What She Wants at Midnight

( 1 )

Overview

The man of Devon Bradshaw's dreams is exactly that — in her dreams.

For the past seven months, he has watched her with dark, haunting eyes while she sleeps. Though she yearns to caress those powerful muscles and feel the intense heat radiating from his body, she can't even see his face.

Cael Oneiros is a Dream Wreaker, descended from Greek gods, and ever since his first night at Devon's bedside, he's wanted to fill the luscious redhead's sweet ...

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Overview

The man of Devon Bradshaw's dreams is exactly that — in her dreams.

For the past seven months, he has watched her with dark, haunting eyes while she sleeps. Though she yearns to caress those powerful muscles and feel the intense heat radiating from his body, she can't even see his face.

Cael Oneiros is a Dream Wreaker, descended from Greek gods, and ever since his first night at Devon's bedside, he's wanted to fill the luscious redhead's sweet dreams with steamy satisfaction. It tortures him not to touch her, not to stay by her side until dawn — but without his help, none of his other mortal charges can sleep.

Desperate to touch her dream man, Devon casts a love spell...and is stunned when it works. With a little mandrake, some mugwort, and a few rose petals, she finally has her legs wrapped around Cael's muscular body — and the sex is a mind-blowing pleasure ride she could never have dreamed up. But her magic didn't come with a warning label, and while she's burning up the sheets every night with her sexy sandman, her love spell has consequences she didn't expect....

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416547457
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • Publication date: 3/11/2008
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Kimberly Dean is the author of What She Wants at Midnight, the first book in her steamy Dream Wreakers series. She also appeared in the Pocket Books Ellora's Cave anthology Taming Him. Visit her website at www.kimberlydean.com.

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Read an Excerpt

Prologue

He watched her while she slept.

His eyes were haunting, nearly the color of midnight. Eyes full of lust. Eyes full of need.

He came to her every night, but she didn't know his name. She'd never seen his face.

Only his eyes.

Tonight they looked down on her with a desire so intense, it made her writhe on the crisp white sheets of her bed. Heat poured through her veins. She wanted him so badly. In vain, she kicked off the covers, trying to ease her distress.

His eyes sparked, and his blistering gaze ran down her form. Yet he did not touch.

He never touched. He only watched.

She slid to the side of the bed, trying to get closer to where he stood over her. Her nightgown rode high on her thighs and dipped low between her aching breasts.

She wanted to see him. Wanted to know his face. His body.

She desperately needed to know his body.

Fighting through the weight of the fog, she lifted her hand toward him. Just once, she needed to touch him.

His eyelids drooped and, for a moment, she thought he'd let her. Her fingers brushed whisper-close to his brow, but he retreated. Regret made the luminous light of his eyes dim.

"No," she whispered, instinctively knowing what was to come. "Stay with me."

Tormented, his dark eyes closed.

Then he was gone.

Devon came awake with a jolt, her body throbbing. With a groan, she collapsed back onto the mattress.

When was she going to stop doing this to herself? When would she learn?

Her dream man was only that.

A dream. Copyright © 2008 by Kimberly Dean

One

"I can't believe you're still dreaming about him."

Devon glanced up from the stargazer lilies she was contemplating and caught her friend's concerned look. At once, she regretted mentioning her nighttime flight of fancy. "I can't either, but I don't have any control over my thoughts when I sleep."

"Of course you do. It's your mind. Next time it happens, tell your little dream self to jump his bones." Tasha gestured with both hands for emphasis. "For heaven's sake, you two should be on your third pass through the Kama Sutra by now."

Devon blushed and moved farther down the aisle of the greenhouse. It was late, nearly closing time, and the cavernous Quonset hut made their voices carry. "It's not like that," she said in a hushed tone. "We don't touch...we can't. He just watches."

Tasha groaned. "Honey, what are you doing in that bed?"

"I don't...I haven't...He just makes me hot, all right?" Devon tucked her hair behind her ear, uncomfortable talking about something so private but knowing there was no use trying to hide it. Tasha knew her better than anyone, and she'd never been able to keep anything from her. "This has been going on for seven months. It's making me crazy."

"It's making me worried. This isn't natural, Dev."

But it felt natural. Instinctive. Right.

Devon stared hard at the 'Shadeglow' impatiens in their little plastic seedling containers. The dream overtaking her life was unlike any she'd ever had before — and not only because it wouldn't go away. Every time she slipped under, she was caught in a world so vivid and tactile, her senses sang. And when she awoke, she remembered everything in such detail, she'd swear it had been real.

