Symphony of Light and Winter
An erotic Paranormal Romance
Released June of 2013
Cait: “I’m excited not only to be hosting my first interview, I get to chat and drink wine with a dear friend and fellow Coffee Talk Writer. Here she is.” I motion for her to sit on the love seat beside me in front of a picture window, overlooking the river. “Welcome, Renea”
Renea: “Thanks for having me.”
Cait: “You look lovely. Oh, before we start, there’s a guy that’s been hanging around my site for over a week. I don’t want you to be surprised when he brings us wine and cheese. Just enjoy the view. Now, let’s get down to business. Tell me the nuts and bolts of the plot.”
Renea: “Ten years after Linden watched the life fade from Cyril’s eyes, she is confronted by an angry, beyond human version of her former mentor and first love.
Cyril’s suspicion fueled by his lack of memory of their time together and his overwhelming desire for her, leads to a turbulent re-acquaintance that traps her in an ages old conflict between him and his supernatural rival.
Beyond garnering the affections of a man created to be the lover and companion to a goddess, Linden finds herself living among his family; a group of six supernatural men with a tantalizing secret. Her struggle with Cyril continues until she discovers he paid the ultimate price to ensure her survival.
Their journey is fraught with unintended consequences, an endless battle of wills, and unquenchable hunger, leading to Linden’s decision to sacrifice everything to save him.”
Chase walks into the room with a tray of cheese and crackers and two glasses of wine. As he sets the tray on the table, he winks at Renea and hands us each a glass.
Cait: “Thank you, sweetie.” I gaze at Renea’s flushed face as I sip some soothing liquid. Chase is a charmer, speaking of which, my gaze lands on the brilliant colors of the pictures she brought of the hero and heroine sitting on my coffee table. “They’re gorgeous and I love the temporary cover. I hope the real one will be here soon. I want to show it off. ” I set them back on the table. “I’ll show the pictures in a bit. First, tell me, how’d you come up with the plot?”
Renea: “I didn’t. The plot found me.”
Cait: My eyebrow shot up. “Prey tell.”
Renea: “The bathroom scene that happens in chapter one came to me one day and everything fell into place. I moved some things around in revisions, but for the most part, the plot came together nicely.”
Cait: Intriguing. I wonder what she did in the bathroom and I eye her over my glass. “Does the setting of the story have any significance to you?”
Renea: “In Western Pennsylvania. That’s where I’m from. I set part of it in a fictitious version of Pittsburgh and the cemetery in the hometown where I grew up. The Laurel Mountains are a backdrop in the scenes in Cyril’s cabin.”
Cait: “I’ve heard the Laurel Mountains be called a masterpiece. It’s one of the places on my bucket list. Oh, wait. You live near there. I see a road trip in my future. Visit you and see the dramatic mountains.”
Renea: “Sounds like a great idea. There are many wonderful things to see, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water.”
Cait: I set my glass on the table and rub my hands together. “Now, the juicy stuff. What physical trait does your hero and heroine have that drives the other crazy?”
Renea: “It’s Linden’s eyes Cyril can’t get enough of. Thought I would say something else, didn’t you? But he really has an appreciation for her eyes. She also has brilliant red hair.”
Cait: “Oh, I bet her eyes beam with the copper flocks framing her face. Okay, time for a picture, but it’s not her eyes that are captured.” I smile.
Cait: “But look at the beautiful hair. How ’bout Cyril?”
Renea: “Cyril, I’m going to cheat and say his entire body. He’s perfect. After all, he was created by a goddess to be her lover. She wouldn’t settle for less than perfect. Linden does spend sometime admiring his behind but let’s just say, he’s gifted, so it’s hard for her to focus on much else.”
Cait: I spray wine out of my mouth. “Shoot, Renea. I’m sorry. I wasn’t expecting that. I shouldn’t drink and ask questions about hot guys.” I grab a napkin from the tray and hand it to her. “He was made for a goddess?”
