“Oh, Gabriel, I do want to be.”
“You are. You’re mine.” He tilted her face to kiss her lips. “Come to me tomorrow.”
“I will. Oh, yes, I will, I’ll come to you tomorrow.”
“Go to sleep, baby,” he murmured, giving her a slow, languorous kiss on her lips, then spreading that same hot kiss up to her ear.
He’d called her baby.
This couldn’t be happening.
“Will you stay a little, Gabriel?” she whispered, feeling drowsy already, his lips weaving a lullaby magic on her earlobe.
“Yes, I’ll stay a while, but sleep.” And holding onto that thought, she fell asleep, this time to dream only of him.
Gabriel Hunter, waiting for her tomorrow. Gabriel Hunter, calling her baby. Gabriel Hunter, telling her she was his.
Then Gabriel Hunter, standing before the flames, his eyes glowing red as he watched the house on Hill Street yield to the flames. He was uttering something as he watched, the same verse over and over again. “Burn, you son of a bitch. Burn to hell.”
Then his face changed, looked almost distorted with agony when he stood before another kind of fire. Stella watched as if from above, and her heart shattered into a thousand pieces as she saw those fathomless eyes stare off into the flames as a different chant reached her, this one low and hoarse and yearning. “I will not age a minute until you come back to me.”
Come to me.
Come to me tomorrow.
“Naaaaaaugh!” she cried when she woke up alone in her bed the next morning. She must have dreamed everything all along, even that delicious, out-of-this-world fuck.
Damn it! She slammed a fist on the mattress, then stared in shock at the lone white lily she’d barely missed beside the pillow.
A lily. For her?
Could Gabriel have…
Her heart faltered a beat. Well, there was only one way to find out.
* * *
Something was terribly wrong.
Sunlight streamed through the entrance of the cave, and all the ropes had disappeared. No more torches lit the way, no more clothes were strewn around the corner, and instead she found Gabriel sitting over a tall, wide wooden chest.
He was reading, his brow furrowed in concentration.
Stella’s heart leapt with joy at the sight of him, and yet the feeling lasted little, for when he looked up at her, there was something different about him. Something alarming.
His clothes were clean, a pair of black slacks and a crisp cotton shirt, and he looked shaved and ready for…something.
Rather than look like a brooding villain, he looked like a freaking hero, just after saving the day.
She didn’t like this turn of events at all!
“Are you leaving?” she asked, careful to keep the worry out of her voice.
A half smile touched his lips, his eyes warming at the sight of her. “Maybe.”
She smiled falsely. “I had the weirdest dream last night,” she said, hoping dearly to be contradicted. Hoping dearly, dearly that it hadn’t been just a dream!