Loving Night: Dream Catcher Series ~ Book 2 (3 page)

BOOK: Loving Night: Dream Catcher Series ~ Book 2
3.76Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

“Thank you,” she said with a smile.

“For what?”

“For loving me as much as I love
you. You’re my life, Chaz.” Her arms wrapped around his neck and pulled him on
top of her. Her ankles crossed behind his back and she enjoyed the feel of his
steel-hard erection pressing against her thigh and the entrance to her hot
core. She kissed his chest and lightly licked his nipples and felt him shudder

A hand moved possessively across
her shoulder, breast, side, hip, and thigh. In one slow, smooth thrust, Chaz
slid into his wife. Moist heat surrounded him and made both of them breathe out
soft moans. This is why he wouldn’t leave her—this moment where they could escape
the stresses of the day and find the complete, uninterrupted blending that
always brought them back to the truth. They were made for each other and their
life together was fated. It was in these moments in the night that the rest of
the world ceased to exist.

“I am so in love with you,” he
whispered against her ear as they moved slowly, allowing her body to adjust to his
presence inside of her. He waited for her to increase their pace before he took
control and was both rough and tender in the way he possessed her body. She was
his and he claimed every inch of her, night after night, completely.

She craved the way he pounded into
her, varied his pace and his intensity, made every bit of her know that she
belonged to him. And his body listened to hers, giving what she wanted,
avoiding what she didn’t—each night was different yet always fulfilling. When
the final white hot explosion sucked the breath out of them both and left them
exhausted, Stephanie curled tightly against her husband, his arms held her like
every moment they shared together was precious and treasured, and his strong
thighs covered her legs like he would never let her go.

No matter what was going on in the
world, the night was theirs.






“Wow,” Karen’s red-headed and
freckled image said from the computer monitor. “I’m not surprised about Sylvia
or Chaz’s reaction, but he really turned down a promotion?” The news seemed to
trouble her. “It sounds so odd, considering how much he loves law enforcement.
Does that match up with your dreams?”

“Yes and no. I’m having a lot of
dreams—more than ever. When they’re about Chaz, some are with him here doing
normal things. But in the ones about his job, some are in the office I’ve been
to, and some are in a livingroom that I don’t recognize. Others are with him
having some type of strategy meeting or handling phone calls with information I
can only guess relates to a case.” Stephanie looked in the distance, as if she
was recalling specific details. “What bothers me is that in many of the dreams,
he seems to be tense or worried.”

“Even the ones where he’s at home?”

“Yes.”  Stephanie shrugged at her
best friend. The two women were silent as they each had their own thoughts
about what that might mean. “There’s something else,” Stephanie admitted. “I
had gotten to a point where I could faintly see auras surrounding his friends
and coworkers. Lately, I haven’t been able to do that. In fact, other than
Chaz, I’m not sensing personalities. Can you come up with a blend of teas that
might unblock that? I have a feeling of anxiety about it that I haven’t been
able to shake.”

“Sure Steph.” Karen frowned and
seemed distracted for a moment. “You’re having more dreams about your husband
doing everyday things. You’re having dreams about his job with details you
don’t understand. Your ability to sense personalities is blocked. And you’re
pregnant.” She looked down as if she was writing on a notepad. “I’ll figure out
something and put a package in the mail this weekend. But there’s something
else you should do.”

“What’s that?”

“Meditate—not to keep calm but to
visualize your dreams better. You’re missing something, Stephanie, and I don’t
know what it is. But, if you can hone that gift, maybe you’ll see details that
will help you to relax.”

“Maybe.” It was Stephanie’s turn to
look pensive. “Could this be caused by hormone shifts? Could the baby be
throwing off my abilities?”

“It’s possible. I really can’t see
your auras from here. When you meditate, don’t use aromatherapy unless you’re
going to heat some of the special teas Phailin or I made for you. I’m not sure
whether anything else is safe this early in your pregnancy.” She paused. “Maybe
I should come down for a couple of days. A mini vacation would do me good, and
I miss you so much.” That brought a huge smile to her friend’s face.

