Sample Chapter, Vampire PNR
We’re only two weeks away from the launch of Four Awesome Threesomes, so that means it’s sample time.
The very first book in the collection is Bannockburn Binding, book 1 of the Beloved Bloody Time MMF urban fantasy futuristic time travel romance series. (Say that three times fast.)
So here is the first chapter of Bannockburn Binding.
EXCERPT FROM FOUR AWESOME THREESOMES
COPYRIGHT (C) 2022 TRACY COOPER-POSEY
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Stirling, Scotland, 1314 A.D.
Laying siege could be a mighty boring business. That was why he found the lass in the first place and why he kept her, in the second. That was the excuse Rob would always give himself. As for what happened after, well, that was another matter entirely.
Rob found himself south of Stirling Castle, giving his horse a slack rein and enjoying the cool April air. This far away, the noises Edward’s troops made as they surrounded the castle were silenced. Instead, the natural sounds of the woods emerged.
He came upon her at the edge of the woods near the burn. Oh, she was quiet enough to be sure, but her manservant made the basic error of moving upon dry leaves.
In a heartbeat Rob was on them, his dirk against her throat, leaning over them from his saddle. She stood slim and tall, still as a statue. There was no fear in her face.
Her manservant looked set to expire. He trembled and flinched at the snorts and sidesteps of Rob’s warhorse, while his eyes stayed wide upon the blade at his mistress’ throat.
“Now, here’s a pretty picture,” Rob declared. “What might a wee lass like ye be doing wandering the wastes of the Bannock burn?”
The manservant clutched at the rich blue fabric of her gown in a most unseemly way and murmured in her ear. Advice. Entreaty. She spoke quietly in reply, low enough that Rob could not hear the words. It mattered not a wit. Rob waited out their conference with unusual patience. The day was a fine one, he had naught else to do and she was a pleasing distraction.
She finally looked him square in the eye again. Her own eyes were a dark, dark brown that was almost black. “M’lord, I wandered too close to Stirling Castle.” She spoke with a soft lowland Scots lilt. “With your leave, I would be on my way and leave the rest of your day untrammeled by a manservant’s stupidity.” At that, she glared at her servant. Clearly, he had led her astray.
“Why would ye be abroad at such a time?”
“I…er…I was collecting the last of the mushrooms.”
Rob slid to the ground and stepped closer to her. She was tall for a woman and came up to his shoulder. He snatched her wrist, pulling it up behind her back. “Then where be ye basket, my lady?”
The servant moaned, clearly distressed beyond sense.
Rob had both hands in use, so he jabbed sharply with his elbow, smashing the man’s nose and dropping him to the ground. It would shut the man up, at the very least.
The lady’s eyes widened, but she spoke no word of protest.
“That’s two lies I’ve caught ye in,” Rob told her. “Do ye care to spare me more by telling me the truth?”
She swallowed. The movement drew his gaze to her throat. It was pale, slender and pure. No gauze hid it from his sight, although her hair was behind a veil. Her gown was of some fine, thick material, but failed to disguise the willow-suppleness of her figure.
“I have not lied to ye,” she retorted, still showing no fear.
Her manservant rolled on the ground beside her, his hands to his face. He examined the blood coating his fingers and looked up at her. “Jesus H. Christ,” he slurred, his voice congested by the blood. “He’s broken my goddam nose!”
Rob’s heart thudded hard. The man’s accent was strange and he spoke English—an odd type of English, one that Rob had never heard before. But any English was an insult to his ears.
He grabbed the girl’s arm before she could react, pulled out his sword and swapped his knife for the longer blade. He rested the sword against her throat. “Three falsehoods. Yer man is English or I’ll eat my own gizzards. So what does that make you, hmm?”
“M’lord, ye canna think—”
He shook her, halting her words. “Ye speak as I do, right enough, but ye wear the garments of a lady and there’s naught Scots ladies to be found round here. They’ve all repaired to the highlands ‘til the King routs the bloody English.”
She was pure bred and of high enough station to be able to look him square in the eye. “You must release me. My family—”
“Might be willing to part with the odd coin or two for ye return, I’m thinking,” Rob finished softly. He found he was staring at her eyes again. The color was a wonder. Rich, dark, mysterious. “Mushroom gathering requires a basket and ye’ve none about ye,” he added.
“I left it by the burn.”
“I wager no basket exists.”