Her body certainly couldn't tell the difference. She tended to slip so seamlessly from sleep to wakefulness, the two blended together. The resulting sexual frustration was driving her insane. If she woke one more time to find her skin sweaty, her heart pounding, and dampness coating her thighs...

A familiar tightness sizzled low in her belly, and she determinedly pushed it away.

"I've checked out all the dream interpretation books at the library," she confessed. "Dreams about eyes supposedly signify enlightenment or understanding. The way this one is recurring, though, means that I'm not confronting something."

"Well, we both know what that is."

Devon glanced up sharply. "We do?"

"You need to confront the fact that it's time you got laid!"

Devon glanced around quickly. The greenhouse where they were shopping was on the outskirts of Solstice. Business was slow, and there were only a few other people around, but she didn't need them hearing about her sex life — or lack thereof. "Is that all you ever think about?" she hissed.

"It's been a three-month dry spell for me, too. I can't help it if I have sex on the brain." Tasha's chin lifted and a familiar stubborn look settled on her face. "Besides, that's why we're here."

Oh, really?

Devon got uneasy when her friend started digging into her purse. She should have known something was up. She loved gardening, but Tasha wasn't the kind of woman who planted flowers. She received them in bouquets from men.

"Aha! Here it is." Triumphantly, Tasha produced a folded piece of paper. She opened it with a flick of her wrist.

"What is that?" Devon asked apprehensively.

"Before you is the answer to all our problems."

"Why do I get the feeling I'm not going to like this?"

"Because you probably won't. That's why I didn't tell you earlier." Tasha smoothed the piece of paper almost reverently. "We're going to perform a love spell."

Before Devon could think of a thing to say, Tasha was picking up a red basket and determinedly moving toward the herbs section.

"Wait a minute!" Devon hurried to catch up, her long legs quickly matching her friend's shorter stride.

"We're going to perform it tonight," Tasha said in a tone that brooked no argument. "So you can stop worrying about those pesky, unsatisfying dreams. Before long, a real man will be warming your bed."

Devon fought for her patience. "Where did you get that?"

"The Internet." Tasha's stiletto boots clipped across the cement flooring, and her miniskirt flounced high on her thighs. "Do you see anything that looks like caraway?"

Devon groaned. "Did you ever consider an online dating service? Or the personal ads in the Sentinel? You can use my employee discount."

"Do you have any idea how many jerks you meet with those hit-or-miss matchups?" Tasha waved the paper in her face. "This will guarantee us the right guy the first time."

Devon snatched the notes away. "Look me in the eye and say that with a straight face."

Tasha's nose scrunched up, and she stopped walking. "Oh, come on, Dev. Stop being such a downer. What could it hurt to try? We need to shake things up a bit. We're both in a rut."

Devon hooked her thumb into a belt loop of her low-slung jeans and glanced again at Tasha's latest great idea. It looked like nothing more than an exotic recipe.

The hopeful expression on her friend's face made her sigh. Even if she did believe in magic, she really wasn't interested in meeting anyone right now. She knew that only one man could fulfill her needs; no other man could measure up. Still...

If it would make Tasha feel better, maybe she should go along with it. Her friend was getting more and more upset about her recurring dream. Whereas Devon looked forward to it, practically craved it, Tasha feared it. If this love spell made her friend feel like they were doing something productive, that it would shake Devon's obsession with her silent watcher — what could it hurt?

As long as she got to bed on time...

"All right," she gave in. "But is this a generic love spell or can we customize it?" She winked to break the tension. "I want tall, dark, and handsome or there's no deal."

A broad smile lit Tasha's face, and she looped their arms together. "Now you're talking! Although I've got nothing against blonds..."

Together they walked deeper into the greenhouse, looking for the herbs and flowers they needed. The stifling atmosphere made them both want to hurry. The air felt heavy. Clinging. Close. Devon looked around again and realized they were the only customers left. Except for a teenager watering plants at the other end of the building, the entire place was empty.

Dusk was settling upon Solstice, and night wasn't far behind.

"Let's hurry," she said. "We need to be out of here before it gets dark."

"I know. Sorry, but this is the only place I could find that specializes in herbs." Tasha's eyes sparked and she picked up a pot. She scowled when it wasn't what she wanted.

Devon let one eyebrow rise. "How long have you been planning this?"

