Keep reading for a steamy excerpt from THE TEMPEST—an occult erotic romance available from Decadent Publishing, and don’t forget to comment for a chance to win a downloadable copy!
Jase woke from a dead sleep, thirsting and disoriented. He stared at his surroundings. Small, tidy room. White, unadorned walls. Through a single narrow window the moonlight streamed, turning his bedcovers to blue ice. Last night he had raised the sash in order to admit the evening breeze. Through this drifted the haunting notes of a string instrument.
In a blink, the cobwebs cleared from his mind and he jumped to his feet. He stood nude before the window and peered at the dim shapes of the night. His quarters were a short walk from the main building, far enough removed to feel as though he lived on a private plot of land. The sprawling lawn twinkled with midnight’s dew and enormous oaks stood at natural intervals, having sprouted up centuries before Adsbury Manor was even a notion. Their thick, gnarled limbs broke through the darkness, seeking the touch of other branches.
The haunting sound reached him, trilling through a scale. The topmost notes played with each other, chased up and down the scale and then stopped abruptly. Jase scrabbled into his abandoned pants and went barefoot out into the night, still zipping his fly.
Outside, the air hung cool and moist. Mists worked over the ground like girls in gossamer dresses still twirling to the music.
Suddenly, the notes resumed, deep and low and mournful. Having grown up as a part of the powerful Maddox clan in New York, Jase recognized the sound of a cello when he heard it. His family had regular seats to the symphony. And he could nearly envision the rich wooden curves of the instrument resting between a person’s knees.
He followed the music through the web of trees, thinking he would round a trunk and find the musician. Then the sound echoed across the yard, and he realized he was going in the wrong direction.
It had to be a staff member playing. Patients weren’t allowed out of their rooms, which were securely patrolled by night watchmen and a team of special nurses. What doctor would be compelled to hold a midnight concert?
Jase’s bare feet plowed through the wet grass, leaving dark tracks and wetting the hem of his pants. The air cooled his naked chest, but his throat was parched. He swallowed around the dry, sticky lump and continued his hunt.
The melody shifted, grew tumultuous, and drove him forward. He plunged through a hedgerow. The shorn branches scraped his skin as he fell out the other side and at the feet of Adira de la Fay.
She didn’t miss a note. The bow flew over the strings, and her red hair clung to her delicate face. With lips slightly parted and eyes partially hidden behind pale lids, she seemed to dwell in her own world. She was curled around her instrument, her arms, white and ethereal, making long sweeps with the bow.
The hair on the back of his neck rose at the sight of the eerie scene. The mist swallowed her legs to the knee, and she wore a white shift, giving her a wraithlike quality. The melody shifted again into the chilling minor chords of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. He stood frozen, watching her, not wanting to break into her trancelike state and yet certain she shouldn’t be wandering the grounds alone at night. In his morning meeting with the other doctors, he would bring it up.
Her fingers stilled on the strings and her bow arm slackened. The music ceased. Face tilted toward the sky, eyes wide and unblinking.
Jase knew better than to interrupt a patient’s hallucination, and she was clearly having one. Her eyes darted back and forth, scouring the air.
A shudder ran through her and the bow crashed across the strings, raising a torrent of notes like an army storming the grounds. The hedgerow pricked his skin, and he realized he’d backed into it. He told himself he wasn’t unnerved, that some more experienced staff member would come and guide the otherworldly girl to her bed.
As he swam through the prickly bushes and strode for his quarters, he realized he was lying to himself. He didn’t want to see Adira like that. His earlier fantasies of her deluded him to the fact that she was not just a woman who turned him on—but mentally ill, under psychiatric care.
Yet every pore of his being lusted for her. His cock hardened from the memory of her pale knees clutching that cello and the flash of her white inner thigh. God, did she wear panties beneath the sheer nightgown?
Jase quickened his pace, practically running to reach his room. The instant he slammed himself inside, he was tearing off his pants once more and pulling his rod into his hands, two fisting it as he thought of the shadow of Adira’s hard nipple through the cotton shift.
~where words mean so much more~