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Eris by D. Renee BagbyEris
Eternal Truths Series, Book 1
by D. Renee Bagby

Siren-Bookstrand, Menage Amour Imprint

eBook ISBN: 1-60601-837-X
Print ISBN: 978-1-60601-838-5

Time is on their side and they can be together, assuming the truth doesn’t ruin everything first.

Immortals born in the thirteenth century, Lucien Riordan and Ranulf Styr have waited centuries to be reunited with their love. Want for her cemented their friendship through time, even as it tore it apart. She changed their lives, made them want better, and they plan to show her that. There’s only one catch–she’s never met them before.

Eris Brue is flattered by Lucien and Ranulf’s attention, but they are her bosses. She doesn’t want to get tangled up in an office romance, especially not with two men. Their joint seduction overcomes her resolve, and she gives in even though she knows they are keeping secrets that could doom their relationship.

Centuries of planning have finally come to fruition. Lucien and Ranulf have a short amount of time to make Eris love them, because once time has her, everything could come to an end.

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Chapter One

Ranulf stared at the spacious, climate-controlled room in a thoughtful manner. Beside him, Lucien looked through the contents of a nearby box.
“We need to stop putting this off,” Ranulf said. “Every year we say we’ll get our collection surveyed and every year we find an excuse to avoid it.”
“Why do you want strangers tromping through our home? Where does this whim come from?”
“I’ve forgotten what we own.” Ranulf gestured to the boxes. “And can you find anything in this crush? I never get past the first ten boxes before I give up.”
Lucien closed the box near him and straightened. He looked around the room then at Ranulf. “Fine.”
“Good. I called the company, and they are sending a representative tomorrow morning to give us a time estimate and price.”
“Why did you even bother asking me?”
“I like you to feel you have some say in the decision-making.” Ranulf threw his arm around Lucien’s shoulders. They walked like that back to the main house.
“You’ll be meeting with whoever is sent, right?” Lucien asked, shrugging off Ranulf’s arm as they entered their shared office.
“You know I will. I know how much you hate meeting new people.”
“All we ever do is meet new people. It’s annoying.”
“The price of eternity. We can’t make long-lasting friendships unless we plan to share with them what we are and why we are that way. And then watch them age and die.”
Lucien sat at his desk. He searched through a stack of papers, stopped, searched a drawer, stopped and then looked at Ranulf. “Have they found her yet?”
Ranulf retrieved a slim file from his desk and tossed it onto Lucien’s. “Nothing. We gave them all the information she gave to us. Nothing, in all this time.”
“All the information she gave to us. What information? All we have is her name. She told us nothing.”
“She thought we wouldn’t believe her.”
“It was the thirteenth century. Why would we believe her? Even after…” Lucien trailed off with a soft growl. He shoved the file away and sat back. In a soft voice he said, “Even after she disappeared, part of me still didn’t believe we would live to see this age.”
“Here we are,” Ranulf said in a happy voice with his arms akimbo.
“Your jovial attitude is annoying.”
“You have no sense of humor, my friend. Though your sullen nature is more pronounced than usual. Could it be you realize twenty-ten is in a few months? The very year our lovely distraction told us she originated.”
Lucien turned away.
“Ah, so that little tidbit hadn’t escaped your notice. We’ve almost reached the fated time. As we are both reclusive types, we have very few venues in which we can meet her, and the private investigators have failed to find her.”
“The faire.”
“Yes, the ren faire. Ten days when we allow multitudes of unknowns access to our property so they can pretend they know about the era from which we hail.”
“How do we find one woman in such a crowd? What if we miss her? Or, she doesn’t show?”
“What if she does show? Remember how she was dressed when she arrived, Lucien.”
“I remember everything about that time,” Lucien snapped. “Even if I wish I could forget.”
Ranulf crossed the room and placed a hand on Lucien’s shoulder. “I know your pain, but the subject of time remains. As much stock as I place in my own abilities to charm the ladies, I doubt I would have made such a strong impression on her in ten days—if we meet her on the first day.”
“You think she arrives before the faire then?”
“It’s the only scenario that makes sense. Perhaps at one of the movie premieres or while we’re at a business luncheon. Maybe we should make random trips in and about town. We might meet her then.”
“And what? Kidnap her and hold her hostage until she falls in love with us…one of us?” Lucien pushed Ranulf’s hand away.
“Granted that plan is one way, but I doubt she’d have been so taken with us—this version of us—if that’s what we’d done…what we do.” He frowned.
“Don’t try and figure it out. It’s our past tense and her future, but for us it’s her past tense and our future. You’ll only give yourself a headache if you think about it too long.”
“My point is sitting around this mansion will not get her to us sooner. The investigators didn’t work, so we must try other tactics.”
Lucien unlocked and opened a drawer in his desk. He carefully pulled out a frame. His expression softened as he smoothed his fingers over the glass.
Ranulf moved closer and looked over Lucien’s shoulder. The frame held an old piece of parchment with a drawing of a woman whose smiling visage peered out at him. “That was the moment your skills improved the most. Why have you never drawn her again? If you had at least done a quick sketch for the investigators—”
“No.” Lucien put the drawing away and locked the drawer. “The next time I draw her, she’ll be before me and willingly posing as my model.”
“Preferably in the nude.” Ranulf laughed when Lucien glared at him.
“That picture is the only way I can remember her face. Any drawing I do now would only be a copy. I…” Lucien paused and passed his hand over his face. “I feel as though I don’t remember what she looks like or I won’t recognize her when I see her.”
“You’ll know her. To the depths of your soul, you’ll know her. Just as I will. She isn’t a woman you would forget.”
“Tell me we’ll find her.”
“We will. We’ll find her, we’ll make her love us, and then she’ll be with us once her journey has ended.” Ranulf walked to his own desk, suddenly not as lighthearted as he had been only moments ago.
Knowing they were close to the beginning—or was it the end—made every minute she wasn’t with them unbearable.
“Soon,” he whispered and met Lucien’s gaze across the room.
Both men said in unison, “Eris.”
* * * *
“What?” Eris glanced over her shoulder then looked back at her computer screen. She cursed and hit the back button. Her momentary distraction had made her hit the wrong key.