“The feeling is mutual.” Stephanie
sighed and touched the computer screen as if that would bring them closer.
“Chaz should be home in about an hour. I’m going to take advantage of the
solitude by trying to meditate. Call me tomorrow, okay?”

“Sure, sweetie. That’ll give me
plenty of time to discuss the visit with Victor. You know how protective he is
toward you; don’t be surprised if he wants to tag along.”

“But then, you won’t get a vacation
from being a wife and mother.”

Karen laughed and said, “Maybe
having a break with my husband is what we need. There’s no shortage of family
members to watch Little Victor, but spending time in a different environment
might be good for us as a couple.”

Those words made Stephanie frown. Had
she missed some change in their relationship? “What’s wrong, Karen?”

“Nothing specific. I just feel a
little off and he’s been worrying about me.”

“Okay. You’d let me know if
something was really wrong, right?”

“Of course I would.” She touched
the screen in the same way Stephanie had earlier. “Maybe I’ll be back to normal
after I get to spend some time with you.” She took a deep breath. “Now, you
need to take advantage of the quiet atmosphere in your house and meditate.”

“Yeah, I should. We’ll talk tomorrow—and
I expect to see both of my men. I miss them, too.”


After ending the video-call with
her best friend, Stephanie collected her iPod, put some loose tea leaves in a
small hot pot, set the pot to turn off in 20 minutes, and made herself comfortable
in one of the spare bedrooms. She stretched out on the bed with smells and sounds
of nature around her and tried to focus on the pieces of dreams she remembered
from the previous night.


~ ~ ~ ~


“Hey,” Chaz smiled at her when she
emerged from the room more than an hour later. He’d done his usual Saturday morning
routine—jogging and practicing at the firing range. Since his wife was behind a
closed door when he returned home, he’d decided to make a sandwich for lunch
and marinate steaks and wash broccoli for dinner. He loved that the kitchen in
this new home had an indoor grill. But, he wasn’t in the kitchen when Stephanie
found him. He was sitting in the family room scrolling through channels with
the television muted. He patted the space beside him on the oversized sofa.

“How was your morning?” she asked
as she made herself comfortable by straddling him with her knees snug against his

“Same as always.” He kissed her and
wrapped an arm around her back before resting his chin on her shoulder. “How
are you?”


“Better than what?” One hand rubbed
slowly up and down her arm. Stephanie took her time answering and he didn’t
rush her.

“I’ve almost figured out something
that has been bothering me about my dreams.” She kissed his cheek. “I’ll be
able to talk about it once everything is clearer. And, Karen is coming for a
visit. She’ll let us know what day tomorrow.” She leaned away from him so that
their bodies had to shift enough for her to see his face. “What’s on your mind,
Chaz? Why are you sitting here like this?”

He shrugged, but when Stephanie
didn’t stop staring at him, he admitted, “Sylvia and I had another fight—if you
can call it that. She again voiced her opinions about my priorities. I ignored
her. She continued, adding her criticisms of you. I said I was done with her.
End of friendship.” He slowly shook his head. “It was inevitable since Syl has
never been a person to back down. I’m not surprised, just disappointed.”

“And hurt.”

He nodded. Stephanie leaned her
forehead against his until he held her tighter and dropped his chin to her
shoulder. They sat like that for as long as he needed, him drawing calming strength
from his wife.

She wanted to assure him that
everything would work out fine, but she wasn’t certain about that. For some
reason, Sylvia hated the fact that Chaz loved Stephanie. She wanted to say that
she was sorry about the loss of a long-time friend, but that wouldn’t have been
true. From the day Stephanie had moved to Cincinnati, she had seen the way
Sylvia’s caustic comments and blatant rejection bothered Chaz. Like he’d said,
today’s culmination was inevitable. Maybe now there could be a period of
mourning and Chaz would stop holding on to hope that the relationship between
the two women would improve.

What worried her most was that
Sylvia was in an administrative position above Chaz, although it wasn’t in the
same Division. She hoped the woman wasn’t vindictive enough to cause problems
on their job. Uneasiness settled in the pit of Stephanie’s stomach.


