finished a run.”
“In this weather?” Ellie teased. She was rewarded with a deep chuckle that danced up and
down her spine.
“Hey, maybe we could run together some time,” he suggested. Ellie gave silent thanks that
he hadn’t noticed her reaction to him.
“Maybe….” Ellie nodded and smiled to take the sting out of what could’ve been perceived
as a rejection.
Suddenly he leaned forward and touched her arm lightly. “You do that a lot, you know.”
Trying not to pull away from his touch, it was Ellie’s turn to raise her eyebrows in surprise.
“Answer with something vague.” He sat back, letting her breathe normally again.
“Do I?” Ellie feigned surprise. Impressive. Most people don’t even notice when I’m giving
“There you go again!”
“Huh.” Ellie grimaced and tried a different approach. “I don’t even notice I’m doing it. I
guess I don’t talk about myself much in general.” Especially to hot guys who have no clue who I
“Fair enough.” Alex let her off the hook with good-natured grace. “So back to that run?”
Ellie laughed. Clearly she wasn’t going to get away with keeping her distance. Not that she
wanted to. She was just trying to avoid further complication. And Alex Jenner had the potential
to be a rather major complication.
Through a grey swirling mist, Griffin heard Selene’s husky voice calling his name. He
realized he was dreaming.
“Go away!” he called out to the emptiness surrounding him, as he swiveled his head around
looking for her.
“Griffin, please,” she pleaded.
He clenched his jaw. “You’re the one who controls dreams, Selene. You clear this up.”
“I don’t control dreams, really. I visit. Let me in, and you’ll clear it up yourself.”
The wisps of cloud and fog drifted away. Rays of sunlight broke through. Suddenly, Griffin
was standing in a field of wheat with a brilliant blue sky above him. He felt no heat or cold or
breeze, saw no movement and no end to the vast golden landscape. He glanced down and
realized he was clothed in casual jeans and a t-shirt–similar to what he’d worn earlier that day.
“Well?” he prodded. “Come on. Show yourself.”
“I’m right here.”
Griffin spun around at the sound of Selene’s voice directly behind him. She stood placidly,
adorned in a flowing, pale purple sundress that made her look delicate and sweet, the exact
opposite of what he knew her to be.
Selene smiled. “Thanks for the pretty dress.” But her face froze when she caught Griffin’s
hostile glare. She sighed. “Won’t you talk to me? We could always talk here…in our dreams.”
Griffin crossed his arms over his chest and scowled, attempting to disguise the fact that his
silence was due in part to Selene’s beauty. She’d always taken his breath away. “But these aren’t
our dreams, are they?” he muttered. “This is you invading my dream.”
He kept going.
Lila knew what she had to do. Taking a calming breath, she closed her eyes and pulled on
every ounce of the power within her. She pictured a mountain stream, peaceful, cool, and
soothing. Then she pushed those feelings inside Ramsey, directly into the center of his soul.
Desperation clawing at her, she did the only other thing she could think to. She wrapped her
arms around his neck and laid her lips against his, pushing her calming effect through the more
intimate connection. At first he didn’t respond, but gradually, his steps faltered, slowed, and then
stopped. And the lips under hers changed from unresponsive to drugging in a nanosecond. Joy
surged as he kissed her with a passion equal to the rage that had held him captive only moments
earlier. He wasn’t in control. Not yet. But closer.
With a groan, he jerked back to stare down at her with wild eyes, still not fully focused.
Underneath her hand she could feel the frantic beating of his heart, like a bird trapped in a cage.
She reached up and took his face in her hands. He looked down, and his eyes slowly focused,
recognition lit the green depths.
“Lila,” he gasped.
“Don’t be afraid. I won’t hurt you…. I just saved you!”
She raised her gaze to his, and Nate was stunned to see her green eyes were now glowing
“You don’t understand,” she whispered. “I could really hurt you. You need to leave.
Nate took a step closer to her. He could see that her slender body was quaking from head
Adelaide held up both her hands. “I can’t hold it in much longer. You really need to go.”
The anguish in her voice concerned him. He could tell she was terrified, but it seemed to be for
him, not because of him. She bent over and put her hands on her knees, sucking air into her lungs
as fast as she could.
Nate took a step closer but hesitated. She’s a con artist, don’t forget.
But he also wasn’t exactly sure what was happening to her. As far as he knew, none of
her powers were actually dangerous.
Suddenly Adelaide fell to her hands and knees. He could see her chest heaving as she
struggled for control. Nate acted on pure instinct. Tapping into his speed, he was at her side in
less than a blink. He wrapped his strong arms around her from behind, sat down on the ground,
and pulled her in tightly to his body. Leaving one armed wrapped around her midriff, he started
running his other hand through her hair in a soothing gesture.
Now that he was touching her, Nate was amazed her shaking wasn’t rattling her very
bones. It was that violent. Definitely not faking it.
“Breathe.” Come on.
“I… can’t,” she choked out. He knew that if he could see her face, tears would be
streaming down her cheeks. And he didn’t like it. It reminded him way too much of his dreams.
But he couldn’t think about that right now.