Night Rhapsody

The Soul Mates Series: The Legend of Blackbeard's Chalice, Book Three

Can souls touch through dreams and find their way home again?
***
Jackson Porter seeks to fulfill his mother, Claire Porter’s, dying request, and find answers about the imaginary lover who haunts his nights. His future, he learns, is in a place called Ohio, miles and centuries away from his barrier island home in 1745. The land, his dying mother tells him, is his legacy. She urges him to claim it.

In the year 2038, Kari Upton is driven to fight federal sanctions to save her land and her valuable poppy crops. Her upcoming marriage is one of convenience. Marrying Tye Gentry will save her Ohio farmland. There is no other way to gain power than to marry him and ride on his father’s political coattails to the state legislature.

And all would be perfect if it weren’t for those erotic dreams of a man with long dark hair who haunts her day and night....
An excerpt:
North of Cincinnati, Ohio
Organic Medicinal Dominion
June 2038
Tiny pants of breath lifted her chest and exited her throat in a staccato rhythm. Darkness swirled, a dizzying sense of vertigo enveloped her. His fingers kneaded her breasts; his lips captured hers. Desire and passion surged from deep within her belly.
Kari Upton tried to fight it. Desperately tried. But this time he was too strong. The vision too powerful. The need too urgent, consuming, overwrought with passion. And as she saw the image of his face pull away, he slid into her, the length of his velvet hardness caressing her insides.
She could feel him, dammit!
In a frenzied rush, he plunged into her. Repeatedly. Her head fell to the side, and her eyes fluttered closed. An involuntary arch thrust her body against her imaginary lover’s. Beneath the tangled sheets, her hands splayed along her torso, desperate to clutch his flesh and pull him closer. Frantically grasping at hers instead, she lost the battle to stifle the need to end this excruciating pleasure that bordered on pain.
As a tiny coil embedded deep inside the very thing that made her a woman drew close to springing with wild abandon, she was sure his hands were on her flesh. That his lips caressed hers. That the silk of his hair, long and black as the night, tangled in her fingers. That the most intimate part of his body impaled her with the firm length of his flesh.
Give in.
Curls of pleasure radiated from her core, the spiral unraveling, slow and determined. The tendrils stretched to fingertips and toes while the most sensitive areas of her body peaked and convulsed at his repeated plunge. All her convictions were again spinning out of control. She’d vowed so many times he would not get to her. Again. But he did, every time.
She didn’t care.
Trembling, she gasped, aching to call out his name. Wanting him to say hers back on heated breath.
Han.
Kari.
Then he plunged one last time, shuddered and leaned into her. She shouted his name from her lips. She didn’t want to open her eyes, didn’t want him to disappear. Could feel the weight of his stilled body against her chest. The moist warmth of his breath against her cheek. The savoring of their lovemaking as he refused to draw away from her.
Yes, dammit! She could feel every inch of him. And more. She could feel his desperation. His need.
Or was it her own?
Her body shivered and Kari rolled to her side, curling into a fetal position. She wrapped her arms around her knees in an attempt to still her trembling soul. She didn’t open her eyes, trying to keep him in her mind as long as possible, keep his essence with her.
But, as abruptly as he came, he left her.
Drawing the covers around her damp body, she buried her face in her pillow. She tried to stop her tears, but it was useless. She was powerless to prevent her body from reacting. And at that point, she knew if she allowed this...this obsession to continue, it would ruin her forever.
****
A sweet floral aroma drifted lazily about as she walked toward her private garden. Kari drank in the unusually strong essence of nectar that surrounded her this morning, perhaps because of the heavy dew sitting on the fields. The poppies, foxglove, and goldenrod were in full bloom, blanketing the farm like a patchwork quilt. The dandelions were bare, the harvest just past; the violets and coneflowers ready to burst. The hemp, nestled down by the river, would be lush in about a month.
She loved flying over her farm and picking out the fields of color. A surge of pride welled up in her each time she did.
It was such a contradiction to the crops grown in these fields thirty years ago. No more corn, soybeans, or wheat. Those crops were now controlled by the Agricultural Dominion, west of the Mississippi in the heartland of the country. The Energy Dominion, located in the northern Midwest states such as Iowa and the Dakotas, grew corn and other engineered crops for fuel and oversaw the wind and water farms for electrical energy production. The Organic Medicinal Dominion, the OMD, the area of states bordering north of the Ohio River Valley, allowed only plants for medication grown east of the Mississippi and between the Appalachian mountain chain.
The OMD was the bane of her existence.
She felt blessed to be a businesswoman who grew beautiful products of vast importance to the health care of many. Everyone knew how skewed the insurance industry was these days, so many people were taking their health care in their own hands and not relying on the government, learning how to self-diagnose and medicate with herbs and plants. Proud of the work they did, she smiled at the success she and her aunt shared, along with the support garnered from her mentor and chief operating officer, Richard Gentry. How fortunate that her land lay in a fertile river valley with rich soil and flat fields and that this land has been passed down to her. She owned several thousand acres and leased additional farms. Being a landowner was critical to success in this new day. It was pivotal to her survival as the government folded and reinvented itself over the past decade or so.
At the onset, it was all about oil and coal. When the markets dried up and the country was starving for petroleum and cheap energy sources, other points of infrastructure started falling apart. There were no funds for roads, highways, rail traffic, and air traffic control. Consequently, the loss of jobs in these industries turned the economy. Technology began to crumble as a side effect. Political parties, which once existed with clearly drawn lines, were blurred and reinvented. Thus, the tide abruptly turned with the elections and the most liberal-thinkers moved in to the White House and Congress to restructure everything from energy to food to health services and to resurrect those failed infrastructures. In twenty short years the nation experienced an incredible turnaround, and a country that had survived on greed and prosperity under the guise of a democratic union for two hundred years and more resigned to change its ways or suffer the consequences.
Her family had been fortunate. But, she wouldn’t think of that now.

Exhausted, Kari sank onto a stone chair at the edge of the pond and let her head fall into her palms, her arms braced on her knees. The cascade of dark russet locks surrounding her made her feel safe, somewhat protected. Her head was full of too much—the wedding, the OMD sanctions, the dominion appointments, the crops—when would it all end?
 



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