this was the first time he’d seen her since the rescue. Despite the fact that she was a witch, the enemy of his kind, he couldn’t deny his powerful attraction to her or that he’d come to care about her as much as he did.

Tears shimmered in her green eyes, which made her even more beautiful than he remembered. She had thick auburn hair, the front portion pulled into her usual top knot. The rest hung almost to her waist. Her creamy complexion glowed in the moonlight and her snug jeans and t-shirt reminded him of everything he’d once held in his arms.

The pain she obviously felt about the deaths below echoed his own. Doing good in their sick, corrupt world was a rare thing, and he hated that their joint efforts to save these teens two months ago had ended in tragedy. But he had to give Emma this, she had grit and he loved that about her.

As for the author of the crime, Wizard Loghry was one of the most vicious criminals in Five Bridges. The amethyst flame addicted warlock had strong ties to the cartels that ruled the underworld of their alter society, which meant he was well-protected. He could do whatever he wanted without fear of repercussion.

He operated several sex clubs in Elegance Territory stocked primarily with teenage girls. He systematically abducted them from the human part of Arizona, then smuggled them past the border that separated the city of Phoenix from the cordoned off province of Five Bridges.

Sometimes the girls entered Loghry’s work establishments in their fragile human forms. Other times, he put them through the difficult alter process and made vampires out of them. It was rumored he liked fangs in his throat, and that he’d kept a female vampire imprisoned for years in the labyrinth below his Elegance mansion.

Emma crossed her arms protectively over her chest. “Did your boss send you out here?”

“Yep. Easton delivered his orders personally.” Chief Easton, of the Crescent Territory Border Patrol, had taken pains to make sure Vaughn made it to the Graveyard. Alone.

Emma snorted her disgust. “Donaldson came to my office himself and he never does that.”

Vaughn heard several male voices. Turning, he saw that three more Elegance Border Patrol officers had arrived and were laughing it up near the first SUV.

Vaughn jerked his chin toward them. “Any of those warlocks clean?” He was pretty sure he knew the answer, but he asked anyway.

She turned to glance in the direction of her territory’s policing force. “No. Just ignore them. They’re vermin.”

He shifted his gaze back to her. He knew she didn’t take bribes. Neither did he. Being on the take had a stench, and he could smell a corrupt officer at a hundred yards.

Over the beers he and Emma had shared the night of the rescue, she’d told him she was clean but that half the Elegance force wasn’t. He’d confessed a similar statistic for his own vampire territory of Crescent. That’s when things had shifted and he’d started seeing her as a woman he admired as opposed to a witch who could kill him with the energy she could release through the tips of her fingers.

Another burst of laughter came on the heels of the arrival of yet another Border Patrol vehicle. His survival instincts kicked in. “We should leave, Em. Right now. I can fly us straight out of here. Someone else can pick up your bike and my SUV later.”

He held out his arm to her and gestured to his foot. He’d flown her before, so she knew the drill. All she had to do was hop on and he’d have them out of danger within seconds.

She glanced at his boot but shook her head. “I can’t go. Not yet.”

“Why? We both know this is a set-up, and isn’t it bad enough Loghry got these girls? So, how about we get the hell out of here?”

“Vaughn, you know what this is like for me. It’s the way my alter power manifests. I have to tend to the girls. Their spirits are calling to me.” She started down the side of the ditch.

Vaughn’s heartrate kicked up a notch. “Emma, don’t do this. We’ve gotta go now.”

“The girls need me and it’s the least I can do after what they’ve been through.”

Vaughn didn’t try to argue with her and instead began his own descent. He might not want her to stay, but like hell he was leaving her alone in No Man’s Land.

~ ~ ~

Emma Delacey, Tribunal Public Safety officer, understood Vaughn’s concern. She felt it as well, that she was heading into a trap.

She’d been the first to arrive at the triple homicide in the Graveyard, a part of Five Bridges she’d only been to a handful of times.

