The following scene introduces Havily Morgan to the second novel of my Guardians of Ascension series, BURNING SKIES. The poor woman can’t sleep without encountering a lot of man-trouble in her dreams.
In this excerpt, the second scene of the novel, Havily sits on the edge of her bed, desperate for sleep, but afraid to slumber because she knows that the dreams-that-aren’t dreams will take her over once more.
EXCERPT – Chapter One – BURNING SKIES
Havily Morgan craved and she despised herself for it.
She sat on the side of her bed, the sheet and comforter drawn back. She wore a soft cream negligee and boy did she need her sleep. Her mind and body were exhausted from another day of service to Madame Endelle. The woman put the b in bitch as well as the i and the t and whatever.
She leaned forward slightly releasing a heavy sigh. But it wasn’t Endelle that weighed her heart down now, that spiraled her daytime exhaustion into a dark cavern of despair. No, it was Warrior Marcus and her complete inability even in her dreams to stay away from him.
She stared out the window, which overlooked her small patio and a good portion of Camelback Mountain. The hillside was nothing but a black monolith this late at night, a dark presence of ancient volcanic rock burnished by the desert sun, dotted with prickly-pear and scattered oily creosote shrubs. Lizards lived back there. Scorpions. Rabbits. Coyotes.
She’d like to crawl among the rocks and maybe disappear. Maybe then she’d get a good night’s rest.
She turned and put her hand on the sheets, smoothing the wrinkles out of the black silk. She’d purchased the sheets a week after the dreams began because they were the same sheets that were on the bed, the ones in the dreams, the dreams where she encountered Warrior Marcus—every night.
A sigh caught her again. The chances she would find a good night’s sleep in this bed were slim-to-good-luck-with-that.
Ever since she’d met Warrior Marcus, she’d been stuck in an in-between place, neither here nor there. She was Marcus’s lover, but she wasn’t his lover; what happened between them was real but it wasn’t real.
She just didn’t understand what was going on and worse, she didn’t know how to stop what happened between them every night. Worse and worse, it was always the same. She would fall asleep and somehow in her dreams she would strip out of her nightgown, search for him and find him and be with him.
He would by lying in bed on black silk sheets and very much asleep. She would draw the covers back and he would be naked. She always looked at him, a long lingering look down the length of his powerful warrior body as though she couldn’t get enough of the sight of him.
She would engage with him in a very sensual way. She would put her nose to his body and take in his extremely erotic scent, a blend of earthy grasses and licorice, like fennel. Arousal would seep into her until the vein at her neck throbbed. She would then let her fantasy take flight and she would mount him. At some point he would awaken, or perhaps he never was asleep, she just didn’t know. His desire for her took many forms, the answering buck of his hips, the way his arms would skate up and down hers, the way he lunged for her throat with his fangs.
But as she drew close to that sweet place of ecstasy, she would always, always, always, wake up to the point of absolute horror at what she was doing. She had come to believe that he was doing this to her, that somehow, being the powerful vampire he was, he was summoning her to his bed and seducing her in her dreams.
For that she despised him almost as much as she despised herself for going to him every night.
What followed was also the same. She would draw away from him and out of the dream-like state in a strange swishing glide that would return her back to her bed, on her knees staring at the wall above her headboard. Being returned to her bed made her think the experience had to be real yet she just didn’t know the how of it.
Lately, however, when she would return from being in this dream-fantasy, she would fall on her face and sob her heart out. That the fantasy left her sexually frustrated was half the difficulty. The other half belonged to the cravings that had gripped her heart, her body, her veins for the past four months. She was in a constant state of torment and had been from the moment she had met Warrior Marcus.
Once the tears ceased, however, the real frustration began because it was Warrior Marcus’s scent that lingered on her body. For hours afterward, as she tossed on her bed, she would smell his rich erotic fennel scent and her body would tremble. Cravings for him came in waves and she couldn’t make them stop. The breh-hedden had her cornered and trapped with nowhere to go but to wait for the dawn and for her next workday to begin all over again.
Would to God that she had never met him.
So she sat on the edge of her bed, exhausted, in need of rest but knowing that the night would play out as all the others and once more she would be deprived of rest.
She closed her eyes. She wrapped her arms around her chest. Surely she could choose differently this night. Surely just once she could avoid seeking him out in her dreams, holding his sex deep inside her, waking up frightened and unfulfilled then falling away from him to return to her bedroom.
She hated this ritual yet she craved and couldn’t seem to stop.
Something needed to change, but what?
As she finally climbed between the sheets, she vowed that she would alter the future, no matter what it took. There had to be some way to stop the dreaming.
With a commitment made, she closed her eyes and began drifting toward sleep. She mentally sent out the affirmation, I will change this.
She released a heavy sigh.
I will change this.
At last, sleep came.
Caris Roane is the author of five paranormal novels for St. Martin’s Press and several indie pubbed novellas. Writing as Valerie King, she has published fifty novels and Novellas in Regency Romance. Caris lives in Phoenix, Arizona, really doesn’t like scorpions, and has two cats, Gizzy and Sebastien.