Sunday, July 5, 2015

Royce The Hunter Series Chapter Nine is ready to read

Chapter 9
Kasey sat in the chair near her mother’s casket. Every time she looked at the daises decorating the top she felt tears slide down her face. She kept reaching out and running her hand over the top of the casket, wanting more than anything to have her mom back there beside her. She looked up when someone touched her arm.
“Hello, sweetheart. How you holding up?”
Kasey nodded and turned back to her mom. She didn’t know who most of the people were who came to talk to her. Maybe she did, but she didn’t care. She wanted them all to go away and leave her to her misery, but they just kept touching her and trying to have a conversation with her. She only knew one person she wanted to talk to and she wasn’t speaking to her.
“Kasey, honey, can you please come back under the shelter? You’ll get sick if you don’t.” Uncle Jay. She turned to look at him. “Come on, baby, you can’t get sick. Let me help you pull the chair under the shelter.”
She realized it was raining. Not a hard pour, but enough that she was getting soaked. Someone was standing next to him and she tried to stand, but she lost her footing in the wet grass and nearly tumbled.
“I’ve got you. Come on.” She looked up into the face of Royce and tried to pull away. “Let me put you over here and then I’ll let you go. Come on, Kasey, your uncle’s right, you need to stay healthy.”
“My mom is gone. She died and left me. She was doing so much better and now…what am I supposed to do now?”
He didn’t answer her, not that she thought he would. He was there because her family…well, her uncle worked for him. It was nice of him to show up, but not necessary. She didn’t want anyone there, as a matter of fact, and wished again that they’d go away.
She sat in the chair and looked at the casket again. The daisies where getting wet, she realized, and thought someone should cover them up. Then a small giggle escaped her mouth. They were flowers and needed to be wet. She looked up when someone stood in front of her.
Mrs. Hunter, Kasey remembered. She’d only seen the woman a couple of times. But she still remembered her. She stood up and took her hand. When she started to slip again, Mrs. Hunter steadied her.
“Why don’t you have a seat, dear? You look all done in.” She sat in the chair next to the one Royce had put her in. Kasey turned to look at the casket again. “I’m so sorry about your mother, Kasey. She was a nice woman.”
Kasey turned to look at her. “You knew her? She never…at the Christmas thingy. She went with my uncle Jay last year. Yes, I remember now. She told me that you said she had on a pretty dress.”
“She talked about you. She was so very proud of you. She told me that she couldn’t ask for a better daughter."
Kasey started crying again. “I was a shitty daughter. She was alone when she died because I wanted my own place. What kind of daughter turns down living with their mother when she knows she is going to die?”
“Stop that right now, young lady.” Kasey turned to look at Mrs. Hunter. “You know better than that. She raised you to be independent and I doubt very much your mother was anything but happy for you.”
Kasey felt herself being pulled into a warm hug and she lost the little control she had over her tears. She sobbed in earnest now, her heart broken, and feeling so lost she clung to the woman who held her until she had no more tears left. When she pulled away from her Kasey felt stupid and tried to move away as she apologized.
“I’m so sorry. I’ve had a bad few weeks. And my mother would be so…she’d be so unhappy with me if she could see what I’ve been doing.” Kasey blew her nose on her damp tissue. “I thank you for just now. I didn’t realize I needed that.”
“Kasey,” Mrs. Hunter said softly. “Royce told me what happened between the two of you. He said you and him have been fighting and that he wants to talk to you.”
Kasey looked over her shoulder and saw him standing there with her uncle. He turned to look at her. Kasey turned back to the casket and felt her heart pound.
“Did he tell you what we’ve been fighting about, Mrs. Hunter? Did he tell you that…that there might be a child from our act of stupidity?” Mrs. Hunter said nothing and Kasey turned to her. “He…we won’t marry if there is one. We both agree that…that it would be like pouring gas on an already out of control fire. I’m not sure if…I’ve been a little distracted about…”
“Kasey, I didn’t…he said that you two had fought, but he never mentioned that he didn’t…I’m sorry, dear. If there is a baby, I’ll make sure he does the right thing by you and your child.”
Kasey thought he was by not marrying her and turned to tell her so, but the reverend called the short service to order. Kasey barely heard what he said. Barely heard him telling the large gathering there that her mom was one of the sweetest people he’d ever known. That Leah York was proud of her family and that she’d be so embarrassed about the people gathered there to be with her. He went on to tell the congregation that there would be food and friends at Jay York’s house and everyone was welcome. After a short prayer everyone but a few left for their cars while the family said their finally goodbyes. Kasey was still sitting in the chair when Royce came to sit beside her.
“Kasey? I told Jay I’d bring you to the house. Are you ready to go?” He took her cold hand into his warm one. “Baby, come on. You’re frozen through.”
“You told her. You told your mother that I might be pregnant. She pretended not to know, but she did, didn’t she?”
“Yes. I told her last night. When I told her your mother had passed away, I said that I may have gotten you pregnant and that you and I had been fighting.”
Kasey nodded. “But you didn’t tell her you and I weren’t getting married. She knows that now, but I don’t think she believes me.”
Royce didn’t say anything for several minutes. And Kasey realized that the men were waiting for them to leave so they could finish up. She started to stand and he put his hand out to steady her.
“Don’t touch me. Please, just…just don’t touch me.” She started to hobble away when she was suddenly lifted up in his arms. “Put me down right this minute.”
“I’m going to carry you to the car and put you in it. Then we’re going to stop at the closest drug store we can find and I’m going to buy a pregnancy test. We’re getting this solved right now. It’s been more than two weeks and we might know something. After that we’ll have a calm and rational conversation and both of us will decide what we’ll do if there is a baby.”
She was suddenly in his warm car. When he reached across her and pulled the belt across her lap, she wanted to snarl at him to leave her alone, but she started to tremble and couldn’t get the words out. By the time he came around to the driver’s side, her teeth were chattering and she was shaking hard.
“Christ. You’re in shock. Come on, Kasey.” The blast from the heater hit her in the face and she felt something warm covering her. As she tried to get warmth into her body, she felt Royce begin to rub her leg.
“Cold. I’m so cold.” She tried to stop her teeth from banging together, but all she managed to do was bite her lip.
“How long were you out in the rain? You’re soaked through. I’m taking you home and putting you into a warm bath. Don’t move.”
Like she could. Her body’s trembles made her dizzy and soon she was drifting in and out. She didn’t think she should be doing that from just being wet, but was too cold to ask him.
She was lifted for a brief time then she heard someone swearing. When someone started tugging on her clothes, she tried to fight them back.
“Stop it. You have to get out of these wet clothes. I’ve called the doctor and he said to strip you down and put you in the tub. He said that once I get you warm to bring you in and he’ll see about taking the bandages off permanently.”
Kasey was too cold to care what he did, then suddenly she was burning up. When she tried to get away from the heat, he held her firmly while speaking to her. After what seemed like an eternity, she started to feel better. Soon, she drifted off into a deep sleep.