Her corrupt boss, Tribunal Chief Donaldson, had ordered her to head out here or resign. She wasn’t a quitter, though the sweat on his forehead had told her she was in trouble the minute he’d come into her office. The three major cartels of Five Bridges owned one of Donaldson’s testicles. The dark spellcasters of Elegance territory held the other in a crushing grip. She wasn’t even sure she blamed Donaldson anymore. If you were high up in the administration and didn’t play ball, you got killed.

She picked her way carefully down the side of the ditch, avoiding chunks of blown-up cement, cactus and a helluvalot of rocks.

Her alter witch senses told her the girls had died within the past two hours. She also knew because of her unique gift that the ghosts were struggling to leave their bodies.

She didn’t know why her witchness leaned toward the deceased. But it had from the time she’d gotten stuck with the spellcaster gene and sentenced to live out her life in Five Bridges. She’d been here seven years and had strived to remain as human as possible by repressing her gifts.

Yet, the sight of the teens below made her wish she’d taken a different course. If she’d spent her nights developing her abilities, instead of ignoring them, maybe she’d be able to take Loghry on. But he was one of the most powerful spellcasters in Elegance and she was an infant by comparison.

Anger bloomed in her chest suddenly as she stared down at the young women. They would never breathe again, never fall in love and marry, never bear children. And all because of a psychopathic wizard who ran a vile sex racket that exploited teens.

Everyone knew who Loghry was, as well as the extent of his operation in Elegance. He didn’t go out in public often, being one of the rare monsters who lived a secluded life. She’d only seen him once herself a year ago. It had been July in the desert and despite the intense summer heat, he’d worn a black scarf around his neck, no doubt to hide the violet markings on his throat. An addiction to any of the flame drugs created a skin discoloration in the shape of flames, especially on the neck, sometimes rising onto the face.

When the pull of the girls’ struggle became an ache in Emma’s chest, she came to a decision. She would embrace what she’d avoided for so long. Simple witch spells or standard police work weren’t effective against Loghry and his kind. She needed power, the kind that came from being a fully engaged alter witch. From this moment forward, she meant to acquire as much power as she could.

She turned to Vaughn, who had made his way into the ditch as well and stood beside her once more. “Loghry is not going to win this time. I won’t let him.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean that I’m not going to hold back anymore. I’m going to access who I am in this shitfest of a world. I should have done it years ago. Maybe if I had, these young women would still be alive.”

“Em, please don’t. You’re talking about a level of power the dark witches employ. I’ve felt how much potential you have. Besides, I know what this means to you. I know how hard you’ve tried to hold onto your humanity.”

Emma’s heart heated up as she stared back at Vaughn. Was it possible he felt more for her than she thought? They’d had an amazing round of sex in his townhouse, but they’d also agreed not to repeat anything like it again.

Then, of course, he’d called her and they’d fallen into conversation like they’d always known each other. She’d come to cherish their time on the phone like a lifeline she’d grabbed in high seas. “Thanks for saying as much. It means a lot. All this time, I’ve held back developing my gifts for selfish reasons. I’ve been trying to hold onto something that doesn’t exist anymore, that hasn’t existed from the time I was slipped the alter witch serum. And I owe it to these girls to make a change.

“If I can become a force that will bring Loghry down, then I don’t care about anything else. Not after tonight. I’m done trying to use a rolled up newspaper to battle a hurricane.”

From the rim of the ditch above, one of the officers made a crack about ‘bloodsuckers’, the slur aimed at Vaughn.

She glanced up, surprised to see seven officers now, standing side-by-side and watching them. “Bastards. All those men are on the take.”

“Just ignore them.” He sounded angry.

She met his gaze once more. “I’m going to fight Loghry on his own terms. There’s no other way to do this. So, please don’t interfere.”

“And there’s nothing I can say?”

“I’m afraid not.”

For a moment, though, time slowed as she looked at Vaughn. She’d wanted to see him again so badly after she’d been with him the night of the rescue.

