Midnight Shadow Excerpt

Midnight Shadow by Laurel O'Donnell

The dark courtyard was still and silent, as if it, too, was working with her to keep her secret.

Bria walked up the two steps to the keep and pushed one of the double doors open to enter.  She pushed it closed behind her and moved down the still hallway.  All the servants were sleeping.  The only sounds were the snapping, hissing flames from the torches that lit the corridor and her own soft steps.  She moved up the spiral stairway and down the hallway to her room.

When she entered and closed the door behind her, a sense of relief filled her.  She tossed the bag on the bed and lit a candle.

“It’s rather late to be out for a ride.”

She whirled, her gaze searching her room.  A shadow separated from the wall and moved into the circle of light cast by the flickering candle.  The light slowly washed over lord Terran Knowles, revealing his face as he moved toward her.

Bria’s heart raced as panic filled her.  She fought it down, demanding, “What are you doing here?”

“I have a solution to our problem,” he murmured, the timbre of his voice moving through her body.

She stepped away from him, realizing her heart was racing not with panic, but with something else.  Unsure and frightened by the strange sensations Terran aroused within her, she quickly moved out of the light of the candle and into the darkness that helped conceal her as the Midnight Shadow, the darkness she hoped would conceal her feelings as Bria.  She skirted the edges of her room, but Terran pursued her.

“What problem?” she managed to stammer.

“You’re mine,” he proclaimed.

The certainty in his voice sent waves of shivers through her body.  For just an instant, a wildly mad instant, she wondered what it would be like to be possessed by Terran.

“You’ve been mine from before you were born,” he said.  “Your father knows it and you know it.  You simply will not acknowledge it.”

The backs of her knees hit the bed.  She glanced over her shoulder.  A ray of moonlight illuminated the deep red blanket and something black near the head of the bed.  Suddenly, sheer, vibrant fear seized her as she remembered her bag lay hidden in the darkness near the headboard.

Her gaze snapped back to Terran.  He was standing very close, so close she could see the smoky depths of his eyes.  So close she could feel his breath as it fanned her lips, the raw power radiating from the core of his being.

It wasn’t fear that filled her as he lifted his arms to her shoulders.  It wasn’t dread.  It wasn’t loathing.  It was breathless anticipation.

“I’m here to convince you.”


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