Renea: “Yes. She’s long gone and he’s been trapped on Earth for thousands of years, before he finds he has a special connection with Linden.”
Cait: Sigh. I twist my mouth, wondering the levity of my next question. I did after all spit wine a second ago, but I need to know. “What one personality trait would you say that your readers will love?”
Renea: “Sarcastic wit.”
Cait: Strong heroine. I like it.
Renea: “Cyril is the ultimate alpha-male but when it comes to Linden you see the gentle side of him through the cracks she makes in his armor.”
Cait: I had to ask. “He does sound perfect.” I hand her Symphony of Light and Winter. “Would you read a piece from your story?”
It wasn’t long until I glimpsed him on the horizon. Cyril’s beautiful hulking form crested the riverbank as he headed toward the cabin. I did not move. I stood bare for him beyond the glass. Still yards away, he came to a halt. The vegetation in his hand fell to the ground. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but his slow stride was not it. He sauntered to the window in his jeans and black leather jacket, a stoic expression on his face. He stared, taking me in, but didn’t move for the longest time. Snow collected in his hair and on his jacket, highlighting him in white. He was winter—powerful, demanding, and brutal, but at his core lay something more fragile than the innumerable crystalline flakes that adorned the ground.
He turned and walked around the side of the house.
From behind me, I heard the handle turn, the door open, close, a rustling of cloth…
Cait: I pick up my glass and lean back on the loveseat. “That was great.” I pause, wondering where she could come up with such a heartwarming character. “Did you base your character on someone?”
Renea: “No. Every character is fictional through and through. I imagine pieces of me worked their way into Linden but our lives are very different.”
Cait: “Now, for the good stuff.” I hold up Cyril’s picture.
Cait: “Would you read me an excerpt that will make my knees weak?”
“Did you love her?” It seemed a silly question to ask, but something told me he did. I crossed my arms.
“No. At times I felt something like love but it was hard to tell if it was real. I was created to love her, but I don’t believe she understood the concept well enough to grant me the capacity.”
A pit formed in my stomach. No matter how angry, I hoped some day he would grow to love me. I lowered my eyes away from his to look to his chest, certain he would hear the disappointment in my words. ”So you do not have the capacity to love?”
“Linden, please look at me.”
He sighed. “She did not grant me the capacity to love.”
I shuddered, and fought tears as his words sank in.
“Linden, I am more than what she wished for me to be. I have achieved things she could not even dream of. She thought she damned me by sending me here, when in reality, she gave me life.”
My chest shook from the contained sob.
“Please, look at me.”
I looked into his eyes, our connection instantaneous and overwhelming.
“You make me capable of all things. I not only have the capacity to love, I am consumed by it.”
Cait: Sigh. “That worked.” I sipped some more wine. “Okay, I have a fun, yet interesting question. What tidbit of information would I find in your hero and heroine’s trashcan? This can be one in the family or living room, but not kitchen, laundry or bathroom.”
Renea: “Linden’s would have post-it notes, a wine bottle, and shredded pieces of a letter.”
Cait: “She’d fit right in with the Coffee Talk Writers. How about Cyril?”
Renea: “Cyril’s trash can would have dried wildflowers, wrinkled parchment paper, wadded up sketches and small glass bottles.”
Cait: A writer or painter? I didn’t ask. The next question nagged at me. “I want to talk fetishes. Tell me about their feet.” I lean closer to her and giggle. “You know, one of the members of the Coffee Talkers has a foot fetish and from what I hear … fish sticks.” Renea laughs.
Renea: “Well, I’m not much of a feet girl but Linden wears dress shoes for her job as a fundraiser and bare feet when she’s Cyril’s ‘guest’. You would find Cyril in dress shoes when he’s not fighting, but when he’s in battle its black lace up leather boots.”
Chase comes into the room, fills our glasses, and hands us a plate of triple chocolate cake.