He was an incredibly handsome man, rugged looking with his thick black hair cropped close on the sides and tattoos showing through on his skin. He had straight black brows, drawn tight together in concern and gray eyes that melted her into a puddle. His cheeks were strong and angled to a firm jaw. His lips were full and sensual and had stolen her last reservation when he’d kissed her outside the bar.

Having sex with him had been an incredible, healing experience.

Yet now she was here.

She gave herself a mental shake and turned back to the girls. She didn’t wait for Vaughn to say anything else. Instead, she extended her arms slightly and held her hands palms up.

As she’d never done before, she opened herself up to her spellcaster power. She focused her energy and thoughts on the core of her being, on all that she was as an alter witch.

A sensation like electricity whipped through her, awakening her latent abilities. To her surprise, she found the seat of her power with no trouble at all. And contrary to all expectation, everything about the moment felt sacred and good, not corrupt like she’d feared.

After that, two things happened simultaneously. Odd snapshots started floating though her mind, images of the Graveyard, the ditch, the dead girls and Vaughn. She knew she was looking at pieces of the immediate future. Because the pictures held a serious warning, they were an equal pull on her attention. But the girls needed her help desperately. If they were unable to leave their bodies, they could get stuck forever right here in the Graveyard.

She turned her attention to them and directed her whirling witch energy toward the triplets. Power flowed and swirled above the girls until she could feel each one, their fears and sadness, even their confusion. Mentally, she began to coax them to let go of their time on earth and to leave their bodies. It wasn’t long before the air in the ditch began to shimmer and shortly afterward the ghosts rose into the air.

They appeared dazed at first. They looked at one another then Emma and finally at Vaughn. Each tried to talk, but couldn’t.

Emma stood amazed by how they appeared. She’d seen ghosts before, but only as fleeting wisps of smoky air.

Not this time. Each was fully formed as though possessing a body, yet not quite a body. It almost seemed as though the girls were working on taking shape. She wondered if Vaughn could see them, but one glance told her he didn’t.

They seemed to be communicating with each other and a moment later bits of clothing appeared, though more like smoke than real fabric. Colors as well. The center girl, who had the strongest personality, now wore a red tank top, blue jeans and running shoes. The one to the right donned red shorts, a dark blue crop top and navy sandals with flowers at the top of the t-strap. While the third wore a red plaid short dress, dark stockings and black Mary-Jane shoes. The girls seemed to like red.

They were lovely, each with long, curly, light brown hair and large, blue eyes.

The blue-jeans ghost drew close to Emma, then addressed her telepathically. You saved us once. I remember now. You, and this man, took us home the night we were abducted the first time.

The ghostly voice in Emma’s head made her feel dizzy, but she responded immediately. We did. It was the finest night of my life since becoming an alter witch.

Oh, you’re a witch. She shifted to look at Vaughn. But this man can’t see me, can he?

I don’t think so. And in case you’re wondering, Officer Vaughn is a vampire.

The ghost swept backward, rejoining her sisters. But she continued to talk with Emma. There was a lot of pain from what that madman was doing to us and he ordered vampires to take our blood. I think maybe the vampires were the ones who killed us. I remember getting weaker and weaker. And now we’re here.

By the pallor of their skin, Emma knew she was right. Once more, a terrible grief assailed her that these young women had been robbed of their lives. Yet, it cemented her determination to do what she could to prevent Loghry from continuing his abduction of innocent teens.

The girls, almost as one, shifted their attention upward to the ditch ridge. Emma started to turn to see what they were looking at, but suddenly the three spirits flew around both her and Vaughn. They cried out in loud voices, almost wailing.

The one with the blue jeans got in front of Emma and tried to speak, but no words formed. She seemed really distressed.

Emma attempted to make telepathic contact with her, but only static returned.

The wailing grew louder until Emma finally had to cover her ears. She didn’t understand what was wrong.

~ ~ ~

Vaughn had never felt so much power emanate from Emma before as though she’d opened the floodgates. Maybe she had. He had an impression of the three ghosts but nothing more than that, though a bad feeling crawled through him like a snake. Something wasn’t right.

Emma was bent over as if in pain, her hands held to her ears.