“You must let me go,” she repeated as firmly as she could, but Rob saw the shallow, frantic throbbing of her blood in the sweet curve of her throat.
“I must do nothing ye say of me,” he told her. “I am Robert David Bruce MacKenzie, cousin and officer to Edward Bruce and cousin to Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland.” He smiled grimly. “And you, my lady, are my prisoner and at my command.”
* * * * *
Sydney, Australia. 2262 A.D.
Charbonneau re-settled the hat on his head to better shade his face from the relentless Australian sunshine and crossed the square. Sydney was much nicer since they had banned all traffic except pedestrian, but even the speedy slide walks didn’t help against the belting heat. He crossed the square, looking up to his left every now and again towards the big coat-hanger shaped bridge.
Bigger still—and more mind-boggling—was the cable that snaked up into the sky behind it. It rose, and continued to rise, until it disappeared from sight. It was the first time he had seen the Sydney beanstalk for himself and it was just as attention-grabbing as friends had warned him it would be.
On the side of the square he was heading for there was a long row of terraced professional buildings with eclectic designer fascias made of materials designed to look natural; faux stone, brick and wooden sidings. The retro-look had been fashionable fifty years ago, when the square had been renovated and the tenants and buyers had all possessed well-moneyed reputations that matched the up-market location and price of the trendy buildings.
Half a century later, the buildings were still in well-preserved states, thanks to upscale clientele and thriving businesses housed within.
Charbonneau saw the familiar subdued, classic logo over the door of one of the buildings with a stone fascia. He wove his way through the tourists and day-trippers, shoppers and strollers. Many of them were standing and staring at the beanstalk or capturing images. The square was a prime viewpoint for watching the cable cars head up the stalk, another reason for the premium cost of the real estate around here.
Charbonneau pushed open the polarized door beneath the logo, stepped out of the sun gratefully and took off his hat.
A woman in a classic early twenty-first century suit stood up as he entered and flashed him a smile. Human, he categorized and possibly on her second regeneration. It was getting harder to tell these days, as cellular restructuring grew more sophisticated.
He smiled back, to disarm her.
“Welcome to Chronologic Tours, sir,” she told him. “Is there someone I can let know you are here?”
“Bon jour,” he returned. “It was merely impulse, a whim. Is there someone I can speak to? I do not wish to cause trouble at all.”
“Il est sans ennui,” she assured him in perfect French. “We’re delighted you decided to visit us.” She glanced down at the screen embedded in her desk. “Would you be willing to share your name with me, so I can introduce you properly to one of our representatives?”
Subtle, Charbonneau thought. It was possible they were already trying to scan his retina, or his pheromone signature, so she could assess if he were a threat or not. But she was asking to use his name, to save embarrassing or alarming him with their security screening.
“You can call me Charbonneau,” he told her. “That will do. For now.” His implied promise of future frankness at least matched their good manners.
She led him into a room that might have been a waiting room or a sales office, but really looked more like a private library or lounge room, with dark walls and what had to be a very fake, very sincere-looking fireplace in the corner, that crackled and popped comfortably. There was no desk. A sofa and a coffee table were grouped in the middle of the room and a pair of armchairs flanked the fire.
“This is our Roosevelt room,” she explained, plumping up a cushion and offering him one of the armchairs. “It is an historical replica, of course.”
“Of course.” Charbonneau sat down to wait, letting them complete their unobtrusive scanning without protest. The fun would start as soon as they had processed the feedback. He could be patient.
* * * * *
Stirling, Scotland, 1314 A.D.
Rob dragged the servant and his lady into the encampment shortly after the mid-day lull, when everyone was busy with new-found energy and enthusiasm. It also meant everyone would be focused on the castle, so his two captives would rouse the least amount of interest.
He avoided asking himself why he wanted to draw no attention. Later, he would think about it.
For now, the woman’s servant was trouble enough to deal with. He pushed his boot into the man’s behind, encouraging him to keep moving. The man was staggering and moving slowly, making hard going of it.
Rob was puzzled by the man’s over-reaction to the bloody nose and having his hands fastened behind his back. The man was simply terrified, making Rob wonder how long he had been in the service of gentry. In this day and age, capture and ransom was the way of things. Rob had been gentle enough with him, considering.
Rob tugged on Thunder’s halter, encouraging the horse to follow the man’s uneven progress. He glanced up at the woman on Thunder’s saddle. She had managed to arrange her gown so that not even an ankle was revealed, despite her hands being tied to the horse.
