Cover & Excerpt Reveal
Time series Book One
He’s searched for her for centuries. Now that he’s found her, will she remember who she was and who they were to each other, and love him with all she has?
The story of Skyla Gray, a TSCAA agent in the present day, and Rei Dusan, the crown prince of the sixteenth-century Serbian Empire, who has traded his soul to the gods so he can travel through time to find his one true love, Elizabeth Magini.
Agent Gray is time-ported to an underground bank vault. Her mission is to retrieve a device, but someone else has gotten there first. More maddening is that she recognizes this man’s voice even though she cannot remember ever having met him before. Sent back to the present day by this stranger, she finds the life she knew slowly beginning to unravel…and learns that the stranger is not the only one who has been looking for her these past five centuries.
During the Last Battle, Rei Dusan lay dying alongside his father, his brothers, and his countrymen, when a handmaiden from the gods offered him a bargain: his soul and his eternal pledge to do the gods’ bidding in exchange for immortality. With his life, he will avenge his family, his country, and his beloved Elizabeth, who sacrificed her life to save his. He accepted the bargain with the gods only to later discover Elizabeth did not perish in the fire. (continued...)
Genre: Time Travel Romance
Content/Theme(s): Immortals, Gods, SciFi, Gov't Agents
Release Date: October 2, 2014
Excerpt & More
(...continued) Will Skyla remember who she really is? What Rei meant to her—to Elizabeth? Will she accept Rei in her present life, where she is no longer a helpless young girl needing rescue from an evil Medici lord, but an ass-kicking agent fighting terrorists for a living? And how will Rei answer to the gods when they find out he has defied their orders? Will there be a happily ever after for Rei and Skyla?
The Time series tells the story of the men and women who are part of a secret government agency, fighting not garden-variety terrorists but the gods and their enemies, who are facing off in a final showdown. Should their wars not be contained, the world will go up in flames—literally.
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Furiously yanking on the ropes tying her wrists behind the back of the chair and binding her ankles against its legs, Skyla scowled at the man. “Who are you? What did you do with my parents?” She knew instinctively that he was the same man she had encountered in the bank vault.
He did not reply but only stared at her with such intensity that she couldn’t help but feel uneasy—on top of being pissed off big time. Not that she worried about him hurting her. She knew he would not. How did she know that? No idea. She just did. But she was worried about her parents. Did they hear anything? Had they seen him taking her? Did he hurt them just to make sure he could get away with her without sounding any alarm?
She took a quick look at her surroundings. Judging from the antiquated setting of the room, she would not be surprised if the man had taken her back in time. Before she could finish her survey, the man’s deep baritone voice drew her attention back to him. “I mean you no harm.” He sounded almost apologetic. She would’ve believed his sincerity if she had not been tied up. She was about to snort back at him when a sense of familiarity struck her.
He had a strong, square jaw; cold, stormy-gray eyes; and short, thick, black hair, which curled at the tips, giving him a boyish charm in complete contrast with his hardened gaze. Interestingly, the man wore a T-shirt and jeans, though they were somewhere back in time. Skyla’s observation habits had kicked into full gear. She could tell the man’s corded, muscular physique was from harsh outdoor training instead of the soft-core gym workout men were so obsessed with in her time. He could not have been from the twenty-first century. He exerted pure power and dominance. Such traits were lost to the men in her time.
He took two steps toward her and was about to raise his hand to brush back some stray hair from her forehead when he stopped midair, as if he had caught himself just in time. Instead he gave her an old-fashioned bow.
“My apologies. It’s necessary to bind you for the time being. Based on the information my men gathered, this is the only way to ensure your safety.”
“My safety?” Skyla snorted. “You mean your safety, right?”
“If you wish, my lady.” A corner of his mouth curved up into a faint smile. It sent another familiar tingling sensation up and down her spine, yet her logical mind was denying any familiarity because, honest to God, she had never seen this man before. Oh for God’s sake, Skyla! It’s only a smile. But it was more than the smile or the danger of the situation that forced her pulse into double time. It felt like her consciousness was on the edge of discovering something major, not just a few horny hormones.