He felt a strange sensation on his face, like soft fingers dragging over his skin. Had to be the ghosts attempting to communicate with him. The message felt like a warning.

He turned to glance back up at the top of the ditch, wondering if the Elegance officers intended to fire on them. “Shit.” There were no longer seven but at least twelve Elegance witches and warlocks staring down at him, all members of the territory’s Border Patrol.

The fingers on his face moved swiftly now and his instincts vibrated heavily, sending warning after warning through his mind.

A second passed.

Then another.

But the moment he watched all those Border Patrol hands move in the direction of their firearms, he reacted swiftly. He didn’t have time to warn Emma. Instead, he grabbed her around the waist and as fast as he could, he hauled her straight up into the night sky.

The firing began at almost the same time.

He whipped through the air and kept flying. He didn’t shift course either, just headed higher and higher out of the line of what became a barrage of pistol fire.

He only slowed down when he couldn’t hear a single distant pop.

Hovering in the air, he reached for Emma telepathically. Emma! Are you okay? Are you hit?

I don’t know. I don’t think so. But I can hardly breathe. I think you might be holding me too tight.

Sorry. He released his death grip on her waist, though he still kept her pressed firmly against him. He doubted she could levitate. Some of the more powerful witches and warlocks could. But until tonight, Emma had kept the brakes on her power, so she probably couldn’t.

“We’re pretty high up, aren’t we?”

He cleared his mind and became aware she was shaking head to foot. She’d only flown one time before with him, but that had been two months ago.

Still holding her in a firm clasp, he told her to plant her feet on his right boot. He eased her down a little until she connected. When she did, he felt her relax right away.

“That helps so much.” As she slid an arm around his neck, she glanced around. “How high would you say we are?”

“About half a mile.”

“Oh, my God. But what happened? What was that back there and how did you think to move us so fast?”

Vaughn told her the exact sequence. “When you were doubled over, I felt fingers on my face. It was the girls, right?”

“Yes, they’d just left their bodies. They were flying around us, shrieking so loud I could hardly stand it. Didn’t you hear them?”

“No, but I could sense a warning in their touch. That’s when I gabbed you.”

“The gunfire was deafening. I take it all seven officers were firing.”

“Not seven. There were at least twelve.”

Emma groaned. “Then Loghry really wanted us dead.”

“No question. It also means he won’t quit until we are.”

Adrenaline had his nerves on edge. He needed to take her somewhere, but if Loghry was after them, where could they go to be safe?

He gathered up his vampire shielding ability and let it flow.

“What is that?” Emma turned slightly in his arms.

“The only defense I have against you spellcasters.”

“Your vampire ability to disguise yourself?”

“Exactly. You okay with that?”

An odd chuckle escaped her throat. “My kind just tried to kill me. So yeah, I’m okay with whatever you need to do.”

“Well, right now, I’m trying to figure out where we should go. My townhouse won’t be safe. Not now. Maybe never, after tonight. But what about your home in Elegance? I know you told me you have a powerful security-spell over the entire property.”

“I do. And I’m sure we would be safe there.”

~ ~ ~

As Vaughn turned toward the east and began to fly her in the direction of Elegance Territory, Emma asked him to go slow. Not because she was afraid, but because she’d never seen this part of Five Bridges from high overhead before.

Her right leg was bothering her a little. Maybe one of the bullets had nicked her, but it probably wasn’t anything serious. She’d have a look when she got home.

He kept them moving steadily east, toward Elegance and even began a slow descent so she could see the land better.

Five Bridges had over a hundred small bridges linking up the pitted landscape. Long ditches crisscrossed the land as part of a containment solution to the drug and human trafficking problem that had been a result of the flame revolution. Those ditches, thousands of them, were almost impossible to traverse. Yet, dozens of runners, loaded with flame drugs, tried night after night to get to the human world beyond the barrier of barbed wire. Too many succeeded, though a large number died in the process.

