Title- Beyond Time
Series-Dark Order of the Dragon Book # 2
By- Sandra Bischoff
Genre- Paranormal Romance
Published By- Bayou Brew Publishing
Expected Publication Date-May 2014
Christian Lancelot Du Lac was never one to take a situation seriously. Growing up he had always been the comedic relief to Jared Bonatelli’s brooding nature. Now, just as The Dark Order welcomes Jared as its new Prince, Du Lac is informed that he must become a first in command the future King can truly rely on. When he repeatedly fails in his attempts to prove himself, Lance is thrown back in time to where his life began, Camelot. What he finds there is more than he could have bargained for.
Drawn to the forest surrounding Camelot, Lady Elizabeth Payne searches for something that seems just out of her reach. Tormented by a pair glowing eyes in the mist she steals away in the middle of the night to find their owner. Thieves, a wolf and the most infuriating savior she has ever met turn her simple world upside down. But it’s the attraction she feels to the newcomer that truly takes her by surprise. Learning that he is Christian Du Lac, the long lost son of the First Knight himself peaks her curiosity even more.
Now on the cusp of meeting her betrothed for the first time, Elizabeth’s heart has been claimed by another. But even a betrothal written in blood is no match for fate.
For Lance and Elizabeth, the odds are stacked against them. Their worlds are destined to remain forever apart. Can time heal all wounds or will the fates change their course and let the star crossed lovers find each other once again?
Cornwall, NY ~ Present day
The pale blue Victorian mansion belonging to the new crown Prince of the Dark Order was silhouetted against the fading pink, orange and blue of sunset. The moon in all her glory had begun its ascent in the eastern sky across the Hudson River. Two men made their way across the great expanse of lawn stretching between the home and the hill that ran down to the river itself. Dressed in sweatpants and t-shirts, it would appear they were headed to the gym for a work out. A glint of moonlight off a metal blade put that idea to rest.
“Explain again why I have to do this?”
Zephyr rolled his amber eyes. “What part of protecting the heir to the throne didn’t you get the first time? There are many out there who want him dead. You, gods forbid, are his first in command. His right hand, so to speak. It’s your duty.”
Lance tested the weight of the blade in his hand and frowned. A sword definitely was not his choice of weapon, never had been. He preferred to do things hands-on-fangs to throat. To feel the snap of bone and cartilage, taste his victim’s blood flooding his mouth. There was nothing quite like it.
“I just don’t understand the need for it. I’m a shifter. My wolf can handle anything. Swordplay isn’t my style.” He stabbed the tip of his blade into the grass. He had his powers. They should be enough. They’d saved him before.
Zephyr growled, but didn’t lower his own sword. He advanced blade slicing through the air a fraction of an inch from Lance’s nose. “There may be a time when the wolf fails to appear. What will you do? With no other skills, Jared is left unprotected. Should he fend for himself then?”
Lance jumped back, landing in a crouch. His lip curled, snarl exposing long fangs. “Jared has nothing to worry about.”
“Then prove it.” Zephyr pulled Lance’s sword free and tossed it to him. “Attack me.”
Catching the sword in one hand, Lance rose circling his opponent. He was never one to shy away from a challenge, especially when his ability to protect his charge was questioned. His eyes narrowed, assessing Zephyr for a weakness. Unfortunately for him, the man didn’t seem to have one. The power the vampire possessed was beyond his understanding. He never met another vamp like him, which spoke volumes in their world.
“You’re not going to let this go, are you?”
Zephyr smirked. “Consider me a dog with a bone. Now try to take it away. Woof, woof.”
“What is wrong with all of you? I’m a wolf, not a dog.” A growl rumbled from Lance’s throat, and he advanced. The clang of steel rang in the darkness from his vigorous onslaught pushing Zephyr back. The only problem was, while he put everything he had into each and every thrust, the vampire wasn’t even breaking a sweat. At one point, the bastard had the nerve to yawn.
Lance huffed with his next swing and lost his balance. The momentum made him to miss his target completely. He stumbled past Zephyr. If losing his balance wasn’t humiliating enough, Zephyr brought the broadside of his sword down across his backside, smacking him just hard enough so he landed face first on the lawn. Spitting out a mouthful of grass, he lay there for a few moments. He couldn’t land a good strike, not one. What the hell is wrong with me?
“I can answer for you, if you’d like.” Zephyr placed his sword on his shoulder watching Lance collect himself.
“Would you quit reading my thoughts? It’s friggin’ irritating as hell.” He pushed himself up and grabbed his blade before walking off toward the patio. “Besides, you cheat.” He dropped onto a lounge chair and wiped the sweat from his brow with a towel. Downing a bottle of water, he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand sighing.
“I never cheat. It’s your skill that’s lacking. Your father must be turning in his grave.” Zephyr sat on the wall across from Lance shaking his head. “I can’t believe you are of his blood. Lancelot would be devastated.”
“Hey, leave the sperm donor out of this. It’s not like he was here to train me or anything.” Leaning back on the lounge, he stared at the stars. “Just because he fathered me doesn’t mean I have his ability.”
“Obviously.” Zephyr scoffed. “And that’s why I’m here, Lance. I want to make you the same indestructible warrior he was. Jared deserves no less.”
Lance glared. “You don’t think I know? Hell, why don’t you do it then?”
“It’s not my destiny, it’s yours. I’m only here to make sure things turn out as they are meant to be.”
“Well that just sucks.”
“I agree.” Zephyr slapped his hands on his knees. “But not as much as the next few hours are going to suck for you.”
