Only in Her Dreams Online - Christina McKnight

Prologue

Darius trained his eyes on the intimidating figure before him. Death surely awaited him if he allowed his gaze to stray.

The imposing figure finally spoke, his voice echoed off the cavernous walls surrounding them. “It’s been twenty-two years! What progress have you made?”

“She’s hidden well, my lord. My men and I have searched long and hard but to no avail.” Darius bowed his head showing the reverence his lord expected, but his eyes continued to watch warily through his lowered lashes.

“I thought we had an agreement, Darius.”

“We do, but I need more time.” Beads of sweat formed on his brow.

“More time? I’m not a patient man.”

A chorus of mocking snickers from the surrounding lifeless souls rang out behind Darius. Why can’t they keep their fucking mouths shut?

The Dark One had several millennia under his belt and Darius didn’t see how a few more years would change anything.

Darius lifted his head, hoping to convey his confidence in his own words. “I’ll contact my informant again. He may have some new information, a new trail to follow.” I fucking doubt it, but I don’t have to tell him that.

“This is your last warning. Do not make me question your loyalty to me or my cause. If I don’t get what I want, neither will you.”

“Understood.”

# # #

A high-pitched melody pulled Lucessa from an all-too-familiar dream as her cell phone chimed with the latest pop song. Was it Britney or Beyonce? She couldn’t keep up with who was popular in music and who was yesterday’s news. Damn her boss, Julie, for always messing with her phone.

She rolled from the center of her bed to her nightstand, and grabbed the phone. Who would call this early on a Saturday morning? “Hello?”

“Mrs. Flynn?” the voice on the other side asked.

“Yes, that’s me.” She held the phone away from her ear to squint at the display, but the number read ‘private.’ That’s weird. Who blocks their number nowadays? Telemarketers still addressed her by her maiden name, Sarcona. It’d been almost a year since she’d married Greg, but she was still working on changing everything over to her new name. Silly, but she cherished any connection to her parents; one dead and the other’s mind slipping further away by the day.

“Madame?” the male voice inquired.

“This is Lucessa Flynn. How can I help you?”

“I am sorry about the time of this call, but I could not delay this matter a moment longer.” The accent sounded foreign to her. She heard a hint of a French influence, but it also held something else. “I am calling in regards to Gregory Flynn. You are listed as his kin,” the man paused, “Is this correct?”

Her palms began to sweat and her breathing quickened. “Yes, yes. That’s me. Who’s this?” Rubbing her eyes, she lowered her legs over the side of the bed, careful not to disturb her dog sleeping on the floor. Lucessa tried to keep the apprehension from her voice. “Is Greg okay?”

“I regret to inform you that your husband is on his way home to you.”

Her heart lifted. Lucessa had been juggling two jobs to pay the mortgage, student loans and other bills, while maintaining a historical home in an older part of town. And caring for a puppy. She told herself daily and sometimes hourly, only four more months. Only four more months.

“That’s wonderful news.” Had he decided to withdraw from the six-month internship program in Uganda? He was probably homesick, having never traveled outside of California, but she wished he hadn’t given up so quickly. After all, he only had a few more months to finish. God, she missed him so much though, and the thought of having him home made her giddy. But why didn’t he call me himself? “Can I speak with him?”

“I believe you misunderstood, Mrs. Flynn. I must apologize, English is my second language.”

Dread, cold and heavy, settled in the pit of Lucessa’s stomach, threatening to pull her to the floor.

“I am afraid that Mr. Flynn has passed away due to a malarial infection.”

“A malarial infection? That’s impossible! He’s a doctor. He got all the necessary vaccinations before he left. There must be a mistake.”

“I am sorry, Madame.”

Her body hit the floor next to her bed as reality took hold of her. Sobs escaped her throat.

The rest of the conversation passed in a haze as she gave herself over to the tears. Her hand trembled as she struggled to keep the phone pressed to her ear. Lucessa caught the gist. Greg’s body would arrive