Valentine’s Free Read – Part 3

Hi all,

I’m running a wee bit behind this week, so this should have gone up yesterday – hope you’ll forgive me 🙂 It’s been a bit of a busy week, had my shiny new Jane Austen book club on Tuesday, which was great fun. Have also been getting on with Psychic Shadows and think can see the end in sight – though a bit more torturing for my poor characters before we get there *evil author laugh*.

Anyone, to hopefully make it up to you (and because I was planning on finishing this around Valentine’s Day) this is a slightly longer installment. We left Jess alone and bitter on Valentine’s Day and just having opened a strange bottle from a (possibly) crazy old woman. Things are about to start hotting though – hope you enjoy! As always comments most welcome. Have a good week x

Nothing happened. What were you expecting, dumbass? She told herself crossly, and was just about to put it back down when a single green tendril of smoke slowly, lazily curled out of the top. Jess sat there frozen, as the tendril grew into a thick streamer that rose and circled and formed into a shape in front of her. Her jaw dropped to the floor as the smoke seemed to fill the room, then it slowly dispersed and a figure was stood there. Jessica shrieked, grabbing the closest thing at hand, which happened to be the empty wine bottle and brandishing it like a weapon.

As she actually made out the figure in detail though, her jaw dropped for an entirely different reason. God damn, the man in front of her was hawt! Well, for a possibly psychotic intruder, of course. He was half-naked, was the first thought that penetrated her foggy mind. Black pants hugged his long legs but he wore no top and she was faced with an expanse of bronzed skin over thick muscles, an impressive set of abs and huge arms, one of which had a strange tattoo circling round it. When she managed to drag her frankly drooling gaze upwards, it was to see thick, dark hair, down to his shoulders, framing cheekbones to die for, full lips and odd eyes that looked almost black. Their gaze caught her and she could feel herself drowning, see flickering flames in the glittering depths. She blinked, forcing herself to break the contact and those full lips smiled, sending a curl of desire through her belly.

“Who are you?” She managed to stutter.

“My name is Drakal, and I’m here to give you what you want most.”

Her knees nearly gave out on her. His voice was like chocolate, low and deep and doing funny things to her body. She ought to be screaming, to be kicking him out, but instead she felt like melting into a puddle – or jumping his bones.

He stepped forward, bringing his body within a few inches of hers and she could feel the heat coming off him. He looked down at her, and she felt that odd drowning feeling again. Concentrate!

“What’s that?” She managed, her voice going low and throaty almost against her will.

He smiled, and one hand lightly brushed down her cheek, leaving a trail of fire.

“Jessica, you need to concentrate here. I can do things that you cannot imagine, grant you your heart’s desire, but you must make a choice.”

Jess blinked rapidly, a small semblance of sanity coming back to her.

“What choice? How did you get in my house?”

He impatiently waved a hand. “You saw me appear, you just don’t wish to believe it. You summoned me on Valentine’s Day and therefore you must make a choice, and there is little time.”

Jess sank down onto the couch. Her head was starting to throb. “I don’t feel well.”

He sank to his knees in front of her, cupping her face in his hands and holding her gaze captive. “Concentrate, Jessica. Your choice is this. Either you choose love, and therefore you will be guaranteed to meet your one true love in your lifetime and you will be happy with him.”

Jess closed her eyes a moment. She’d thought she had true love and it had brought her nothing but pain. She simply didn’t believe in it anymore. “Or?” she whispered.

His voice was low. “Or you choose revenge. The man who spurned you will have everything he has done to you return to him tenfold. He will live a life of disappointment and misery and will regret his actions for the rest of his days.”

Her eyes flew open in disbelief. “You can do that?”

“I can do many things, Jessica. But think carefully, your happiness or your lover’s misery?”

Jess thought for a moment, she had no idea if this yummy, half-naked man could do what he said, but if he could then she only believed in one of those options anymore. She met his eyes and her face set. “I want revenge.”

She thought his face actually looked sad, but then it was gone as quickly as it came and he simply nodded. “As you wish.”

Jess frowned — it was that simple, was it? He didn’t seem to be showing any sign of leaving.

“Is that it?” She asked.

He smiled. “Did you expect fireworks?”

“Maybe, I don’t know. I’m half-convinced I’ve passed out from the vodka.” She flushed. “So, are you like, meant to poof back into the bottle now?”

He looked sad. “I will ‘poof’ as you say, back into the bottle when the dawn breaks. Until then I have a few precious hours of freedom.” He paused. “I can spend them elsewhere though if my presence bothers you?”

Jess shook her head. “You’re not bothering me at all, but really you only get a few hours and then you have to go back into that tiny bottle.”

He nodded.

“What’s it like?” She had to ask.

He paused. “It is cold and dark, it is light and heat, it is like being closed in and floating at the same time. It is nothingness and I am trapped there for eternity.”

Jess felt her eyes well up at the pain she heard in his voice, suddenly she felt rather petty for being so obsessed with getting back at her ex.

“I’m so sorry.” She put a hand on his arm.

He looked up, surprised and she felt the warm muscles flex under her fingers. “Why would you be sorry? I am nothing to you.”

Jess shook her head. “I’m still sorry. I can’t imagine how awful that would be. Is there anything I can do?”

He shook his head slowly, but she saw something spark in the deep blackness of his eyes.

“What?” she whispered.

To her surprise she saw colour flush along his cheeks and he abruptly rose and moved away from her.

“I’m sorry. I will find somewhere else to be for the next few hours.”

Jess jumped to her feet, grabbing his arm again. “What the hell is wrong with you?”

He turned back and she saw it this time, the blazing desire stamped across his face. She blinked, and her tongue unconsciously licked her suddenly dry lips.

“You see now, do you?” he said mockingly. “I do not need any more reminders of things I cannot have.”

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