~~~
Royce held her until he was sure she was all right. Her body was lax against his, but still he held her in the tub for a little while longer. When he was sure she wasn’t going to start shaking again, he stood up and took her into his bedroom.
He laid her on the floor, mindful about the soaking wraps on her arm and leg. His main concern was that she wasn’t cold and that she seemed to be sleeping well. He wrapped two big towels around the wet elastic and then piled more towels on the mattress after he dried her off. He then put a large towel around her hair and picked her up. He put her into his bed and went to put on some clothes.
He’d worn his boxers in the tub with her and nothing else. His wet clothes were on the floor and he bent to pick them up as he dialed his mother. She answered on the first ring.
“Where the hell are you two? I’ve been worried sick that you’d had an accident on the way here. When are you coming?”
“She got a chill. Bad. I called Doctor Carmichael and told him what was happening and he told me to put her in a tub of water. My house was closer than hers so I brought her here. When she wakes up, I’m to take her into the emergency room and he’ll make sure her injuries are all right.”
“Is she all right now then?”
Royce looked down at Kasey’s sleeping face. “I think so. She’s sleeping. Mom, I’m sorry, but I’m not going to marry her. All we ever do is fight and I don’t love her.”
She didn’t say anything for a few seconds. “All right. We should wait like you said to make any kind of arrangements for the child…if there is one.”
He sat on the edge of the bed and watched her. He told his mom that he’d talk to her later and hung up. He brushed his fingers over Kasey’s cheek and smiled at how soft it was. “Oh, Kasey,” he said softly. “What am I going to do with you? You come into my life demanding that I badge in and set my entire world on its side. Now you could be carrying my child and all I can think of is whether it will have eyes the same as yours or your temper. And I don’t even know if there is a kid yet.”
Three hours later, he took her to the emergency room. The doctor decided that even though she was doing fine, he didn’t like the sound of her lungs. He wanted to keep her for a bit longer. He also agreed to do a pregnancy test.
Royce was pacing the hall outside of the little room she was in when he saw the doctor. Doctor Carmichael had a straight face as he approached him so Royce wasn’t sure if it was good news or…or something else. Royce started to follow him in the room when he stopped him.
“You can’t hear the answer, Royce. The results are hers and hers alone. If she wants to tell you then that’s fine, but you’ll have to wait until then.”
“But it’s my kid. I have a right to know as much as she does.” The doctor merely raised a brow. “Ask her. Ask her if I can hear.”
“Okay, but wait out here until I ask her. I don’t want it said that you forced her in any way.”
Royce nodded.
It seemed so long from the time since the doctor left him in the hall until he came back out. But it was probably only a few seconds. Before he let him in, the doctor held him still.
“She said you can come in, but you’re to keep your mouth shut—her words not mine. She said if you piss her off any more than you have, she’ll hurt you. Do you understand?” Royce nodded, but the doctor wasn’t finished. “This is from me. You make her cry and I’ll castrate you. She’s been through a lot in the past few days and I won’t have you upsetting her. You understand that?”
“Yes, sir.” Royce repeated that he understood and they went into the room.
She looked so pale lying there. He wanted to hold her hand, touch her in some way, but the way she was covered up, her arms under the blanket, screamed to leave her alone. He sat on the couch somehow knowing that either answer was going to be hard to take.
“You’re pregnant, Kasey. If what you’ve told me is correct then you should be due right around the tenth of February. I can recommend a good doctor if you’d like or you can find one on your own.”

Royce leaned back on the chair. Pregnant. Kasey was carrying his child. He stood up suddenly and then sat back down. He wasn’t sure what to do.
“She’s been…with all this going on, is the baby going to be all right?” He hadn’t realized he’s asked the question until they both turned to him. “I know it’s early, but the stress, it won’t hurt it, will it?”
Doctor Carmichael turned to Kasey before answering. “No, but I want you to try and rest a bit more. Get in to see a doctor as soon as you can. That’ll start you off on the right foot. Do you have any questions, honey? This is a lot to take in.”
“I’m fine. I’m…can I go home now? I want to go home now. Please.” She sounded slightly panicky, but then took a deep breath. “I think I’ll feel better about this after I let it sink in. I would like to go now, please.”
“Of course. I would really like for you to stay, but I can understand that you need to be alone. You take a few days and get used to the idea. And let me be the first to congratulate you. You’re going to be fine, Kasey, just fine.”
The doctor walked out and left them, assuring them he’d have the nurse bring in her paperwork so she could get on her way. Royce stood up, walked over to her, and laid his hand on hers. She moved away.
“I want to go home. My home. If you’re going to give me a hard time about it then I’ll call a cab. I don’t want to argue with you tonight.” She turned her head away from him. “Tell me right now so I can call someone.”
“I want you to come home with me, but I understand. But I’ll come by tomorrow. We have things to discuss and how things are going to play from now on.”
She nodded, but he wasn’t sure she was listening. “Just take me home, please.”


Stay Tune for Next Week Chapter 10 


Books In the series 


THE HUNTERS -





                                


 I hope you are enjoying this book 


                                         
          



Want A free swag packet from Kathi S Barton  Leave  A Review and send a request to 
denise@worldcastlepublishig.com  and tell her to send you one 





I have some opening on the street team !!!! Do you like to promote and share ? Then please join us








Now Live 

Two Men Joined By Fate...

Asher and Kiaran were joined at birth by the dying decree of the Dragon King?literally. Asher had his own bit of magic as a 3,000 year old immortal, and Kiaran was his dragon shifter. Out in society Kiaran was a part of Asher?absorbed into Asher's body?only being able to separate in dragon form. At their birth home, the two men could exist apart from each other as men. They protected each other, and would until their dying breath if it ever came to that. They shared everything...that is until Essie came along....

Essie was doing her best to hide from a mother that didn't even recognize her own daughter. The witch had poisoned her with a scratch and if Essie wasn't healed soon she'd die.... Sick or not she didn't want anything to do with that handsome, overbearing barbarian, Asher, nor that rude dragon that protected him. She was doing just fine on her own.

But Asher had other things on his mind and after a while brings Essie around to his way of thinking and makes her his wife, but Kiaran brought up a valid point?Essie was his mate too....

Could Essie find it in her heart to love both men equally? To share the bed of both?together?

Asher's five brothers and their dragons watched the scenario unfold with bated breaths. The subject had never been broached, and all their futures hung on the outcome....

Buy Links 







All Romance 




Coming Soon  Short Stories By Ember Moon which Is Kathi S Barton 

 Part One Released 

Fated Destiny Chance Encounter
Andrea Marshall finally had her life together. She didn't need anyone in her life, least of all a man. But there was something about that handsome stranger that sat down next to her on the plane that had her thinking anything but pure thoughts.
