Author: Cindy Paterson
Series: The Senses
Number in Series: 3
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Cover Artist: Mark Paterson
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Suspense
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Suspense
Synopsis from Goodreads
“He’s destroying me—us. I need him like my next breath, yet I’m suffocating.”
An unrequited love that has ripped her to pieces.
Delara has loved Waleron for over a century. Their intense chemistry is sensual, gripping, irresistible. But tragedy struck, and after sixty-one years of believing he was dead, Waleron returns a tortured man. He claims the man she loves is dead, yet the undeniable sexual tension still pulls them together.
“I am no longer the man you love, maitagarri. I am incapable of it.”
Waleron has given his oath to protect the Senses. He will sacrifice everything for them. But there is one Senses he has vowed to protect more than any other—Delara. He will do anything to make certain she is safe, even if it means he must deny her the love they once shared.
She is the hunted.
Delara’s life is in jeopardy and Waleron will do anything to protect her. But he never suspected that Xamien, the man he brings to help protect her is way more important to her than he ever knew.
Torn between two men and hunted by another, Delara must fight her hardest battle—herself.
FALL can be read as a Stand-alone. This book is intended for 18 and up.
Excerpt by Cindy Paterson
Toronto, Canada 1987
“You bloody well won’t give him up, will you?”
Delara let go of the balcony railing and spun around. The breeze caught the jagged strands of her hair, drifting them across her face. The moment she saw his reddened cheeks and clenched fists, she knew what was to come. Her fingers curled into her bathrobe and she stepped back, but the railing impeded any further escape. “Tarek? What are you—”
“Waleron!” he shouted. Tarek’s attractive face twisted into a distorted monster, smooth pale skin filling with crevices and lips pressed so firmly together that they nearly disappeared. The sound escaping his throat was a mix of a lion’s roar and an eagle screeching in misery as if caught in a trap.
He smashed his fist through the glass French door and blood dripped from the cuts in his skin. He didn’t appear to notice. “He’s dead. Dead, damn it.” The glass crunched beneath his feet as he came towards her. He grabbed her by the shoulders, fingers digging into her flesh. “I’ve done everything for you. Everything!” Tarek shook her so hard her teeth clanked. “Yet, still you love him.”
How could she deny it? She couldn’t. There was no point fighting Tarek when he was like this. She’d learned that long ago.
He shoved a crinkled piece of paper into her face. “Explain this.”
She glanced down at the familiar handwriting and gasped. Oh god, he’d found it. Before he could react, she grabbed the letter from his hand and curled it in her fist, hiding it away from the tainted hand of anyone who dared to read it. But Tarek had. He’d found it within the folds of the pages in her book on her nightstand.
“I always wondered why you opened that same book every single night before you went to sleep. You were reading it.” His voice was garbled with rage and saliva spewed from his mouth. “His words. In our bed.” His bloodied hand slapped across her cheek with such force her head whiplashed backwards. If he hadn’t been holding her shoulder the momentum would’ve sent her over the balcony. “I loved you! I cared for you.”
I will not survive without you. Waleron’s words. Words he’d written to her.
“He never loved you, Delara.” She winced as he shoved her in the chest and the bone in her spine crushed against the metal railing. She hooked her arm in the rails then quickly glanced over her shoulder, looking down the three stories to the pavement below.
“I did.” Tarek said, “It’s me you should love.” He leaned forward and his whisky soaked breath gusted into her face. “I won’t stand for it any longer. I won’t be made a fool of.”
Fear smothered her. His last words were calm, deliberate, and in that instant she knew this would be different from his usual punching bag sessions. “Tarek, please. I know he’s gone. He—”
Tarek grabbed her arm, fingers bruising her flesh as he yanked her towards him. “When you make love to me, do you think of him?”
“No Tarek! It’s not like that.” She tried to pull from his grip, but he raised his elbow and slammed it into her face. Her body flew back and she would’ve fallen over the railing if he hadn’t been holding her.
Her scream of agony was cut off by another blow to the head, this time causing her vision to blur. She coughed and choked as blood streamed from her broken nose. Tears swam with the blood, dripping onto her robe then onto the floor. She had to breathe out of her mouth, short gasps of air mixed with cries of pain.
