“The mysteries of the world have been hidden from you all your life. I beseech you to stay, so that I may give you but a taste of the truth you seek.” ~ Demetri Bithanos
R&B sensation, Sharayna “Rayne” Piers, lives her life dedicated to her music. On stage and in the studio, she pours her heart and soul into the lyrics of her songs, hoping to deliver a piece of herself to the listeners. But ever since her twentieth birthday, her seemingly normal life has taken a turn to the dark side.
Piercing screams and horrendous acts of murder seizes her mind, haunting her night and day. Women similar to her in age are vanishing all over the world without a trace. It leaves Rayne wondering if the rash of disappearances is connected to her visions.
Soon, she will discover the world she was raised in is just a cover for what really hides in the shadows, and that her life as a human is a deception to mankind, a guise to conceal her true nature. Will she shun the darkness that has befallen her or step up to the throne and become what she was created to be?
*Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Interracial Romance, Series*
Cover Artist: Karri Klawiter
The erratic pounding beneath her chest had her pulse racing. Her body felt strange. A static charge started at her head and worked its way down to her toes. In waves, it rolled back up her body and left the center of her back pulsating. “What the hell…?”
Bewildered, Rayne reached back under her shirt, and brushed her fingers over her dragon tattoo. She vividly remembered when she got it. It was years ago in Hong Kong. On that day, she was a little tipsy, and feeling mighty damn adventurous.
As she stroked her tatted flesh, it thumped against her fingers like a heartbeat.
In the thick of her confusion, something really freaky happened. Time slowed down. Rayne turned in a circle watching everything in motion drag to a sluggish pace. After that, everything went mute. She couldn’t hear the sounds of cars driving by, or the chatter of the people walking along the strip, who literally moved in slow motion as they sauntered by.
It was like being caught up in some bizarre dream.
A presence… She felt a presence that made her insides flutter. She’d felt this presence before, in her mind. Could it be him? Demetri? Had he actually found her?
Nervously, she clutched the end of her shirt and scanned the area for just a glimpse of him. No one stood out. No one even looked her way. Was he teasing her, or was her mind truly playing tricks on her? “That’s it, make me even crazier than I already am,” she muttered.
Along the side of the street, a cab pulled up next to her. The driver, a middle aged man with a cropped haircut and a broad smile, stepped out of the car. He trotted around the vehicle to where she stood and opened the back door. Sweeping his hand through the air, he gestured for her to enter.
Without asking any questions, she slid into the cab.
It was a quiet ten minute ride to the beach. Still smiling, the driver helped her out, and then waved for her to follow him.
Her Adidas’ rubber soles dug into the sand as they trudged along the deserted beach.
Off in the horizon, a pale pink tint from the moon beamed over the small waves in the ocean and highlighted the grains of sand. They sparkled under her appraisal like a trillion tiny diamonds in the spotlight.
The driver led her to a small gazebo near the shore. Sheer red curtains covered the openings. Through the transparent fabric a chaise lounge sat in the center of it. On the side, was a tall bucket filled with ice, chilling a large bottle. Probably wine.
Long metal torches on either side of the shelter added to the glow already cast from the moon above.
“This is lovely, but why’d you bring me out…?” She turned to find the driver gone. “Ohh-kay, Houdini, where’d ya’ go?”
A gentle breeze blew ripples over the water and pushed the curtains back, as if to welcome her into the cozy enclosure.
Swallowing hard, she moved toward it.
A deep croon brushed the side of her neck. “Do you approve?”
Startled, she whirled around and tumbled backwards. The heel of her shoe dipped into a patch of soft sand and she lost her balance.
A pair of hands caught her by the arms. She was jerked upright and drawn against a hard masculine body. Her breath came out in shorts spurts as his arms circled her waist. “Oh God,” was all she could whimper.
Deathly afraid to look up into his face, she clutched the lapels of his jacket and squeezed her eyes shut. Panic picked at her nerves. Suddenly, she realized she was holding her breath.
Breathe, Rayne, breathe.
This was no dream, or vision. This was actually happening. He’s here! He’s really here!
The enticing scent that made her horny as all hell swirled around her in teasing ribbons of ecstasy. She couldn’t help but breathe him in with every inhale.
His long fingers slipped beneath her chin and tilted her face up to his. “At your request, I am here.”
She opened her eyes and her next breath got caught in her throat. Whoa!
Jet black, wavy hair draped his broad shoulders, and framed his porcelain face. Mid-high cheekbones and a narrow-bridged nose added to the perfection of his features. Accented by a fan of thick black lashes, bright, exotic eyes that shimmered like the ocean were fixed on her.
Plainly put, this man was crazy hawt, a real stunner. Never in her life had she seen a man, or woman, so incredibly beautiful. He was unreal. Just looking at him made every muscle in her body tingle, every nerve quiver and her lady needs increase. “Demetri?” she whispered, giving into the shudders darting up and down her spine.
His plush lips curved up into a sexy smirk, enhancing his beauty as he slowly removed her shades. “Hello, Angel.”