It was fate that had Trevor Dean on that plane in the first place. He had thought to sue the idiot that damaged his plane, but now he thinks he'll send him a gift instead. He could tell by her scent that the beauty next to him was his mate.
He was going to tell her too just as soon as she sat back down, but the unthinkable was coming to pass...the plane had lost an engine...



US  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010K4LZG8?*Version*=1&*entries*=0
UK  http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B010K4LZG8?*Version*=1&*entries*=0
CA  http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B010K4LZG8?*Version*=1&*entries*=0
AU  http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B010K4LZG8?*Version*=1&*entries*=0






Sunday, June 28, 2015

Royce The Hunter Series Chapter Eight is ready to read

Chapter 8
Leah was exhausted. Her head was pounding too. She put her untouched dinner in the sink and went into the living room to watch a little television and to relax. Maybe if she was lucky, her headache would stop hurting so bad and she could go to bed. She’d been tired all day.
She hadn’t worked for several days. Her body was just too tired to make it out of bed and she hurt more and more when she simply moved from the bed to the couch. Tonight was the first time in a few days that she had been in the kitchen and she had made a mess of it. She’d get to it tomorrow, she decided, after she had a good nap.
There was nothing on the television so she turned it to one of those music stations and tried to mellow out. Chilled, she reached for the throw on the back of the couch and nearly had it over her when her hand went numb. Lifting her arm up, she looked at it and was frightened. Her vision was becoming blurred.
Terrified, she reached for the phone just as blood began to trickle out of her nose. She knocked the phone to the floor and only just managed to grab the handset before it too fell. She knew this was the end, knew she was dying. She needed to make just one more call.
Calling an ambulance seemed futile. She would be gone long before they got there and she’d not get to do one more thing before it was too late. Dialing blindly now, she hoped she pressed the correct buttons and didn’t waste her last breaths on a stranger. When Kasey answered the phone, Leah wept a little.
“I love you.” She felt the blood pour from her nose now and spill on her shirt. “I love you very much.”
“Mom? Mom, what’s happening? Where…oh God. Please, Mom, answer me. Tell me you’re all right.”
She hadn’t meant to panic her, but Leah knew she would understand. “Be happy for me. You be happy. I love you.”
“I love you too. Please don’t die. Mom, I need you. Please, please tell me you’re fine.”
“I love you.” The world seemed to still for a few seconds. Her body went numb all over and the phone slipped from her fingers. Nothing hurt, nothing hurt anymore, and she felt at peace. A bright light blinded her completely and then nothing.
Leah York died as peacefully as she could.
~~~
Royce got back to house at just after ten the next morning. His body ached and he smelled like smoke. The building had been completely engulfed by the time he’d gotten there and the fire department was trying to keep the fire from spreading when his family showed up. Arson, the chief said, gasoline had been poured over every floor and the place had gone up like dry tinder.
“You have any idea who would do something like this, Mr. Hunter?” the inspector had asked when it was clear it was intentional. “This kind of fire could have been a lot worse than it was.”
“Yes, sir. Your men did a fine job keeping it contained. Who set it? I’m not positive. I have a few ideas, but nothing I can prove. And don’t ask me. I won’t tell you.”
“Didn’t think you would. You’re brother, the lawyer, he said you and the previous owner had had words over what you had planned for the building. Thinking maybe it could have been him?”
Royce knew it was him, but didn’t say anything. The inspector moved away after a few seconds. Royce had watched him stop and talk to his mom, but knew he’d get nothing from her either. Charles Benton had a lot to answer for and Royce was just in the mood to ask him.
When Royce stepped out of his bedroom after taking a long, hot shower, he tied off the trash bag he’d put his clothes in and took it to the trash can just outside the kitchen. The smell was as much a part of the material as anything and he knew he’d never get them clean. He was putting the lid back on the top when his mom pulled up.
“Hello, son.” She sounded as tired as he did. “Got anything to eat in that monster kitchen of yours?”
He invited her inside and, while she started the pot of coffee, he gathered things to put together a nice lunch for them. He wasn’t surprised when both his brothers showed up before the first pot was finished brewing.
“Do you think Charles was stupid enough to set the fire?” their mother asked as she bit into the large sub he’d made for them all.
“He probably didn’t set it himself, but I’d bet any amount of money he was a part of it.” Daniel got up and got them all a beer as he continued. “I have a few things to look into, one of which is the security cameras that I had installed. If they were up and operational before the fire we might have caught someone.”
Royce nodded. “They’re running. I got the okay to have them turned on the day before yesterday. I told them to run them now just in case.”
Jesse looked up. “You thought he’d try something? Damn it, Royce, you should have said something. I would have had some of the security team out there.”
“No, I didn’t think he’d be that stupid. I was running it so we could see if we’d put the cameras in proper position. The company that installed them said they could come out and move the ones we wanted. I never thought of them until just now.”
Royce hadn’t thought of much anything the past few weeks and was beginning to think maybe he might have missed more than that. He looked up when Curtis’ phone went off. He got up and left the room when he answered.
“I, for one, am exhausted, but I want to make sure that we are looking into this thing with Charles.” His mom yawned for the second time in as many minutes. “Why don’t we meet in the office—”
Curtis came back in and cleared his throat. “That was a guy I have looking into some things. Charles Benton was admitted to the hospital for smoke inhalation. He’s on life support. It doesn’t look that bad, but they don’t want to take any chances.”
Royce looked over at his mom when she started crying. “I never meant for him to go to such extremes. I…his daughter didn’t deserve what he did to her, but I never meant for him to kill himself over some sort of revenge over this.”
She finally lay down on the couch and covered up. Royce and his brothers cleaned up the kitchen without saying much more. They agreed to meet at the office tomorrow, go over the recordings from the fire, and turn them over to the inspector. After another hour they left and Royce went up to his own bed.
His plans to talk to Kasey were going to have to wait until tomorrow. He had to figure this out with Benton and see what they could do about the building. He was a little worried about this house and whether or not he’d set up someone to torch this one, but he’d also had a nice security system installed before he’d moved in. Royce was just drifting off to sleep when he remembered that he’d left his mom on the couch. She’d be fine, he knew, and fell into an exhausted sleep.
He’d slept around the clock he realized the next morning. When his alarm went off at six the next morning, he knew he’d never slept better. The quick shower and getting dressed for the office made him realize that he’d not felt this good about going to work in a long while. He was pulling up out front when he got his first of many calls for the day.
