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Last Updated: March 06, 2015 11:14:48

Dark Celebration by Christine Feehan

Skyler glanced across the room and met burning ice-blue eyes.  Her heart fluttered in response.  She wanted to look away, but she could only stand, mesmerized, feeling the heat of his gaze, and seeing the stark hunger in the depths of his eyes.  Her breath caught in her throat and her hand went to the pendant lying hidden beneath her blouse.  She drew it out, fingers wrapping around the little blue-eyed wolf, holding it in the palm of her hand.  At once it grew warm, and to her astonishment, she felt lips press into the exact center of her palm. 

She couldn’t open her hand or look away.  She could only stare helplessly as the man rose gracefully from the bar stool and made his way across the room to her.  He moved without hurry, muscles rippling, fluid and graceful, every line of his body exuding power.  His long black hair was brushed back from his face, accentuating the carved features, the strong, masculine jaw.  Her gaze flicked to his mouth and then jumped back to his glacier-cold eyes.  Everywhere his strangely colored eyes touched her, her skin grew hot.

Dimitri held out his hand to her.  “One dance, little one.  Nothing more.  It will have to last me a long time.”

She could see the bleak loneliness in his eyes, but his face was an expressionless mask.  She hesitated, wanting to give him this one gift.  It was Christmas, after all, and he wasn’t asking that much of her.  “I have a difficult time touching people,” she admitted.  “I can feel their emotions and know their thoughts.  It’s uncomfortable.”

“I healed your hands earlier, Skyler, and you had no problems.  I can block you without too much effort and it will be well worth the trouble.” 

He kept his hand out, palm up, simply waiting for her.  His compelling gaze never left hers.  She stepped closer to the heat of his body.  All around them, people crowded close, but she was oblivious to anyone but him.  Clutching the pendant as if it was a charm able to break spells—a sacred talisman—her thumb caressed the wolf’s head, sliding over the shaggy head to caress the blue eyes.  The sapphires were exquisite, flawless and tiny, a rare find made by an actual gem-caller centuries earlier, as was the pendent itself.  She felt its power—its protection—from all but this man.

Her fingers touched his.  Warmth slid up her arm, curled in the pit of her stomach and spread through her body until she grew shamefully hot.  Before she could snatch her hand back, his fingers closed over hers and with a tenderness that stole her breath, he pulled her against him, so close her body brushed up against his.  He felt hot.  Hard.  Safe.  Dangerous.  Everything rolled into one.

Skyler swallowed hard and moved with him, her heart pounding so loud it thundered in her ears. 

“Relax,” he breathed the word in her ear, his breath teasing her senses, his lips skimming her earlobe.  “I’m not seducing you, little one, only dancing with you.”

But he could seduce her.  She recognized it the moment she was in his arms.  Her body no longer belonged to her.  His arms felt a safe refuge, yet her body reacted with urgent need.  It was impossible to control her response to him.  For all her protests, for all her fears, she realized this man was in control of more than just his own fate—he controlled hers.  If he did more than treat her gently—as he was doing—she could be lost, swallowed by the magnetic pull of lifemates, the need to be with him no matter what else she felt—no matter the personal cost.  She didn’t need to love him, but she had to be with him.

Tears welled up.  His fingers slid into her hair, pressed her head to him, so that her reaction was shielded by his chest, so that the tears fell on his shirt rather than trickling down her face.

I have not bound us together.
  His voice, velvet soft, whispered in her mind.  You are safe—even from me, Skyler.

She shook her head.  How could she be safe?  How could she live with herself knowing he suffered because of her inadequacies?  Dimitri lived in a world of violence and he was truly a dangerous man, yet with her, he was so gentle and kind.  But it wasn’t real.  Beneath the veneer of civilization, she caught glimpses of that very frightening man, so confident in a world where survival really was of the fittest.  In a world of kill or be killed he was comfortable—and she could never be.

Forget the future and the past.  Live with me now—in this moment. 

The temptation seeped into her mind—her heart.  Dimitri shifted her in his arms, holding her with great care, his body leading hers with graceful rhythm.  She took a breath and let go, allowed herself to sink into him, into his heat and his care.


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My latest release is titled Covert Game. Look for it in stores now or order it online. To read the first chapter click here.

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