~ ~ ~ ~


There didn’t seem to be any
repercussions from the situation between Chaz and Sylvia. In fact, all was
reasonably calm in his area. Steve McDaniels officially transferred in and
several meetings were held to bring him up to speed on the previous analyses
for the case he would be taking on immediately. As an analyst, Chaz would be
one of the people to pass along information to the new undercover operation.
Even though he would remain in the Cincinnati office, he would work closely
with Steve who would be on site in Kentucky.

Of course, the newcomer had already
read the reports; he wanted to get a feel for the personalities of the people
he’d be relying on to feed him credible intelligence. After a few meetings,
Steve invited Chaz to lunch so that he could get the other man’s impression of their
coworkers. Their time together was both professional and personal.

“So, how is Stephanie?” Steve asked
as the men settled into a booth at the burger joint.

“She’s great. Beautifully
pregnant—but that’s not common knowledge.” He took a sip from his glass of

“Hmm. That helps me to understand
your decision. Congratulations.” Steve’s smile was sincere. “What about her

“She’s still having dreams. They
just aren’t about life and death situations.”

Steve seemed to consider that
answer as he slowly chewed a bite of his burger. Then, he asked a question that
Chaz definitely could never have seen coming.

“If we gave her details about a
case, do you think it would trigger her to dream about it?” Chaz’s brow
wrinkled in confusion. “Listen,” Steve continued. “She was an invaluable asset
for us in Erie. I trust her dreams more than I trust my new team. Maybe that’s
because I don’t know them and can’t gauge their reliability, but your wife
could be my secret weapon. I mean totally secret. I’m still not ready to write
a report saying we’re getting tips from a psychic, and I can’t pay her as a
Confidential Informant because that would require us to disclose information
about her to Roy and our superiors. But, I would feel comfortable relying on
whatever information she could provide.”

“Wow.” Chaz shrugged and rubbed the
back of his neck. “She’s been able to connect to some of the cases I’ve been
analyzing, but not in any detail. She only gets vague impressions of what’s
going on. I’m not sure whether her gift can work in a way that would benefit
you. I can ask what she thinks might happen, but you still need to understand
that she can’t just call up a dream—the details come to her on their own.”

Steve nodded to indicate that he

Chaz thought for a moment before
bringing up a serious concern. “Did you read the notes I forwarded on this case—they
went to Erie and Cleveland.”

“About Paul Watkins?”

“Have you figured out whether he’s
going to become a part of this prostitution investigation? Because if there’s
even a remote possibility that’s credible, Stephanie needs to know before she
makes her decision. Watkins really shook her.”

“So far, there’s been nothing reliable.
I’ll let you know the minute that changes, all right?”

“Yeah.” Chaz trusted Steve to keep
his word.

The conversation stayed on Chaz’s
mind all afternoon. Was his link to the case, by virtue of being an analyst,
strong enough to provoke a connection that Stephanie could pick up on? Would
she even be willing to try? He could still remember how traumatic her dreams
had been when he was in danger—and not putting her through that again was his
primary reason for not taking the promotion. It was his responsibility to
protect her. Still, he had no choice except to pass along Steve’s request; the
decision would have to be hers.

Stephanie listened carefully while
her husband explained what was being asked of her as they sat on the sofa after
dinner. She could sense his conflict. Had he made a huge career sacrifice for
nothing if she decided to help his former team leader? And, if Paul Watkins was
going to be an issue, how would Chaz feel about her psyche being exposed to
that much evil again?

“What do you want me to do?” she
asked quietly as she wove her fingers through his.

“I get the impression that Steve
thought he would get a package deal if I had accepted this case as my first
assignment; no one considered that I might say no. Listen sweetheart, I can’t
tell you what your role should be, just as you didn’t make my decision for me.”

Stephanie studied her husband’s
eyes for what seemed like minutes before she said, “I won’t do it. You gave up
a promotion to keep me safe; I won’t put you in a position to worry about me.”
She shook her head when he started to speak. “That’s my decision, Chaz. The
answer is no.” She was almost positive that she saw a spark of relief in his
expression of acceptance. She gave a slight smile and said, “We’re always going
to be a team.”

He understood clearly what his wife
was telling him: she would never choose anything over him.

BOOK: Loving Night: Dream Catcher Series ~ Book 2
3.76Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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