Well I’m going to keep this sweet and short today. It has been a super long and busy week, so thank god it’s Friday! I’ll tell you that what I have been doing this week is putting off working on the second installment to my interracial romance eBook series, Trial of Marriage because I just could not find any quiet time to devote to it. However, since today is the beginning of the weekend, I’m pushing everything aside, locking myself up in my office, putting a giant note on the door for the hubby and kids (Do Not Disturb – Yes, Dear That Means You Too!) I have to do that or my husband will think that he gets a free pass to enter.
After that’s done, I can type away until my fingers start to cramp. Okay, well maybe not that long; I guess I do have to take a break to feed them, LOL. Anyhow, below you will find chapter samples for both Trial of Marriage and Eternal Existence.
Trial of Marriage
Trey and Angelic Moretti lay sound asleep as the bright, morning sun began its descent into the room. It was 8 a.m., Saturday, and the alarm clock had already sounded.
“Trey…Trey,” Angelic repeated, shaking him sleepily. They would be leaving soon for the airport, and he needed to get ready. Today her in-laws would be flying in to visit.
“Yeah I know, just give me a second,” he moaned, struggling to open his eyes. “Where did this week go? I’ve hardly had a chance to do anything here ‘cause of my heavy workload.” He sighed, and propped himself on an elbow, eyelids barely parted. “Ange do you think we’ve covered all the bases? I want the house to be perfect for my parents’ visit this week.”
Angelic rolled her eyes as she looked in his direction. She wanted to speak her mind, but instead opted to keep her comment simple. “Don’t worry, everything is fine.” Slipping out of the comfort of her bed, she descended the stairs to start breakfast.
Angelic Moretti was a pretty girl with chocolate silky skin and shoulder length hair, but very petite and curvaceous for her 5’3” frame. The day Trey saw her, his heart skipped a beat, and he knew she was the one to be his wife.
Angelic could hear the gushing of the shower upstairs. Well at least Trey had made it that far. “Please don’t let this week seem like an eternity,” she mumbled, standing in front of the refrigerator, grabbing her ingredients. I’m the one who does everything in this house. I can’t believe he even had the audacity to ask if we covered all the bases. There’s no ‘we’ in anything that gets done around here anymore. If I don’t take care of it, nothing gets done, she thought, standing over the stove now, scrambling some eggs with a little more venom than was her norm.
When Trey and Angelic met, she was 21 years old and worked as an administrative assistant at a non-profit foundation. Trey, on the other hand, was a successful lawyer at the young, tender age of 26. It took Trey five years to make partner, which is also how long he courted Angelic. The same day he received his happy news, he proposed. The fact that he was Spanish/Italian and she was African American was no barrier at all; his parents simply loved Angelic. It was no surprise to anyone that they married six months later. It had only been two years into their marriage but at the ripe age of 28 Angelic had already started to feel like a rundown wife.
Her thoughts drifted back and forth as the spatula remained idle in her hand. I’m standing here not paying attention while my food is about to burn. I better hurry before he comes down, she thought to herself as she removed the bacon from the skillet.
Just minutes after Angelic placed their breakfast plates on the table, Trey walked into the kitchen. “Wow, everything smells so good Ange!”
“Thank you.” She noticed that he seemed extremely chipper this morning.
“It shouldn’t take me long to get ready. I already have my clothes laid out. Oh, by the way, the new tie you asked me to pick up is laying on top of the dresser. Did you see it?”
“Yes I did. Hey Ange, do you think next time after purchasing a new tie you could run the iron over it with a little starch. It’s not as crisp as I like.”
“Sure,” she said, trying not to sound too irritated by his request.
Their courtship was such a fairytale that he literally had taken her breath away from day one. Trey pampered her to death, and the love they felt for one another was magnetic. He bequeathed everything upon her. When he suggested that she give up her job and let him take care of her, it was extremely easy for Angelic to say yes.
“Trey, I’m not that hungry this morning. I’m going up to get ready. When you’re done, please, rinse your plate off before you put it in the dishwasher. I’ll clean up the kitchen before we leave for the airport.” He didn’t reply, and the only thing she got was a low grumble acknowledging that he’d heard what she said. Wearily, she left the kitchen to get dressed.
Trey had inherited his old-fashioned ways from his father, Frank Moretti. Frank worshipped Terri, Trey’s mother. The only thing his dad ever asked of Terri was that she always took care of him, their home, and their kids. Unfortunately, after Trey’s birth they were unable to conceive any further children, not that they lacked the effort in trying. Angelic envisioned Trey wished her to be more of a homemaker and wife like his mother.
