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Authors: Ann Mayburn

Dreamer

BOOK: Dreamer
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Dreamer

A
Novel of The Chosen

 

 

By
Ann Mayburn

 

 

Dreamer

A Novel of The Chosen

By: Ann Mayburn

Published by Fated Desires Publishing, LLC.

© 2014 Ann Mayburn

ISBN: 978-1-62322-095-2

Cover Art by Scott Carpenter

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.
This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like
to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for
each person or use proper retail channels to lend a copy. If you’re reading this
book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then
please return it and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard
work of this author. To obtain permission to excerpt portions of the text,
please contact the publisher at [email protected]

All characters in this book are fiction and figments of the
author’s imagination.

Dreamer
 
 

Arrogant, powerful and dangerous, Devon King is one of the
world's greatest warriors. Yet even he is helpless against the evil that is
stalking the children of Washington DC. When the gods assign him to protect
Shan Harrison, he can't believe that the beautiful and spirited Goth girl is
the key to defeating the nightmares that haunt the city. Shan has the potential
to become one of the strongest dreamers in history, if she can survive long
enough to come into her full powers. Devon is used to getting what he wants and
he wants Shan. Her submissive nature, hidden beneath her tough exterior, calls
to the dominant side of his nature like a siren’s song.

Ashamed of her cravings, Shan fights her attraction to Devon
and tries to convince herself that what they have is only physical. The
servants of evil use her insecurity and self-doubt to try to tear Shan and
Devon apart. If Shan doesn't learn to accept her desires and Devon's love,
darkness will triumph and everyone she holds dear will be destroyed by
terrifying nightmares come to life.

Chapter One

 

 

Waiting to be greeted and admitted by a Novice, Shan
Harrison shuffled in line at the Temple of Aphrodite in downtown Washington,
D.C. Daisy, her best friend, was completing her training as a Priestess and had
asked Shan to come visit. She'd rather have spent the day in her studio working
on a new jewelry commission, but Daisy had sounded desperate on the phone.

A girl standing in line behind Shan whispered to her friend
in a snarky tone, “Is she wearing her Halloween costume? Did I miss the email
we were supposed to wear costumes today?”

Her friend told her to shut up, and Shan pretended not to
notice. It seemed like because she was a short Asian girl people expected her
to dress up in pastel froofy dresses and giggle a lot. The fact that she loved
gothic clothes and elaborate makeup just didn't mesh with preconceived notions,
so people stared. She had long ago perfected her sneer of disdain and a list of
cutting remarks that embarrassed even the most ignorant people, but she just
ignored the crowd while she stood in line. The last thing she wanted to do was
piss off Aphrodite and have her sex life cursed any more than it already was.

Maybe she had gone a bit overboard with her 1940s pinup girl
look today, but she had just broken up with the latest in a string of
controlling asshole boyfriends and needed the pick-me-up she got from looking
nice. Or at least she thought she looked nice. Her ex-would hate her outfit and
makeup. At first he’d seemed to like her style, but slowly he’d begun to
manipulate her into dressing how he wanted. When she resisted, they had
horrible fights, but when she gave in, he was so nice to her that it was hard
to remember what a douche he could be. In an effort to please him, she had
pretended to be someone she wasn't. The final straw came when he demanded she
remove the blue streaks in her long black hair and get a French manicure before
he would introduce her to his parents. After that she’d finally dumped him and
a day or two of crying later she realized she was a lot happier without him.

To celebrate her independence, she had dressed to please
herself, picking out a vintage Dior black polka dot dress with a full skirt and
shiny black patent leather belt. Thigh-high black patent leather boots
disappeared beneath the knee-length hem of the skirt. In an extra little bit of
“fuck you”
to her ex, she had added a
cobalt blue patent leather choker that matched the streaks in her waist-length
black hair. She’d also gone heavy on her eye makeup, accenting her exotic eyes
with dark eyeliner and wearing bright red lipstick.

The crowd murmured as the line moved forward. Aphrodite's
Temple was always a popular stop in the Greek Temple District. Everyone wanted
to have a good love life, and gods knew she could use the help. Her choice in
men seemed to be going from bad to worse. The elderly man in front of her
received his blessing to enter the temple, and the Novice guarding the entrance
turned to her with a smile.

“Good afternoon, Shan,” the bronze-haired novice said in a
pleasant voice. Her white tunic emphasized her breasts and a wide leather belt
around her waist made the tunic flare around her hips in a pleasing manner.
Shan was amused to see the tips of the novice’s pink sneakers peeking out from
beneath the robe.