“The recordings are being delivered by courier this morning. There is some news on CNN about the fire that implicates Benton. And before you ask, no, I didn’t let it leak.” Royce laughed at Jesse. “Also there are four meetings today with some of the guys from the Maple Committee. They want some updates on whether or not you’ve decided to let investors come in or not.”
“Why are you giving me updates and not Bobbie? I could have sworn that she did this every morning.” He pulled into the parking place just as he asked. “Don’t tell me you’re my new secretary.”
“Christ, no, but she called in. She said that there was a death and she needed to be there for them. She said something about it being a long time friend and if you wanted to dock her, she’d tell everyone where the bodies were.” Jesse laughed. “I told her I might just do it to find out where you stuff them.”
“I’m nearly in the building now. I’ll see you when I get up there. I suppose you’ve got someone coming up to cover for her, right?”
“Yeah, two ladies are on their way up. I know you have just Bobbie, but this is going to be a hell of a day and I don’t want anyone quitting on us right now. Oh and by the way, you have like forty messages on your machine.”
Royce pulled out his badge and swiped it over the machine. The man at the desk didn’t look familiar, but that wasn’t anything new. The security team was expanding every day, it seemed, and they needed even more people. When the new buildings they had opening by the beginning of fall opened they’d be short staffed again. With a nod, he went to the private elevator and went to his office.
The messages were from the investors that Jesse had mentioned. Three of the men wanted in to “broaden their portfolio,” another wanted to see about expanding his bottom line. They both meant the same thing, just one more honest than the other. He was fielding question about the Benton building when Curtis walked in with two other men. One he recognized from the fire, the other he didn’t know.
“Let me get back with you on that. We’re still checking the area out.” He hung up on the man as he was sputtering about timelines. “What can I do for you gentlemen?”
“This is Inspector Gordon from last night and this is Fire Marshal Will Swanson. They have a few questions on the insurance we had in place. I tried to tell them it’s a common practice for us, but Swanson here seems to think otherwise.”
Royce simply got up and walked to the file cabinet against the wall. After a quick search, he came back with a handful of files. “There are the insurance policies that we have on each building we purchase. If you’ll notice that on the day we sign the papers, we open a policy on the place. It’s mostly for peace of mind, but also for the workers when they are on site. There are also attachments to each policy that we cancel. The reason, the date, and who did the closing. While I understand why you’re asking, it doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it.”
They looked over the papers quickly. No one said a word and when they’d seemed to be satisfied, the two men left. Curtis hung around and said nothing for awhile. Royce knew his brother well enough to know that he’d say his piece eventually and when he did Royce knew it was going to be nothing he wanted to hear.
“Benton is going to make it. He confessed to the entire thing, including setting the fire on his own. He claimed it was because he was so grief-stricken, that the death of his daughter finally got through to him.”
“Do you believe him?” Royce didn’t. But he never had liked the guy in the first place.
“No. But it’ll be a good defense. Temporary insanity over the death of his daughter is a good way to swing it. Finding out that we had plans to make the building as a tribute to her and he’d done nothing—less than nothing actually. He’ll get off with some time, but not as much as he should.”
Royce nodded. “And those idiots, what do you think they were doing if they knew he confessed? Looking for another angle for a friend?”
“No, CYA. It’s always good, even when you have an ace in the hole to cover your ass. Like me covering yours for instance.”
Royce didn’t want to ask, but he did. “What have you done? And how much is it going to cost me?”
“The girl, in the off chance that she’s pregnant, I’ve put together a contract that gives her a house and a car. Money to spend as she sees fit and a trust for the baby. All she needs to do is to leave you alone and never contact the family again. I also have one that says she’d entitled to nothing if she divorces you and that you keep the child. Either way, you’re covered.”
Royce shifted in his chair. He wasn’t sure if he was supposed to be happy with what Curtis had done or pissed. He was feeling a little bit of both. Before he could answer, his brother stood.
“Or we can go with plan C. You tell me you love her beyond all your wildest dreams and I tear up both contracts and the two of you live happily ever after. It’s up to you.” Curtis walked to the door. “I’ll see you tomorrow. If you need me or just want to talk, call. See you in the morning.”
Royce was still sitting at his desk an hour later, no closer to figuring out what he wanted to do than he’d been before Curtis had come in. His personal line rang and he picked it up, smiling for the first time in days.
“I missed you today. The two girls we got from the pool to fill in for you didn’t make my coffee right and they couldn’t find anything I needed the way you did. Please tell me you’re coming back tomorrow.”
“I can come in tomorrow, but I’ll need the next day off.” Bobbie was quiet for a few more seconds than he liked. “I guess you didn’t hear.”
Royce sat up in his chair and closed his eyes. “I was told you had a death and that you needed to be off. Who was it? Not your sister-in-law, was it?”
“No. I thought…Leah York passed late yesterday afternoon. She’d been ill for some time and an aneurism took her life.”
Royce felt the room tilt off its axis and then back again. He closed his eyes. Here he’d been plotting with Curtis the best case scenarios concerning her future and she was dealing with her mother’s death.
“How’s…Christ, I didn’t know. How are they doing? Is…is Kasey all right? Jay, is he, is he handling this well?”
He heard her sob and his heart broke for his friend. “Jay is trying to keep them all together. Suzy of course doesn’t understand, but she knows something is wrong. Kasey. Kasey is…I’m not sure. She won’t…Leah called her when she was dying. She called Kasey and told her that she loved her and that she wanted her to be happy. When the ambulance got to her home, Leah had the phone on her lap and she was gone.”
Royce stood up to leave. “Tell me where she is and I’m coming to her. I want to see her and…” And what? He sat back down hard in the chair.
“She was at her uncle’s house when I left. I don’t…I’m not sure if she was going to stay there or go home. She’s taking it very badly. Then there was her father. He showed up right before I left. Kasey didn’t move to speak to him, but I could tell she was upset.”
“When is the funeral and where?” Royce didn’t know if someone had sent flowers or not, but he would be there. “My family will be there for them.”
“That’s very nice of you, Royce. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it. It’s only a graveside. The poor dears haven’t any money. It’s at Cedar Cemetery on Wyatt Street. The paper said that the family would be there around one and that the service would begin at two or thereabouts.”
Royce laid his head on his desk. He was an ass and he hated himself more in that moment than he had in his entire life. He sat up and spoke again to Bobbie.
“Let me know if I can do anything for them. Anything. I’m going to call my mom now, but you have my number if she…if they need anything.”
“I will. You’re such a dear boy. I know that they knew this was going to happen, but I don’t think you’re ever prepared. The poor girl and Jay…I don’t think I’ve seen a man more devastated than he was today.”
Royce called his mother when he got off the phone with Bobbie. “Mom, I have to tell you something. Can you meet me at my house? It’s really important.”