"Mugwort," Tasha said, blithely ignoring the question and strolling away. "Any idea what it looks like? It sounds like a dermatological problem, but we need some."

Devon hesitated when her gaze landed on a bleeding heart plant, and that feeling of uneasiness once again came over her. She shook it off. The creepy little greenhouse was getting to her. "Let's ask that worker boy."

"Good idea. Hey, cutie pie," Tasha called out to the teenager. She waved when he gave her a "who me?" look. "Can you help us?"

The boy nearly dropped his hose. Tasha might be tiny, but she packed a punch — especially in that red miniskirt. Never one to let attention pass, she let her hips sway as she strutted down the aisle. Not nearly as overt, Devon followed at more of a distance. Still, the kid's gaze ran a quick sweep over her — and came to a dead stop. Water splashed onto the concrete floor as he gaped. Devon was used to people looking twice at her. The auburn hair and sleek figure she'd inherited from her mother caught as much attention as Tasha's exotic looks.

"Could you tell me where to find these things?" Tasha asked as she passed the teen the paper. Water from the hose poured dangerously close to the toes of her Candie's boots as he reached to take it.

"Oh, gee!" the kid said, embarrassed. He quickly turned to shut off the faucet. "Sorry about that."

"That's all right, sweetie. I'm used to things spurting at me unexpectedly."

Devon's air choked in her throat. She covered it with a cough as Tasha threw her a quick smile.

The boy flushed but tried to summon a sense of professionalism. He looked intently at Tasha's list, but his eyebrows lowered when he read the ingredients.

"Is something the matter?" Devon asked. She couldn't put her finger on what the problem was, but the kid looked uncomfortable. "Don't you have them?"

"We have them." He tugged at his work apron and glanced nervously over his shoulder. "But you'll need to go in there."

In there.

Devon and Tasha turned simultaneously. "In there" didn't look very welcoming. A dark, ivy-covered door stood at the very end of the greenhouse. Just looking at it made goose bumps rise at the base of Devon's neck. Something was off here. Very off. "Tasha," she whispered.

They exchanged a look, and Tasha's eyebrows lifted. Devon didn't need to say any more. She didn't get these feelings very often, but when she did, her instincts were uncanny. They'd learned long ago to trust them.

"Thanks, hon," Tasha told the teenager. Taking a deep breath, she once again looped her arm through Devon's. "How bad is it?"

They'd never needed to put a name on "it." "It" was just something that Devon had always had. Call it gut instinct, call it foresight, call it intuition. It didn't matter what name was slapped on it. What did matter was that she was never wrong.

Ever.

This time, though, "it" was different.

"It's weird, but I wouldn't call it bad." Devon instinctively rubbed her stomach. She felt a pull toward that dark, ivy-covered door. She needed to go into that room, but she didn't want to. It was as if two distinct forces were pulling her in opposite directions.

"It's not the good zing?"

Devon shook her head. She got good impressions, too, but even more rarely.

Tasha looked frustrated. "If it's not good and it's not bad, then it must be okay, right? Maybe your swirly belly is just telling you that we're about to have an adventure."

That's all life was to Tasha, one big adventure. Devon wasn't so carefree. "Are you sure this is the only place you can get these herbs?"

Tasha's fingers drummed slowly on the piece of paper. "Well, I suppose I could get them over the Internet."

"Let's do that," Devon said quickly. She pulled away and started to head toward the exit when she noticed the look on Tasha's face. "What?" she demanded.

"We have to perform the spell when the moon is waxing to encourage positive energy. It will take at least a week for the ingredients to be shipped here, and even then it will be too late. And we won't know if they're fresh." Tasha shook off her disappointment and waved her hand airily. "That's okay. If you don't think it's good here, we'll just get everything ready to go for next month. You know I trust you."

Guilt weighed down upon Devon. She didn't want to spoil her friend's fun, yet this seemed like more than just a lark to Tasha. Her friend tended to believe in the metaphysical and all its associated touchy-feely practices.

Devon took a long moment, staring at the door and trying to analyze her reaction.

The door was just a door, but the pull toward it was getting stronger. As much as she wanted to leave, she knew she had to go inside.

"Okay," she finally said. "Since we're already here, we might as well get what you came for."

Tasha brightened visibly. "Are you sure?"

"A month more of those dreams?" Devon reached out and caught her friend's hand. "Maybe this will give me other things to think about."

"Hoo ya, sister! Let's make some magic."