“Do ye have a name you’ll give me?” he asked of her.
She glanced at him. “One ye’ll believe is mine?”
She had him there.
“But if ye give me ye name,” Rob countered, “The quicker this’ll all be done with. If ye don’t, we must figure out who ye be and it’ll all take the longer. An army camp is no place for a lady, I assure ye. Even an English one.”
“Especially an English one, in this camp,” she amended. “But you fail to mention that the English king will be here to save his castle before midsummer. If I am English, I will also be saved.”
Rob snorted. “Yon Edward won’t move his buttocks out of England, not even for his last Scottish castle. Dinna hold ye breath for that.”
“He will,” she said softly. Firmly. “You’ve given him just the excuse he needs to march his army into Scotland and break King Robert and every last man of ye.”
Rob halted the horse and looked up at her. “How’s a fine young thing as you get to know of such matters?” he said sharply.
She hesitated and he could feel her caution. “I am a woman. Men speak freely in front of me because I am of no account. So I hear things.”
“And remember them, aye?” Rob nudged Thunder back into motion. “Ye confirm with every word yer high status, my lady. I’m thinking ye’ll raise a goodly number of coins.”
“I think you’ll be surprised,” she returned, still speaking softly. Her assured manner was more the fit of a much older woman, or even a man seasoned in battle or politics. Yet she seemed barely to have blossomed into womanhood.
And a fine, fine womanhood it was, a voice whispered in Rob’s mind.
He tugged at Thunder’s halter irritably, making the big beast snort a protest, for he was already moving forward. Rob scowled at the muddy ground they were crossing, trying not to glance over his shoulder at the fresh young thing sitting on his saddle. The English army might think nothing of returning a woman to her family with her virtue spoiled and her innocence gone, but that didn’t happen in Robert’s army. Well, not in Edward Bruce’s army, at least.
Rob kicked the whimpering manservant again, as he amended the thought. Not in my charge, then. Not while she belongs to me.
“You’d better hope your English king hurries himself,” he told her, keeping his eyes on his tent, fifteen paces ahead, where he could lock her away from his sight and his thoughts. “If ye’ll not tell me who ye are, he is ye best hope for rescue.”
“He is not my king,” she returned, “Any more than he is your king.”
“So ye say.” It was a feeble retort, but the best he could manage. Suddenly, he was desperate to return to the mindless watch at the base of the castle and the ribald masculine chatter around the building of the siege engines. Even Prince Edward’s sharp tongue would be welcome.
“My name is Caitriona,” she murmured. Her voice seemed to whisper in his ear.
He reached up and released her hands from their bonds and grasped the trim waist to assist her down. His fingers nearly met and his body tightened in response. He could feel warmth and soft flesh, beneath the cloth of her gown.
He cleared his throat. The rope was still fastened around each wrist and he gripped it, looking at her. “Ye give me ye word ye won’t try to escape and I’ll leave the bonds be.”
“I canna do that.”
He sighed and pulled her into the warm, dim tent, leaving her manservant crouched, whimpering, on the ground beneath Thunder’s nose. He’d deal with him after.
The inside of the tent, he was relieved to see, had been tidied by the pageboy he shared with four other officers. It had been a half-hearted attempt, but the tent at least looked somewhat civilized. The furs on the ground had been beaten and re-laid and his personal belongings stowed in the chest.
Rob lifted the rope around the woman’s wrist up and hitched it to the tent pole, high up above her head so she could not lift the rope off by herself. It raised her hands very high. For a moment, they stood face to face, with only the heavy bole of the tent support between them.
Sweet temptation soared through his veins in a scalding, aching rush. He had only to drop his hand from the rope, slide it down the length of her arm, to tuck his hand beneath the heavy swell of her breast where it lifted her gown in a full, ripe mound….
She was looking him square in the eye. There was not a single whisper of coyness in her glance. He wondered for an insane moment that if he dared let his gaze linger in the depth of her eyes, would he see mutual knowledge there?
He made himself step away. His whole body seemed to pound with the effort it took to move from her.
“Ye arms will lose feeling,” he told her, his words more brusque than he intended them to be. “Then they’re going to throb, the like of which ye’ve never felt before. Then they will start to burn. Ye may want to reconsider giving me your word, before then.” He turned to go.
He turned back and lifted his brow. In this low light she almost seemed to glow, so pale and flawless was her flesh. Her lips were full and tempting beyond belief.
“My manservant. What do you intend to do with him?” she asked.
