The Man of her Dreams: A Paranormal Romance

BOOK: The Man of her Dreams: A Paranormal Romance
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The Man of Her Dreams:

A Paranormal
Romance

 

By NATHAN STRATTON

 

 

Copyright 2013
Nathan Stratton. All rights reserved.

Reproduction of this work prohibited
unless the author grants permission.

Art credit: Nathan Stratton, with license from www.depositphotos.com.

 

 

Approx. word count: 18,500

 

 

If you’ve purchased this book, please consider leaving a review after reading it.

I read all my reviews, and I take feedback very seriously. Thank you.

 

Contact Nathan at [email protected]

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Prologue:               In the Depths of the Night

Chapter 1: Seduction
As She Sleeps

Chapter 2:
Revelation

Chapter 3:
The Beautiful and the Damned

Chapter 4: To Hell and Back

Chapter 5: Possessed by Passion

Chapter 6
: To Sleep, Perchance to Dream…

Epilogue
:               Sleepers Awake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Man of Her Dreams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_

 

 

“The mind
is its own place, and in itself/

Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n
...”

 

John Milton,
Paradise Lost

 

_

 

 

Prologue
: In the Depths of the Night

Alexis couldn’t take it anymore. She’d been fighting it for what felt like an hour, and she was driving herself cr
azy. She opened her eyes, staring up at the ceiling. She sighed. It was no use.

 

She gave up, rolled over, and looked at the clock.

 

What she saw made her cringe: it was 1:40 AM. She groaned in frustration and pulled the covers back over her head.

 

It was becoming a more and more frequent routine recently. Alexis couldn’t sleep, and the longer she tossed and turned, the worse it got. She’d tried everything: she’d cut out caffeine, she’d gone to the gym, she’d even bought a bottle of some overpriced herbal supplement at the health food store.

 

But nothing had worked – and here she was again, her mind on overdrive in the middle of the night, with not even a hint of sleep to show for her efforts. She had to get up for work in five hours.
In 4 hours and 50 minutes now, actually
, her brain cruelly corrected her.

 

And unfortunately for Alexis, it didn’t seem like sleep was coming any time soon.

 

What was a girl to do? Sighing again, she threw off the covers and walked over to the bathroom to throw some water on her face. As the tap heated up, she caught a look at herself in the mirror.
You look tired
,
honey
, she heard her mother’s voice saying. Alexis couldn’t argue with that.

 

She knew what the problem was, of course. Or rather,
problems,
plural. Where to begin? Workplace stress, for starters: that one went without saying. Then there was her ever-diminishing social circle, as one by one, her friends kept getting “boyfriended up” and pulling disappearing acts. And speaking of boyfriends, she could add her totally non-existent love life to the list of her troubles.

 

She could go on and on – the problem was, she couldn’t stop. These were the things rattling around in her head at 2 AM like little stress-marbles, keeping her awake when she wanted so desperately to sleep. And it was now getting to the point where worrying about her insomnia was actually giving her more insomnia. She would give anything to make it go away.

 

Alexis dried her face with a towel, shaking her head back and forth. Washing her face had done some good, at least. She could feel exhaustion finally starting to set in, and with it came a wave of relief. Her eyelids began to close of their own accord, finally succumbing to her body’s need for sleep.

 

She’d never felt anything sweeter.

 

As she stumbled back to the bedroom and crashed her head onto the pillow, a half-formed thought coursed through her mind, about some errand on tomorrow’s to-do list. But thankfully, mercifully, she was asleep before the thought had time to fully process.

 

After hours of restless torture, she’d finally found her peace.

 

If only she’d known what the rest of the night held in store for her…

 

Chapter 1: Seduction As She Sleeps

 

Alexis didn’t tend to dream much these days. She chalked it up as another side effect of insomnia: when your mind is fighting for every minute of sleep it can get, it just doesn’t have the extra energy to spend creating dreams.

 

It was a shame, too. When she was a young girl, Alexis had loved her dreams. She loved being able to explore distant worlds, where anything could happen. She used to write her dreams down in a notebook and illustrate them with colored pencil. But now, just getting a good night’s sleep once in a while was a dream enough in itself.

 

Which was why, when she noticed she was falling through a landscape of impressionistic bushes and Technicolor flowers, it took Alexis a moment to realize that
oh, yeah, I’m dreaming.
She’d always been able to control her dreams to some extent, a phenomenon called “lucid dreaming” by scientists. But that, too, had faded somewhat with her recent insomnia, and it had been awhile since she’d gone lucid. So tonight, she intended to make the most out of what had sadly become a rare treat.

 

When she realized she was dreaming, Alexis put her arms out to her sides to slow her descent. She hovered, waiflike, in mid-air. She looked around her. Gone were the flowers she’d been seeing a moment before; now the landscape was empty, just a diffuse orange-green glow spreading out to infinity in all directions.