Cait: “I think I’ll keep him.” We take a break and enjoy the cake. “Chocolate and wine, nothing gets better than this. Well, maybe there is something.” The clock on the wall chimes. “It’s getting late. I’ve enjoyed talking to you that I hadn’t paid attention. One more question about your characters, then let’s talk about you. On a day off, what would your characters be doing?”
Renea: “Linden’s a workaholic but several nights a week she goes to O’Riley’s, an Irish pub, with her friend and coworker. Cyril spends his time, fighting the bad guys, painting portraits and performing his role as the gatekeeper between life and death.”
Cait: “Now for you. What do you consider your greatest achievement?”
Renea: “My children and picking husbands. I picked two of the greatest men ever as husbands.”
Cait: That is so sweet. “You’ve been blessed. One last thing, what’s the quality you like most in a man?”
Cait: “Mine, too.” We stand and set our glasses on the table. “Thank you so much for chatting with me.” I touch her shoulder. “One last thing, do you belong to any specific writing groups?” I bat my eyelashes, knowing what she’s gonna say.
Renea: “I’m a member of the Coffee Talk Writers. There is so much talent in that group; I’m humbled to be part of it.”
Cait: “There is. I’m honored to be a part of it, too.” At the door, we hug. “I will have your links available along with your excerpt on my website. I’m planning to grab a cup of coffee and start reading. Can’t wait.”
Symphony of Light and Winter excerpt
My amusement was interrupted by the absolute last thing I needed. Cyril. As if being in a room with a bunch of men who wanted me, but didn’t know why and hated me for it, wasn’t bad enough. In his black, custom suit, he radiated power. He pulled at his cuff links as he stopped to survey the room.
Instead of trying to make my escape, I seized an opportunity to antagonize him. I was really starting to enjoy tormenting him.
“Good morning, Grim, it is nice of you to join us.”
“Grim. Ha! She called him Grim.” Rhys clapped his hands as he laughed.
Cyril didn’t acknowledge me or Rhys’s comment. He stood there for a very long time and looked around the room at each man. Nobody met his gaze but me.
Cyril’s fists clenched at his side, jaw tight, and face furious.
“I warned all of you,” he addressed the room. He didn’t growl but rather wrapped his words with a subtle menace.
“Leave them alone. You know this is your fault. If you would just think things through, you’d stop fucking everything up. I do have to say, of all your fuck ups, this one is certainly the most impressive and entertaining from my perspective.” I winked at Overton who managed to glare at me even with his head practically bowed. Why were they so fucking subservient to him?
The next thing I knew, I was yanked from my seat and hoisted onto the counter. Cyril grabbed my ass and pulled me to the edge, forced my legs open, and stepped between them. He wrapped his arms around me and placed his head against mine. It wasn’t his voice I heard but rather his mind. It felt like when I talked to myself but somehow I knew it was him. Strange, he had tone and inflection while communicating.
“You need to stop showing off in front of my men. Yes, I fucked up, but do you really want them to give into their urges? Do you think you can fend them off? I could toss you to them and see how far you get. Is that what you want? Maybe I should let them have their way with you and pull up a chair to watch. I want you to think about something before you start to defy me. I’m the only one who can keep you safe. So it’s best you stop being a smart-ass for five seconds and listen to me. I’m going to do something that will piss you off. I’m warning you now it’s for your own good. You need to go along with it, no matter how angry you are at me. Don’t fight me. I’ll try to fix this but until then, I need to take a few precautions.”
I wasn’t sure how to respond. If I thought something, could he hear me? Was this two-way communication? I tried to push him away.
He tightened his grip and his voice was in my head again.
“Stop it! Let me remind you that I have a special connection with these men. Not only can I read their thoughts but I can’t block them. I don’t have to try to receive them. I know exactly what each person in this room, besides you of course, is thinking right now.”
So that’s what Overton meant when he said Cyril had ways of finding out.
“The thoughts that assaulted me when I entered this room would make a porn star blush; every one of their little fantasies featured you.”
