Seth’s flown the skies for two thousand years. His soul was sacrificed to live forever as a Raven. Civilizations have risen and fallen while he’s performed his duty of protecting charges. Through this he’s never found true love.

Jayd has employed Seth, not knowing his true nature, only that she’s lusted after him. He keeps his distance and barely ever speaks. Jayd craves to feel his lips, but won’t dare approach him.

Lately, the shadows are whispering and Jayd’s terrified to go home. Will they discover what's after Jayd? Or will the darkness take her before Seth can claim her?


Excerpt from "Whispers in the Dark"

When the door opened, the chimes rang once again, announcing there was someone else in the shop with her. Jayd popped her head out of the back room where she'd been sorting through the latest shipment of herbs. There was a teenage boy, who looked to be eighteen, with dyed black hair, pale skin, black lipstick, and a long trench coat picking through her assortment of books on witchcraft and Satanic rituals. She didn't recognize him from the other Goth teens in the small town. She could pick out every one of the wayward and curious locals who browsed or those who begged her not to tell his or her parents if they ever came in by how their multicolored hair fell on their pimpled faces. Because Jayd was young, some of the teenagers thought she was an older version of themselves, even though she didn't do the Goth thing. Jayd liked to think she had earned the "cool" moniker in their eyes. She didn't know who the teen was. Sighing, Jayd got up and dusted herself off. Lavender and dragon's blood incense particles had attached themselves to her like burrs. Sometimes, she'd spend slow days doing inventory. By the time she'd go home, she'd be steeped in a multitude of herbs and incense. Jayd wondered why she wasn't allergic to any of the scents.

Pushing aside the beads separating the stockroom from the rest of the shop, Jayd glanced at the clock on the counter. It was near nine. Closing time. I didn't realize I'd been in there so long. Where did the hours go? A chill slid over her skin when she studied the boy again. His back was turned to her now. His ebony hair was long and braided down his back. The longer she stared at him, the more of an impression of offness, of him not belonging, came over her. Jayd might run a New Age supply shop, employed psychics, and had a license to have massages in the back part of the shop, but she was not psychic herself. She loved being immersed in the whole New Age atmosphere, but her new customer gave her a creepy feeling that made her shiver.

"Can I help you with something?" Jayd asked.

The boy turned around. In his hand, he held a quartz gargoyle. It was one of her favorite pieces. She had even bought one for herself. He smiled, a perfunctory gesture. The expression didn't bring her any reassurance. Something in his eyes when he came closer to the counter twisted her stomach into large lumps. His eyes seemed dead. They had no light or life in them at all. The Goth teen's smile widened. Today, she wished Seth were scheduled to work. Seth always made her feel safe, even in this small town, but he wasn't going to be in for another two weeks.

The customer placed the crystal gargoyle on the counter. "I'd like to buy this, please."

Jayd returned the smile the best she could. "Twenty even."

Her patron reached into his deep trench coat pockets and pulled out a bill. When he did, she realized he wasn't wearing a shirt. He was skinny yet had defined muscles. His features were feminine. His eyes were such a bright shade of green they reminded her of neon signs. Jayd took the bill. It was a fifty. She didn't have much in the register.

"Do you have anything smaller? I can't break it unless you buy something else."

His gaze never left hers. It reached into Jayd, touching her heart and making it stutter. Absently, she clutched the counter. A sudden jolt of pain from a sliver she picked up from underneath the counter stabbed her palm. Her customer's stare tried to capture her.

"No, Jayd. I don't want anything else just yet. Keep the change."

Surprise widened her eyes. I don't have a name tag, and I'm out of business cards. "How do you know my name?"

He laughed, this time showing a mouthful of perfect teeth white enough to match his skin. "I know a lot about you, Jayd. More than you know about yourself." He leaned over the counter. She tried to back away, but her feet were not obeying her mind. Terror had her planted to the spot. This teen shouldn't scare her the way he did, but something told her he was not an ordinary teenager. He reached out his hand and encircled the wrist of her hand that held the bill. His movement was only a blur to her eyes and his grip strong enough to challenge a vice, and yet he held Jayd's wrist delicately. "One day soon, I'll come back and show you a world you've never dreamed about. Until then, I'll be seeing you."

Instantly, his lips were on Jayd's. He had taken her by such surprise that she didn't have time to react to the kiss. All she knew was that his satin lips were on her mouth. His tongue danced across her teeth. She found herself succumbing to the gesture. Tremors of lust invaded Jayd's mind and body, possessing her. Part of her began to fantasize what would happen if they got together. Another part made her wonder what the hell she was thinking. She was twenty-eight. This kid was ten years younger than she, and if anyone walked in, they'd question what was going on. However, the rational part of her brain had shut down. Somehow his kiss had reached in and smothered it with some kind of overwhelming power. It didn't matter if anyone waltzed in. Jayd craved more of his touch. She desired to feel his fingers sliding over her breasts and down to lower, wetter regions. Jayd hadn't been ignited for a long time. A moan escaped from her lips and her seducer swallowed it up. Before she could even comprehend what had happened, she was suddenly left wanting. The bells chimed on the door, and the breeze from the outside cooled her down enough to think again. The place where his lips had touched hers still burned. But they weren't seared from the heat of the gesture. Rather, her lips were frigid.

Looking around, Jayd realized the Goth was gone, she still had the fifty, and the crystal gargoyle had disappeared along with her mysterious guest. Her fingers traced over her lips holding onto the kiss for a moment longer before snapping back into action. She ran her tongue over her mouth trying to get some feeling back into it. Jayd, wondering why the stranger had come in at all, shook her head. He said he knew more about me than I did. What did he mean by that?

Jayd thought about it the rest of the night while she closed up. She climbed the five steps from her shop to street level and glanced around Main Street. Main Street was silent and deserted save for the whine of the streetlights. The lights were heated gas lamps, a throwback to older times. The hum of traffic came from a couple of streets over. The old-fashioned clock on the bank next door read twenty till ten. The rest of the stores were closed for the night except the pizza shop on the next block, and they closed at ten. This was what she loved about the town. It was quiet and not hassled with the hustle and bustle of the city. People lived in peace here. But tonight, when she locked up, Jayd had the eerie feeling that she was being watched. There was no one on the road. The shadows seemed darker for some reason. It's just my mind playing tricks on me. When she took in the lonely stretch of road, hers was the only car next to the sidewalk. Across the street from the shop, perched on the globe of the streetlight, were the blackest eyes of a crow she had ever seen. It was large enough to have been an eagle blending with the inkiness of the night around her. It had its eyes trained on her. Maybe I'm its next meal. Jayd chuckled and shook her head placing her key in the lock of her car door.

"You'd better stop spying on me," she laughed nervously at the crow. It turned its head acknowledging she was talking to it. It clapped its beak at her and then spread its wings, displaying a wingspan close to six feet. After settling its wings back into place, it didn't move, but neither did it take its eyes off of her. Maybe it's waiting for the pizza place to bring out the trash. Free meal. Maybe it has a thing for pepperoni. Jayd giggled a little and wiped the strange encounter with the Goth from her mind. There are plenty of ways that boy could have gotten my name. I don't have an unpublished number so all he had to do was call information or something. That had to be it. Jayd climbed into her car, and the only thought dominating her mind was that of sleep. It had been a long, slow day, and she still had half a shipment of herbs and incense to put away. Tomorrow was another lengthy day, and she doubted that she'd have much more to show for it. Tonight was for sleeping, once her head hit her feather pillow. Hopefully, there'd be no dreams of the strange visitor she had.



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