Underground tunnels also riddled the area beneath Five Bridges, each opening onto a human home in Phoenix where more drugs and unconscious humans were carted back and forth. Corruption was rampant in the province and because of the amount of money involved, pay-offs went to some of the highest levels in Phoenix government.

The result? Two ghosts now flew alongside Vaughn and the third next to Emma.

She could see the dense stretch of barbed wire as Vaughn crossed the border from the Graveyard into Elegance.

She felt funny, though, and her right calf was sore, like it was bruised. Maybe a bullet had kicked a rock up as Vaughn had carried her into the air. She also felt a little lightheaded, but it wouldn’t be long before she was home.

Another minute, and she could see her house. “It’s the third on the right, but go to the side yard. There, just past the tree.”

He dropped down slowly until he was on the sidewalk. She stepped off his boot, but because this was only the second time she’d flown with him, she took a moment to regain her balance.

And her leg really hurt.

She reached the door, pulled it open and without thinking went inside. She’d completely forgotten the nature of the spell until Vaughn shouted, “Emma, what the fuck is going on?”

~ ~ ~

Vaughn couldn’t see anything but the side of the house, no doors, no windows, which was bad all by itself. But Emma had moved toward the wall, then disappeared.

He drew his Glock and bent his knees. “Emma? Are you all right?”

Suddenly, she reappeared in front of him. “Sorry, Vaughn. I wasn’t thinking.” She winced slightly and rubbed her forehead. “Come on. I’ll lead you in.”

Vaughn nodded, but he was pissed. He hated the feeling of being shut out and unable to properly assess a situation because of a spell.

Slowly, he holstered his Glock.

Emma took his hand. “I can tell this is bugging you. But the spell only covers the exterior of the property. You’ll see.”

Before he’d taken two steps, however, he tugged on her hand once more and drew her to a stop. “Is this some kind of witchy thing? Are you enthralling me?”

Her auburn brows rose. “I don’t know what you mean.”

He lifted their joined hands. “This? What I’m feeling, like a soft flow of electricity working its way up my arm.”

At that, she looked away from him and a blush suffused her cheeks. It took him a moment before he realized she was embarrassed. “Did you put a spell on me?”

She shook her head and finally looked up at him again. She swallowed once. “It’s something very human, I’m afraid, but probably enhanced by my witchness in a way I don’t yet understand.” She drew closer and lowered her voice. “Do you remember the night we were together? In your townhouse?”

Did he remember? He’d replayed it in his mind about a thousand times. Two months had passed, but it was as fresh as though it had happened about five seconds ago. “Of course I remember.”

“Well, the same thing happened back then, like this hum of electricity between us. I think being with you awakened something inside me.”

“You’re saying your witch is attracted to me?”

“Something like that.” Using her other hand, she waved it over him. “What woman, in her right mind, wouldn’t be? I mean look at you.”

Given the situation, he was stunned that desire for Emma cascaded over him in a quick hot wave. He squeezed her hand. “I’ve thought about our time together, Em, a lot, wishing we could be together again.”

“I know. Me, too.” Emma squeezed his hand in return. He could see a sheen of sweat on her forehead and she was looking unusually pale.

“Yet, there’s no real future for us, together, I mean.” Yet, here he was, on the threshold of entering her home, a place he’d never thought he’d be.

She nodded, then turned toward the house, still nothing but a solid wall to him.

When she began to disappear again, he tugged on her hand. “Hey, go slow here. All I’m seeing is a wall.”

She smiled back at him. “You’ll be okay.”

As he drew within a foot of the house and probably because he held Emma’s hand, the doorway finally revealed itself to him and he crossed the threshold.

But as he entered her home, he noticed she’d started limping. Glancing down, he saw that she was leaving bloody shoe-prints behind.

“Emma. Holy shit.”

She turned back to him, appearing dazed. “What?”

“You’ve been shot.”

~ ~ ~

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from AMETHYST FLAME! Let the Flame series become a new journey for you! If you’ve missed the first book, BLOOD FLAME, you can find lots of info here.