“What do ye care? He led you into danger.”
“He…has sentimental value to my family. I would rather he stay by my side.”
“So he can untie ye the moment my back is turned? What sort of fool do ye take me for, m’lady?”
Rob stalked out of the tent, his black temper roused beyond belief. He kicked the servant up off the ground where he lay shivering, to alleviate his mood.
Such scattered, inane thoughts over a pair of dark eyes and pink lips. He was addled.
* * * * *
The Chronometric Conservation Agency near-Earth satellite station. 2262 A.D.
Ursella Shun hated vampires with a carefully hidden distaste and all-encompassing prejudice that humans in bygone centuries had once held for different races and religions. Ursella Shun was the twenty-third century’s bigot.
That was why someone with a sense of ironic humor had appointed her the head of the Historical Defense Bureau, which had oversight jurisdiction of the Chronometric Conservation Agency. It was Ursella’s monthly inspection tour of the Agency and as usual she was making her tour in person.
Nayara sent Christian Hamilton to meet Shun at Halfway Station and escort her the rest of the way to the Agency. Who better to smooth Shun’s feathers and put her in a good mood than a genuine Southern gentleman who had been raised within a system of intricate bigotry and racial differentiation?
The fact that he could draw a sword, take Shun’s head off and sheath it again before she had time to open her mouth and scream probably wouldn’t even occur to Shun. Christian Lee Beauregard Jackson Hamilton knew how to pour on the charm when he needed to.
So Nayara hovered in the receiving lounge, watching the shuttle nudge its way up against the docking clamps with infinite care, and laughed at her own nervousness. The station went through this craziness every month, thanks to Shun insisting on visiting in person. They should be used to it by now. But every month they turned themselves inside out trying to placate the diminutive Shun.
The status lights over the bay doors flickered over to green. After a moment or two, the doors opened. Then Tinker, the human pilot, emerged. He gave Nayara the thumbs up and headed down the passage toward the kitchen and the tiny office he used as his quarters when he arrived at the station. He would grab a quick meal and wait to return Shun to Halfway Station.
Then Ursella Shun and Christian emerged. Christian was bending over the tiny woman, listening respectfully as she spoke. He wore all black as he always did, which made his blonde hair seem even lighter. He glanced up, a single flicker of his green eyes, spotting Nayara. He lifted his hand, silently guiding Shun over toward Nayara as Shun continued to speak.
“Director Shun,” Christian said, breaking into Shun’s monologue. “See, Ms. Ybarra is waiting for you.”
Shun frowned, looking up at Nayara. “Nayara,” she acknowledged, brushing at the long skirt of her pristine white business dress.
“I trust your journey was comfortable, Director Shun?” Nayara asked. “Christian did procure you the best seat on the beanstalk, I trust?”
Shun’s lips thinned. “You know perfectly well I get vertigo in free-fall.”
Nayara painted a smile on her face. “Of course, you are always more than welcome to take advantage of the shortest route here.”
Shun didn’t quite shudder. The quickest route to the agency involved direct contact with vampires. Flesh on flesh. Ursella would rather suffer through free-fall and twelve hours of travel than have a vampire put their arms around her. But she would never say that aloud. Instead her face grew taut and her eyes neutral. “Of course,” she said stiffly. “Is Mr. Desmond in his office?”
“Ryan is waiting for you, yes.”
“Would you like me to show you the way, Ursella?” Christian asked.
“Thank you, no,” Ursella said shortly. “I know my way from here. Thank you for your company, Mr. Hamilton.” She nodded at him and moved stiffly down the corridor toward the administration section of the station.
Christian blew out a long breath once she was out of hearing range.
Nayara rested a hand on his arm. “Thank you, Christian. What else can I say? I know what she is like, but with you, Ursella does arrive here in a more amenable mood.”
“Oh, I don’t mind soothing her for you, ma’am,” Christian replied, in his soft southern drawl. “Except I know that she’ll be in Ryan’s office for twenty seconds and he’ll have her all riled up once more. That Irish temper of his…” He shook his head.
“It’s not just Ryan,” Nayara pointed out. “Ursella isn’t always a diplomat, either.”
Christian gave her one of his slow, knowing smiles. “Ryan is the diplomat, Nayara. Why are you the one pouring all the oil on the waters?”
She couldn’t help smiling. “Want me to pull rank and tell you where to put your nosy question?”