“Hi, Alyssa. I'm here to see Daisy.”

“She's waiting for you in the Reflection Room.” Alyssa
gently took her hand, turning her wrist and admiring the skull and crossbones
charm bracelet. “Did you make this?”

Shan grinned. “Yep. On Saturday I'll be selling my jewelry
at the Egyptian Temple Bazaar. If you want, I can bring one with me.”

Someone behind them cleared their throat, and Alyssa
blushed. “Thanks.” Closing her eyes, she took Shan's hand, put it over her
chest, and said the ritual words. “Welcome to the Temple of Aphrodite. Enter
with an open heart.”

Shan shivered as the incantation worked its magic and
allowed her to step through the heavy wards that guarded the inner sanctuary of
the temple.

Her boot heels clicked on the cream marble floors as she
walked the familiar path to the Reflection Room. Daisy's mother was the High
Priestess of the temple and Shan had spent a great deal of time here while she
was growing up. While she wasn't drawn to Aphrodite's worship, the temple still
filled her with a mellow peace. It was impossible to be surrounded by this much
divine energy and not absorb some into your soul.

The doors leading to the Reflection Room opened with a
smooth hiss, and she couldn't help but smile at the sight on the other
side—Daisy reclined on a mound of oversized pillows at the other end of the
room like an ancient Greek sculpture come to life. A long and shallow pool of
clear blue water shimmered in the sunlight coming through the clear glass
ceiling. Potted plants grew thick and lush between alabaster statues of couples
in erotic poses.

Shan shut the door behind her and hurried across the room.
Despite her tough and put-together exterior, her heart was easily wounded and
her latest ex had left his mark. She needed the unconditional love of her best
friend, and a good bitch-fest about what a loser he was and how better off she
was without him. A conversation they seemed to be having with disturbing
regularity. She pushed these thoughts out of her mind and forced a smile as she
reached the spread of pillows.

“Hello, sweetheart.” Daisy rose and pulled her into a hug.
Tall and thin, Daisy would have fit on the cover of any fashion magazine if it
wasn't for her long blonde dreadlocks and the sparkling diamond of her beauty
mark piercing above her upper lip. She wore a white robe that hung off one
slender tattooed shoulder, secured with a simple bronze pin. When Daisy
achieved full status as a Priestess, she would get to wear a silver seashell
broach in the pin's place. “You look amazing. Love those boots, very fierce.”

Shan kissed her cheek, careful not to smear lipstick on her
friend. “Hey, sugar. What's so important that you had me drag myself out of bed
before noon?” As an artist, Shan had the luxury of making her own work hours.
Not that her life was easy. She pushed herself hard and rarely took a day off.

Shan took a seat on a fuchsia pillow across from Daisy then
let out a long sigh as the peace of the temple sank into her soul. She had
always loved this room. Outside, it was the middle of October and the leaves
were changing. In this magical space, summer reigned eternal.

Taking a deep breath, Daisy looked her in the eyes and
squared her shoulders. “I'm staging an intervention before you commit emotional
and sexual suicide.”

It took a few seconds for her words to get through to Shan's
stunned brain. “You're what?”

Smoothing her hands on her robe, Daisy took on the serene
look that Shan thought of as her “Priestess face”. As a favorite of her
goddess, Daisy had a deeper connection to Aphrodite than the average worshiper,
and the goddess often used the stunning blonde to bring love to those who
needed it most. “Aphrodite wants me to help you find yourself.” Daisy's blue
eyes sparkled as she added, “And I want you to stop dating arrogant,
narcissistic, controlling, self-centered, overbear—”

Shan put her hand over Daisy's mouth. Great, she’d been
hoping for Aphrodite's help, but this was a little much. Her parents’ warning
about being careful what you prayed for made her grimace. “I know I've made
some bad relationship choices, but—”

Daisy removed Shan’s hand and smiled gently. Something other
than Daisy,
more
than Daisy, looked
out from her bright blue eyes as she said in an unexpectedly lyrical voice,
“Shan, stop lying to yourself. Embrace who you are, and wonderful things will
happen.”

Divine energy moved through the air like a perfumed breeze,
and Shan hugged her knees to her chest. “I know who I am.”

Daisy considered her. “Would you like to know what I see
when I look at you, Shan?”

“No.” She hadn’t seen this coming and felt trapped. One of
the last things she wanted to do was piss off a goddess, bad things always
happened when someone did that. The sound of Daisy's chuckle raised the hair on
her arms. It caressed over her body and sped her heartbeat. Power, as rich and
warm as melted butter, rolled over her.