Bella Media ManagementAmethyst Flame

Vaughn, a powerful vampire serving as a Border Patrol officer for his corrupt world, falls for a dangerous witch who alone is the key to saving his long lost sister…

For the buy links, go here!

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And now, have a wonderful day and an even better night! For more information about my books, keep scrolling! Live the fang!

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Embrace the Power Paranormal RomanceEmbrace the Power: Blood Rose Series 9

Mastyr Vampire Stone wants to bond with Aralynn, his battle partner, until he learns she lives a double life as a woman he despises…

For hundreds of years, Stone has lived a solitary life, serving Tannisford Realm as he battles the deadly Invictus wraith-pairs with his Vampire Guard.

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More about Caris Roane and her books!!!


Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorBlood Flame – #1 Flame Series

Vampire Officer Connor of the Crescent Border Patrol tries to suppress his desire for Iris, a powerful witch. Because the woman possesses the ability to kill him with the tips of her fingers, how can he possibly fall in love with her? When a double homicide throws them together, he soon finds his deepest fantasies fulfilled as Iris succumbs to his seductions.

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Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorAmethyst Flame – #2 Flame Series

Vampire Officer Vaughn of the Crescent Border Patrol gets called to a triple homicide in a deadly place called the Graveyard. When he finds that Emma Delacey has been summoned to the same crime scene, warning bells sound. He’s tried to suppress his desire for the beautiful witch knowing nothing good can come of a relationship in the alter world of Five Bridges.

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Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorDark Flame – #3 Flame Series

Brannick works with Juliet Tunney to help several human women escape the nightmare of Five Bridges. But something isn’t right. Juliet acts as though she knows him really well, yet he’s only met her once. Unless…the dreams he’s been having about her aren’t dreams at all.

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Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorAMBER FLAME, Book #4 of the Flame Series

Fergus has been without an alpha-mate for three years, from the time his wife was murdered. He’s failed repeatedly to bond with the female wolves of the Gordion Pack. When he rescues a fae woman from a sex club, his need to bond with her goes into overdrive.

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Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorChristmas Flame – A Holiday Novella

On Christmas Eve, vampire Officer Kyle Drake has finally persuaded the shy wolf shifter, Verena, to go on a first date. His plans include a little mistletoe and a lot of seduction.

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(After Ascension, Burning Skies, Wings of Fire, Born of Ashes, Obsidian Flame and Gates of Rapture)

Includes Sub-Series: Dawn of Ascension and the Rapture’s Edge Saga

Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorBRINK OF ETERNITY as part of VAMPIRE COLLECTION

Warrior Gideon swore he would never see Elise Jordan again even though they’d been passionate lovers for two years.  Her human nature couldn’t survive in his ascended vampire world; she would be vulnerable to attack on every front if he tried to continue a relationship with her. 

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Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorTHE DARKENING

Fearing that his newly emerged grayle power will kill innocent ascenders, Samuel Daman struggles to keep his distance from beautiful Vela Stillwell.  But the breh-hedden has struck and her light floral scent tears at his restraint. 

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Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorVEILED: Rapture’s Edge Book 2

For the last few weeks, since Warrior Duncan professed his intention ‘to try’ to make his relationship with Rachel work, he’s failed on all fronts. But how can he explain that a serpent lives in his gut, poisoning him against her?

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Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorRAPTURE’S EDGE 1 Awakening

For decades, Warrior Duncan has had an on-again, off-again relationship with a woman opposed to his warrior lifestyle. When Rachel shows up in his life again, he wants to keep his distance, but the infamous breh-hedden, the myth-that-isn’t-a myth, bears down on him keeping him in a perpetual caveman-like state.

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Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorTRAPPED, HUNGER, SEDUCED…

The Blood Rose Tales, are much shorter stories than the “Embrace” books of the Blood Rose Series. Each ‘tale’ highlights one particular aspect of the world of the Nine Realms as well as a mastyr vampire in pursuit of his Blood Rose.

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Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorBlood Rose Tale #1 – TRAPPED

Zephyr can’t keep away from Alesia and feels obligated to keep her safe.  They’d broken up, unable to reconcile painfully opposing views on what should be done to the evil Invictus pairs.  But when several wraith-pairs attack her diner, he flies her to safety, taking her home where they’re trapped together for the entire day. 