In the icy voice she reserved for interrogating terrorists and criminals, she asked, “Who are you? Where am I? Where are my parents?”
“Forgive my manners. My name is Rei. You are safe here. I just have some questions for you. That’s all. And your parents are at their house. If all goes well, they won’t know you’re gone yet.”
Her rapid heartbeat slowed down somewhat at hearing that her mom and dad were okay. She tilted her head slightly, giving him a mocking look. “Questions? Why do you think I would answer any of your questions after you broke into my parents’ house and kidnapped me?”
To his credit, he did not take the bait. “I could’ve taken you from TSCCA instead of from your parents’ house. For that I apologize.” There was a mocking tone in his reply.
She was immediately alarmed by his mention of the Agency. How did he know? And what did he know? To the public, TSCCA was part of the Department of the Interior and its mission was to monitor geological signals impacting the eastern seaboard. No one, except the team and government personnel with top-level clearance, knew the real name and the real purpose of TSCAA.
Not willing to let him see her surprise, she didn’t acknowledge what he’d just said. Instead she looked around the room hoping to find clues of where and what time period she was in. The room looked like a library or study and was decorated in early twentieth-century décor. Ornate wood and brass work covered two of the four walls. The remaining walls were covered by rich, forest-green wallpaper with a slight golden sheen. The furniture looked so well-crafted that she had no doubt they were handmade from solid wood, probably mahogany judging from the deep espresso color. Two huge armchairs were padded with thick, smooth, leather cushions. No one in the twenty-first century had this type of lavish setup anymore. In her time, people’s tastes were minimalist, dictated by smaller living quarters and mass production. Skyla had never liked the modern style of home setup. It was too cold and efficient for her taste.
To her right, there was a floor-to-ceiling glass window with a door leading out to a balcony. Is that Central Park? Am I still in New York City?
Turning her attention back to the man, she asked him icily, punctuating each word, “I will ask one more time. Where am I?”
Not a bit frayed by her frosty, demanding tone, he replied politely, “We are in New York City.”
“And what year is this?”
The corner of his mouth curved again, sending another wave of tingling sensations up and down her spine. “January 6, 1933.” And without giving her any further chance to ask more questions, “I beg your pardon. I must leave you for a few moments to attend another urgent matter.” He gave her another very proper gentleman’s bow before leaving the room.
As soon as he left the room, Skyla tried to wrench her wrists free from the rope, hoping the knots were not as tight as they felt; unfortunately, they were. Even she had to admire how expertly the knots were tied around her wrists. They were strong and tight but not painful at all—well, as long as she did not struggle against them too much. Knowing she could not get herself free, the only thing left to do was survey the rest of the room for clues to who this Rei was. She swept her glance from one end of the room to the other. That was when she saw the painting above the liquor cabinet. She gasped. The young woman in the painting looked uncannily like her. She was in Renaissance costume, and she looked about ten, twelve years younger than Skyla was, almost the same age she’d been when she had woken up from her coma. The girl in the painting had the same deep chocolate-brown hair color as she did, but it was much longer, almost reaching her hips. Skyla’s hair was that length when she woke up in the hospital. And the girl’s large brown eyes were so reflective, it was as if she was staring back at Skyla in surprise.
Before her mind could process the astonishing image, it was assaulted by a new set of images. Images she did not recognize. Images of her and the man who called himself Rei. Images of an older man for whom she felt an immense sense of warmth and love. Images of a man with malice in his cold, flat eyes, squeezing her shoulders with his hands, but she could not hear what he was saying to her. Images of her slamming a door, blocking whomever was pursuing her while running toward a machine that looked oddly familiar. All of them seemed to be from a distant past. If she had to venture a guess, it was the Renaissance period. At Columbia, she had majored in physics with a minor in art history. She always had an affinity for art and scientific work done in the Renaissance period. The elaborate clothing details and the décor of the indoor space in the images were strong clues as to the time period, but the images were moving too fast and too disjointed for Skyla to take in. It was too much for her mind to absorb all at once. Her body started jerking and her eyes rolled back. Then there was complete blackness.