Stay Tune for Next Week Chapter Nine 


Books In the series 


THE HUNTERS -





                                


 I hope you are enjoying this book 


                                         
          



Want A free swag packet from Kathi S Barton  Leave  A Review and send a request to 
denise@worldcastlepublishig.com  and tell her to send you one 





I have some opening on the street team !!!! Do you like to promote and share ? Then please join us








Now Live 

Two Men Joined By Fate...

Asher and Kiaran were joined at birth by the dying decree of the Dragon King?literally. Asher had his own bit of magic as a 3,000 year old immortal, and Kiaran was his dragon shifter. Out in society Kiaran was a part of Asher?absorbed into Asher's body?only being able to separate in dragon form. At their birth home, the two men could exist apart from each other as men. They protected each other, and would until their dying breath if it ever came to that. They shared everything...that is until Essie came along....

Essie was doing her best to hide from a mother that didn't even recognize her own daughter. The witch had poisoned her with a scratch and if Essie wasn't healed soon she'd die.... Sick or not she didn't want anything to do with that handsome, overbearing barbarian, Asher, nor that rude dragon that protected him. She was doing just fine on her own.

But Asher had other things on his mind and after a while brings Essie around to his way of thinking and makes her his wife, but Kiaran brought up a valid point?Essie was his mate too....

Could Essie find it in her heart to love both men equally? To share the bed of both?together?

Asher's five brothers and their dragons watched the scenario unfold with bated breaths. The subject had never been broached, and all their futures hung on the outcome....

Buy Links 







All Romance 




Coming Soon  Short Stories By Ember Moon which Is Kathi S Barton 

First Book  to be release is 









Friday, June 26, 2015

Asher Dragon Savoir Release Day & Winner Announced 6/26/15


Two Men Joined By Fate...

