For three centuries, Nara’s existence has revolved around providing sexual gratification to men not of her choosing. As a concubine enslaved by a brutal master she knows only as the Conqueror, Nara can do nothing but obey his every cruel whim. But a hundred years ago, Nara discovered where her real talents lie. She can invade dreams; and in those dreams, she’s the one in control. Not the men whose thoughts she pervades. Not the Conqueror. Just her.
Rafe Osmond is a Dream Walker committed to eradicating every last trace of dream ragers, those whose dark arts not only terrorize, but also kill innocent dreamers. After he watches Nara terrifying a man she’s recently serviced, Rafe sets off after her—with a vengeance. But when he finds her, he also stumbles upon a long-forgotten temple steeped in ancient mystery, and a terrifying evil.
Together, Rafe and Nara must destroy a power darker and deadlier than either of them imagined. But first, Rafe must convince Nara that there is more to dreams than ravages of pain and whimpers of terror… and to do that, he has to show her unbelievable pleasure…
Read an Excerpt
“You think you’re ready for this?”
Rafe Osmond took a deep, steadying breath and closed his eyes. The pillow beneath his head felt soft and inviting, but his body hummed with anticipation. How could Master Choeki expect him to fall asleep? He licked his suddenly dry lips. “I’m ready.”
He felt the dip in the mattress as the Master sat down beside him and leaned over to light a candle on the nightstand. “Good. Remember what I’ve taught you.”
“Patience, kindness, strength,” Rafe repeated for the thousandth time. “We are dream walkers. People count on us to dispel dark dreams, to preserve their sanity. I won’t forget.”
“And if you encounter a rager?”
“I’ll stop him. At any cost.”
Master Choeki grunted his approval and rose from the bed. “Sleep. I’ll be here when you return.”
Rafe folded his hands across his chest and waited for sleep to come. He’d been training at the Dream Academy for three years. Since the day he’d first presented himself to the Master, they’d entered dreams together, rescued dreamers from themselves countless times, but they’d never encountered a rager. Sometimes, Rafe wasn’t sure whether the stories of powerful creatures who killed humans in their dreams were even true. He’d never seen one. The Master had told him that when his abilities became strong enough, he’d be able to sense a rager from a distance, without even having to enter a dream.
If his current abilities were any indication, it would be a long time before that happened.
* * *
Rafe didn’t remember falling asleep. One moment he was lying on the training bed in the Dream Academy, and the next, he was here, standing in a brightly lit restaurant.
White linen tablecloths, napkins and pristine table settings awaited patrons, but the place was empty. Crystal glasses caught the light from the overhead chandelier and fragmented it in a rainbow of colors that splashed over the pale walls, leading Rafe’s gaze to the large window overlooking the street. Outside, the city looked deserted. Moonlight played in puddles, and rain fell with heavy drops on the pavement, but there were no people huddled under umbrellas, no cabs honking as they sped down city streets.
A soft moan caught his attention, and he spun around quickly, scanning the restaurant. “Hello? Anyone here?” Another groan echoed through the room, followed by a giggle and a soft gasp.
Rafe’s pulse raced as he moved forward. Just his luck to stumble into an erotic dream on his first night alone. He’d encountered a few when accompanied by Master Choeki, but they’d never lingered long. Sensual dreams rarely turned into nightmares.
He spotted the couple at last, in a corner booth at the back of the restaurant. He walked toward them slowly, trying to stay in the shadows as much as possible. There had to be a reason his dream talent led him here. Sometimes, his ability to sense nightmares was triggered by a false alarm, nothing more than a rough edge to sex play. Other times, the possibility of a nightmare was real. Dreams could turn dark in the blink of an eye, often without the dreamer’s knowledge or consent. That’s why he was here. To watch over the dreamer and protect them.
And to destroy dream ragers. The Master’s voice echoed in Rafe’s head, and he waved it away. He didn’t sense a dream rager. Not that he knew what sensing one was supposed to feel like, but he assumed it had to be hostile, dark, powerful. A strong sensation of malevolent evil would crawl up his spine. There was none of that here. Just two lovers indulging in a little fun.
He inched closer to get a better look. What could it hurt, lingering for a moment or two? He’d move on soon. The Master would never know he dallied here.
He stopped breathing when he caught sight of a woman’s shapely behind. His cock stiffened instantly as he took in her long legs, wide hips, slender waist, and smooth coppery skin. Hair the color of dark, rich honey had been swept into an untidy heap on top of her head. He took another step forward, hoping for a glimpse of her face. He wished she’d turn around, but she was busy sucking a stiff cock.
Her lover lay on his back on one of the white linen tablecloths Rafe had admired earlier, hands folded behind his head, eyes closed, mouth parted in ecstasy.
Rafe’s hand moved to his cock. He palmed the stiff length, hoping for a little relief. He knew he should leave, but couldn’t. Not yet. How often would he have a chance to witness something like this?
The woman released her lover’s cock. It slid from her mouth with a loud pop, and she turned to face Rafe. Her features were even more beautiful than he’d expected. Long, black lashes framed gold-rimmed dark eyes. High cheekbones and full lips suggested an exotic background. He expected ire, or shock at the very least, but got neither. Instead, she moved forward and grasped his hand, tugging him close to her. “Are you here to stop me?”
Rafe’s mouth was suddenly dry. “I’m here to. save you.”
She laughed, the sound low and sensual. “Really? My hero.” Her tone held neither sarcasm nor anger. “I hope you can stay a while.”
“Who are you?” His thoughts felt sluggish as she pressed her naked body against him. He felt her hard nipples graze his chest even through the shirt he wore and he stifled a groan.
“I’m Nara. This is Vince.”
“Vinny,” the man corrected. He sat up, casting a bewildered stare at Rafe. “Who’s this?”
“Our rescuer, apparently,” Nara said before Rafe could reply. “Though I’m not yet sure what he’s supposed to be saving us from.”
With quick, expert motions, she unzipped his jeans and slid them over his hips. His briefs followed. “I really can’t stay.”
“Sure you can.” She gripped his hand and placed it over her sex. Shaved bare, her skin felt deliciously warm and all too inviting. His cock pulsed. A shudder trembled through his body.
It’s only a dream.
Dreams were as real as the dreamer made them. This wasn’t his dream, but it didn’t mean he couldn’t share in the dreamer’s delight.
Only a dream, he repeated to himself. What can it hurt?