They approached the door, and when Tasha opened it, the hinges gave a long groan. Devon felt cool air rush over her, seeming to beckon her even more. Silently, she stepped forward and entered.

She nearly jumped out of her skin when the heavy door closed behind them.

Feeling defenseless, she looked around quickly. The room was actually a small, well-tended shed. The air was cool and dry, a stark contrast to the tropical greenhouse they'd just left. She blinked and waited for her eyes to adjust to the dim light. Around her, shapes and objects appeared. Overhead, tied bundles of drying plants hung from the ceiling. Netting was carefully placed below to catch any falling seeds. All around her, shelves held flower heads and roots drying on screens. A kitchen-style island stood at the end of the room with knives carefully arranged and pruning scissors at the ready. A compost container held any leftovers to save them for their return to the earth.

Her gaze finally landed upon the wizened old man chopping what looked like parsley with the assurance of a Japanese chef. He paid his visitors no regard, working so fast, his knife seemed a blur. When he finished cutting the herb, he scraped the small bits into a dark jar. Careful to catch every last bit, he filled the container to the brim. Still oblivious to their presence, he dipped his knife in the sink behind him and studiously cleaned it. A lid went tightly onto the jar, and a prepared label was attached. Finally, he looked up.

His watery blue eyes pinned Devon where she stood, concentrating on her so hard, it appeared as if he was trying to read her mind. His heavy white brows drew together until they almost joined.

"What?" she blurted. "Why are you staring at me?"

"Your aura," the old man said in a voice like sandpaper. "Reds and blues and yellows. It's very powerful."

Her mouth went dry. She had no idea how to respond to that.

Tasha quickly stepped into the mix. "Are you the herbalist?" she asked, ever one to get down to brass tacks.

The old man nodded.

"Great," she said brightly.

Too brightly. Devon glanced quickly at her friend. The dim, claustrophobic room was even bothering her. That said something.

Tasha set her list of ingredients onto the island and tucked her shaking hand behind her back. "We're looking for these things."

The old man quickly scanned the list, and his frown deepened. "Are you a practicing Wiccan?" he snapped.

Devon took a step back. How could he know they were planning to perform a spell? Herbs didn't automatically equate to such a thing; they could be cooking, for all he knew. But that was just it. He knew. Suddenly, it didn't seem like such a silly, happy-go-lucky thing.

"Uh, no...," Tasha mumbled. She nervously tucked her dark hair behind her ear. "But we'd like — "

"Magic is not something to be trifled with!" The old man pointed a gnarled finger at her, unshaken in his assumptions. "The potential for mishap is too great, especially for those unknowing in the arts. You will not get these items from me."

"But...you can't do that!" Tasha gestured around the room. "You're open for business, and I'm willing to pay."

"I said no."

"No?" Tasha St. James had never been refused by a man before. It stunned her into uncharacteristic silence.

"Will you sell them to me?"

The words came out of Devon's mouth without thought. She had no idea why she might be any different from Tasha, but she met his gaze steadily.

His pale blue eyes burned. "Your power is uncontrolled," he declared.

"Yes," she admitted. He knew about her intuition; there was no reason to deny it. But she had to be truthful. The feelings just came over her; she couldn't turn them on and off at will. It had been that way her entire life.

"Yet you have a need to perform this ritual?"

She nodded unequivocally. As soon as she had stepped through that door, Tasha's playful suggestion had become something much more important to her. This was something she needed to do.

"Why?"

Again, it didn't cross her mind to lie. "To find my true love."

The old man didn't laugh. He didn't even blink. "You know he exists."

Unbidden, the vision of dark eyes popped into her head. "Yes."

The herbalist's head dipped in resigned acceptance. "You must be careful. Even simple spells such as this have dark sides if performed without care. You must show your power respect."

"I will," Devon whispered.

She blinked. What was happening here? Fifteen minutes ago, she and Tasha had been footloose and fancy-free. Now, inside this crowded, dark shed, she felt the weight of its seriousness press heavily on her. She needed to get away from this man, away from this place. Night was coming. "Do you have the items on this list? We'd prefer them fresh if you do."

"Yes, yes," he said, finally coming to the conclusion that he couldn't deny her. He moved about carefully as if arthritis besieged his knees. Here and there he toddled, plucking jars off shelves or poking at hanging bundles. "Here's the caraway and the valerian. Now, where did I put that mugwort? Ah yes, here it is."