Is she Elizabeth? Have I finally found her? Slightly trembling, Rei walked down the hall to find his butler, Herbert. After letting Herbert know of the guest in the study and instructing him to bring some refreshments for her, Rei needed a moment alone. He went to his bedroom.
Agent Skyla Gray was the mirror image of Elizabeth, and his men could only dig up some sketchy records of her childhood before her coma. Yet her demeanor was completely the opposite of Elizabeth’s. The agent in the library was as cold and hard as he. She would not hesitate to kill him if she were given half a chance to do so. Could she really be his Elizabeth in a different century?
Once he was inside his room, he went to the safe. It was built into the wall at the bottom corner of his dressing room, and from afar, it looked like a stepping stool. Carefully, he took a wooden box from the hidden safe and opened it. Lying on top of the cream-colored velvet was his mother’s ruby ring and a lock of golden-brown hair tied in a blue ribbon. His mind drifted back to centuries ago…
Laughing breathlessly, Elizabeth dashed to the end of the sunflower field and sat on the velvety green grass, waiting for him.
“I won!” she called out excitedly as he emerged from behind the wall of flowers. Her cheeks were flushed from the run that she had teasingly challenged him to. Not to be outdone by her excitement, he immediately tackled her and threw her down on her back.
“Maybe not, my lady. It seems now I have the advantage.” Without giving her any warning, he bent his head and captured her lips with a gentle kiss. Still giggling, Elizabeth lifted her face to the sun and closed her eyes. “Such a beautiful day, Rei. I wish we could come here every day.”
He had never known pure joy and contentment in his life until he had met her. She was his other half. They shared the same strength and honor, yet her warmth and love drew him out of the cold, calculating life he was born to.
Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a wooden box and handed it to her. “Open it.”
Still smiling, Elizabeth opened the box, and her big brown eyes got bigger and rounder. “Rei?”
Inside the box, a large oval ruby was set regally on a delicate filigree gold band. The ruby seemed to be glowing brilliantly, as if it were competing with the sun for Elizabeth’s affection.
“Marry me, Elizabeth.” Rei dropped tender kisses on her forehead and nose. “Be my wife.”
He knew Elizabeth would say yes to being his wife. Nevertheless, he was nervous to hear the answer from her. He held his breath, waiting for her answer. Her momentary silence made him think the worst—Elizabeth didn’t reciprocate his affection. She looked between the ring and him a couple of times as if she was at a loss for words. He squeezed her hand tighter. “Elizabeth?”
Then she broke into a huge smile. “This is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Oh Rei, are you certain? I’m just a scientist’s daughter. Papa has no dowry to offer.”
Letting out the breath he had been holding for too long, he quickly took the ruby ring out of the box and held up her delicate hand. He kissed the tip of each of her soft fingers before lifting her ring finger up to slide the ruby on it. The sparkles from the ruby and diamonds danced across Elizabeth’s still-surprised face. Placing another gentle kiss on her finger and the ring, he smiled contently at her. “No, my love. You are the most beautiful thing in this world to me. And yes, of course I am certain. I’ve been certain since the moment I saw you.” He bent down and kissed her again. This time it was hotter and heavier. He had to lift the lower part of his body slightly off her so that his rigid erection would not offend her maiden sensibility. “I love you, Elizabeth Magini. I love you so much that I would give all my worldly possessions just to spend the rest of my days with you. Please say yes.”
And she kissed him back with so much warmth and love that he knew he was finally home. No more blood. No more scheming. No more loss…
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Lily Worthington Goodreads author page
Lily Worthington Amazon author page
Be on the lookout for Lily Worthington's upcoming release: Time Untamed coming in 2015.
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