About the Book
Celine Halston lives an average solitary life, sticking to routine, never taking chances, and she has never experienced true love. All of this changes when a handsome immortal enters her life. She has never laid eyes on the man before, but she somehow knows him and instantly trusts him completely.
Placing her life in his hands, Celine is taken on an unexpected journey and learns of an ancient prophecy she is to take part in. And her immortal guardian is intent on protecting her against those who would see her fail. He has been chosen for this calling and it is his sacred duty to keep her safe–to see the prophecy fulfilled at all cost. If they fail, it will change the world as they know it.
Standing on the steps of St. Mark's Basilica in the pouring rain, he heaves a tired sigh and watches the battered creature from the Dark Dunes force its heavy body up and stand once again. The rain dilutes the sulfuric odor of the canal, lending a freshness to the air. He inhales deeply, taking the cleansing scent into his lungs as he carefully watches the creature.
The square is void of life, and if not for the storm, the only sound would be the gentle-flowing water of the canal. The fight has been brutal. It started at two am. It is now three. His sinewy muscles ache and his silky white shirt is streaked with blood, but his cuts have healed and his strength is quickly regenerating. He pushes the long strands of inky black hair from his face. A leather thong holds the rest in place. His brilliant blue cat-like eyes hold excellent night vision and clearly see the Urchin crouching, readying itself to spring once again. Its hands are like a hawk's talons and black leather stretches over the large round body. Its head is bald and pointed top teeth protrude over the bottom lip of the twisted and deformed mouth. Scars in different shapes and sizes cover the Urchin's face and neck. The acidic green mucus dripping from its mouth is foul enough to turn the strongest of stomachs.
He takes all of this in for a moment, then clears his mind. Closing his eyes, he calls upon the power living deep within him–a power he summons only when absolutely necessary. A rush of adrenaline fills his veins and heats his body to the core. His eyes snap open wide and he lunges, meeting the Urchin in the air. He lands a fist in its chest and a great current of power surges from his hand as it makes contact with the Urchin's heart. It cries out and the ear-piercing screech echoes throughout the square. No longer able to stand, it falls to the ground, writhing on the pavement.
He approaches the creature and stares down into its half-closed, blood-red eyes.
“This isn't over,” it croaks in a garbled voice.
“It is,” he says with surety and strength. Standing still as stone, he watches the Urchin close its eyes and release a final rattly breath. It turns to dust and disintegrates before his eyes. It is the second time this week he has witnessed such a sight. And he is sure it will not be the last.
Heaving a deep sigh, he turns his gaze to the body lying a few yards behind him. He quickly scoops the unconscious woman up in his arms and cradles her against him. Once again he has succeeded in protecting her, only this time it had been a closer call than before. His eyes take in the soaked features of the woman he has come to know as his true mate. Every time he touches her, the mark of the Ki Talimai, the soul's bond, glows and tingles in his palm. Now, as he stands holding her in his arms, the eternal mark burns.
He lowers his dark head and presses his forehead against hers, inhaling her rain-enhanced scent. He smells a mixture of jasmine, vanilla, and cinnamon pine on her skin. He knows her scent well because it matches his own. It calls to him as strongly as her senses. He knows her emotions intimately–her joys, her fears, her sorrows, her grief, her loneliness. He knows her. Yet she doesn't truly know the real him, nor does she know the full measure of his powers.
But she will. She will finally know everything this night.
* * *
He moves toward the large double doors of the church. They swing open without him making contact. He never needs to touch an object to move it. He simply thinks it into action and his command is obeyed. When it comes to people or living creatures, however, his powers only work on the weak-minded. For the strong, he must get physical. Even still, he never forces his will on anyone. He would never abuse his powers that way. That had been the first lesson he was taught when his training began seven hundred years ago at the young age of twenty.
He steps inside and Father Battiano silently directs him to the corridor to the right. He has been here before–he has used the same quarters he now enters. He lets his eyes scan the room. There is a small bed against the wall, covered with a thick quilt. A pan of water is heating on a hotplate in the corner and a creaky furnace warms the small area. A wooden door in the corner opens to a small bathroom.
He walks over and places the woman on the bed, then gestures to the priest to turn and face the wall.
When the holy man complies, he in turn closes his eyes and whispers three words. He opens his eyes and the woman is dry and now wearing a soft white gown. He lifts her from the bed to pull the quilt and top sheet back, and tucks her underneath. His eyes take in her smooth brown skin, long fluttering lashes, and the mass of black spiraled curls splaying over the white pillow, spilling down to her waist. He watches the slow rise and fall of her chest and listens to her soft rhythmic breathing. His gaze moves back to her face, and for the ten thousandth time he admires her beauty. From the moment she was born, he has been watching over her from afar until recently. He witnessed her childhood, watched her blossom and grow, and turn into the great beauty that she is.
He lifts her hand to his lips and presses his palm against hers. Her Ki Talimai mark calls to his, causing heat to spread up his arm through his entire body. Never before has it affected him so strongly. And he knows why.
Her call to him is stronger because the bond between them is near to completion. When that happens, nothing in this world or another can ever come between them. They will fully lay claim on one another's souls, as well as hearts.
This is not the end.
It is only the beginning.
The Wishing Hour will be available at jadamsnovels.com, Smashwords.com, and Offthebookshelf.com. I will keep you posted on the release date.