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HIDDEN IN THE MIST
The misty evening air of a winter in Venice cloaks many things, and many people.... Some are passionate lovers meeting secretly, hoping for stolen moments..... others are merely the cutthroats and thieves that plague any city filled with the wealth of visitors and citizens who reside in palaces.....
But what else lies hidden in the mist? Cloaked and dangerous, lethally alluring.... One woman is determined to find out....
Driven half mad by the death of her lover, she is drawn into the night.... The voice of an angel lures.... each perfect note beckons and promises untold pleasures.... until, finally, a broken heart succumbs to desire.... and Fate weaves a new thread into the tapestry that is the mystery of life itself....
He continued to sing, the lyrical, lilting Italian words caressing her spirit and pulling her closer to him. When she finally stepped into the chamber where he was, she stared in wonder. The room was lit with what appeared to be a thousand candles, their soft glow reflecting off the polished wooden floor and throwing frenetic shadows everywhere. Seated at the piano was a slender man, dressed all in black. His hair was dark, and the hands that whispered over the keys of the instrument were long-fingered and elegant. Hands shaped for making love in any form he chose.
He played the last notes of the mesmerizing song and slowly turned to look at her. His dark eyes glittered, flames dancing wildly in their ebony depths, and he held out his hand to draw her forward. She went to him and dropped to her knees, head bowed, tears streaking her face as she let the hood of her cape fall to hide her shame.
“You came to end my life. Why?”
“I cannot bear the pain of not knowing you.”
“But you do know me. I am part of you.”
“You are madness!” She retorted with real anger surging into her being, giving her strength and making her look up at him. “You have taken everything!”
“I took nothing,” he admonished with gentle warmth. “I am part of you.”
“How can that be?”
He smiled. She felt the kiss of his indulgence touch her heart.
“You created me,” he murmured. “The night he died, you gave me life.”
She was confused, and the room was suddenly growing colder with each beat of her heart.
“Why did you let me find you?”
He tilted his head to one side and considered her question.
“Perhaps because it is time for me to return the gift of life to you, tesoro mio?”
“You can’t, my love,” she whispered, the quiet words shaken and harsh. “There is no life for me now.”
“There is always life in death, amore,” he murmured as he leaned closer and pried the blade from her hand beneath the heavy cloak. “Let me show you forever.”
She gasped in fright and pain as he slashed the dagger’s edge across her palm and brought the bleeding hand to his mouth. When his tongue played over her flesh she felt the mists of the night invade her brain, and blackness reached out to pull her into a chasm that exploded into fire racing along her veins… As the world changed around her and within her, she heard his sweet voice whispering to her…
There is always life in death, amore… when I am death… come with me, share our journey…
She heard the word, distant, torn from her soul purely by the power and depth of her need to know him, to know all of him, at whatever price he asked. The ache in her body pulled at her, made her feel light and heavy with conflicting desires.
The dagger flashed again, slowly, gently slicing through the tie that held her cape together at her throat. It slid away and he smiled with satisfaction when he saw the crimson silk she wore, a simple dress that wrapped around her like the arms of a lover… She had been wearing this pretty gown the night they’d first seen each other, choosing it had seem right somehow.
The gleaming stiletto blade moved once more, and candlelight flickered against the shining silver as he delicately cut the tie that held the dress up. He set the knife on the piano and with the backs of his hands barely touching her skin, he smoothed the shape of her collarbones, then retraced them with the sensitive pads of his fingertips. The calluses from hours spent playing the piano added another sensual layer to the rippling sensation that was fanning outward, running though her veins like blood.....