Diary of Dreams
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by Madison Layle
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Romance
Description: Dori Wagner's dreams of true love were shattered by an obsessively violent boyfriend. Now a timid hermit, she pens her erotic fantasies in a diary. Then a new neighbor shows a knack for knowing her every desire. Is he a stalker or the man of her dreams? Sloan Michaels is a psychic who dreams prophetic visions, and when they involve strangers, they're usually bad. Tired of being viewed as an oddity, he moves to a new neighborhood, vowing to keep his ability a secret. But that changes when he starts dreaming of kissing his quirky downstairs neighbor. Warning: This title contains explicit language and graphic sex.
eBook Publisher: Cobblestone Press,
eBookwise Release Date: June 2007
34 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [56 KB]
Reading time: 32-45 min.
"Diary of Dreams is a short little story that brings together a beautiful soul, Dori, and a compassionate soul, Sloan. Each character has their own way of dealing with what they want, Dori writes and Sloan dreams. ... Sloan is a man any woman would love to have: considerate, appreciative, and extremely hot. Together they were a perfect set, playing off of each other in a beautiful dance. This is the first Madison Layle story this reader has read and I assure you it will not be my last. With believable characters and sensual chemistry, Diary of Dreams was a wonderful way to top off my night. 5 Angels!"--Jessica, Fallen Angel Reviews
The rain beating against the window woke Sloan Michaels from the latest dream that plagued his nights. He was surprised he'd been able to doze at all. When the dreams came, he seldom managed a full night's sleep and had to nap whenever he could. They were like premonitions, at least in part. The challenge was determining which parts would actually happen.
The first time he'd had one, he was twelve and dreamed of a freakish hail storm. He warned his mother to park her car on a lower level of the parking garage at her office, but she just smiled and told him not to worry about it. Dreams weren't reality, she'd said. They were just dreams. She parked on the top level, as was her habit. The storm hit that afternoon.
Since then, he'd been able to use his paranormal talents to help solve a few crimes and was now on a first-name basis with the police chief. He agreed to help when he could on the condition of complete anonymity, but it wasn't long before rumors got out. Now when he walked into the police station, some people gave him odd looks.
He tried to deal with the stares, but when word reached those in his old neighborhood, things got out of hand. Either folks shied away from him, thinking him nuts, or they showed up on his doorstep at all hours asking to have their palm read or whether he could channel some lost loved one. That's when he decided to move, and vowed to keep his abilities on a need-to-know basis.
Sloan checked the clock by his bed. It wasn't that late. And he was wide awake. Might as well continue unpacking.
"This dream is different," he said aloud, wanting to fill the room with sounds other than the downpour's constant pounding. The storm probably explained the sensations of rain he'd experienced in the dream.
He pulled out a dresser drawer, stuffed some T-shirts into it, and let his mind wander back to the scenes he could remember. One contained a woman seated at a computer screen, her fingers poised over the keyboard. Another featured a hand reaching for keys in a puddle. It was a man's hand. Then the same woman suddenly stood before him, soaking wet, her face deep in shadow. He wished he could've seen her face. Yet the entire picture rarely came to him in a single dream. It was usually unveiled like pieces of a puzzle. Dream after dream. Until they haunted him.
Sometimes the dreams were good. He'd known about his sister's twins before she and her husband even knew they were expecting. But sometimes the outcome was bad. Especially when the dreams involved strangers, and he didn't know the woman in this dream. Would she be involved in a car accident tonight? Was that why he'd seen those keys?
Was the Good Samaritan who picked up the keys a kidnapper? A rapist? A killer?
This dream confused him. Normally, viewing them was like watching snippets of home movies, as if someone else had filmed the events to show him later. This time, however, it felt as if he were the cameraman. As if it had been his hand that had picked up the keys. But that couldn't possibly be right.
Rubbing his chin, he realized he hadn't shaved. Where was his shaving kit? A quick look around his new apartment made him realize he'd left it in the car. He glanced at the rain-splattered window and heard thunder rumble. Well, he'd certainly picked a rainy day to move. He could wait until the storm stopped, but then what were umbrellas for? He grabbed his and headed for the door. * * * *
"That was a great flick, don't you think?" Peggy asked. "Hey, Dori. You in there?"
"Huh? Oh, yeah." Dori flashed her friend an apologetic smile and pushed her glasses back up her nose. "I guess my mind's just a little ... I don't know."
"Daydreaming about that handsome new tenant in your apartment building?" Peggy gave her a smirk.
"The new guy who moved into 204 this morning. You haven't seen him?" Peggy fanned her face and sighed dramatically. "You really need to get away from that computer some time, you know?"
"Yeah, sure." Dori peered through the flapping wipers at the dark streets ahead, and then turned a sly glance at her friend. As the resident gossip of Heartland Valley Apartments, Peggy knew everyone and their grandmothers, too. By the tapping of her florescent pink polished nails on the wheel, Dori knew her friend was itching to tell her about the new neighbor. "So what's his name?"
"Sloan. Isn't that just dreamy?" Peggy wiggled her finely arched eyebrows.
"You'd think Rumplestiltskin was dreamy if it meant the chance for you to play matchmaker."
"I would not!"
"Probably call him 'Rumpy' for short," Dori said, fighting back the chuckles that threatened to erupt.
Peggy bit her lip and tried to remain serious. "Only if he had a great rump."
"Peggy!" Giggles filled the car's interior. "You are so bad."
