Thursday, 8 March 2018

Red by Tara Vasser #fairytales #twistedfairytales #limitededition #contemporary #paranormal #romance #onceuponatime #OUATT #darkromance


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Red
by
Tara Vasser


The snap of a twig in the stillness of the night halted Red in her tracks. With a slow turn on her heel, she surveyed the darkness behind her, both listening and watching for the culprit. A rodent of some kind darted across the path, and Red observed its escape with sharp focus. 
Wind whipped through the trees in intermittent gusts, creaking the branches as they swayed. The creaking was all at once comforting and eerie in the otherwise quiet of the woods. Taking in deep breaths, Red continued her leisurely stroll between the oaks, careful to avoid disturbing the flora and fauna of her temporary refuge. The animals awake at this time of night scurried into hiding places, having that innate ability to sense the danger surrounding her kind. Humans had once been able to rely on that instinct as well, but she supposed it had dulled with evolution and the use of technology. 
In these woods, it didn’t matter. There were no humans here. There was no one here. That was exactly the reason Red glided gracefully through the oaks like a wraith in the night—to be alone. The sprawling estate she was confined to during most hours of the night and day had amenities aplenty, but room to breathe was not one of them. Glancing up to the sky, she allowed her thoughts to quiet for a moment as she took in the sight of wispy clouds racing across the outline of the near-full moon. Dulled silver light filtered through the canopy of the trees, creating dappled patterns on the ground, much like Red imagined the sun would do during the day. 
A melancholy sigh escaped her lips unbidden. She hadn’t seen the sun on the leaves in fifty years, and she never would again if she wanted to avoid turning to a pile of ash. 
The moon’s light winked out once more as a thick cloud obscured it from Red’s view, her attention waning just like the light. Dropping her gaze from the sky, she focused once more on the trees and underbrush surrounding her. A surprised gasp escaped and she stumbled back a step when her attention focused on a man before her instead of a tree as she expected. 
A large gust barreled through the trees, ruffling the man’s hair and wafting his scent to her. Unable to control the instinct to identify the man as either prey or predator, Red drew in a deep breath. Scents of pine and earth filled her lungs, as if he was not a man made of flesh, but of the woods themselves. 
Standing as if rooted to the earth like the trees surrounding him, his only movement the result of the wind, he appraised her just as she watched him. Eyes the color of deep amber held her gaze, as if daring her to look away and miss him slip back into the shadows from which he’d materialized. Red’s stare challenged him to remain where he stood. 
Another blast of wind whipped Red’s hair into a whirlwind of raven tangles she knew would be a pain to comb out later. Panic gripped her as dark tresses blocked the view of the enigmatic man, breaking their stalemate. When she could once again see, just as she feared, the space where he’d stood was empty. 
Drawing his scent in with a huge inhale, she tried for the last time to identify him, but came up empty-handed.  
“What are you?” Red whispered.


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