Sleeping Beauty: A Paranormal Romance
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by Denise P. Jeffries
Description: Everyone looks familiar. Everyone looks strange. Every night Stormy wakes screaming, covered in blood with raw flesh under her fingernails. The nightmare is back. Conspiracy? Little does Stormy know that at the first full moon after her thirtieth birthday a curse would manifest--if she embraces her beast she can break the curse. She is Lycan, but the knowledge has been kept from her. Betrayal? Fire Captain to Station Two-Two, Alpha Demetrius Perry, has gentle eyes and a soft smile that masks the strength of his resolve and is anything but what he says he is?a friend. Destiny? How will Demetrius awaken his Sleeping Beauty and guide her to her place as the Alpha female and queen to his king when he's not surde he wants the curse broken? Can his love for her destroy the resolve he has sworn to uphold? Secrets and more secrets keep them together and tear them apart. As their worlds collide, who will survive?
eBook Publisher: Parker Publishing, Inc./ISIS, 2011 2011
eBookwise Release Date: February 2011
1 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [326 KB]
Reading time: 216-303 min.
* * * *
Everyone looked familiar. Everyone looked like strangers.
Today, fifteen people looked identical to the family, but I know it's not them. It can't be, they're all dead. No, I didn't see their bodies, but I have that feeling. You know the one; it gnaws at your gut and makes you taste bile at the back of your throat.
I woke up this morning and was covered in blood, dried, sticky and peeling with raw flesh under my nails.
Too bad I can't remember a damn thing, who's chasing me, where I come from, nothing. I do remember I'm on the run, from what, I don't know. Maybe the nightmare will tell me before whatever killed my people kills me.
A cold shiver shuddered across Stormy's body. She whimpered, jerked and slid into the familiar warmth of him.
His lips tasting. His fingers searching, finding. The heat from his moist tongue stroked across her body and pulled a moan from her throat. Stormy began to open her eyes to see what could possibly cause such a sensation and his voice rumbled past her ears.
"No. Keep them shut."
His hand slid under her gown, tugged on her nipple, twisting it between thumb and forefinger bringing it to a stiff peak. Heat flooded her body, dampened her core, tingled her skin, and bowed her back. He took her breast into his mouth, suckled her swollen bud and brought her to instant orgasm. Stormy's body writhed against the bed. Her own familiar moans filtering through the air and circling her head.
Who was this man who tortured her dreams, her body? Brought her pleasure more than once in her sleep and she's never seen his face. Soothed she after the nightmare tormented her.
Stormy's eyes fluttered as if to open and he cupped his hand under her hip and rolled her to her stomach, pulling her to her knees and in one swift movement, impelling her onto his hard shaft. She screamed out in erotic pain, then pleasure. He thrust his solid magnificence past her swollen folds. Pulling out in slow long drags until he almost dislodged and then slammed back in all the way to the hilt. Flesh against flesh. Body against body.
She'd crest in a second. Just like the last time and the time before that. She's never been able to control her body when with him. This man she's never seen, but has allowed him to awaken her in ways forbidden. It had to be. Anything her body screamed for, begged for, had to be.
Every muscle in her body spasmed, shook, clenched, then relaxed. She couldn't stand it. Turning her head, she stole a glance over her shoulder.
"Oh, God," tore from her throat. Closing her eyes, she shook her head. "No..."
He glared back at her with eyes glowing red against the darkness, but it wasn't the man of her past dreams. This time he had no face. Midnight black fur flowing across his shoulders, his chest, his body. His expression told her he was familiar, but not. It couldn't be. She tried to pulled away, separate herself from this, but he held firm to her hips and thrust harder and harder until he too came to peak.
He tilted his head to the sky, allowing an ear splintering growl to fracture the air and then looked back into her face. He-- it pulled his lips back from razor sharp dripping teeth, licked his lip across the mouth and then--"
He grabbed her hips, ground against her and pulled another orgasmic scream from her body. How could he give her such pleasure? She should have been afraid, but there was no fear. Not ever when he did the things he did to her. Who was this man--thing?
"No!" Stormy moaned but it had no punch, because it felt too good.
It was like all the other times before, leaving her hot and cold, full and empty. Except this time he'd let her see his face. See the monster he was in the nightmare. Now he was no longer faceless. She wished he were.
