Celeste’s Night

By Andrea R. Cooper, author of The Garnet Dagger

The Garnet DaggerCeleste remembered his kiss. Her lips tingled even now as she thought of him. She leaned against the wooden door and could hear him breathing on the other side. But she could not give in. She was so close to her destiny and destroying the Warloc who had killed her parents. Brock was a distraction, nothing more. She wiped away her tears with one hand clutching the garnet dagger in the other.

Why was she so surprised he needed the dagger to find a witch to kill? He pestered her several times a day for it back. When she touched the gem, she felt a connection. Something she couldn’t explain. Like part of her had been locked within the dark red facets of the gem. The flame in the lantern flickered and she studied the garnet. In certain light it appeared to glow from within. She tossed it on the bed and undressed.

Her bath was waiting. The steam rolled off the water caring the scent of hyssop, lye, and tomato to get rid of the skunk smell on her skin. Naked, she climbed into the metal tub. She remembered her first bath in front of him. A shiver ran through her. The water lapped at her breasts and she thought of him. Instead of giving into her fantasy, she dunked her head below the water. Best she scrub and go to sleep for the long day ahead tomorrow.

Cleaned, she leapt out of the cooling water and draped a cloth around her. The wool material stuck to her and made her itch. She snuffed out the lantern flame. There in the darkness, she saw him. He sat on the branch of a tree just outside her window. It was too far for him to use the branch to come back inside should she raise the window.

She watched him. His hair was dark. Even though she couldn’t see his eyes, she knew they were like dark emeralds and full of longing when he looked at her. Her stomach flopped in anticipation. She wanted to run to him. Have him kiss her like he did in the cave. Kiss until they were breathless yet wanting more. She gripped the windowsill as she imagined their flesh growing slick as they teased and tasted each other. Heat radiated between her legs and she almost gave in. Almost called him to her.

Tonight was going to be a long night. She knew it would be filled with tossing and turning. She crept over to the bed and lay down. Letting out a sigh, she snuggled down. Despite what happened to her aunt, she needed to see for herself if she was still alive or not. No doubt her aunt’s magic had blasted not only the Bergone, but herself and home as well. Celeste had to be sure. She would be careful in case the Warloc had laid a trap back there.

Tomorrow she would leave. It would be best for both of them if she went alone. Brock would follow her though. Her resolve would collapse if she spent one more night next to him and his scent. A mixture of elm, a hint of pine, and kissable man.

Stop it.

Yes, tonight was going to be a long night. Well, at least she could dream of him. Hopefully she wouldn’t moan loud enough in her sleep for him to hear her. Good thing he wasn’t sharing her bed tonight. She doubted she would be able to keep her hands off his muscular body.

She was lost. She was in love.

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