The voice growled. “Don’t laugh. I won’t pretend I’m not jealous and angry. I am. But if you knew the things they were thinking you’d better understand why I need to do what I’m about to do. Do you see Dominic over there? Let’s just say his tastes run a little dark. Ever spend considerable time naked with your hands bound behind your back and a ball gag in your mouth? He’s picturing you that way, this very instant.”
I stiffened. That didn’t at all appeal to me.
“Thor seems to think that you’d enjoy all of us taking you at the same time.”
And he seemed so quiet and sweet.
“Sinclair wants to shove his cock down your throat until you choke, all the while telling you how it’s your entire fault. Rhys is thinking of how you would look sprawled out on the hood of his new sports car, and Overton…”
“NO!” I yelled out loud.
It seemed like a violation of privacy with Overton. Unlike the others, I considered him a friend. I respected him too much.
“See, like it or not I’m going to tell you what he’s thinking since it pisses me off the most. He thinks I’m going to fuck you right here on this counter, to lay my claim. Once he gets past the fantasies of watching me fuck you, which he finds exceptionally arousing…”
There was a momentary pause to the voice and when he started again, he was angry.
“He then knocks on your bedroom door after you run crying from the room. You invite him in and he holds you in his arms while you cry about how I violated and humiliated you. He wants to comfort you. He wants to be your savior. He wants to save you from me. But he knows he can’t.”
I felt the moment he left my head, because a sudden wave of dizziness came over me.
With no more words, he tilted his head and placed his lips against mine. I fought the rigidity that tried to seize my body. I knew it was best to give in. I wouldn’t fight him, but I knew every time he got close, I ran the risk of losing myself. I was still way too angry to just give up.
His lips danced with mine as he nestled himself between my open thighs.
Was Overton right? How far would he take it? If it did go too far, would I be able to stop him? He was such a fucking weakness for me I honestly didn’t think I would.
He was gentle and softly stroked my back as his tongue made love to my mouth. With one hand he cupped my ass and pulled me flush against him, and with the other he reached up, cupped my breast, and squeezed hard. His kiss grew frantic and I became caught up in the sensation, forgot where I was, and that I had an audience. He pushed me hard against his erection as he rubbed himself rhythmically against my core. “You are mine. You belong to me. Now say it! Let them all know who you belong to.”
Was he kidding? I hesitated.
He ran his fangs up the side of my neck in warning. He whispered in my ear, “Say it. You need to say it. Let them hear it come from your lips.” His hand drifted from my breast to the hem of my nightgown and pulled up one side so it rested in the crease where my leg met my hip.
Somehow the part of me that knew he was right surfaced, and the stubborn part of me took a momentary vacation. If I was his, they wouldn’t dare defy him. It would keep me safe.
His fingers toyed with the edge of my panties before tugging the fabric to the side to allow him to stroke my moist skin. He positioned himself at the juncture between my legs allowing my naked flesh to gather friction from his cloth-covered cock.
“Yes, Cyril, I’m yours.”
With that, he struck. His fangs pierced my neck. The second of pain from his bite passed and the pleasure grew, igniting my veins with liquid desire. One arm tightened around me, pulling me harder against his cock. The other held my head while he sucked harder. Each pull he took was linked to the sensitive place between my legs. He ground his hips into mine and I moaned. The first wave of climax hit, tensing muscles and pushing my breath out in a rush. This was new. He could do this just by biting me?
I shook in his arms as he drank. Tremor after tremor seized me as he took his fill. I was so caught up in the sensation I only vaguely noticed the moans and growls that escaped from behind his teeth. With one final pull, and a thrust of his hips, he finished with a crushing embrace as he removed his teeth from my neck.
“Mine!” he roared. He enveloped me in his arms and held me close. He dipped his head to lick closed the small punctures on my throat.
I threw back my head. My breathing slowed as the cloud that had invaded my head receded.
Son of a bitch! I just came in front of everyone while sitting on the kitchen counter!