A Gift of Darkest Magic
Would you be willing to betray the person you love in order to save their life?
Clarissa's husband Matt is dying of cancer. They've tried everything that medicine has to offer, both traditional and experimental, and nothing's worked. Clarissa spends her days in the hospital, watching the man she loves slip closer and closer to certain death.
When her sister tells her she knows a way to save Matt, but it involves visiting a local club run by vampires, Clarissa is outraged that her sister would believe something so insane. But then she learns the truth.
Braden, the sexy and mysterious vampire who runs the club, does indeed have the means to save Matt, but he demands a high payment in return. He doesn't want money, her blood, or even her life…he wants something she never expected. Clarissa has a choice—spend twenty-four hours in Braden's bed or let her husband die.
But what she never foresaw was how much more the vampire would truly want after he'd given her the gift of the darkest magic.
Content Warning: infidelity, light bondage, anal sex, and rough sex
The quiet drip of the IV and the occasional bleep of the monitor were the only sounds in the dim hospital room. Clarissa Blair held the cold hand of her husband, Matthew. Matt's diagnosis of cancer, just after Christmas, had been a horrible surprise. His condition rapidly deteriorated. The vibrant forty-year-old lay reduced to a thin husk, wasting away in the small room on the fourth floor of Mercy General Hospital. Clarissa could only wait and mourn quietly. She'd tried to hide her pain and stay positive for Matt, but it was getting harder to pretend as he slipped closer to the end of his life.
Their twin seven-year-old daughters spent a lot of time with her mother. She didn't want them to remember their father as the corpse she saw each day when she came to the hospital after work. Her life was a cycle of working and grieving. She knew the girls missed her, but she just didn't have the strength to be there for them and keep up with the day-to-day battle of holding herself together. Matt was leaving them.
The sound of the door opening roused her from the dark, sad thoughts. She stood up and hugged the visitor. "Hi, sis."
Caren, her younger sister, breezed into the room smelling of sunshine and fresh air, in contrast to the stale stench of death she'd come to associate with her husband's hospital room. "How is he today?"
Her sister's sadness only added to the weight in Clarissa's heart. "About the same. The nurse said last night was tough, but he pulled through. He's a strong fighter." She knew the last words sounded bitter. He was the strongest man she'd ever known; she couldn't understand why he couldn't beat the disease ravaging him. His once handsome face was pale and sunken. Her Matt had left long ago, leaving the dying man in his place. Her Matt would never have abandoned her and their daughters as this man was doing.
For a long moment, Caren looked into her face. She knew Caren wanted to say something, but was holding back.
"Go ahead and say what's on your mind. You're always so afraid of saying something that'll make me cry. I'm past that stage now. Just talk, you're irritating me." She knew her shrill statement bordered on cruel, but she didn't care. What was the use of pleasantries when her whole life was over and she'd never be happy again?
"Sorry, sweetie," Caren whispered, laying a gentle hand on Clarissa's shoulder.
The simple act of kindness tore at her soul, making her want to lash out again. She shrugged off her sister's caring touch. The unwavering love in the deep turquoise eyes, the same shade as her own, sent a little stab of guilt through Clarissa. "I'm the one who should be sorry, but seriously just tell me what's on your mind."
Caren gave her a weak smile. "You know I love Matt too."
Clarissa nodded. Matt had no siblings. She'd married him when Caren was still in high school and he'd taken to her sister as if she were his own. "I know." She sighed.
"I think I know a way to save him, but I need your help," Caren whispered.
Clarissa's eyes narrowed. Her whole body began shaking. "How dare you!" She hissed at her beloved younger sister.
"Really. I mean it, Clarissa. I think I know a way that we can save Matt's life." She said the words with genuine hope.
"We've tried faith healers, herbs, expensive specialists, what more can there be? I can't believe you'd spout such bullshit. Especially when he's so close to…" She couldn't say "the end", but it was true. Her husband only had a few more weeks to live, maybe less. The doctors had made it perfectly clear. It was time to give up hope. She'd already picked out his casket and bought the plot. Matt was gone.
"I'm not pulling your leg, or giving you false hope. I saw it work!"