Stormy Knight's sweat drenched body jolted awake. She sat bolt upright in her bed, a scream contorting her face, fracturing the peacefulness of her bedroom. The lingering scent of sweat, blood, lust, sex and of him swam around her head making her dizzy. Her fist clutched at her throat and the soaked tee shirt hung loose across her body. Her core ached from ... what? She brought her hand down between her thighs. She was swollen and wet. Her moistness coated her fingertips. Falling back onto the bed, she stared at the ceiling, shaking rapidly from side to side. He had done it again. She swallowed the lump in her throat and the tried to push the nausea back to that hidden place in her gut. Cupping her hand to her mouth, she jumped up, sprinted to the bathroom.
The nightmare was back.
* * * *
"Demetri, you shouldn't have awakened her." Father Kenny swiveled in the chair as he tugged at the starched white Episcopalian collar that was too tight around his neck. His expression flat and voice as calm as always as he relaxed his body against the leather and intertwined his fingers together at the nape of his neck.
Captain Demetrius Perry looked past him to the clock on the far wall. His eyes unreadable and mystical, gave nothing away. He glanced at Father Kenny through a veiled darkness none of the pack understood. Didn't want to.
"It was time."
"What if she's not?"
"And if she refuses?"
He didn't want to think of the implication of her refusing. He glared at Father Kenny but looked past him. "Then I die."
* * * *
* * * *
Captain Demetrius Perry of Fire Station Two-Two, closed his eyes, sucked in a deep breath and let it out on a rush of air. His heartbeat escalating in his chest and pressing against his ribs sent once forbidden sensations surging through his body. He didn't like the feelings surging through his body. If Stormy Knight made him feel this way and she was a door away, what would happen when she was in front of him?
He'd seen Stormy numerous times, too many to count. She pulled him to her with such strength he had to have her. Have her near him. Become a part of him and vice versa. Demetrius had been in her dreams, her thoughts. He knew more about her than he wished. Private things no one should have been privy too, but somehow she came to him in his sleep, sharing dreams, desires, passions, and lust. Shivering inward, he tucked his feelings and unfamiliar emotions back down to where they wouldn't reach up and grab at his gut.
Pushing up from the over sized desk, Demetrius walked to the far wall and threw back the heavy curtains hiding the window. Father Kenny's hand flung up to shield his eyes from the bright sunlight suddenly illuminating the room; an uncomfortable frown twisted his face.
Demetrius thought about Father Kenny's words for a moment. He's been right on more than one occasion in the past, but not this time. Kenny, the historian of the wolf. His comrade. Priest. Friend. He was the first person Demetrius met when he joined the force and would probably be the last he saw. Kenny had spent years, almost a decade teaching, and guiding his pack. Sheltering them through the many storms their minds went through and their hearts. When they couldn't confide in anyone else they confided in Father Kenny.
The captain spoke over his shoulder, "She's here."
"And, you know this how?" Father Kenny straightened his back, looked from the captain to the closed door of the office and back to the captain.
Demetrius turned his head toward the cleric, placed his index finger alongside his nose and tapped it slowly.
"Ah yes," Father Kenny pushed up from the chair and strode over to the opposite side of the room. "The proverbial beacon. How stupid of me to forget."
The loud repetitious rap on the door signaled her arrival.
"One day your senses are going to fool you and I'm going to be there to make witness."
"Captain Demetrius," the door slid open. "Firefighter Knight," Firefighter Parker announced. The door opened the remainder of the way and two people entered.
Knight strode in with confidence, dropping her duffle at her feet with a thud. The other man backed out of the room and pulled the door shut behind him.
She stood at attention, gaze locked, body stiff, arms straight at her side, "Firefighter Knight reporting for duty, Sir."
Her nervousness danced along Demetrius' skin sending flutters of anticipation through his stomach. He wanted to smile at her strength, stubbornness, but didn't.
"At ease, Knight. There's no room for formalities in this fire station."
She relaxed her legs a fraction and clasped her hands together behind her back.
"Lighten up and take a seat." He bore his gaze into her... testing, but she refused to look away. "I'd rather stand, sir." Her shoulders loosened and she let out a quiet breath.
