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Authors: Susan Squires

Night Magic

BOOK: Night Magic
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Night Magic

 

 

 

 

By

 

 

 

 

Susan Squires

 

 

 

 

Version 1.0 – Sept  2014

Copyright 2014 by Susan Squires

 

 

Discover other titles by Susan Squires at
http://www.susansquires.com

This book is a work of fiction.  Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagina
tion or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

 

 

 

Discover other titles by Susan Squires at
http://www.susansquires.com

 

 

 

 

Other Books by Susan Squires

Danegeld

Sacrament

Body Electric

Danelaw

No More Lies

Sacrilege (novella in The Only One)

The Companion (Companion Vampire Series #1)

The Hunger  (Companion #2)

The Burning (Companion #3)

One With the Night (Companion #4)

One With the Shadows (Companion #5)

One With the Darkness (Companion #6)

Time for Eternity (Da Vinci Time Travel Series #1)

Twist In Time (Da Vinci #2)

Mists of Time (Da Vinci #3)

Do You Believe In Magic? (Magic#1)

He’s A Magic Man (Magic #2)

Your Magic Touch (Magic 2.5: Novella)

Waiting for Magic (Magic #3)

 

 

 

Critical Acclaim For
New York Times
Bestselling Author Susan Squires

 

“Superb writing, vivid narrative combined with complex plotting, and intricate characterization make each novel by Ms. Squires an absolute winner.”
Romantic Times BOOKreviews

“Susan Squires has a fascinating, unique voice:[she] is a rare talent.”
New York Times
bestselling author Christine Feehan

“Few writers combine a sensual romance within a supernatural thriller as well as Susan Squires consistently does.”
Midwest Book Review

“Full of colorful characters, romantic locales and vivid details of 1820’s life [
One With The Shadows
] has a delicious pace and plenty of thrills...”
Publisher’s Weekly
(A Best Book of the Year)


Do You Believe In Magic?
is an entertaining and exciting paranormal romance that will leave fans desperate for more. This novel features a great couple introduces a charismatic family and sets up what should be a very fascinating series.” (Four Stars)
The Romance Review

“...action, adventure, magic fighting, loving and more. Since it is the first of a series, there are enough threads left dangling that you know it’s going to continue yet the story gives a satisfying ending. Recommended for anyone who likes paranormal romance...” (Four Stars)
Nightowlreviews
on
Do You Believe In Magic?


Squires’ deft plotting and full-bodied characters make this whirlwind adventure worthwhile.”
Publishers’ Weekly
on
Body Electric

“A darkly compelling vampire romance...the plot keeps the reader turning pages long into the night.”
Affaire de Coeur
on
The Companion

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

D
rew Tremaine shuddered. It wasn’t from the chill night air. All afternoon she’d had a feeling of impending doom. She came in from the terrace and turned out the light in the kitchen, her husband, Michael, right behind her. Looked like she and Michael were last to bed. Why was she so anxious? Tomorrow the Breakers would host a wedding. A happy union of her sister and the surprising man who was her Destiny. Not bad. Not horrific.

Michael’s big body in the darkness radiated heat that seemed to draw her. She’d been
on the terrace listening to the crash of waves on the beach below the cliff. Their rhythm usually soothed her. Tides and stars were things you could count on. Like Michael. His brawny arm welcomed her in against his body.

“You need warming up,” he murmured into her hair.

“Sure do,” she whispered back. She slid her hand over his chest, finding the nipple under his shirt and tweaking it. Images of his smooth muscles, bare and moving sinuously in the light of a candle, had her slick. It wasn’t that late. Maybe Michael could stave off her uneasiness.

She stiffened. Not another one.

The darkened living room disappeared abruptly around her, replaced by an achingly clear morning. The sky was that blue that makes you want to cry, with some drifting clouds for accent. The grass was so green it didn’t seem real. The tombstones were set flat into the grass, small silent plates that marked waves of grief subsiding into whispers of regret and ultimately into silence, the bodies beneath them now one with the earth. It was hot. They were all there, the whole family standing around an open grave, the pile next to the hole discretely covered with artificial turf as though that could conceal the finality of dirt. She couldn’t see many faces: Tris holding Maggie, who was crying, and Lanyon. The broad backs of other Tremaine men in their dark coats were turned toward her, their heads bent. Their bodies obscured most other faces. Was that her, so still and white, standing near the minister in her black dress? The atmosphere was tight with misery. As she watched, a crow, so common on the peninsula, winged into the air, starting a flock of his fellows into flight. Not a flock. It was called a murder of crows. Murder.

She cried out and the cemetery disappeared, leaving her trembling and sobbing in Michael’s arms.

He held her tightly, rubbing her back and making soothing noises. She thought she’d been getting the visions under control. Just last month she’d been able to focus on natural disasters call a vision. She’d recognized the crumbling skyline of Buenos Aires. Her brother had sent relief plans and saved a lot of lives.

But t
his vision had struck like a snake. And it was personal.

“Honey, honey,” Michael whispered. “Bad one?” His brows knit in worry.

“Yeah.” She pulled away. Should she tell him? Should she tell anyone?

God, had she seen Michael there at the graveside? She tried to focus on what she remembered. He would have been by her side if he’d been there, wouldn’t he? She tried to catch her breath, her little gasps making her feel lightheaded. She couldn’t be sure
he was there.