“If you want me to escort the wonderful Ms. Shun back to Halfway, I wouldn’t if I were you.” But he wore a smile, too.
“Damn it, Christian, you have no respect for your elders,” Nayara replied.
Christian touched his hand to an invisible hat brim. “I find it hard to remember to treat you as anything but a lady when you’re so beautiful and sexy, Nayara.” He turned, heading for the living quarters. “’tis little wonder Ryan’s temper is so unstable,” he said over his shoulder. “You really should consider putting him out of his misery, you know.”
Nayara quieted the lurch of her heart Christian’s parting words caused and waited for her breathing to steady before she turned in the other direction and headed for Administration. Christian was irreverent, that was all. It didn’t mean he was accurate. He had simply been deflecting her gentle admonition back. Yes, that was it. He had been on the defensive.
Her mind and heart settled, Nayara tapped back into her messages and tasks as she walked, picking up the myriad strings of her busy day, deliberately dismissing Christian’s barb from her memory altogether.
After all, Christian was no judge. He had his own affaire de coeur troubles.
A Delectable Sampler. Four Threesome Romances from Four Threesome Series…
Four Awesome Threesomes includes four first books in four of Tracy Cooper-Posey’s best selling urban fantasy and paranormal time travelling series, for you to sample the range and style of her signature MMF romances. The set includes twenty+ pages of interstitial essays by the author, giving the history of each series and how each book came to be.
Bannockburn Binding, from the Beloved Bloody Time series
Amazon Best Seller – Top 100 (#5)
#1 Amazon Time Travel Romance Bestseller
#1 Amazon Fantasy Romance Bestseller
Reviewers’ Top Pick —The Romance Reviews
Nominated Erotic Paranormal Book of the Year 2011—The Romance Reviews
Time is theirs to keep. But it comes with a price.
When Tally, vampire and time traveler, takes her client to the siege of Stirling Castle in 1314, she is caught and held hostage by Robert MacKenzie. Rob is drawn to the very different English lady. Christian, vampire, a southern gentlemen, and Tally’s ex-lover, knows the 1314 time marker well enough to jump back and help Tally return home. His arrival adds complications, for Christian is drawn to Rob MacKenzie as much as Tally is. But neither of them can stay in the past forever. To do so means certain death.
Kiss Across Time, from the Kiss Across Time series
Amazon #1 Bestseller, Vampire Romance
Amazon #1 Bestseller, Paranormal Romance
Amazon #1 Bestseller, Time Travel Romance
Night Owl Romance Reviews Reviewer’s Top Pick
A single kiss spins them across time.
Taylor wants to prove that the 6th century poet, Inigo Domhnall, actually existed. She hears Domhnall’s lyrics in a death metal song, and engineers a meeting with the singer, Brody Gallagher. When Brody kisses her, they are thrust back in time to King Arthur’s court, telling Taylor he is more than a simple rock singer. When Taylor kisses his friend and lover, Veris, they are sent back into a different time, too.
Blood Knot, from the Blood Stone series
#1 Amazon Best-Seller – Fantasy, Futuristic & Ghost Romance
Amazon Best-seller – Vampire Romance
Winner, Coffee Time Reviewer’s Recommended Award
Goodread’s “Most Drool-worthy Covers”
Erotic Vampire Book of the Year, The Romance Reviews, 2011
CAPA Nomination, Best Paranormal Book of the Year, The Romance Studio, 2011
To survive they must trust each other. Only…can they?
Winter, a professional thief who can manipulate others’ biologies by touch, accidentally “healed” her former partner—and former vampire—Sebastian, whom she secretly loves. Her healing created a bond between them that neither wants. Nathanial, a thousand-year-old vampire and Sebastian’s ex-lover, talks Sebastian and Winter into stealing evidence that will expose all vampires to the world….
Beth’s Acceptance, from the Destiny’s Trinities series
2009 CAPA Finalist for Best Erotic Paranormal Romance.
Night Owl Romance Reviewer’s Top Pick
Amazon Superhero Romance Bestseller
Amazon Vampire Romance Bestseller
Can she accept the destiny being thrust at her?
And my usual reminder; If you pre-order directly from me, you get your copy next week, not in two week’s time.
Or you can be sneaky and just wait for next week and buy it direct from me, with no pre-ordering, and still get your copy a week early.
And, of course, you can wait the extra week and get your copy from your preferred retail store.
By the way, this boxed set is selling at the ridiculously cheap price of 99c. 😉