She tried to keep from passing out by focusing on her training. Remember what Waleron taught you. Years she grappled with him, her vigilant lover making certain she could outmaneuver any species that came at her. What he hadn’t taught her was how to live after he died.
Tarek’s fist made contact with her cheek again, making a resounding smack. She heard the crack of her cheekbone the same time as sharp, jarring pain rushed through her face. “I did everything to make you love me, but still you think of him. Still want him! You fuckin’ ungrateful bitch. He’s dead, damn it. Dead!”
“Please,” she sobbed. “Tarek that’s not true. Don’t do this. Why are you doing this?” But she knew why. Jealousy. Tarek had always been obsessed with her and she would’ve seen it, if she’d cared. That emotion disappeared the day the Lilac killed Waleron. Now, she survived. Breathed. And often used her knife to cut her skin to try to take away the emotional pain.
“If you won’t have me then you will have no one.”
Body broken, spirit eaten away over the last sixty-one years of misery, Delara thought she’d welcome death, but the fear of what Tarek would do to her gnawed into her flesh like termites. “Tarek, please—”
He punched her in the gut and air was forced from her lungs with a whoosh. She bent over in agony holding her stomach. She spit the saliva that tasted like iron from her mouth while she gasped for breath.
Tarek grabbed her arm and jerked. He dragged her through the bedroom to the top of the staircase. Without warning, he pushed her forward with a hard shove to the small of her back. With a choked scream of surprise, she tumbled head first down the flight of stairs to land in a heap on the ceramic tiled floor. Debilitating pain pounded into her back and neck, while her twisted right leg felt as if it had been trampled by a herd of buffalo.
Footsteps thudded down the stairs.
She choked on a cry as she tried to crawl to her feet and get away, but he was already on her. His fist curled into her hair as he pulled her on her back across the floor to the living room. Her scalp screamed and she tried desperately to ease the pain by holding his wrist and pushing with her feet, but one leg refused to function properly.
He lifted her up by the hair, forcing her to stand. A cry wrenched from her throat and she stumbled and nearly fell to the floor. Fresh tears swam in the lids of her eyes.
“Tarek.” Her breaths hitched. She noticed his wavering pupils, the twitching in his cheek—he wasn’t going to stop. He was going to kill her. The crazed look sheathed his usual striking appearance, making him unrecognizable. Whatever she had to do it had to be now, because Tarek was going to make certain she never saw another sunrise.
She averted her eyes and relaxed her limbs, hoping her submission would lower his guard. The moment he loosened his grip she reacted, whirling and slamming her fist that held the note into his broad-width nose. She heard the distinct crunch and his roar of fury at the same time.
She raised her knee as he bent over screaming something about how he’d make her suffer and jerked it into his face. She collapsed to the floor as her bad leg gave out. She crawled a few feet away and used the couch for leverage to pull herself up.
She had no clue why she was fighting when she’d been dead inside for years, but something inside her screamed for her to live. Tarek wouldn’t stop until her last breath this time. This wasn’t about submission or punishment any longer. It was control. Possession. Worst of all it was madness.
Delara limped to the foyer while Tarek yelled incoherently, holding his shirt to his broken nose.
She banged into the door and undid the bolt only to yank on it and have nothing happen. She pulled and pulled, using her physical strength and her mind against Tarek’s telekinesis, but he was stronger and there was no way she could win against his power.
She turned, breathing heavily, heart pounding as Tarek approached. Blood smeared across his face and his nose sat at an odd angle. She judged the distance to the bay window in the den and wondered if she could make it before he caught her. Could she jump through the glass? Would it break on impact? Did it matter? If she didn’t get away, he’d make certain she suffered before death.
The crumbled piece of paper still lay protected in her deadlocked fist and she thought of the man who wrote it, of his unyielding courage. Waleron would fight until his heart refused to pump, his limbs refused to function—he’d never give up. He’d do whatever it took to survive.
Her hand tightened on the paper.
About Cindy Paterson