Authors: Sandra Ross
Tags: #Fantasy, #Romance, #fantasy lover, #witches and warlocks, #adult romance, #fantasy romance, #magick, #magick fantasy, #soul mates romance, #steamy romance, #adult fiction, #romance fantasy free, #Adult
He sighed a deep sigh.
How come that did not sound sincere now? Like,
these past few days, he's been trying to convince himself of it.
Was he? Being alone was safe. Being alone was lonely, but safe.
Until a beautiful, mysterious woman started
appearing in his dreams every night...
And he started wanting her, and not for the same
things he'd wanted women in the past. How could that happen when he
could not wholly remember her face when he would wake up? He could
only remember that she was beautiful, and he could sometimes smell
a whiff of her perfume...
He could remember some things more.
Eyes that held, hands that touched skin that
felt so achingly familiar. How could he explain what that meant,
that feeling that only something so intangible could complete
Or was he just being horny, because he has not
been with a woman for a very long time?
Who wanted that
, he asked himself in disgust.
Who wanted something so... so desired, and not
be able to hold it? To claim it, even in memory when he opened his
eyes. All because of a dream that seemed so real... so real that he
had stopped asking himself if he believed it.
He knew he did.
He was still observing the storm an hour later
when a car pulled up in his circular driveway. By this time, it was
Who in the hell could be coming here
this time of night
Someone who's gotten lost, probably.
He watched as the driver got out, camouflaged by
an umbrella, and hurried to his front door. The doorbell pealed
loudly through the house for several seconds.
Then he remembered that Amie had left and he was
the only one who could answer the door.
"Dammit," he muttered as he hurried down the
long hallway to the double front doors. Flinging the doors open, he
still could not tell much about his impromptu visitor.
"May I help you?" he demanded in a very
unfriendly voice. The storm was coming in. He did not want to give
this stranger the impression that he could stay longer. He did not
want his solitude interrupted in this manner. He hoped he would
find his way to wherever he's going fast in the coming storm.
Then the stranger turned to face him, lowering
the umbrella just as another lightning lit everything up in the
sky, he saw her face.
It was a woman.
When he got a good look at her face, he stumbled
back a couple of steps, his eyes widening in shock.
There, facing him, was the woman in his
"Hi," she said, smiling a little nervously. She
looked pale, cold, and very uncomfortable in her long coat that
looked better worn on a runway than in the pouring rain. "I'm so
sorry to bother you, but I was told that I could find Marcus Swan
here. Does he happen to be at home?"
He blinked. "Who are you?" Marcus demanded.
"Oh, I'm so sorry, I neglected to introduce
myself. My name is Lola Ravensworth." She seemed to be trying to
find something inside her designer cloak and took her hand out of
one pocket holding an ID. She showed it to him. "I'm here from New
York to speak to Mr. Swan. It's quite important that I find
Marcus stared at the picture and accompanying
name on the ID but he did not take it. He was still a little
Did she have to come here when he was alone in
It was embarrassing that as he stood there
looking at this beauty, his cock was twitching, reminding him of
his dreams and those cold showers at night. His brain was trying to
assimilate the onslaught of information. It was her, a part of him
insisted as he continued to stare at her face. Another part, the
one that had protected him many times, told him he was just being
Unfortunately, that was true, too.
The woman gave him s weak smile. "Are you
And he knew, whatever happens, he would meet
the voice said.
I think you're in love with
the other voice
said in such a logical manner, as Marcus tried to stop looking at
those luscious-looking lips.
So why did I hate my life again?
LOLA WATCHED the stranger standing in front of
her. She felt very strange and was in a bit of a quandary. She
wasn't expecting anything when she knocked on the brass knuckle on
the door, or even when she found that even with the brass knuckle,
there was an electric doorbell on the wall in the right. It made
Old and modern. It was a mansion that withstood
a century, but obviously was surviving very well in the
twenty-first century. If not for the rain, she wanted to see all of
But when the doors opened and she turned to
address the one who opened them, she found the most handsome man
she had ever met in her entire life. Giddiness and pure lust
slammed into her, and that shocked her that she had to control a
As if I even know anything about
that! I've never had a boyfriend. I'm a virgin.
But when she turned to him, she felt pure,
It was all she could do to stay calm. She tried
to imagine what her mother would be like in this situation and that
Her mother would handle this beautifully. She
also focused on the storm that was raging down from the heavens
right now. Storms were nasty things. Thinking of getting drenched
in the rain always made her feel awfully... should make her feel
awfully un-lustful. Right?
"I'm Marcus Swan," the man said in a sexy
She almost groaned.
He was Marcus Swan?
Which meant she couldn't run away. She was on a
mission-he was her mission. She could not escape being in his
Oh dear, just grit your teeth and
bear it. And smile.
"It's very nice to meet you, Mr. Swan."
Suddenly, he seemed to realize that he was still
standing in the doorway and keeping her out in the rain. "Forgive
me. How remiss of me. Please come in."