Captain Demetrius Perry's expression stilled and his gaze cut from her to Father Kenny. Pulling a file out of the drawer, he opened it and began to read its contents. A minute passed before he closed it, then looked up and caught her gaze.
"Extensive. You are an excellent firefighter, but you could be better if--"
"Captain, may I speak freely." Knight cut him off.
"As free as you want. Like I said there are no formalities here." He settled back into the soft leather of the chair.
"I don't understand what I did to get transferred . . .here." She took a step toward the seat facing the desk. "Am I being reprimanded?" She folded her body into the chair and clasped her hands together in her lap.
He let out a heady laugh. "Punished, is that what you think? This is the best damn fire station in the state," slapping his open hand on the desk. The sound loud and sharp sliced through the air. "We are the toughest, meanest, bad assesses around. There's a waiting list to come here."
Unfolding his body from behind the desk, he took a few steps toward her and spoke into her ear. "I requested your transfer. You have talents that were being wasted at the other station. You used to be a hot shot until they stuck you over at one-oh-one. Put those crap ideas of desk jobs and research out of your head. Don't you get tired of everyone going about his or her day doing everything that is asked? Not asking any questions. Everything by the book."
Her body tensed and her energy stood the hairs on the back of his neck and arms. Her scent, wild and tamed, fresh and old tightened his gut. He felt his eyes grow from chocolate brown to black then red almost instantly. Demetrius turned his head, as he sucked in a lung full of air and held it there until her scent singed his lungs. He straightened his back and blew it out in one long slow puff.
"Isn't that how it is supposed to be? By the book." She glanced in his direction. "I've never been rebellious." She mumbled, her voice low and unsteady. It almost cracked.
"Yeah, sure, by the book and it drives you out of your mind, doesn't it? How often does your skin itch for excitement?" He asked a question he didn't expect her to answer. "Your talent has been wasted for the last time."
"I don't understand."
"You will." He rotated his neck, rounded his shoulders and stepped to the door. He pulled it open. "Parker!"
The same man who walked her into the office materialized.
"Show Stormy. . ." a subtle laugh rumbled from his throat, "Stormy Knight where she bunks and get her stored away."
"Right away, Captain." Parker grabbed her duffle from the floor and held the door open.
Knight seized her bag from his hand, "I don't need you to carry my gear," her voice firm. She paused at the door, turned and faced the captain. "Nothing to laugh at, sir, family name. But if you ask me, a curse."
More than you know.
Demetrius' skin had begun to boil as soon as Stormy walked into his office. It itched from inside out making him want to tear it away from his bones to scratch it. If he hadn't been alpha he'd have had no control over the pull and would have changed at that very instant. No woman and he meant no woman had ever had that effect on him. Only the alpha to his alpha could pull the beast from him.
Stormy was his.
She disappeared behind the closed door. Father Kenny stepped out of the shadows, walked over to the chair and sat down. "She's a tough one, not like the others."
"This is what I was telling you. They weren't ... alpha."
"You're going to have to be careful. Take it easy. Slow."
The Captain arched an eyebrow and shot him a confused look. Father Kenny placed his index finger under his eye and tugged on the lower lid. Good. Kenny hadn't noticed the firmness stretching against the fabric of his pants. Heat flooded his body when Stormy entered the office. Demetrius felt his flesh rise as soon as a whiff of her scent fractured his shields in one quick stab and settled into his brain. He'd wanted to take her right then and there. Push everyone out of his office and lay her across his desk. Her strength was going to be trouble.
Demetrius drew in a deep breath, held it for a brief second and let it out slowly. "She has power." He rubbed his temples. "Her aura stood the hairs on my arms." He unconsciously stroked his hand down its length.
Father Kenny leaned in and lowered his voice. "Are you sure?"
"The dream torments her. It's strong." He closed his eyes and inhaled a lung full of air and captured the subtle scent that was Stormy.
"How much time do we have?"
"Eight full moons, maybe less." The remnants of energy pricked its way down his back. A subtle frown he didn't let hit his eyes tugged at the corners of his mouth. He didn't like the way it settled in the pit of his stomach and twitched the muscles in his thighs and groin. He closed his eyes to consider the possibilities. "What do you think?"
Father Kenny laughed. It was light, almost a chuckle. "Like you said ... it was time."