 

To Alexis, it felt like a blank canvas, a void for her to fill with whatever she wanted.

 

She turned a somersault in the air, laughing with delight.

 

“First thing’s first,” she said, and conjured up a lush green meadow. In the same moment, the sky turned brilliant blue. It was the field near her childhood home, bright and warm, as she might find it on a summer morning. She floated down gently and dug her toes into the earth. The scent of the grass, the earthy smell of the soil, even the clear and crisp breath of air was so real, so vivid, that it seemed as though she was really there. Her mind knew that it was a creation, a vision drawn from her subconscious. But her heart wanted to believe that it was just as real as it seemed.

 

To those who have never had a lucid dream, the idea of creating one’s own landscape sounds fantastical. But to Alexis it was the most natural thing in the world. She’d had the ability for so long that now it felt like second nature.

 

“Perfect,” she said, and looked down at her body. She was wearing a lacy white sundress, the gauzy material clinging perfectly to her shoulders and stopping just above her knees. She glanced at her wrists, admiring the glittering bangles that had appeared there. She tilted her head upwards to let the sun warm her neck, spreading her arms in bliss.

 

She grinned. There was just one thing missing from this picture…

 

No sooner had the thought crossed her mind than she heard a man’s voice from behind her. He was calling to her, in a sonorous young voice filled with laughter.

 

It was Evan, her high school crush.

 

Alexis didn’t quite know why, but whenever her dreams took on a more…
amorous
nature, Evan was always the star character. She could have chosen other men for her dreams, of course – other men who she had known since Evan, or even guys she’d never met. But something about that first high school crush kept coming back to her, as if drawing her back to fulfill those dreams that never had a chance to happen.

 

In her dreams she’d spent many a passionate night with Evan, though in real life they hadn’t spoken since high school. In her dreams, he’d grown up and filled out to become her masculine ideal of desirability.

 

And now, he was jogging across the field to meet her.

 

“Hey, Alexis!” he said, his voice surprised and eager. “What are
you
doing out here?” She turned to greet him, smiling expectantly.

 

But as soon as she saw him, a flicker of doubt flashed across her face.

 

Evan looked…
different,
somehow. Different than how her mind’s eye normally pictured him. She couldn’t put her finger on it, but something seemed just slightly off. “Evan? Is that you?” she called hesitantly, her apprehension audible in her voice.

 

He ran up to her, laughing. “Of course it’s me, Lex,” he said, taking her hands in his own and smiling brightly. His hands were warm and solid, strong and sure, the same they had always been. “Who else would you expect to find out here?”

 

When she heard him use her nickname, her uneasiness began to fade.
He’s right,
she thought to herself.
Who else would call me Lex? And anyway, I’m the one in control of this dream, right?

 

She smiled back at him, and he pulled her in for a hug.

 

As they broke from their embrace, Alexis was able to get a better look at Evan.
Oh, yeah,
she purred.
He’d filled out nicely, all right. In high school he’d played football, and his muscles now were tautly visible under his tight white tee shirt. His thick, dark hair fell in curls over his forehead, accenting his flashing blue eyes and a smooth, chiseled jaw-line. His smile had always been devastating, his full lips curling impishly over his teeth. He was smiling broadly now, and he had that trademark mischievous glint in his eye.

 

“God, you look gorgeous,” he said, and pulled her body closer to his. “I’ve been waiting for you, Alexis.” She could smell the sweat from his body mixing with the scent of his cologne. It was intoxicating.

 

“You have?” she said, her eyes growing wide in anticipation. She’d had this dream countless times, and she knew what happened next.

 

“Of course I have,” said Evan. “I’ve been waiting all morning for this.” As he spoke, his hand curled around the back of her neck and pulled her head gently toward him. He leaned down and kissed her, deeply. There was no hesitation in his movement, like there might have been in high school. This was a full-on kiss given by a man who knew
exactly
what he wanted – and what he wanted was her. His lips were soft and supple, his tongue eagerly reaching for hers, and she felt the same spark while kissing him that she always did.

 

But still, something seemed vaguely off about Evan, as much as she tried to ignore it. Her mind started racing, trying to pinpoint the difference. As she pulled away from him, she saw his eyes had been open while they were kissing.
That’s weird,
she thought.
He usually keeps his eyes closed.
Was that the difference she’d noticed?

 

As if he noticed her unease, Evan hastily began speaking.

 

“Let’s head down to the lake,” he said, holding out his hand to her. “I could go for a swim.”

 

His voice was smooth and calm, as though this were any other dream. But something told her he wasn’t as calm as he appeared. His lips were smiling, but he watched her eyes intently as he spoke.

