TOMORROW CRIESIt's release day and Debora Ryan is sharing a new excerpt from her paranorml romance.
Rhiannon’s best friend is dead. Her dreams for the future are shattered, and the love of her life is forced to abandon her to keep her safe. Losing everything was only the beginning.
For more than two hundred years, Lucien has waited for his soul mate. Though he’s now found Rhiannon, they cannot be together until Lucrezia is no longer a threat. It’s his job to keep the evil queen occupied while Rhiannon is trained to defend herself against a woman twice as powerful and full of malice.
Forced to be apart, they are joined by a potent bond that allows them to be together in dreams and memories. Pawns in a plan far more deadly than either realizes, Rhiannon and Lucien must risk everything in order to be together.
Tavin was waiting in her suite. She found him lounging on her sofa, leafing through a celebrity gossip magazine. His carefully disheveled hair fell over one blue-grey eye. He’d told her once that if he left it alone, it would grow to fall past his shoulders. She was tempted to ask him to let it go, just so she could see what it looked like, but she didn’t want him to think she was trying to get him to look more like Lucien.
He dropped the magazine and sat forward as she entered, his eyes wide with concern. “How was your ride?”
“Good.” She should have been happier to see him, yet disappointment stabbed tiny pricks through her torso. He wasn’t the man whose arms she craved. With a lazy gesture, she indicated the bathroom. “I’m going to shower the smell of horse away.”
Standing, Tavin shoved his hands into the pockets of his loose jeans and flashed his most charming smile. “Want some company?”
She wanted to want his company. Regretfully, she shook her head and hid the cringe at the flash of hurt and disappointment that washed over his face.
He nodded once in a false show of understanding. Coming close, he brushed a kiss along the line of her jaw. “If you need me, you know where I’ll be.”
Rhiannon watched the door close behind him and blinked back the tears pricking at the back of her eyes. He deserved so much more than a woman who was hopelessly in love with someone else.
She fought with the miasma of depression, convincing herself Lucien was to blame and that anger and resentment were much more productive emotions. Setting the water temperature as hot as it would go, she stepped under the spray with the hope it could burn away her guilt.
It didn’t work.
After crawling beneath her covers, she tossed and turned and pushed away Lucien’s attempts to contact her. In the late afternoon, she made the trek across the hall to Tavin’s suite. Being alone wasn’t working out. Using her stealth was easy with Tavin because he didn’t usually breathe while he slept. As long as she was quiet, he would never know she was there.
Sliding beneath the covers Tavin eschewed, she promptly fell asleep. Because they had no body heat, covers served no purpose. Tavin was used to sleeping without a cocoon of sheets, but Rhiannon slept better wrapped up.
Lucien promptly invaded her dream. Or rather, she tumbled into his.
He sat on a low, white stone bench near a cobblestone walkway. On the other side of the path, moonlight scattered across the choppy waves. The air was heavy with salt and the scents of the sea.
The setting confused Rhiannon momentarily. Any other time she entered his dream, or he entered hers, they floated in a dark sea of nothingness.
“How did you do this?”
Standing, Lucien presented her with a single red rose. “I’ve been waiting for you.”
Rhiannon stared at the rose. The petals were flawless and bright. Thorns glistened. Even if she’d never read a fairy tale in her life, she knew better than to reach for it. She repeated her question.
Lucien’s eyes swept the bay before resettling on her. “I have no idea. I’ve been waiting for hours, but none of this appeared until a few minutes ago. This is one of my favorite places to be. I used to sit here for hours, wishing to once again watch the sun set over the water. Like you, its beauty is incomparable.”
She regarded him suspiciously. “This feels like a date.” A dream date. The heartrending irony didn’t escape her notice.
He smiled. “Perhaps you should take the flower.”
In this dream, his hair was once again long, the straight tresses flowing to the collar of his white silk shirt. He wore jeans. The shirt was neatly tucked in at the waist, and it was open at the collar. Moonlight glinted from the thin silver necklace Niccolo had given him all those years ago.
He noticed Rhiannon checking him out. “I dressed up for you. I wasn’t sure if you liked the shorter hair or not.”
She looked down, uncertain as to what her mind had chosen for her to wear. It was a white sundress with purple posies blowing above the lace at the hem. She didn’t recognize it.
“I saw it online. I thought it would look good on you.” He took a step closer. “I was right.”
Backing up a step, Rhiannon raised a hand to halt his forward progress. “I don’t understand what you’re doing.”
Again, he held out the rose. “Moonlit water, a nice night, a red rose, and a beautiful woman. It’s a date.”
“I didn’t agree to this.”
“You sought me last night.” He took a step. “This is a more convenient time. I don’t have a special forces team in the midst of a training exercise waiting for me.” Another step closer. “I can give you my undivided attention.”
He was inches away. The delicious aroma of his blood, whose flavor she craved above all others, wafted to her. She stumbled backward, needing to remove the temptation. She blurted out the only thing that came to mind. “I’m asleep in Tavin’s bed.”
Her words had the same effect as icy water. He dropped the rose. The soft smile vanished. The melted chocolate of his eyes turned black with fury. “He doesn’t love you. He’s only using you to get back at me.”
This turn to the conversation wasn’t one she expected. “Why would Tavin want to get back at you?”
“Surely you’re aware he and I were together for several years?” He delivered the question with a sneer that had Rhiannon questioning whether or not he was making this up.
“I knew you dated,” she said quietly. It was something she read in Tavin’s file during training, but nothing she had thought seriously about. “That was a long, long time ago.”
“Not so very long,” Lucien said. “He didn’t take it well when I left, and he’s been angry with me ever since.”
Rhiannon rolled her eyes. “He’s not carrying a torch for you, Lucien. Get over yourself. And I know he’s not in love with me, but he does like me. He treats me with courtesy and respect, and he’s never once seduced me to get me to go with him to Lucrezia.” She waved a dismissive hand in the air. “Also, he’s never tried to kidnap me. All in all, I think he has you beat.”
Lucien closed the distance between them, wrapped his arms around her waist, and pulled her tight against him. The fact he could make physical contact in a dream shocked Rhiannon. This was another first. His lips descended on hers, claiming her with a furious passion against which she had no chance.
The world spun faster and faster, a maelstrom they created, yet they stood safe in the eye. Rhiannon’s blood heated, simmering with something only Lucien could unleash. He had betrayed her. He was training an army to capture her. He was most likely still under Lucrezia’s control. All of that washed away, whirling through the air unnoticed.
Then it was over. Lucien released her and stepped back. “If I stop loving you, if I stop wanting you, then so will he. Think about that when you commend him for his patience in staying with a woman who is clearly in love with another man.”
He turned and walked away. The dream dissolved as she whispered a plea. “Don’t leave. Please don’t leave.”
Debora Ryan's Website:
Tomorrow Cries is available at Bookstrand:
Debora also writes as Michele Zurlo
Available Now from Siren: Letting Go, Hanging On, Irrepressible Force and Torment
Coming Soon from Siren: Two Masters for Samantha (December)
Visit The Steam Room at http://www.michelezurlo.com/