Asher and Kiaran were joined at birth by the dying decree of the Dragon King?literally. Asher had his own bit of magic as a 3,000 year old immortal, and Kiaran was his dragon shifter. Out in society Kiaran was a part of Asher?absorbed into Asher's body?only being able to separate in dragon form. At their birth home, the two men could exist apart from each other as men. They protected each other, and would until their dying breath if it ever came to that. They shared everything...that is until Essie came along....

Essie was doing her best to hide from a mother that didn't even recognize her own daughter. The witch had poisoned her with a scratch and if Essie wasn't healed soon she'd die.... Sick or not she didn't want anything to do with that handsome, overbearing barbarian, Asher, nor that rude dragon that protected him. She was doing just fine on her own.

But Asher had other things on his mind and after a while brings Essie around to his way of thinking and makes her his wife, but Kiaran brought up a valid point?Essie was his mate too....

Could Essie find it in her heart to love both men equally? To share the bed of both?together?

Asher's five brothers and their dragons watched the scenario unfold with bated breaths. The subject had never been broached, and all their futures hung on the outcome....

Buy Links 









Amazon Paperback http://www.amazon.com/Asher-Dragons-Kathi-S-Barton/dp/1629892866/ref=sr_1_19_twi_1_pap?ie=UTF8&qid=1434904377&sr=8-19&keywords=Kathi+S+Barton




 Winner of Asher unsigned Paperback  and  stuffed dragon and swag packet  is  Celeste Arnold  congrats  Please check your email !!!!!





