His breath touched her throat, and tingles rushed over her skin like a flash fire leaving a burning warmth over her body. Moisture caressed her skin when the tip of his tongue slid down her neck. One finger swept her auburn hair to the side, tucking it neatly behind her ear as his tongue changed to kisses, up her neck until his teeth tugged gently, sensually on the lobe of her ear. The tip of his tongue tickled, drawing a circle, dipped in her ear, and his breath, warm, oh so warm, touched her like a whisper.
Sara moaned, twisting her head, welcoming more. She moaned again when the tongue left her ear, when kisses traveled down her throat and settled into arousing little nibbles at her shoulder. Her fingers clawed into the sheets. Her back arched, offering more of her breast as his hand cupped the soft mound, and his thumb stroked across her nipple through the silken cloth of her nightgown. Sara twisted, wanting still more. His mouth, she wanted his mouth, teasing, suckling, arousing the hard pebble of her nipple the way it had her ear.
“Please,” she begged and then jerked, horrified, at what she heard come from her own lips.
Sara jerked awake, sweating and panting. She moaned again, covering her face in shame. What was wrong with her? Were the damned dreams going to haunt her the rest of her life? How could she be so aroused and wanting in a dream and so cold in the face of reality?
“Oh, God,” she groaned, and rolled from the bed to stagger to the bathroom. Leaning both hands on the vanity for support, she stared at herself in the mirror. “If this doesn’t stop, I’m going to go crazy.” A snort followed that declaration. “Maybe I already am.”
Her body was on fire, slow to cool or relax. She wanted more, more than she would allow the dream to give her. Much, much more than she could accept when it was offered by a flesh and blood, living dream of a man. Going cold whenever David touched her, she could not respond to him in body in even a fraction of what she did in a dream.
“What’s wrong with you?” she asked the flushed face in the mirror.
Her bleak expression with haunted, deep brown eyes stared back without an answer. Her hand went to the spot on her neck, where she had first felt his breath, and traveled to her collarbone where his tongue had stopped. A shudder shook her, and it was not from the cool October night. Desire, base, primeval desire swept through her. She fought not to touch and rub herself while she thought of where the dream would have gone had she not shaken herself awake. His hand would have eased the thin strap of her nightgown off her shoulder. His lips would have kissed the bared mount of breast cupped in his hand. She would have looked down into sapphire blue eyes with her fingers stroking through his dark, ebony hair. David, her David, with every tiny flaw of his face altered to perfection. Her fingers would have closed into fists in the waves of his raven hair when his lips closed over--
“Stop it!” she ordered, her hands clenched, but in fists of empty air, not silken hair, wanting to strike the reflection that stared desperately back at her. She hated the dark circles forming under her eyes just as she hated the look of misery. Her tone changed to pleading. “You have to stop this. You have got to take control.”
Trapped behind the glass, the flat image seemed to ask, “How?”
“Why should I feel so ashamed for having an erotic dream? I shouldn’t. They’re perfectly normal.” Her reflection gave her a derisive look. “Right. I’m standing here in the middle of the night, arguing with myself. How normal is that? How normal is it that I dream of begging him for more, jerk myself awake to stop him and when awake, freeze up the instant the real man touches me? Huh? You want to tell me that?”
From deep in the back of her mind, she knew.
Sara sank to the floor, hands over her face. She did know or was afraid she knew that she would never be able to break free of her past to let a real man touch her. She would spend time again in the middle of the night, running on a treadmill without ever going anywhere to work off the wanting of her body and the accompanying headache. How appropriate, running and getting nowhere, for at twenty-six years old, that was her life.
To humor him she threw her arms straight out to her sides. She also shifted her weight to one foot, cocking one hip. She looked comical, deliberately, to make fun of the position and the reason behind it.
“I don’t feel a thing,” she told him.
“You have to do it right and be serious. Right palm up, left down and your face to the heavens.”
Instead, her fingers curled protectively, and she dropped her arms. “It’s silly,” she retorted, but silly was not how she felt. She felt threatened and apprehensive, both of which aggravated her headache.
The people who wrote that book did not take lightly the ritual of purifying a room with salt water and burning sulfur in a specific kind of pot to create their worshipping altar. Waiting for the dark of the moon to bury the pot was no joke to them, either. They found no humor in the incantations recited word for exact word during the complicated ceremony. Nor did they laugh over holding the star position, calling cosmic power to them.
“Some people believe in this,” David said absently.
Sara’s stomach twisted into a knot. “Some used to believe in Santa Claus, too,” she managed to say through a sudden sense of panic and old memories surfacing, ones she hated. She’d never believed in Santa Claus. Her father had seen to that. No tooth fairies or Easter bunnies had ever been in her life. Halloween especially. That was never, ever–ever--celebrated, but it was never forgotten, either.
“You can’t learn to be Santa Claus,” David told her seriously, “but there are ways to learn to increase certain abilities.”
“You believe in that stuff?” she asked with narrowed eyes.
“I’ve seen it,” he said darkly, then seemed to shake himself and smiled at her. “I have had some psychic experiences. I wanted us to study it. I thought it was something fun we could do together since I’ve seen indications that you have some ESP abilities. You could explore, identify and increase them through something like this.”
“I’m not interested,” she said flatly.