Lance stared at him for a few moments. “Hours?”
“Yes. Hours.” Zephyr stood, picked up his blade, and headed back out onto the lawn. When he faced Lance, he wore an evil smile and crooked his finger. “Let’s go, I don’t have all night.”
Lance groaned. “With any luck, the sun will come up and roast you.”
“You couldn’t be so lucky. Now, get your hairy ass off that chair, you have work to do.”
~ ~ ~
Camelot ~ 530 AD
She sat on the edge of the stone window ledge. Her feet curled underneath her, Elizabeth stared out past the great moat and green fields below. Her soft leather shoes had been discarded long ago and sat forgotten on the cold stone floor beneath her. The open window offered hardly any protection from the moist air blowing outside. The wind whipped the strawberry blonde strands which escaped from the braid around her face. Absently, she brushed it back tucking it behind her ear. Her eyes never turned away from the muted grey horizon.
The early-morning dew collected on the fields, giving them an eerie glow. The land below looked like the home of the Fae. The same Fae who called to her each night. They enticed her with visions of eyes from another place and time. Those visions brought her to this abandoned tower room in the early hours before the rest of the castle awoke to go about their day. In these stolen minutes she found her solace. At this hour, there was no one questioning where she had been. No one berating her for her unladylike behavior. Here ,she was completely alone.
Elizabeth hugged her knees. The hem of her sleeping tunic inched up, baring her toes to the cool air. Gooseflesh erupted over the length of her arm. She pulled the blanket draped across her shoulders a little tighter, unwilling to leave her perch. The moisture in the air collected on her lashes, making them heavy. A yawn threatened, but she fought it off, not wanting to break the spell. Only a few moments more. . .
Nay! Not yet. They can’t have found me. I only need another moment or two.
A soft knock on the door made her jump. “M’lady, please. The King found your solar empty and has ordered his men to scour the castle for you.”
Lady Elizabeth blinked and the magic of the morn was lost. It didn’t surprise her. Every day she searched the horizon for something, but it remained beyond her reach. Her shoulders sagged and a sigh escaped her lips. She climbed down from the ledge. When her feet met the floor she shivered and slipped them inside the cold leather shoes. She made haste toward the door. Pulling it open, she glanced in either direction before dragging her startled maid inside and closing it silently. She held her finger to her lips, urging the girl into silence. Footsteps sounded in the passageway.
Elizabeth stood with her ear against the wooden door, listening to the deep voice on the other side. “She has to be here somewhere. Find her and return her to Arthur. I shall take the battlements whilst the rest of you search indoors.”
Sir Bors de Ganis was the first to speak. “Aye Galahad, we’ll have her safe and sound in no time.” The rest of the men chimed in with their approval. Their voices dissipated, each heading off to search their own area.
Leaning against the door, she closed her eyes and let out the breath she held. Why did having a moment to oneself entail so much havoc? After a few seconds, she lifted her gaze to meet her maid’s. Elizabeth cringed at the frown Beatrix gave her. Not only was she in trouble, she dragged the poor girl down with her. “Beatrix, I’m sorry. I never meant. . . .” Her words died on her lips. There was no way she could make this right. Their only option was to return to her solar and await punishment for disobeying the King’s order to stay within its walls.
“M’lady, if I may?” Bea’s frown softened. Elizabeth nodded slowly, waiting for her friend to chastise her. “The King is simply concerned for your welfare. He wouldn’t want any harm to befall his foster child. Mayhap if you just explain-”
“Nay, I cannot tell him or anyone else why I sneak away. They would consider me mad.” She began to pace. “No one would understand. The Fae or some other being within the forest calls to me. I hear it in my dreams, yet when I try to search for it from here, whatever it may be eludes me.”
“I think you need more rest, M’lady.” Bea moved closer and laid a gentle hand on her arm. “Let us get you back to your chamber. It would be better if we arrived there first, don’t you think?”
Again, she nodded and allowed her maid to lead her into the passageway. They hadn’t made it more than a few steps before they met Sir Galahad. He leaned casually against the wall, arms folded across his chest. Elizabeth inclined her chin, a silent challenge, and waited. His piercing blue eyes assessed her in the dim light.
When she thought he would scold her for leading them on a wild goose chase, he offered her his arm. “Lady Elizabeth, I do believe you are late to break your fast. Allow me to escort you back to your chamber so you may dress appropriately before we attend the King in his solar.”
He gave no sign of anger or annoyance as she took his arm. Surprisingly, he leaned down to whisper in her ear, “I’ll not impart your secret. We all deserve a little adventure in our lives. No harm was done.” Galahad straightened and gifted her with a wink. He led their small party from the sanctuary she found in the abandoned tower room to her chamber. Her maid followed silently behind them, smiling.
About the Author
Sandi Bischoff lives in the historic town of Cornwall, NY with her husband, son and a menagerie of Dragons all of whom have their own distinct personalities. She is a Pharmacist by profession but finally found her true calling in a simple twist of fate. A friend approached her to write for a character in a forum on a popular networking website and over the next five years her passion had found its niche. She then went on to compose a few poems and short stories which she would post on her homepage at the same networking site. Recently one of those poems was chosen to be published in a compilation called Collected Whispers.
Her first manuscript entitled Beyond the Sun was another short story gone wild. It has recently been picked up by Bayou Brew Publishing and was released on April 1st.
Bayou Brew Publishing- http://www.bayoubrewpublishing.com/
Cover Reveal- https://www.facebook.com/events/471153546318732/