“Are you listening?”
“Yes, Brian, I’m listening. I’m a woman, which means I can multi-task. What do you want?”
“Connie is going on an estimate run tomorrow, and I need you to go with.”
Eris shook her head. “Not happening. I’m stuck in the middle of this database.”
“It can’t be put on hold for an hour or two?”
She stopped typing and looked at him.
He held up his hands in surrender and backed up a step. “Yeah, yeah. You’re right. Stupid question.”
She nodded and went back to her typing.
“Everyone else is busy, and I like one of the appraisal team members to be with the agent when they do estimations. It makes the clients feel a little more at ease if they meet the people who will be handling their precious babies.”
“I agree with you.” She stopped typing and thought for a moment. The database was nearly finished. If she stayed late, she might be able to pull it off. “How about this? You authorize some overtime, and I’ll get this done tonight. That way Connie won’t be solo tomorrow. Deal?”
“You got it. Thanks, Eris, you’re a lifesaver.”
She smiled at him. “Which flavor?”
“All of them at different times. You’re sure you’ll be done in time?”
“I’d be done sooner if you would leave me the hell alone.”
Brian laughed and walked away.
The man was a great boss but a little clueless sometimes. She smiled over her shoulder at his retreating back. She’d managed to get overtime while making it look like she was doing him a favor.
Accompanying Connie on the appraisal trip to assure a panicky client that their precious possessions were perfectly safe was a small price to pay if Eris could get rid of her current client a day earlier than she’d planned. The man had contacted her at least three times in the last two days. He told her over and over about the importance of the database, hoping it would speed up her pace when all it did was slow her down.
She looked at her watch. “Ten minutes.” She could get in a few more entries before lunch.
“Ready for lunch?”
She smiled but didn’t look back at Clayton or stop her typing. “No. I’ve got ten minutes before my lunch starts.”
“Fudge it and let’s eat. I’m starved.”
“Clayton, this is important.”
“Are you gonna finish in ten minutes?”
“No way. I’ve got hours to go, at least.”
Clayton grabbed her arm and pulled her. She latched onto the desk with one hand as she continued typing with the other.
“Eris, let go of that keyboard. The work will be here when you get back. Let’s eat.”
She typed in the last of the data, hit enter and the computer beeped as the information was committed. Letting go of the desk, she swiveled her seat around so she faced Clayton. “Hi.”
While dapper and very handsome in his suit, his dyed-black, spiky hair somewhat marred Clayton’s corporate appearance. His hair was originally dirty blond, but he liked the darker look so he could appear moody.
Clayton kissed her upturned lips then pulled on her arm. “Me hungry. Want food now.”
“Ass.” She laughed and followed him.
Half an hour and a filling lunch later, she returned to her desk. “Back to work,” she said to get herself psyched up for the coming monotony.
She actually loved her job when she wasn’t creating a database for a client who decided a month after the appraisal team finished that he wanted a catalog of his collection—something that was much easier to create during the appraisal process.
Thanks to her overtime though, she only had a few more hours and she could politely—and in a professional manner—tell the client to never call her again. That was something she looked forward to.
She clicked the mouse on the project file. While she waited for it to open, she stowed her purse and got herself situated at her desk.
The computer beeped.
She looked at it then frowned. “What do you mean ‘file not found,’ you piece of junk?” She clicked the icon again, and the same message appeared. “No, no, no, no! Don’t do this to me. That was a day’s work you just ate.”
No matter how many times she clicked the icon that had worked an hour ago nothing happened. The computer refused to open the file. Normally, she’d have backed it up to her laptop, but Clayton had yanked her away and back-ups were a before-she-left-for-the-day type of thing.
“This can’t be happening. All that work.”
She called the computer technician and waited frantically for the woman on duty to come to her rescue. It took the technician forty minutes to tell Eris the file never existed in the first place.
“Yes, it does exist. I was working on it all yesterday and most of this morning. I have the beginnings of it backed up on my laptop.” Eris snatched up her laptop case and booted the computer to prove her point.
The technician said, “Well, the company desktop just ate what you did today. My only suggestion is to upload the file from your laptop for last night’s data and redo today’s. I wish I had a better solution for you.”
“Here. See?” Eris clicked the icon. Her laptop made that annoying error noise and gave her the same message as the computer.
Without permission, the technician took the laptop from her and repeated her earlier search. “Same thing over here. There’s nothing there.”
“That can’t be!”
“I’m sorry. The file must have gotten corrupted.” The technician handed back the laptop with an apologetic expression. “Looks like you’re starting completely over.”
Eris let her head fall against the back of her chair and resisted the urge to chuck her laptop across the room. It was an expensive laptop with a lot of data on it that she needed. Not to mention, she might hit someone.
“Fine. Thanks for coming out,” she mumbled.
“Wish I could have been more helpful. Good luck.” The technician walked away.
Eris waited until the sound of the technician’s footsteps receded before she looked at the phone. “Ugh.”
She dialed Brian’s number and then explained the situation to him.
“Tech support couldn’t get it back?” Brian asked.
“Nope. She was just here and nada. Even if I stay all night, there’s no way I’m getting done in time to go with Connie tomorrow. Sorry, Brian.”
“Not your fault. Don’t worry about it. Connie’s a big girl. She can go on her own. It would have been better with you there, but we’ll deal. You do what you can with that file.”
“Can you do me a favor?”
“Call the client?”
“Please. I don’t want to deal with him again. I already feel crappy enough.”
Brian laughed. “You concentrate on that and I’ll make sure the client understands and doesn’t call you personally.”
“Thank you.”
“Good luck.”
She grumbled under her breath as she hung up the phone.
“This sucks!” She kicked the edge of her desk to add emphasis to that sentiment. That was the extent of her pity party. She retrieved all the hard copies she’d filed and dropped them near her keyboard.
She eyed the computer for a minute. With her fingers crossed, she tried the icon one more time.
The error sound mocked her, and the accompanying gray message box was like the computer sticking its tongue out at her.
“I hate you,” she whispered to it before starting her work all over again.