Prologue
Anthony waited in his chambers for the man to be brought to him. He wanted to…well what he wanted to do, very badly, was not going to happen until he was sure that things were taken care of here. And that was what he was waiting on Elbert to help him with. He looked back at the painting on the wall and felt his heart break again. She was gone; his lovely wife was gone from this world, and he’d be joining her very soon if things went the way the course was taking.
“Sire? He’s here.” Anthony nodded and asked to have him shown to the throne room. “I will, sire. And the young woman is here as well. I have shown her to the sitting room until you are ready for her.” Elbert, his ever faithful servant, bowed as he left him there.
Anthony made his way to the young man as soon as he was able to stand on his own two feet. Jacob was his only hope…his last hope that his family line would continue. As he entered the room, he pulled his magic around the two of them tightly, not wanting anyone to hear this conversation. Jacob was kneeling before the chair that Anthony’s wife had sat in not hours before when all hell had broken loose. Anthony spoke to the man now kneeling before him.
“I should like to ask you a favor, please. It is more than any man should ask of another, but—”
“Anything, my lord.” Anthony actually smiled. He’d expected no less from the man. “You have done more for me and my family than anyone has done for us before. I will be here to serve you for as long as I live.”
“You might want to think about this before you say yes, Jacob. What I ask of you is more…it is more than asking you to raise your arms up for me or to put in a bigger crop. This is a matter of life and death for so many people; our linage, mine and yours as well.” Anthony asked him to come closer to him so that they may speak.
“Sir?” Jacob looked up, then back at the floor before continuing. “Sir, you wish for me to come to you? Up there? I don’t think that is the way things should go, sir. No matter the favor you ask of me.”
“I do. I wish for no one to hear what we are speaking about. And should you come closer, I can tighten my magic around us so that no one will.” Jacob got up but he moved like a man who was going to the gallows. “I swear to you, Jacob, if you tell me no for the task that I ask of you, I will treat you no differently.” There would be no time, he wanted to add, but he didn’t. There was no reason to frighten him anymore.
“Perhaps you should tell me then.” Anthony smiled again; his face, unused to the movement, ached just a little. His heart was simply too heavy for happiness. “But should you need me to do either of those things, you have but to ask me.
“I know that.” Where to begin, he thought. At the beginning. “You know what I am, do you not? I mean, you know that I am not human?”
“I do.” Jacob made it sound as if he was silly for asking him. “I believe I have seen you and your wife flying over my crops on more than one occasion. My mother, rest her soul, told us of how you were a fierce person both as a man and beast.”
“She would know.” Thinking of Jacob’s mother, he knew now why the man was as good as he was. “I should like for you to marry.”
That got the younger man’s attention. “Marry, sir? While I would love to have a wife and children, I have no means to marry. A wife would wish her husband to be able to plant a crop without fear of it being their last, a home that did not leak on her pies, and an oven that did not smoke more than my grandmother did. I have no money, sir, to marry.”
“I have such a woman for you. One that will be beside you no matter your house problems. But that will no longer be an issue for you either. I mean to pay you.” Jacob said he had no desire to marry for money. “No, I don’t mean that. I mean for you to be paid to do a job for me. But you will need a wife to make it…I’m not explaining this very well. Let me being again.”
Anthony thought of his own wife, cold below the ground near their children. And the things that she’d done to protect them from the men who had killed her. He needed Jacob and young Sally to help them more than he would ever be able to.
“My wife…my wife has been killed.” Jacob looked shocked and told him how sorry he was. “She died keeping our young from harm. From the very men who will come here soon to kill me as well.”
“You wish for me to protect you. I shall do my best, sir. I cannot lift a sword like your men, but I can try. I will die trying.” Anthony shook his head. “Sir?”
“I need for you and Sally, the woman I have chosen for you, to wed. In doing so, you will sire six sons with her. Each of them will be strong and brave and will help me with my own.” Jacob sat down now, his curiosity piqued. “I have six unborn children hidden away. Each son you have, one of my own children will come to. They will be a part of them throughout their lives together. Their lives will be long and great, too.”
The door to the chamber was pressed against, and Anthony knew that men were just on the other side. His time was running short. When Jacob stood up and drew his knife, Anthony knew that this man had given him hope where it had not been before.
“I have little time, so listen to me. Sally awaits you in the other room. Elbert will come to stay with you for your life, then remain to care for your sons when they grow. My children will…they will protect your sons as your sons will protect them. Sally has her own magic to give them that will keep them hidden from men like those that are going to kill me. Your job is to raise them up for me. Raise them to be good men and dragons that I would be proud to call my own.” Elbert came to him then, the girl he’d chosen for Jacob with him. “Go with her. Elbert will have all you need to be safe and your home cared for.” The door nearly gave way, and he knew it wouldn’t hold much longer. Standing up, he nearly shoved the man to his servant and wished them luck. Anthony let his beast take him as soon as his hope for the future was out of sight. His dragon had been wounded earlier today while he had tried to protect his wife. Now they had come to finish the job, and Anthony was almost ready for them to do so. His children were safe. That was all that mattered for now.
As the men came through the door, their swords raised against him and their fire burning whatever it touched behind them, Anthony sent the last of his magic to his children and told them that he loved them. Then he fought for his own life if only to give their hope, the hope of all their lives, a little more time.
It was over soon, sooner than he’d thought. But he’d lost so much blood, and without his own magic to allow him to fly away, he was hurt over and over until he nearly fell atop those that he’d not managed to kill. And he had killed a great number of them.
The man with the sword came at him, but Anthony had no more strength to move away from the blade as it entered his chest and pierced his heart. As he fell forward, his hot breath killing the last of them, including the man that had taken his life, Anthony knew that all was not lost.
~~~
Jacob held the woman’s hand as they ran from the castle. They ran and ran, not even stopping for fallen trees and brambles. He was afraid for them, all of them, having seen the men with the army behind them storming the gate. The king would not be able to keep them at bay for long. He’d known the man was hurt by the blood stain that ran down his chest to his lap.
“I have to rest.” He nodded and stopped running to allow Sally to sit on a stump. They’d been running for over an hour, he thought, just running in a direction away from the castle and his home. Jacob looked around and found a few berries to pick and an apple for her. He brought them to the woman. She was holding a tumbler of water when he returned.
“I have magic, did you know that?” Elbert shook his head, then nodded. Her laughter made him think of a spring morning before the dew burned off. “The king wished to ask a favor of me. Did he you as well?”
“He asked me to marry you. Said that we’d have children together. Six sons.” She nodded and didn’t look the least bit surprised by what he’d said. “I have nothing for us. I told him I barely have a house, but he seemed to think it mattered little.”
“It doesn’t. Not to me. I can make a fire on the ground if need be. You have shown that you can provide for us today. And you have kept me safe from those men. Men who I’m sure have killed our king.” He told her that the queen was dead. “I felt her death as if it were my own. The same men killed her that are now dead in the burning castle.”“He has provided for you both.” They looked at the man who had run out with them. Elbert nodded in the direction they were headed. “Ahead, about another day’s walk, we will come to a place that is yours. It will provide for you both, and the children you shall have.”
“We will live there? For our lives?” Jacob looked at Sally, thinking it was a strange way to word the question. “Or will we sire children only to be put out?”
“Nay, my lady. It will be yours and that of your children when you pass. I will care for them as my own when your time comes. But I assure you, it will be a long while yet. You will not see children of your children born, but you will watch your own grow into men.” Elbert took a large satchel from his shirt. “He gave me this to give to you. Should he not have…he knew his time was short, so he had me write what he said. They were coming for him even as he was dying.”
“Why?” Jacob sat down, weary himself now. “He was a good king—strong—and kept us safe. He and his wife provided for us and never took more than we could give. Why would they kill them?”