Devon glanced at the tied bundle curiously. It looked like just another weed. What power did it carry? She hoped Tasha knew what she was doing.

"And here is the cardamom."

Tasha finally took a cautious step forward out of the corner. "Could we have that in oil form?"

The old man lifted an eyebrow at her in irritation, said nothing. He turned to Devon questioningly.

She nodded. "Cardamom oil, please."

"Humpph," he grunted. The item was quickly replaced. "Is that all?"

Devon looked at Tasha out of the corner of her eye. Her friend gave her an almost imperceptible nod.

"I think so," she said.

"No mandrake?"

She looked at him steadily. He certainly had more knowledge than she did.

"It brings fertility, love, and protection."

Fertility was questionable, but protection was a must. She took a deep breath. "Throw it in."

The herbalist sacked up their purchase, but the misgiving in his gaze made Devon shiver. He was scaring her. When he gave her the change for her purchases, his fingers brushed against her palm, and she felt a spark.

So did the old man.

"Power," he muttered under his breath. He raked a gnarled hand through his shock of white hair. "Take the utmost care."

Devon's mouth went dry. She nodded and grabbed the sack. Afraid to turn around, she stepped backward to the door. Tasha was light-years ahead of her. A long groan from the crusty hinges filled the dark room as she yanked open the door. Together, they hurried out into the main greenhouse.

They were greeted by heat and humidity. Devon inhaled in surprise. The warmth was almost sexual in the way it wrapped itself around her. The dampness coated her skin, and the fluorescent lights overhead hummed.

"Let's get out of here," Tasha hissed.

"I'm right behind you."

Just short of a run, they rushed out of the greenhouse to the car. The sun was low on the horizon, and the sky had a hazy, heavy feel to it. The empty parking lot felt lonely as the darkening sky closed in. Tasha started punching the keyless entry button on her key chain before they were halfway there. Neither said a word until they were safe inside with the doors locked.

"What the hell was that?" Tasha asked as she slumped in the driver's seat. Her voice was still unnaturally quiet.

"I'm not sure," Devon said shakily.

"What was going on between the two of you? What was all that mumbo jumbo about power?"

Devon looked at the paper sack in her hands. Hastily, she set it on the floorboard between her feet. She stared at it like a snake in the grass. She couldn't get rid of the pinched feeling between her shoulder blades. "Let's not go back there again."

"Duh! That old geezer wigged me out!" Tasha's energy returned with a rush. She plugged her key into the ignition and fired up the engine. "This potion better work."

Devon glanced at her friend. "You think we should still do it?"

Tasha stilled. "You think we shouldn't?"

The energy settled in Devon's gut once again. She had a feeling it wouldn't be going away for a long, long time. She rubbed her hand in circles over her stomach and glanced at the greenhouse. With a long exhale, she settled back into the bucket seat. "I think we have to."

Absently, she traced her finger along the edge of the ingredient list. It drew her, made her curious as to what the love spell could really do...

His face. She just wanted to see his face. Touch it, if that wasn't too much to ask.

She shoved the piece of paper back into Tasha's purse. She should be laughing off this whole experience. This was just for fun. There was no such thing as magic. That sack contained a bunch of harmless weeds. They'd make weed soup, say some silly rhymes, cough over incense fumes, and have a story to tell afterward.

It was nothing.

"Why am I so afraid to do this?" she whispered.

"Are you afraid the spell is going to backfire?"

Devon bit her lip. "No. I'm afraid it's going to work." Copyright © 2008 by Kimberly Dean

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 2 of 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2008

    New to me author

    This is my first book by Ms. Dean,and it was thoroughly enjoyable. She managed to include some serious facts about dreaming with fiction which is very difficult to do. The entire idea of The Dream Wreakers is slightly unusual, in that a person , Cael Oneiros ( one of several brothers) helps others dream and in therefore getting a good nights sleep they are able to function normally throughtout the following day. And a heroine, Devon Bradshaw, that's a witch who doesn't know it, yet she accept without question the fact that she has these feelings that come true. Desperate to touch the man that appears in her dreams, Devon Bradshaw attempts a love spell, imagine her surprise when not only does it appear to work, but it also appears to have severe consequences for others. It takes both Cael and Devon working together along with Cael's brothers to make things right and to allow Devon and Cael to have their happy ever after. The passion between Cael and Devon is enough to make you want a cold shower after reading it. Ms. Dean does an excellent job on characters and descriptions. I'm looking forward to any further books by her with these characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2009

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