“I see a woman who craves dominance but is afraid to surrender
herself to a worthy master. I see a woman who fights who she is and mistakes
submission for weakness. I see a woman who deserves the love she needs but is
afraid to ask for it. What you need to ask yourself is; How do I want to live
my life? What’s important to me? Who loves me? Is it some man you hide the dark
side of your passion with? Or will you admit to yourself that you like spice
with your sex, it’s no big deal, and you’ll be with some hung like a bull man,
blissfully happy in the kind of relationship that will always challenge her
with someone she trusts with everything she has.”

Shan's breath left her body in a rush, and a tear trailed
down her cheek as her hidden needs were brought into the light by the gentle
touch of a Goddess. Denying her dark needs, those forbidden and perverted
desires she hated herself for craving, was less than useless. Good girls didn't
want their boyfriends to hit them. Nice girls didn't masturbate to BDSM
erotica. Her parents had raised her to be a strong woman, to take pride in who
she was, and to never, ever, let a man abuse her in any way

As these thoughts raced through her mind, Daisy watched her
without judgment, only compassion so immense Shan had trouble meeting her gaze.
She lay open, exposed to the core, before a hint of the divine.

“There is no shame in your desires. It is who you are.”

“I don't want to be like this,” Shan said angrily and dashed
away her tears. “I wish I could make love like normal people, but I can't
orgasm without pain”—her voice dropped to a whisper as she confessed her
darkest secret—“without being owned. It’s like I was born to be a victim.”

Daisy smiled and patted her hand. That touch soothed Shan
and chased back the shame with understanding and endless love. The touch of
someone communing with a goddess was a small reflection of being in the
presence of the divine, and Shan’s heart lightened, some of the sorrow from her
breakup easing, leaving her feeling remarkably clear headed. “You’re only a
victim if you allow yourself to be. You can be strong and fierce to the outside
world, but submissive and cherished in the security of your relationship.
Submissive doesn't mean weak.”

Shan clenched her hands into fists as she struggled to keep
her frustration under control. “I've tried that! I'm so sick of either being
with a nice guy and faking orgasms because I'm afraid to let him know what I
need or putting up with an asshole because he gives me what I want.” Her anger
drained away as Aphrodite's power soothed her and she took a deep, shivery breath
as she struggled to control her rage. She’d always had a bit of a temper and it
got worse when she was stressed. If thinking about her love life wasn’t
stressful, she didn’t know what was.

“Look, the pretending? It never works. Any guy who gives me what
I require in the bedroom tries to run my life or turns out to be an abusive
douche bag.”

“That's because you choose unworthy men.” Shan couldn't
argue with that, so she kept her mouth shut and watched the sun shimmer off the
water. “You need to find the right Dominant. One who will love your fierce
spirit and cherish it instead of trying to break you.”

Shan crossed her arms and looked back to Daisy. “Yeah,
‘cause guys like that exist outside of books.” She flushed and closed her eyes,
taking a deep breath. “I’m sorry, that was rude of me. I really do want your
help. It’s just...hard.”

“I understand more than you know, Shan.” Daisy ran her
knuckles over Shan’s cheek and gave her a gentle smile that warmed Shan from
the top of her head to the tips of her toes. “You don’t have to do this alone.
Let me help.”

She would have to be a fool to turn down an offer like that,
even if asking for help from anyone made her feel weak. “I’ll do my best.”

A bit of Daisy surfaced through the sparkling energy in her
eyes. It was odd, like watching an ocean of power drain from her pretty blue
eyes until only Daisy’s joyful spirit shone through. “Besides, I'm tired of
having to sit through endless rounds of drinking wine and watching ‘80s movies
every time you break up.”

“You love
Pretty in
Pink
!”

“I loved it the first five times I watched it. Not the
twenty times after that.”

Sighing, Shan played with her hair. “It's a classic.” Daisy
raised an eyebrow and waited for Shan to stop avoiding the issue. “So how do I
find the right Mas—guy?”

An odd sense of the pressure in the air lessening around her
made her body feel lighter somehow and the power that had filled the room
slowly drained away like water pouring from a glass. Shan couldn’t help but let
a small sigh of relief escape. While having the attention of a goddess was
wonderful, it was also terrifying. One wrong word and Aphrodite could have
smite her, though considering how bad her love life was, she couldn’t imagine
it getting much worse. Knock on wood and all of that.

“I'm going to help you find a Top,” Daisy said in a peppy
voice that broke Shan out of her morose daydreaming like a slap in the face.

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