This always put a smile on her face because Terri was a sex fanatic, not that Frank ever complained of his wife’s obsession. Angelic was more than happy to take care of the man who loved her more than life itself. However, somewhere within the short course of their marriage, something had changed. It mystified her because she wasn’t even sure when it happened.
Trey finished his breakfast and returned upstairs to get ready. As he disappeared to the second floor, Angelic exited out of her husband’s office. Dressed in comfortable attire, she headed to the kitchen, cleaning up any leftover traces of breakfast. With everything back in order, she decided to sit and wait in the living-room.
He made his way back downstairs, stepping into the foyer, only to see Angelic leaned back on the sofa with her eyes shut. She didn’t hear him when he entered the room. “Are you ok?”
Her eyes sprung open, startled by his voice. “Yes, I’m fine. I didn’t sleep that well last night, so I’m a little tired.”
Angelic was usually a sound sleeper, and for her to be so weary this morning was something that never happened. Although he did have a feeling that something was wrong, now was not the time to get into it.
“Come on let’s go.” He reached out helping her up. “Thanks Trey. Go on ahead; I’m going to grab a bagel to eat on the way. I’ll be out in a second.”
As they drove out to the airport in silence, jazz music played on the car radio. Trey enjoyed the tunes. Angelic, on the other hand, was oblivious to the music or anything else. She had other things on her mind. It took an hour for them to reach their destination due to the morning rush of traffic. After parking, and with minutes to spare, they were able to catch a ride on the parking lot shuttle bus, taking them to the main entrance of the airport.
“Which is their exit gate?” he asked Angelic, since she took care of the arrangements.
“Gate B and…” she paused for a moment, listening to the loud, echoed announcement on the speaker. His parents’ flight had landed, and passengers were starting to empty out of the plane. “This way Trey, follow me.” As they waited, Angelic decided to take the time to try and persuade him to take extra time off from work. “Trey, I’m sorry to be bringing this up now, but I thought that maybe you could take the whole week off instead of just the two days for Thanksgiving. It would be nice to spend some family time together; especially since Mom and Dad haven’t visited in a while.”
Honestly, it was a selfish act on her part, and guilt hung over her like a cloud. Stooping to use his parents as an excuse was lame, but she wanted more quality time spent together. Since partnering with the firm, Trey’s work hours had extended late into the evening. And his constant traveling for his high profiled clients had caused something of a rift between them. Simply more than anything, Angelic was afraid of spending too much alone time with her in-laws for they would be able to sense a problem brewing.
“Ange, you know things are busy in the office. I lucked out even getting the day off after Thanksgiving. I’ll go in a little earlier each day this week so that I’ll be home in time for dinner. I’m sorry, but it’s the best I can do,” he said, leaning down as he kissed Angelic on her forehead.
Why does he always try to appease me? Angelic wasn’t about to let him get away with it this time, but before she could respond her in-laws emerged.
“Trey, come over here and give your Mom a hug!” Terri shouted extending out her arms to give him a giant bear hug. When she had her feel of him, her arms swiftly wrapped around Angelic as she gave her the same.
“We’re so glad you both were able to come, and Mom, we don’t expect you to lift a finger while you’re here! You and Dad are to put your feet up and relax!” Trey ordered lightly slapping his dad on the back. “This week we cater to you folks.”
Not you Trey, me, Angelic thought, silently looking at her husband. Her attention spanned over to her in-laws. It’s not their fault, and I do want to make their visit as comfortable as possible. Why is it that each day my husband distances himself more and more from everything that we share? Even his parents’ sex life is more heated than ours, she thought. We’re down to once a week, and if I’m lucky enough to catch him in a good mood, maybe twice a week. It’s a miracle that I…
Frank interrupted her thinking. “Kids, let’s stop somewhere nice and have brunch, our treat. The food on the flight was God awful, and Mom and I are starving, isn’t that right sweets?”
“That’s right huny, so let’s go find that restaurant,” Terri replied followed by a flirty wink.
They stopped at a nice Italian restaurant not far from the house. After the meal, Trey made an announcement. “Mom, Dad, I’m sorry to throw a monkey wrench into our day, but after I drop everyone off at the house, I’m going to have to head to the office for a few hours.”
If looks could kill, Trey would surely be dead by now. The look she shot over at him was lethal. Failing miserably, she tried to control the anger in her voice. “Trey, I thought you had the day off?”
“I do, however, there is a large shitload of paperwork at home on my desk that I should have submitted yesterday to the partners. It’s no big deal babe. I’ll get what I need finished, and I’ll be back by dinnertime,” he explained patting the back of her hands that sat on the table.