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9 Responses to Eris by D. Renee Bagby

  1. New Release 14 June

    CONTEST! Today ONLY.
    Stop by Cyber Launch Party and leave a comment or a question and you'll be entered to win one of the three free downloads of ERIS that I'm offering.

    Winners announced 15 June.

    Have a happy,

    ~ Renee

  2. FIRST REVIEW – ““OMG!” Ms Bagby has gone to the top of my must read pile. I was so taken in by the characters I loved, yes loved this book.” ~ GJM, Rites of Romance

  3. Second Review: “I cried, laughed, had moments of incredible frustration, but in the end fell in love… This is a must read for anyone who likes time travel romance…” ~ Yadkny, Happily Ever After Reviews, 5 Tea Cups

  4. Readers' choice for Best Cover for June 2010!

    ~ Renee

  5. “If this were a movie, it would be a box office smash… So if you’re looking for a fast paced book with hunky immortals born in the thirteen century who find themselves captivated by a twenty first century woman, this book is definitely for you!” ~Dakota, Dark Diva Reviews, 5 Divas

  6. New review and it is totally worth sharing!

    “…Renee takes pride in developing rich, three-dimensional characters that continue to grow at every turn of the page… I found myself stalking the novel, devouring each page, and craving to know what happens next… I don’t do ratings, but if I had to categorize Eris, I would call it “Literary Perfection.””
    ~ Zee, Fire Pages Reviews

    Full Review

    Along with the review is a contest: Absolute Chaos Giveaway
    - Leave a Comment on the Review
    - Leave a comment on the interview to be posted Thursday 19 August
    AND
    - Subscribe via email to Zee's blog

    Prizes:
    - $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble, Borders, or Amazon (winner's choice)
    - e-copy of ERIS

    Contest ends Friday 20 August

    Good luck and have a happy!

    ~ Renee

  7. ERIS is out in PRINT!!!

    Happy day!

    ~ Renee

  8. ERIS now available at All Romance eBooks!

  9. FINALIST 2010 NRCA, category Paranormal

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