Who was in that grave?

Michael caught her up in his arms as her knees gave out. “You’re just tired. I’m getting you to bed.” He strode toward the stairs. They were staying at the Breakers tonight instead of heading over the bluff to the house her father built them on the grounds of the estate.

Once in her old room, he didn’t press her about what she’d seen. He undressed her, slid a nightgown over her head
, and slipped some of the sleep aids the doctor had given her for “bad dreams” into her hand, along with a glass of water. Would the drug erase the clarity of her vision? She had to remember it exactly to figure out who was missing.

Michael saw her hesitation. “Nope. No questions. You’re taking it. It’s important to get your rest so you don’t backslide. Now bottoms up.”

The long months after she and Michael had finally pledged their love had been difficult. Visions came in cascades that were so disorienting sometimes she thought she might go mad. What good was a power to see the future when she mostly couldn’t tell when or where the vision would become reality? Her world would turn into a kaleidoscope of images, near and far, sooner and later, glimpses of a future she couldn’t decipher or control. Only Michael could calm her. Like he was doing now.

She threw the pills back and chased them with the water.

“Now into bed.”

“Only if you come with me. Naked.” She tried to smile for him. She needed to feel him around her tonight.

His eyes lit and he toed off his shoes as he unbuttoned his shirt. He tossed his clothes over a chair. When his luscious body was bare, he leaned over and pulled back the covers. “You do know you’ll be asleep before you can have your way with me, don’t you?”

She shrugged and got in bed. “Yeah.” She flashed again on a hot cemetery, but this time it was only a memory of the vision. “I
. . . I just need you to hold me.”

He was already sliding in behind her. He wrapped his arms around her and tucked her backside all along his body, pushing his thickly muscled thigh between hers. “I’m here.”

Just as he always was for her. A thought occurred. It didn’t have to be a family member in that open grave. It could be Mr. Nakamura, or Miles, their attorney, or Edwards or a member of his security team, or Christian, the curator at the museum. None of those choices was good. But maybe it wasn’t Michael. She wouldn’t know how to live without him.

 

*****

 

“I do.”

Kemble Tremaine watched his little sister Keelan smile at her groom. There was so much love in that smile and in the one Devin gave her in return, it cut Kemble’s heart out.

“I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride,” the minister said.

Devin didn’t hesitate. His unruly shock of blond hair flopped over his forehead as he bent to the kiss and took his new wife in his arms. The gathering on the lawn of the Breakers this spring day wasn’t large
, but they all cheered the couple’s kiss. One of their friends, Jane Butler, snapped pictures from the sidelines with a professional-looking camera.

He slipped the small velvet pouch back in his pocket, empty and useless now that the ring he’d handed Devin was placed securely on his sister’s finger. Why had Devin picked him as best man?

He sighed. He felt like an outsider in the family these days, a disappointment. He glanced over to Tremaine Senior, dapper in his dinner jacket, the image of a powerful man. He was beaming, and Kemble’s mother was gazing up at him in total trust. Senior didn’t disappoint, unlike his eldest son. Case in point: how the hell would Kemble get through the stupid toast he was supposed to make? Everyone would expect him to be funny. He wasn’t the funny type at the best of times. The guests were in for a letdown. What a shock. He took a breath and gazed out past the pergola covered with magenta and orange bougainvillea to Catalina Island drifting in a blue haze over the Pacific. All of this “true love and destiny fulfilled” stuff was killing him.

I’m thirty-seven. It’s not going to happen for me. The damn gene must be recessive in him. This wedding brought up all the old yearning and resentment.

“Get a room,” his brother Tristram growled. The newlyweds broke their kiss and Keelan blushed.

“Hush, Tris.” Tristram’s wife
, Maggie, elbowed him in the ribs. She had that beatific look all women get at weddings. Kemble turned away.

The bride and groom headed up the grassy aisle between the rows of white chairs. Everyone rose and trekked back up to the flagstone terrace for food and champagne
. His little sister’s big black dog, Lancelot, barked excitedly. The air was rife with the scent of his mother’s roses. His little brother Lanyon provided the swelling music at the grand piano they’d moved out onto the terrace. Kemble had hired staff for the day so their majordomo, Mr. Nakamura, could be a guest instead of an employee. It was a risk to let strangers into the Breakers, but Kemble had checked and rechecked the background of each server. He was still on edge. The family was in danger these days.

Kemble fell in beside Jane, automatically guiding her over to the jacaranda tree. Its purple blooms dusted the terrace. He’d known her since his oldest sister, Drew, brought her home when they were both eleven. Jane was always more comfortable in the shade. Probably something to do with her peaches
-and-cream complexion. Bagheera, the black cat, opened his large chartreuse eyes in indignation as Kemble chased him off the table.

“Isn’t the dress Drew designed for Keelan lovely?” Jane sighed. Kemble glanced to the bride. Dress was fine. Sort of a sleek, strapless thing.
The lacy veil was so long it dragged along the ground behind her. All he’d heard for weeks during the design phase was Drew promising Keelan she wouldn’t look like a merengue. It was funny Jane and Drew were BFFs. Drew was on a first-name basis with all the important fashion designers, while Jane’s taste ran to gray-browny-beige colors like today’s sensible suit of pale gray, and comfortable shoes.

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