“Now Angelic, don’t you go giving your husband a hard time, we’ll manage just fine in his absence,” Frank stated in his soothing fatherly tone.
“That’s right dear, we have a lot of catching up to do anyway,” Terri added leaning over to hug Angelic.
“Ok folks, as soon as the waiter returns, I’ll pay our bill, then we can hit the road.”
“No son, let me take care of the bill. Y’all head out, I’ll meet you outside.”
The restaurant was only three blocks away, but to Angelic it felt like a mile, and she was extremely tired being that she had practically tossed and turned all night. When they arrived back home, Trey and Angelic helped his parents settle into the guest room. The senior Moretti’s claimed they were in need of a short nap before dinner. Not even halfway out the door, Angelic and Trey heard the sound of Frank smacking his wife on her ass. Terri roared out a seductive laugh as Trey shut the door. Looking over at Angelic, a large smirk spread across his face.
“Well, I guess sleep isn’t on their agenda after all,” he slyly stated. He went downstairs to collect his papers and briefcase while Angelic changed into something more comfortable.
Ariana’s eyes opened wide to the darkness of the room. She could sense that something was off. Slowly, she pulled herself up against the headboard as she listened carefully and scanned her surroundings. Her eyes focused on the window lit by the full moon. The curtains swayed gently from the evening breeze. Her heart froze and she was suddenly paralyzed with fear.
I shut that window before I got in bed, I’m sure of it, she thought.
She heard nothing but the wind, but she sensed she was not alone. Goose bumps rose on her chilled skin. She kept her eyes glued to the curtain covering a doorway leading to her office. She was horrified when she spied two red glowing objects no bigger than peas that appeared suddenly from behind the curtain.
There was nothing but darkness and the floating red orbs. She gasped and held her breath as fear took over. Her heart pounded harder than ever as she watched a figure slink slowly toward her. Abruptly the curtain was ripped away. The figure stood above her and she could see now that the two orbs were eyes. It was a man and he was tall, maybe six and a half feet. His clothing looked wet and heavy.
His long, dark hair covered most of his face and when he snarled at her she saw two pointed teeth protruding from his mouth. She realized she was holding her breath and took in a loud gulp of air. She tried to scream, but nothing came out! Before she could make a sound the fiend was on top of her as he covered her mouth with his own.
A muffled sound escaped her lips as she realized with complete disgust why his clothes were wet and heavy. Enormous tears streamed down her face. She could smell the blood that drenched him as he held her down. His bright red eyes blazed into hers as her willpower faded to nothing. She was completely vulnerable and she realized she was going to die. She tasted the coppery blood that soaked her lips.
“I have compelled you and you will not scream or move,” he said. “I’ve waited a long time for you.”
“I don’t understand,” she whimpered. “I’m not alone, I have roommates and they’ll come and check on me.”
She cringed as he laughed wickedly. “Really? I don’t think so,” he stated so surely.
They will come, she thought. Then, with horror, she understood where the blood soaking the monster’s clothing must have come from.
“Why are you soaked in blood?’ she whispered.
He laughed again, “Do you really want to know? Or have you already figured it out?”
“You bastard!” she cried, already mourning the loss of her friends.
He smiled even wider at the sight of her tears. It was pleasurable for him to see her in pain.
“I hope you go to hell!” she screamed.
“If I do, Ariana, know that you’ll be with me,” he said, his face close to hers. She could smell the scent of warm, fresh blood, and though she wanted to be repulsed, she found herself oddly attracted to it.
She stared up at him in disbelief and confusion, “How?” was all that she could get out before he silenced her.
“Enough! I’m tired of playing with you, it’s time,” he growled.
She didn’t fight him as he tilted her head to the side and his pointed teeth ripped into her tender neck. There was excruciating pain, and then came the blackness.
“Ariana, Ariana, wake up!” screamed Ariana’s roommate, Leora. “You’re having that dream again.”
Chapter I – Precursory
Leora Randell and Scott Parker had been childhood friends of Ariana since middle school. They vowed to always be there for one another and stayed true to that pact by moving in together after they graduated from high school.
Scott’s dad owned real estate and they practically lived at each other’s home anyway, so he offered them a really good deal. He would provide free room and board at one of his condos while they attended college, but the stipulation was that they had to pay all utilities and maintain an A average.
Two months after graduation they would then be required to pay monthly rent if they wanted to continue their residence. They all worked and could definitely handle the bills, so with a sweet deal like that of course they jumped on it.
