Vengeance is at hand for Katya Markova and nothing will make her stray from her chosen path--nothing, that is, but Chase Deveraux. She's spent the past year of her life searching for the person responsible for the bloody murders of her parents. Her quest has taken her around the world and into the dark realm of blood cults and killers, finally bringing her to Transylvania and the Dalakis family.
From the moment Katya first sets eyes on Chase, the emotional and sexual connection between them explodes. She wants him to the point of madness, risking everything she's worked for to spend stolen moments locked in his heated embrace.
But Katya is enmeshed in a world of lies and deceptions, which now includes Chase and his family. Love, vengeance and honor are tested, and sides must be taken as the entire Dalakis family is now in jeopardy.
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November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Endless Chase by N.J. Walters
A shadow detached itself from the trees and he caught his first glimpse of the intruder. He blinked. Twice. Not quite believing his eyes.
A woman strode toward him, no hesitation in her step. She was fairly tall, but was still a half-foot shorter than him. Her hair was black as midnight and cropped short. Her body was lithe and lean, clad in combat boots, leather pants and a black leather jacket.
As she came closer, the first rays of sunlight hit her face and she blinked, throwing up her hand to shield her eyes. Unable to stop himself, Chase walked toward her. He needed to touch her to see if she was real. They met about halfway, both stopping to stare at the other.
Up close, he could see that her skin was soft and pale, almost porcelain. It was the kind of skin that only babies and young children seemed to have. His fingers itched to touch it, to see if it was as soft as it appeared.
Her chin was rounded, but tilted at a stubborn angle. Her nose was small and perfect, her cheekbones high. But it was her eyes that captivated him. Dark blue, so dark they were almost black. They were the eyes of an old soul. She blinked and her long, dark lashes swept down to touch her cheekbones.
He reached out and traced his thumb over the curve of her cheek. Her eyes flew open and she took a quick step back.
"I'm sorry," he murmured. "I didn't mean to frighten you."
Her eyes darkened even further and her lips thinned. "I'm afraid of nothing." Her voice was slightly accented. Maybe Russian, or maybe she was Romanian. It was hard to say. Still, her voice was low and husky, and he liked the way she sounded. He wanted to hear her speak again.
"My mistake." He inclined his head in apology.
She snorted, but didn't turn away. It appeared he wasn't the only one fascinated. She licked her lips and Chase felt his gut tighten. God, her lips were full and rosy and totally kissable.
"Why are you here?"
Chase felt the corners of his mouth turn up. He sensed this woman wouldn't back down from anyone or anything. "That's my line, not yours," he countered. "This land belongs to extended family of mine. If anyone is trespassing, it's you."
"You're a Dalakis." Her hands opened and closed at her sides, but other than that, she was as still as a stone.
"Not exactly." He could sense her growing tension and tilted his head to one side to study her better. She intrigued him. "If you know who owns this land, then you know you're trespassing." Cristofor didn't mind the occasional hiker, but mostly discouraged folks from tromping around the land by posting warnings about bears and wolves. The place was fairly isolated in the mountains so it usually wasn't much of a problem.
"I'm just hiking." There was an edge to her words. She turned slightly, easing back toward the shadows, and he saw the crossbow on her back.
"Hunting isn't allowed."
"That is for protection only. I don't hunt," she paused, "animals."
Before he could understand the deeper meaning he was certain was underlying her words, she headed back toward the woods. "Wait!" Chase stalked after her, unwilling to let her go. Some dormant instinct within him was screaming at him not to let her leave him, to grab her and drag her back to the castle with him.
Images of the two of them naked in his large bed filled his mind. He shook his head to clear it. He must be going out of his mind. He'd just met this woman trespassing on family land. "What's your name?" he demanded as he caught her by the shoulder.
She whirled away, crouching, her body in a defensive fighting stance.
Chase held up his hands. "I'm not going to hurt you." The mere thought appalled him. "I would never hurt you. I just want to know who you are."
"You should be more worried about me hurting you." She crossed her arms over her chest.
Chase wished she wasn't wearing a jacket. He wanted to see more of her body. He'd bet that her breasts were small but firm. His artist's mind could picture it perfectly. The soft mounds would be tipped with hard nipples the color of pale pink roses. His cock stirred, pressing against the zipper of his jeans, making him uncomfortably aware of his growing arousal.
He swallowed hard. No woman had ever gotten to him this quickly. "Who are you?"
She glanced at the meadow behind him and then back at him. "Katya." She blinked again, moving more into the shadows. "I must go."
"I'm Chase." He held out his hand, willing her to take it. "Chase Deveraux."
She stared at it for the longest time before eventually wiping her palm on her pants and extending it toward him. Her hand was so much smaller than his, but he felt the calluses as they touched. She was no stranger to hard work.
What an enigma Katya was--a tough warrior exterior, but with the face of an angel.
His fingers tightened around hers, unwilling to let go and lose this small contact between them. His body felt tight and alive, humming with energy. After the fatigue of the past few months, it was intoxicating. "Katya." He said her name slowly, savoring the sound on his lips.
She was staring at his mouth, her lips parting. He couldn't resist. Tugging her closer, he lowered his head and brushed his mouth against hers.
Heat exploded throughout his body and he moaned as he repeated the small caress. A tiny cry came from Katya, echoing the passion building deep inside him. He needed more.
Releasing her fingers, he slid his hands around her waist, bringing her body in direct contact with his. He groaned as her thighs touched his and their chests brushed. It didn't matter that they were both wearing jackets. It was as electric as if they'd both been naked.
Chase's entire body tightened, but the tension was a pleasurable one that he hadn't felt in a long, long time. A grueling work schedule and personal problems had kept his social calendar empty for the past year. Longer. He'd been so buried in work he hadn't dated in what seemed like forever.
Katya was everything he'd been missing. Everything he couldn't have, a voice reminded him. Ignoring the voice in his head, he deepened the kiss. Just one taste. One kiss wouldn't hurt either of them.