Monday, August 19, 2013

Dreams of the Queen by Jacqueline Patricks

at 1:15 AM

Chapter 1

Darkness reigned in the subterranean passages. The darkness and cool, crisp air caressed her like a silken wrap. Her eyes shut as the alien voices chanting in the distance drifted to her. Weaving its usual peaceful atmosphere, the song ensnared and relaxed her. Cass always enjoyed this part of the dream, and despite the delicate balance of comfort and claustrophobia, she gave herself over to the strange voices. They enticed her, tempting her through the passageway, and she danced forward, heedlessly drawing her fingers along the roughhewn walls.

Then something changed. Tendrils of energy infused her body, tangling her limbs and sensitizing her skin like sunburn. She cringed and stumbled, her eyes snapping open.

A striking man knelt at her feet as if proposing, and her pain receded as she admired him. Long, ice-white hair curtained his bowed head, concealing his features and dark, faintly iridescent clothing, covered his slim physique.  Cautiously reaching out, she touched the crown of his head. Hair like silken feathers met her burning fingers, and a faint blue glow emanated. A static shock and a faint scent of ozone struck her. Her knees quivered and she swooned, lightheaded, before locking them straight and regaining her composure.

“My queen, the time is nigh,” he said. His baritone smoothed over her, scattering the ashes hiding the embers of her passion. 

“Tell me your name,” she said. 

“You know my name.” His head tilted up, exposing his face.

She inhaled, pinned by his bright, indigo eyes and his dilating, catlike pupils. With his pale, sharp features, she recognized him as humanoid but not human, though unbearably beautiful. Could a man be beautiful?  

“You’ve always known my name, my Cass, my Queen.”

“Tell me!” She bolted upright into darkness. The caves... She was still dreaming!  No! She clenched a cotton sheet in her fists. It bunched at her rapidly rising and falling chest.

Her bed ... she was home.

Fingers fumbling the switch, Dr. Cassiopeia Baros leaned over and snapped on the light. Faced away from Julian, her fiancé, she rolled over and smiled in relief at the sight of his very normal—human—body in repose. Having gotten used to her weekly troubling dreams, he didn’t stir; but eventually the light woke him, and he shifted awake with a concerned frown marring his softly handsome face.

Blue eyes blinking and squinting as they adjusted without his glasses, he spoke in a gravelly voice, “Hon?” He reached out and caressed her arm. “That dream again?”

“Yeah...” She entwined her fingers with his and lay back down, concentrating on keeping her breathing slow and even.

“Bad?”

“Sort of ... part of it was different this time.”

“Really?” He sat up, eyes widening. “Wanna talk about it?”

Did she? The intensity in his gaze unnerved her, and she compared his eye color to her dream man’s. What did that say about her? Probably nothing good, definitely nothing she wished to delve into presently. No, she really didn’t want to talk about it right now, especially not with Julian.

“Not now, maybe later?” She hoped he wouldn’t push. Additional details would send him into a frenzy of scientific discovery leading to her being questioned the rest of the night. If, however, she set him up to pry, he’d probably back off. For now.

“Oh ... okay.”

Bingo! Then she quickly added, “I’m just tired, and we have a big day at the lab tomorrow.”

“You’re right ... I just thought. Never mind.” Julian yawned. “We can still get a few more hours. Think you can get back to sleep?”

“No problem.” 

After turning her light off, Cass snuggled under the covers and cozied her back to him. Julian draped a slim arm around her waist and tucked her in close. A short time later, he lightly snored while she studied the gloom, her mind reverberating with the image of the extraordinary man. 

Who was he? Was he real? What did his appearance and statement mean? He sounded so ... reverent when he spoke her name and called her queen. And how had she understood him, yet none of the other voices?

“You’ve always known my name, my Cass, my Queen.”

She shivered, not entirely sure why, and tried to sleep.

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Genre – Science Fiction / Romance

Rating – R

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Jacqueline Patricks on Facebook

Website http://jacquelinepatricks.com/

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