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Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorBlood Rose Tale #2 – HUNGER

Yolen keeps his love life and his work life separate with one goal in mind – to protect Brianna.  After seeing his best friend slaughtered by the enemy, he will do whatever it takes to ensure Brianna’s safety even if it means holding her at a distance. 

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Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorBlood Rose Tale #3 – SEDUCED

For weeks, Mastyr Willem, agent for the Realm Investigative Unit, has been tracking Charlotte Vail, a human college student at the local Grochaire University. He’s had a thing for Charlotte that he doesn’t quite understand.

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Enter a world of blood-starved mastyr vampires and the rare women who can satisfy their deepest needs…

Blood Rose 1 –  Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorEMBRACE THE DARK  

How can he resist his blood rose…

Gerrod, mastyr vampire of the Merhaine Realm, never thought to have his blood-needs satisfied by a mere human. But Abigail is no ordinary woman.

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Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorBlood Rose 2 – EMBRACE THE MAGIC

Ethan, mastyr vampire of the Bergisson Realm, never thought to find his blood rose, the one woman who could ease the blood-starvation he’s endured for decades. But Samantha carries a surprising level of power as her newly discovered fae heritage emerges..

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  Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorBlood Rose 3 – EMBRACE THE MYSTERY

Quinlan must keep Grochaire Realm safe from the enemy at all costs.  As ruler of his realm, a woman has no permanent place in his day-to-day existence. But when his lust takes him to Batya’s bedroom, he soon discovers he’s deep into a powerful experience that threatens to blow his life apart.

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Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorBlood Rose 4 – EMBRACE THE PASSION

Seth, Mastyr Vampire of Walvashorr Realm, craves Lorelei, his new bodyguard, but he has a hands-off policy with those under his command. However, the sexy glint in her eye, as well as her wolf-shifter ways, keeps him in a fevered state. 

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Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorBlood Rose 5 – EMBRACE THE NIGHT

Mastyr Vampire Jude has kept his distance from all women because he lost his wife and daughter to an enemy attack a hundred years ago. He won’t go through that kind of loss again. And he won’t jeopardize another woman’s life while the deadly Invictus wraith-pairs still pose a threat in the Nine Realms.

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Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorBlood Rose 6 – EMBRACE THE WILD

Mastyr Vampire Malik has only one goal: to serve the realm he loves. Battling both the dreaded Invictus wraith-pairs and an element in Ashleaf Realm that wants all innocent wraiths dead, Malik can’t afford to get distracted. But Willow has already become an obsession as he lusts for the powerful fae whose blood he craves.

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Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorBlood Rose 7 – EMBRACE THE WIND

Mastyr Vampire Zane didn’t want another woman in his life not after the dreaded Invictus killed his wife five years ago. He serves Swanicott Realm, the land he rules, and doesn’t want anything to interfere with his war against the enemy.

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Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorBlood Rose 8 – EMBRACE THE HUNT

Mastyr Vampire Ian never wanted to see Regan again. He blamed her for the massacre at Raven’s Overlook, an attack that killed his sister and her children. He’s convinced Regan enthralled him, using her extensive fae powers to keep him by her side. If he’d been in his realm that night, he could have saved 200 people.

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Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorLove in the Fortress: Blood Rose Series 8.1

Mastyr Vampire Griffin hates his enslavement in Margetta’s fortress. He sought death a thousand times because of it, but was denied when the Ancient Fae brought him back repeatedly, forcing him to train her evil army. When a beautiful fae-slave, Sandra, tells him to live, he begins to believe his life could have more meaning…

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Caris Roane is the New York Times bestselling author of thirty-seven paranormal romance books. Writing as Valerie King, she has published fifty novels and novellas in Regency Romance. Caris lives in Phoenix, Arizona, loves gardening, enjoys the birds and lizards in her yard, but encourages the scorpions to inhabit elsewhere! Her motto: Live the Fang!

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