~About the Author~
Ashlynn Monroe is a busy wife and mom. She enjoys writing about anything and everything paranormal or fantasy related. She spends most of her time daydreaming up her next tale of romance.
A love that transcends time…
As her 25th birthday approaches, Riley Sparrow begins to dream of a handsome, intriguing stranger. Each night the dreams get more intense and the stranger starts leaving her clues to his whereabouts. The dreams always end in a whisper…
Riley has denied her birthright her entire life. She descends from a strong line of witches and warlocks, but she's refused her powers up until now. With the help of her estranged grandfather she learns that her mystery man is from the past and his life is in danger. Will her grandfather help her travel back to 1963 to save the man she believes she's meant to be with? A man she knows nothing about but feels a strong connection to.
If she finds him, can she save him from the evil that haunts them both? By securing his past, she knows there can never be a future for them in her time.
Content Warning: contains sensual sex scenes
Riley closed her eyes and let the heat of the water engulf her tired muscles. Resting her head against the bath pillow, she cleared her mind. The steam seeped out from the bubbles and swirled around the room. Soon the mirror and windows were fogged and a scented mist surrounded the bathroom, creating a relaxing atmosphere. A week's worth of sleepless nights had taken their toll and Riley drifted off.
The squeak of the faucet and the silence that followed distracted her tranquil thoughts. She opened her eyes to find him sitting on the edge of the tub looking at her. For a moment, she felt self-conscious. She glanced down and discovered her body covered in thick, white bubbles. He couldn't see anything but the tops of her shoulders, neck, and face.
"Sorry," he said. "I was afraid the water would overflow."
"Am I awake?"
He shook his head. She noted his green eyes sparkled even in the dim lighting of the bathroom.
"Well, then how—"
"It's complicated." His thin, pink lips formed a small smile. "I can't explain now."
"There isn't enough time to make you understand while you're in your current state. We need much more time. You can get that for us."
"Are you real or am I crazy?"
"I'm very real, just stuck between realms. I've been waiting for you for a long time." He slid off the side of the tub and knelt down on the floor. "I'm afraid I can't stay very long. I keep trying to figure out how to increase the length of my visits but nothing seems to work."
"I don't know you."
"You will." He reached for the clip in her hair. "May I?"
Once he'd freed her hair from its confines, he smoothed the damp locks out with his hand. "I like when you wear it down. It's so pretty." He continued to stroke her hair. "You're just as beautiful as I remember."
"How do you know me?" She shifted her position to face him. She breathed in his crisp scent. He smelled of spice, maybe a hint of cinnamon.
"I…" He trailed off when his gaze caught her exposed breasts. He looked lost in a distant memory.
When she'd turned to face him she'd upset the bubbles shielding her. Her nipples hardened as she watched him take in her flesh. She no longer felt embarrassed.
"I have to go."
"You keep leaving me. I don't like it." Each time he left, he took a small piece of her with him.
"That's why you need to find me." He leaned forward. "I know you can. You're very powerful." He brushed his lips against her mouth. A rush of warmth coursed through her and settled between her legs. "Find me, Riley." He kissed the corner of her mouth, lingering a second longer than usual. She took the opportunity to run her tongue along his soft lips. "Find me now."
"How?" She wanted more than anything to find this man. "What do I need to do?"
"Tucker…" he whispered.
Riley slipped off the bath pillow and under the cold water. She quickly sat up and looked around. The bubbles had evaporated into the freezing water.
Did she turn the faucet off, or did…
I must be crazy.
She thought for a moment. Her mystery man had left her a big clue tonight. Now she needed to figure out what Tucker Sparrow had to do with any of this. It looked as if she would be paying a visit to a man she hadn't seen in a decade.
~About the Author~
Ella Jade has been writing for as long as she can remember. As a child, she often had a notebook and pen with her, and now as an adult, the laptop is never far. The plots and dialogue have always played out in her head, but she never knew what to do with them. That all changed when she discovered the eBook industry. She started penning novels at a rapid pace and now she can’t be stopped.
Ella resides in New Jersey with her husband and two young boys. When she’s not chasing after her kids, she’s busy writing, attending PTO meetings, kickboxing, and scrapbooking. She hopes you’ll get lost in her words.