Scott stood in the doorway of the kitchen as he spoke to Leora, “Hey Lee, I don’t have time to check on Ana, I’m running late this morning. I heard her scream this morning, is everything all right?”
“She’s ok, go, I got it covered,” she said as she poured a cup of coffee.
“Ok good, gotta run and don’t forget tonight dinner is on me!” he yelled as he rushed out the door.
Leora took a sip from the mug and sat it down on the counter. She walked down the hallway to Ariana’s room, only to find her still in bed. “Hey Ana, aren’t you going to work today?”
The sheet covered her face as she spoke, “I don’t feel that great today,” she moaned.
Leora marched over and pulled the fabric away. She used the back of her hand and felt Ariana’s forehead. “Well you don’t have a fever but you look like shit.”
“Thanks a lot Lee,” she sighed.
Leora could tell that Ariana had a rough night. Dark circles displayed under her eyes and she appeared exhausted. It was quite normal for Ariana to experience nights like this but normally she sprung back quickly.
“Awww sweetie, I didn’t mean it like that. It’s just that you look really tired,” she explained. “I’m not used to seeing you like this in the morning; was it a bad one this time?”
Ariana decided to downplay the dream; she didn’t want Leora to be concerned and even the mere thought of it sent sudden fear to her inner core. “No, same old thing, so stop worrying, ok? I just need rest so I’m staying home, that’s all.”
Leora gave her a concerned gaze, not really persuaded at all. Fortunately for Ariana she dropped the conversation for the time being, only because she had to get to work.
“Ok Ana, I hope you feel better,” she bent down and hugged her before she left.
Finally alone she turned on her side and curled up on her pillow. It was daylight and if she wanted to get any sleep she would have to take advantage while she still could. One thing she noticed was that the disturbing images that invaded her dreams seemed to only happen in the evening. This turnabout transpired right after her 24th birthday and had occurred constantly the past four months.
In addition to that, she had been having the same dream repeatedly evening after evening. Only this time it was more dramatic and it unlocked something fresh into the picture. She wanted to rationalize it but she was so tired she could not think straight. The more she tried the further her eyelids lowered; it was a knockout and sleep won the battle.
About seven hours later Scott returned home only to find Ariana sound asleep in bed. “Hey sleepy head, what are you doing home?”
Half awake she rubbed her eyes and stared up at him, “Scotty, what time is it?”
“Umm, 4:00 p.m. and you still have not answered my question.”
She sighed, “I felt exhausted so I stayed home.”
“Ahhh, I see. How are you now?”
“Much better, I’m all refueled,” she yawned between words.
He laughed, “You call that refueled, huh?”
She rolled her eyes at him and pointed at the door for him to go.
“Fine I’m out of here but Lee will be home in 30 minutes. I want you up, showered and dressed by the time she gets here,” he ordered.
She frowned, “Scotty …” she started but was cut short.
“No Ana, no protesting today, 30 minutes! I’m taking my girls out for some grub and beer, so get ready.” That was all she heard as he vanished into the hallway.
Pizza, wings, and beer ended up being the course of dinner for the evening. Ariana was actually glad to have gone and she enjoyed being with her friends immensely. Before they left, she excused herself to go to the ladies room; the beer had started to take effect on her bladder.
She walked to the bathroom and as her purse slipped down her shoulder she fumbled with it. She was a bit tipsy and bumped into someone coming from the opposite direction. She looked up to apologize and there before her stood the most striking face that she had ever seen in her life. He was gorgeous.
“Excuse me, I’m so sorry,” he smiled and his cheekbones defined his face perfectly.
She was flabbergasted for a second, “Umm…No, I’m the one that should apologize, the fault is all mine,” her words fumbled out. She was mesmerized by his lovely cappuccino colored eyes. His hair was dark brown and cut into a chic short, symmetrical-layered style that hung unrestricted across his brow. He ran his hand through his mane to comb it back only to have it restore itself slovenly out of place.
Damn he looks hot, she thought.
“It’s quite all right, really,” he smiled again.
The alcohol took effect; she felt her knees go weak and stumbled toward him. He quickly anchored himself and caught her, and when her arm touched his skin something took place.
This wonderful wave of seventh heaven spread through her, and although it could not be possible, it felt as though his aura penetrated into every crevice of her soul. She could not explain why she felt the way she did, but before she knew it her arms were wrapped tightly around him. Her lips brushed against his and she could feel the warmth of his breath against her mouth.
She closed her eyes, pressed into him softly and kissed him. The kiss was exhilarating and he reciprocated with enthusiasm. She wasn’t prepared for what she saw when she reopened her eyes.