He stepped back so that she could enter his
home. Smiling her thanks, she stepped into a grand old-fashioned
foyer, and she tried to remember that she liked the mansion as she
was driving over. He took her dripping umbrella and put it to the
side of the door, and then helped her out of her coat.
"You must have been miserable out there in that
storm. Come with me and sit before the fire. You'll warm up
Following Marcus down a long wide hallway from
which many rooms led off, Lola was so happy at the thought of a
fire to dry her out that she became thankful that she was finally
here. She was still astounded that she had managed to track down
this man tucked away so deeply in Mystical Grove, in the outskirts
of New Orleans, so far back she wondered if the place was even
still a part of it.
Or the effect that her first look of him gave
It was extraordinary.
Must be my magick,
He's a compelling
character, and my gift made it more so. Felt like a hundred times
more with the first meeting. Potent personality.
But she's calming now, and was grateful she
finally found him before the storm, or before things become
difficult. Marcus Swan covered his tracks well. She knew he was in
the area, but upon seeing the mansion she knew she would find him
there instead of the cottage the people in a village inn said he
would be. They were hiding him. Obviously, they were in his
even own the inn,
thought. And she just knew this was true.
Even she knew how hard it would be if someone
other than her had been sent on this mission.
Now that she was here, she admitted to herself
that she still was not sure what she was going to say to him.
Marcus had not lied to her. There was a warm
cozy fire blazing in a nearby room. After settling her onto a couch
in front of the fireplace, he handed her an afghan to wrap around
Then he excused himself and left the room, with
Lola's gaze following the broad back of the mysterious, clueless
AS MARCUS LOOKED for some tea and quickly heated
some water, he wondered about his unexpected visitor.
Unexpected. Really. Now that she was in another
room and there's a wide space between them, he was suddenly unsure
that she was the woman in his dream.
But she was, indeed, beautiful. For a moment out
there in the front doors, it felt like he was this teenager
crushing on a beautiful star then finally seeing that person in
real life-which was absurd. He had never crushed on anyone when he
was a teenager. But he knew without a doubt that if he had met her
then she would have been the first. She appeared to be wealthy,
too. Her jaw didn't hit the floor when she entered his mansion.
That could only mean she was used to grand places like this.
He hurried along heating the water by using the
microwave so he could come back to her right away. Wealthy or not,
she looked small in his large den, shivering a little with the cold
outside, looking so helpless. He frowned at the protectiveness he
was feeling for her.
Ahh, this was all getting strange. And God, did I know
thought as his eyes rolled in its sockets.
When Marcus returned to the den, Lola was
sitting just as he had left her, on his couch with the afghan
wrapped around her.
"I made us some tea," he said as he sat a tray
containing cups and a teapot on the coffee table. "It might warm
you up a bit."
She smiled at him and picked up one of the
steaming mugs. "Thank you, Mr. Swan," she said. "This is very kind
He laughed. She was so delightfully polite.
"Actually, you may want to save that compliment until after you've
tasted it. I sent my housekeeper home just before you arrived. Oh,
and please, call me Marcus."
He warmed up to Lola quickly. Well, why not? She
was, after all, a very beautiful woman. He wasn't exactly dead.
Just because he did not encourage women meant he did not enjoy the
occasional dalliance. But he was already frowning before he even
finished the thought.
It was because dalliance did not fit here.
Moreover, when had he ever suffered a one-night stand?
He was getting confused, which was hard to
explain. Now that he was with her again, he was again sure she was
the woman in his dream.
Make up your mind,
he thought as he watched her sip her tea and
yeah, it was her. That smile...
Sipping his own tea, Marcus decided he would
find out why the woman in his dreams had turned up at his home in
the dead of night, in an impending storm, and all alone.
"No, Marcus, this is delicious. Thank you
again," Lola said as she looked at him with her beautiful lips
"I'm glad you like it. Now, Ms. Ravensworth," he
put his cup down on the table, "what do you need to speak with me
about?" he asked, trying to smile as she flashed him dimples on
"First of all, if I'm going to call you Marcus,
you must call me Lola," she said laughing.
Oh damn, I'm being charmed.
In normal circumstances, his guard would
be up. But not this time. He was thoroughly enjoying her dimples.
"So Lola, what can I do for you?"
"Ok, Marcus. You see," suddenly serious, "I'm
the senior editor for the Hawthorne Publishing Company in New York
City. It has come to our attention that you're... a very
interesting man. People would love to read an autobiography about
you and your life. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, you've been
approached by other companies in the past, yet you have always
turned them down. I'm here to see if I can persuade you to change
your mind. I would love to work with you personally as your editor.
We, of course, would adhere to any special instructions you have
and do it completely the way you want."
Marcus was watching her intently as she spoke.
Even though she spoke passionately and looked him directly in the
eyes, there was something about what she was saying that he didn't
She was here for something more than just a
book. He was sure of it. Didn't he have that gift, after all?
"I see. Well, Lola, I've never allowed my life
to be published, nor have I had any desire to write about it
myself. I'm sorry that you've come all this way for nothing," he
"You haven't even heard my proposition yet,
Marcus," Lola said as she smiled engagingly at him.