"Hey, a great ass is one of my top five requirements. Besides, you can't blame me if I'm good at helping friends find their soul mates."
"Chuck and Dinah were not soul mates."
"Yeah, well, that was just one tiny mistake. Not enough to make me give up trying." Peggy pressed the brake, and the car skidded to a stop at a red light. "Give me some time, and I'll have you out of that shell you call an apartment. Being cooped up in there day in and day out isn't good for you. You need to get out more."
"I do get out. I went to see a movie tonight with you--and in a thunderstorm, no less."
"Not with me, you dolt. On a date. A real date. When's the last time you went to Cowboys for Ladies Night?" Peggy asked, shifting the gears of her Volkswagen Bug. One would think by the way she drove that she thought the car was a Ferrari.
"I don't have any desire to meet the boozers at that bar," she said, putting her hand on the dash as Peggy pulled around a Chevy hatchback. Burping men with beer-bellies did not appeal to Dori. She wanted a fun, sensual romance with an insatiable, sexy guy.
"They aren't all boozers, and if you'd come once in a while you'd know that. Seriously, Dori. When's the last time you got laid?"
Dori grabbed the "oh, shit" handle above the door and hung on with a death grip while refusing to look at Peggy. The woman had a knack for being embarrassingly blunt.
"Uh huh," Peggy said, as if Dori had answered her question. "That's what I thought. I hope you're at least getting your jollies with that vibe I gave you last year."
"What? Oh." Peggy stomped the brake and whipped into the parking lot of the apartment complex. The Chevy behind them blared its horn.
Not about to admit she had on more than one occasion enjoyed the gift--something she never would've been brave enough to buy for herself--Dori changed the subject. "I don't know why I ever agree to let you drive. It'd be safer if I took the bus and met you at the theater instead."
"You know you love it," Peggy said. "See ya later, if you can leave your cocoon long enough to enjoy some sunshine."
Dori grinned. It would probably still be raining tomorrow. She flung open the door and made a mad dash for her apartment building.
As she ran, water splattered, and the wind whipped off her cap. Her hand went to her head, trying to catch it, but she forgot she was holding her keys. They fell into a puddle with a plunk. Stifling a curse, she retrieved her soppy cap and turned to dive in after her keys.
A hand was already pulling them out. The arm attached to that hand was dry, as if the rain wouldn't dare dampen the tanned skin draped over those sinewy muscles.
Dori wiped droplets of water from her lashes and followed that arm up past a well-toned shoulder to an amused grin on the face of a man who needed a shave. But not on her account. Some men could get away with a five o'clock shadow. This guy certainly could.
He held an umbrella in his free hand and, without permission or much thought, she ducked under it, not that it would help. She was already drenched. "Thanks."
His amused look warmed to something she couldn't read. He looked at her as if he knew all her secrets. Realizing she stood alone in a darkened parking lot with a total stranger and that he had her keys, she felt the sudden urge to shiver.
Instead, she hugged herself and took a half step away from him. The rain from the umbrella's edge poured down her back. She was still way too close, but she didn't move any farther.
Show no fear. The cool, steady drip of rain down her spine did little to help shore up her backbone. The man was so tall. And solid. And handsome.
Dori raised her chin and held out her hand. "My keys, please?"
"Sure. Here you are." He dropped them onto her palm.
Damn, his voice fit his body. And it made her think of hot, sultry nights, candlelight, chocolate strawberries, and fine wine.
"You headed that way?" He pointed toward the front door of her apartment building, a locked door to the main foyer separating the six apartments inside. Another layer of security. At least, it offered safety if one was on the other side of that door. For a second she thought about lying to him, not certain she wanted this stranger to know where she lived, but he'd obviously seen where she was headed.
"Me, too," he said, a smile curving one side of his mouth.
Sure he was. She gave him a skeptical look and backed up another step into the downpour. Now what? Did he expect her to invite him in for a nightcap because he'd rescued her keys from the great puddle?
"Want to share the umbrella?"
"That won't be necessary," she said, moving farther away from him. "I'm already drenched. See ya." She forced herself to walk, not run, to the door.
Her hand was shaking so much she couldn't get her key into the lock.
"Allow me." His words rolled over her shoulder in a warm wave that made her heart race. His arm brushed hers as he reached around her, making her breath hitch in her throat.
She expected him to take her keys, but he slipped his own into the lock and turned. She went still. He had a key?
Dori knew her eyes were wide when she looked back at him. "You--"
"--live here, too," he finished, amusement creasing the corners of his hazel eyes, which were more visible in the light of the foyer. He shook the rain from the umbrella before allowing the door to close.
"--pleased to meet you. My name's Sloan." He held out his hand.
She just stood there, staring.
"And you are?" He raised his hand.
"Uh ... oh! Right. Hi. I'm Dori ... I mean, Dorothy. Well, my real name is Dorothy, but my friends call me Dori." Great, could I sound any more foolish?
She grabbed his hand, pumped it twice, and immediately felt the warmth of his touch streak up her arm. She tugged her hand away. "Um ... thanks again for your help."
"Any time." He grinned, took one step up, and then paused to look back at her. "See ya 'round ... Dori."
"Sure. See ya." She didn't move, but watched him walk up the stairs.
Now that's a nice rump.
Dori slapped her hand over her mouth before the giggle escaped. What on earth had gotten into her? She unlocked her door and walked inside. When she saw herself in the mirror, she groaned.