“Because they are human. People…men who have no strength of their own will kill things that they do not understand. The same will be true for your sons someday, I fear.” Jacob took the book handed to him and passed it to Sally. He could not read and hoped that she could. “Once you are wed—and I will do the deed for you—things will come to you that you never would have imagined. Beyond the wealth that he has given you, but magic as well. You will need it to protect your children as well as his.”
“Why did he choose us?” Jacob nodded. It was a good question from Sally, but Elbert asked if they could walk while he told them. “I would also like to know if we will have daughters too.”
“I know not of the other children you will sire. I am sorry. There was no time for much in the way of smaller details.” Elbert flushed. “When he gave me this, he lay bleeding, mourning the loss of his wife. But in answer to your question as to why he chose you? It is because you have hearts as pure as the first breath of a child. The wisdom to know right from wrong and stand by it. And he said that he’d never met two people more suited to each other than you. He was quite pleased that you’d remained unmarried until now.”
They walked for the rest of the late day. It wasn’t until the moon was nearly over their heads that they finally laid down for the night. Jacob laid out his worn jacket for Sally to lie upon, and went to the woods to find things for their fire for the night. He was just coming back when he turned and saw a creature standing on all fours watching over his Sally.
“I am a watcher…what you might call a dog or canine, I suppose.” Elbert’s voice came from the large Rottweiler sort of creature, and when he turned to look at him, Jacob could see that it was indeed him. “I neither sleep nor eat, young Jacob, but will protect what is in my care. You rest now.”
Jacob nodded and moved back to where he’d left Sally. She was lying on the coat, but she was awake. He sat beside her on the cold ground and began stacking the logs for in the morning. She put her hand over his, and he looked at her.
“Are you not happy with our being together, Jacob?” He told her that he had no idea. Her smile made him smile. “You are very honest, aren’t you?”
“I see no reason to lie to you. And I won’t.” She nodded. “Elbert. He’s watching us. He’s not human, did you know that?”
“Yes.” She lay down and patted the place beside her, and he lay with her. “Neither am I; did you know that?”
“He said that you had magic.” Jacob put his hand over hers when she put it over his heart. “I will make you happy, I think. I will hope so anyway.”
“You have already done so.” Jacob looked at her and asked her how. “By not running and screaming into the night when you came upon my father.”
It took him several moments to realize she’d meant Elbert. “You are like him? A watcher? I like him, by the way.”
“I’m more of my mother. She was magical and my father is as well. We will not live as long as they did, but a long time. Our children will live forever so long as their dragon is safe. Did you read the book that was given to us?” He told her that he couldn’t read. “Then I shall teach you. But the book says that our children will be coupled with the dragon on the day that they are born. Once they are together, nothing but death will separate them. And even that bond might be too strong to break then. But they will need each other in ways that we can never understand. It says that their duty is to keep the weak and the overwrought from being killed. That all creatures, human or not, will need them.”
She spoke through the night, telling him what she’d read and some of the things that she knew. He listened to her, her voice soothing even when she told him of the trials they’d be put through, raising the children together with dragons. Jacob asked her what he could think of, and when the sun came up over the mountain, he got up from their bed and gathered more wood to start their day. Elbert brought them a skinned rabbit.
After they broke their fast, they started for their new home and new lives. Elbert told them that since they had lain together, he would consider them man and wife. And should anyone ask, they had just married recently.
“Do not tell others where you have been. The castle will be…people will wonder why you have survived when others have not.” Jacob agreed, as did Sally. Elbert also told them that should they need anything, anything at all, he would provide it for them. That from now on, they were to try their best to keep to themselves in order to protect the children. All of them.

~~Thirteen months, thirteen days, thirteen hours, and thirteen minutes
after the hour the castle fell~~

The house was filled with the cries of the first born of Jacob and Sally. Asher Anthony Benson came into the world screaming his head off and letting the world know that he had arrived. Elbert took the small bundle from Jacob, who had acted as mid-wife for his own wife, and laid him to rest on Sally’s chest.
“He is hungry, I think.” Sally pulled him to her breast, and Elbert helped with the clean up as she fed her son. Elbert had never been as proud of anything in his life as to see his first grandchild come into the world.
As Sally lay resting, he picked up young Asher and took him to the porch of the home. Jacob joined him a minute later and the two of them sat on the rockers resting. Sally had had a good labor, short and, with her magic, not too terribly painful. But she needed her rest now and they were glad to give it to her. Elbert looked at Jacob as he handed him his son.
“He will come here soon.” Jacob nodded but looked unsure. “The hatchling will not harm Asher, but make him stronger. You know this, correct?”
“I do. But I still worry. The notes that he gave us are very vague as to how they are to be united. It only says they will be as one.” Jacob looked at him, then at his child again before continuing. “Will he be a dragon, Elbert?”
“I honestly do not know for sure. What they have done, the king and queen, is something that even I have never heard of. For all we know, he may care for the child himself and never need your assistance again.” Jacob looked shocked, and Elbert laughed. He so loved teasing this gentle giant. “Nay, they will both need you. But until he arrives, we will have to wait and see. The next child will be easier, I think. We will know.”
Nothing happened the first night, nor the second or third. The baby, young Asher, began to cry more. Nothing would satisfy him. No milk from his mother or a cow would fill his belly. He would kick the blankets off his body no matter how tightly he was bound in them. And he would not allow anyone to hold him for more than a minute or two without screaming again. They all worried for the child.
On the sixth morning, Elbert got up to start his day and knew that something was wrong. There was silence from the babe’s room, and the household was warm, too warm for the winter they were coming into. He was just entering the baby’s room, shared by his parents, when he heard Sally scream. Elbert knew that the child had died.
He didn’t approach the bed that held Asher. Elbert stood back, not wanting to see the vibrant child lying so still in death that he knew had come to him. His heart broke as he heard Sally sobbing and Jacob standing as still as death himself as they stared into the crib. A crib he’d made for the babe himself.
“I shall take him yonder. I am so sorry.” Sally turned to him; he could see her tear-streaked face as she put out her hand to him. “Nay. Not yet. My heart…I cannot look upon him just yet.”

“He lives.” Elbert thought he’d misheard her and asked her to repeat it. “Asher is fine. The dragon has come to him. Come see them.”
Elbert walked to the bed slowly, his heart not believing that what his daughter said was true. He was set to bury his first and only grandchild, and she was telling him a falsehood. But when he came to the bed and looked down, he had to blink away the tears several times that clouded what he saw there.
The baby was sleeping soundly, his little arm wrapped around the dragon lying upon his chest. They were of the same size, the two of them, one nearly human child and one fully dragon. Elbert put his hand out to touch them, to assure himself that they were alive, when the dragon lifted his head and hissed at him.
“The book…remember what the book said?” He glanced at Jacob, who had lowered his voice more than likely so as not to wake Asher. “We have to let him have a bit of our blood so that he will know who we are to him.”
Sally pulled a small blade from her pocket, the one she used to cut herbs, and sliced it across her finger. Droplets of blood fell from the wound and into the mouth of the tiny dragon. When he nodded at her, she reached in and ran her fingers over the baby and the dragon as well.
“He is warmer than Asher. I wonder that he’d burn him.” Jacob cut his finger and let the dragon taste of him as well as Sally continued. “Do you think Asher suffered because his dragon wasn’t here?”
Elbert cut his finger then and let the dragon taste of him. But instead of nodding to him, the dragon came up off the baby and landed on his shoulder. He nipped gently at his ear before going back to the bed with Asher.
“What do you suppose he did that for?” Elbert tried not to sound so upset, but the others laughed and he smiled. “He bit me. Do you think because of what I am?”
“No. I think he bit you because you thought him dead.” Elbert nodded at Sally at her explanation. “We should leave them now so that they may rest. I think that our lives will be much quieter now that they are together.”
Elbert didn’t know why, but he thought that this was just the beginning and that their lives would never be quiet again. He hoped he was wrong, but he had a profound feeling that he was right.