His cappuccino pupils shimmered bright and the next thing she knew her lips were near his open neck. She yearned for the wonderful aroma beneath his skin. At that very moment her lips parted and her teeth grazed him, then all of a sudden she heard her name called and snapped out of her trance. Without much thought she instantaneously let go of him and stood there very confused.
“Ana, Ariana, you in here?” she heard Leora call out.
She had not realized it before but they were no longer in the public hallway. Instead they were secured from view in a closed-off empty storage room.
She reluctantly turned away from him for a second to respond. “Lee, I’m in here, hold on a second!” she shouted. However, when she turned around again to face him he was gone.
The ride home was short and as soon as she walked through the front door, Ariana kicked off her sandals. Leora and Scott, closely behind her, watched to make sure she didn’t tumble. Her head was still clouded, however her thoughts stayed focused on the stranger.
“Ana, are you ok?” Scotty asked.
“Just peachy…well maybe a little drunk,” she laughed.
“Yeah maybe a little, come on you, let’s get you ready for bed,” Leora said as she wrapped her arm around Ariana’s waist for support.
“Thanks for dinner Scotty,” she slurred.
He chuckled, “Anytime Ana, sweet dreams my dear friend.”
Leora ushered her forward and as she neared Scott, she saluted him, “Will do, sir,” she smiled.
“She will be fine,” Leora silently mouthed to Scott. He smiled.
As they stood in Ariana’s room Leora turned to face her, “Ana, I can’t believe you drank so much, that’s so not like you at all.”
Ariana hiccupped, “Oh, excuse me. Ummm, you’re right, I don’t know either.”
There would be no sensible discussion tonight and Ariana needed to rest. She had worn a pair of jeans and a pink T-shirt. Leora had her out of them in no time at all. It was May and a warm night so if she wore her bra and panties to bed it would be acceptable.
Leora placed her in bed then kissed the top of her head, “Good night Ana,” she said as she closed the door on her way out.
Ariana laid there half-awake and thought of the encounter with the stranger at the restaurant. Where did he go? Who was he? Why did I act the way I did? echoed in her mind. Before she knew it her eyes had closed.
“Judas, tell me what happened.”
“She’s everything you said she would be and of what I clearly remember from my own recollection,” he said, all lit up as he discussed Ariana, “she’s stunning and her hair is longer now, dark brown and wavy as it flows across her shoulders.”
He thought, Damn she’s sexy as hell and that T- shirt really flaunted her…
“Judas, enough, I don’t want to hear your thoughts,” Kirsten shot out.
“Oh,” he laughed. “Sorry, well looking at her you could never tell what she is.”
“That’s actually a good thing for her; otherwise, I don’t think she would have made it as long as she has without being found. Was your connection with her completed?”
He nodded. “Yes, it went rather more smoothly than what I had anticipated.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, as soon as she touched me our unification sealed immediately. She felt what I did and she saw it in my eyes. The combination of all of that was quick and her natural instincts took over. Had we not been interrupted by her friend the deed would have been finalized, but more importantly, I am now in sync with her.”
Kirsten looked pleased. “Yes, there will be time for that later. But at least now the process has started. Her transformation should progress rapidly, which is good because Luthen will be trying very hard to pinpoint her.”
“I won’t let him harm her!” he stressed as he pounded his fist on a table.
She looked at him and sympathized, “I realize your bond has intensified beyond anything you ever imagined, but you have to keep a clear head my son. She means a lot to both of us.”
He nodded, “Yes you’re right mother. I’m sorry, as the hours move forward I will adjust and be vigilant, don’t worry.”
“I know you will Judas. Now go rest, she will need you tonight.”
Ariana tossed and turned as her repetitious dream performed in her head. But something was off, things looked the same but it felt altered. As she scanned around it was as if she were sealed up tight, almost like being in a bubble of some kind. The darkness, the open window and the covered doorway, they were all there. The only thing missing was the fiend who had attacked her the previous night.
For the first time in months she felt comfortable. Her awareness went back to the doorway and where she had seen those crimson eyes that glowed, only this time an emblem was displayed. It appeared very familiar only she couldn’t recall where she had seen it. The more she stared the brighter it got and the luminous light that it gave off was so familiar. It calmed her and made her feel protected and soothed.
Her attention stayed fastened on the lighted emblem. If she didn’t know better she would have sworn that it was communicating with her. She clutched her pillow and embraced it tightly as she drifted off into a deep state of unconsciousness. Throughout the night she repeatedly mumbled something; she slept peacefully for the first time ever.
Have a fantastic weekend!