 

Forgetting her apprehension, she took the hand he offered. They walked over to the lake together, holding hands and stopping from time to time to share a quick kiss. The water was shining brilliantly blue in the midday sun. Alexis stopped on the shore and took a deep breath, looking around with pleasure, taking it all in. It was even more beautiful than she remembered from childhood.

 

“The water looks great,” she said to Evan, turning to watch him as he peeled off his shirt.

 

Oh, my Lord,
she said to herself, as he cast his shirt onto the ground. Despite her misgivings, she couldn’t help but get turned on at the sight of his muscular, chiseled body. He was the perfect specimen, the type of man women drooled over in pin-up calendars. In an instant, all her reservations about him were gone, displaced by a rapidly escalating desire.

 

He caught her staring, and grinned devilishly. “You’re shameless,” he said with a laugh. Playfully, he struck a body-builder’s pose, to tease her even further. She watched the muscles in his body move smoothly under his tanned skin, and suddenly her breath was a little short. He knew the effect he was having on her, and he was clearly enjoying it.

 

Alexis stepped towards him, as if pulled by an unseen force. Without thinking, she reached out and put her hand on his chest. It was rock-solid, just as she imagined it. His skin was warm under her touch, almost too warm, as if he were lit by a furnace from the inside. She looked up at Evan’s face; that smile hadn’t left it. He slowly took her wrist in his hand and brought her fingers to his lips. She whimpered softly when she felt the heat of his breath on her skin. He kissed her fingertips lightly, one at a time, still staring into her eyes.

 

He could take me at this moment,
she realized suddenly,
and I wouldn’t even try to stop him.

 

He continued to kiss her fingers, working his way slowly down her hand. His teasing had gone from something innocent to something decidedly sexual, but Alexis hadn’t pulled away – in fact, she was enjoying it so much that her eyes widened open of their own accord, drinking in the sight of him as much as they could.

 

He rubbed his bottom lip against her palm, then bit her wrist lightly. She felt her knees getting weak, but she was being held upright by the strength of his gaze. As he kissed her skin, a lustful intensity was growing in his eyes, and she felt powerless to turn away from it.

 

As he progressed down her forearm, he picked up the pace of his foreplay. Rather than move his head downwards, he pulled her wrist sharply towards him. She stumbled a bit, still off-balance. Her dreams had never gone like
this
before. Evan had never been this aggressive or dominant with her, but she immediately found that she liked it. He caught her by the waist with his other hand, their faces now just inches apart. He leaned in and kissed her passionately. When he kissed her, it was like all the building sexual tension she’d been feeling was released, all at once, and yet simultaneously multiplied a thousand-fold. The wave of desire was so strong that there wasn’t room in her mind for anything else. She wanted him to take her right here, right on the shore of the lake. She pushed firmly against him, hungry for more. His tongue dueled with hers as she put her hand on his chest. She could feel his heartbeat under her palm, beating faster as he deepened the kiss.

 

As they continued kissing, time seemed to stop completely. Alexis wasn’t sure if that was because of the nature of dreams, or due to the raw passion she was feeling. Her body was on fire now; she had never felt such intense desire. She wanted him,
now
. As they kept kissing, he placed his hand on her ass and gave it a rough squeeze. She gasped in shock at the powerful new wave of desire that coursed through her. It felt amazing when he took control of her like this. He moved his hand forward to her thigh, rubbing her from her knee up to her groin and back down again.

 

He broke suddenly away from her lips, glancing into her eyes for a second before turning his attention to her neck. He took his time, clearly enjoying himself almost as much as Alexis was. Each touch of his tongue, each small bite, sent a shiver down her spine. Finally, he pushed his head up to her ear, breathing heavily. “I want you, Alexis,” he whispered.

 

At the sound of his words, Alexis’s knees really did buckle. They’d been threatening it for a while, but she’d been able to fight it off – but this was more intense than any dream she’d ever had, to the point where she literally couldn’t stand up any longer. She swooned into Evan’s arms, who swiftly caught her before she fell over. His eyes flashed with confusion for a moment, but as he realized the reason for her sudden case of jelly-legs, he let out a sympathetic laugh.

 

“Why don’t we take a breather for a second?” he said.

 

He scooped her tenderly into his arms and carried her over to the beach. He laid her down gingerly on her back in the sand, then kicked off his shoes and turned to walk down towards the water. “I could use a swim!” he said, laughing again. 

 

She propped herself up on her elbows, watching him. Her body was still singing with desire, but she knew that he would come back to her, and it would be better than ever. Then they could do whatever they wanted together… possibly even right here on the beach. She grinned at the thought.

 

With a splash, Evan jumped into the water, still wearing his jeans. He did a few backstrokes, just enough to get out to deeper water, and then pulled off some small free-style laps back and forth in the lake. He was obviously showing off for her, and she delighted in watching every move his gorgeous muscles made.

BOOK: The Man of her Dreams: A Paranormal Romance
13.34Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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