A radiant smile touched his mouth as he closed the book. That smile went right to the core of her, just as it had the first time she had seen it four months before. With the first glimpse of his ebony hair and six foot two inch body, wide shoulders tapered to his narrow waist, lean hips and long legs, she had been drawn to him. When he had turned around and she’d seen the color of his eyes, his face and that smile, she had wanted him. She had wanted to feel his hands and mouth on her, just as she had felt them in her dreams for nearly four years of nightly visits. As soon as she saw David, that dream face crystallized, a face that until then had only been an impression. She felt—no, she knew at that moment—she would spend the rest of her life with him. When David crossed the room to her, she had been sure she had found the man who began visiting her symbolically in the dream realm to chase away the nightmares, even while telling herself the whole idea was a crazy fancy.
“You look like hell, Sara. What’s going on?”
“Just tired and a headache.” A constant headache though she didn’t elaborate the point. “My days off are coming up. I’ll get rested up then.”
“When was your last physical?”
“Two months ago. I’m fine,” she stated, but quickly amended it under Karen’s steady, chocolate-eyed gaze. “I will be. I just need some down time after all the extra hours I’ve been putting in.” As an excuse, it sounded weak even to her.
“You have sick days coming.”
Sara shook her head. “I’m fine, really.”
“My gut instinct says something’s going on. Want to talk about it?”
“No,” Sara said, but wanting to talk to someone won out over holding it all in. “Nothing really, just nightmares.”
“I was under the impression those had eased. Has something happened to set them off again?”
That she'd had nightmares after the rape was no secret. Neither was the rape, though Sara would have preferred it hadn’t been public knowledge. It was hard to hide when she came to in the same hospital she worked in and every time she slept she woke up in screams that had everyone on the floor running to her.
Sara blurted out, “You mean like a boyfriend that wants to have sex?”
Karen smiled slightly. “You say sex like it’s something dirty. Lingering after effects?”
“I don’t know that I will ever get over it,” Sara admitted, then quoted tartly. “The necessity for fornication is the temptation visited on man because of the wickedness of Eve.”
Looking shocked at first, Karen broke into a soft, bubbly laugh, leaning back in her chair. “Whoever told you that?”
Sara, surprised herself by what had come out of her mouth, had to think about whether or not that subject was something she wanted to expand on. Discussing her past was something she always avoided, but she decided she must want to talk even if Karen wasn’t a friend since her mouth seemed to operate on its own. “My father was a real fire and brimstone preacher. Everything remotely resembling pleasure was a sin to him. When boys started to look at me, I started getting the sermons he usually reserved for my mother, all about our sinful natures. I was thirteen when he died from a stroke, in the middle of a sermon, eyes bulged and ranting.”
“I bet you thanked God for it.”
Sara’s breath caught over the bluntness of the statement, but she admitted, “I did and suffered the guilt for it, almost as much as I did for thanking God when I discovered he wasn’t my biological father. I was adopted.”
“Sounds like he managed to skip the sin of fornication. Maybe his real problem was he couldn’t get it up.”
Sara was shocked again, but then Karen often shocked people with her blunt statements just about as often as she did with how accurate they were when she had no way of knowing what she was talking about.
“I don’t think so,” Sara said as frankly. “His sermons to my mother were usually after a lot of grunting and groaning. Thin walls.” Then, out of her mouth came one of those things she hadn’t known was coming. “Do you believe in witches?”
“The kind your father would have preached about?” Karen smiled at Sara’s stunned look. “Logical deduction. It stands to reason that if sex was a sin for him, anything paranormal would have been. I am assuming when you say witches, you mean people with paranormal abilities, not the wart-nosed, flying on a broomstick kind.”
“I don’t see the connection between sex and witches,” Sara said dryly and shifted self consciously in her chair, “but do you believe in them?”
You know how they tell writers to make sure their opening line is intense and something powerful enough to hook the reader to keep reading. Well, let's just say Larion Wills is the master at opening lines. Not only is the first sentence powerful, but also the entire story is powerful enough to keep you reading and begging for more. Sara the heroine is just that! She has been through a horrible ordeal and has been having trouble getting over what has happened to her. But she does, she conquers her fears and she lives through her worst nightmare. Then she learns of David's death and has to find a way through that as well. A strong character makes a great story. I'll warn you this story isn't for the faint of heart. It'll have you on the edge of your seat in suspense and fear wondering what is going on and what is going to happen. Wills has such talent when it comes to telling a story. She is able to write of so much going on around the characters all keeping you in the loop. Larion Wills is also known as Larriane Wills. She writes in several different genres and uses a pen name for each one. Be sure to check out Evil Reflections, it's a sure read for any paranormal and suspense fan!http://longandshortreviews.blogspot.com/2009/05/evil-reflections-by-lari\on-wills.html
Evil Reflections is one book you will want to read more than once. Full of surprising twists that have you saying "I knew it" one moment and "Oops, I was wrong" the next. The suspense holds you in its grip from the start. http://blog.lyndacoker.net/2009/04/23/wrdf-review-of-evil-reflections-by-larion-wills.aspx
Evil Reflections by Larion Wills is a difficult book to review. The plot is unique with enough twists and turns to make a pretzel. Willis successfully combines paranormal, romance, and horror. I found the depth of the plot and characters awe-inspiring. Fans of paranormal romance won't want the miss Evil Reflections.