Midnight Dreams

By: Kayla Perrin

Prologue

THE SCREAM ESCAPED HER throat the moment she heard the

shuffling of feet in the darkened room. Stupid! she scolded

herself as she closed the bathroom door behind her, immedi-

ately realizing that she should have kept her mouth shut. If

the intruder wasn’t deaf—and she was sure he wasn’t—then

her scream had alerted him to the fact that she was in the back

of the salon. How long would it take him to discover she was

locked in the washroom?

God help her, she had to get out. It was her only chance.

No way would she stay here and become a statistic. If she’d

been thinking straight initially, she would have dashed for the

back door, but she’d been so frightened that she’d darted into

the washroom instead.

Forcing herself to draw in a slow breath, she glanced down.

No light shone beneath the washroom door, meaning the salon

was thankfully still dark. If she could carefully open the door,

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slip into the room and hug the wall while she tiptoed to the

back door, she would be home free.

But what if he heard her and she wasn’t quick enough? A

shiver of dread raced down her spine. Lord, why hadn’t she

listened when everyone had suggested she get a gun?

Don’t stay here like a coward—get moving! her mind

screamed, and she realized it was now or never. Her hand

gripped the bathroom’s doorknob at the precise moment she

heard her name. Her hand stilled. Pressing an ear against the

door, she listened. Was that…?

“Jade? Where are you?”

Her shoulders sagged with relief as she let out a breath in

a nervous rush. It was Terrell. Opening the bathroom door, she

stepped into the darkened salon. Streetlights cast soft rays

through the store, providing enough light to see Terrell’s tall

form and his gleaming onyx eyes.

“Jade.” His baritone voice was soft, merely whispering

her name, yet sending shivers of delight all over her body.

Now she knew the meaning of the expression bedroom voice.

“Terrell.” She hadn’t meant to whisper his name in reply,

hadn’t meant to sound raspy and seductive, but her voice had

betrayed her. “What…what are you doing here?”

“You know why I came.”

She swallowed as he took a step closer. She did know. Had

known from the moment she heard him call her name. “You

shouldn’t be here.”

“I couldn’t stay away. You know that.”

Her eyelids fluttered shut as he closed the distance between

them and wrapped a strong arm around her waist. She should

step away from him, break the physical contact, but God help

her, she was paralyzed. “I…I have to go.”

“Not yet, Jade. Not until we’ve talked.”

Kayla Perrin

9

She didn’t bother to ask what he wanted to talk about, for she

knew. She knew, and a part of her was glad he was here though

she shouldn’t be. Her eyes popped open. “How did you get in?”

“The front door was open.”

“Really?” Where had her mind been? She never forgot to

lock it. “Then I should—uh—lock it.”

“I already did. I want no interruptions.”

She trembled at the intensity of his words, at the intense

look in his eyes. She barely managed to say, “Oh. Okay.”

His other hand snaked around her body, resting on the small

of her back. Jade’s breath snagged in her throat. “Jade, don’t

do it. I never thought I’d beg you, but I am now. Please—”

“Don’t,” she said quickly, cutting him off. Did she not

want him to voice the doubts her own heart had? “We’ve

already discussed this.”

“No, we haven’t. I didn’t know what to say when you told

me you were still going to marry Nelson. I didn’t know what

to think. But I know now. I can’t let you marry him.”

“You…you can’t stop me.”

“I won’t stop you if you really love him. Do you love him?

Tell me you do and I’ll walk out of your life forever.”

The air between them was thick with tension, and she gulped

at it, desperate to fill her lungs. “I…” Her voice trailed off.

“You can’t say it, can you?” He tightened his grip on her,

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