Murder in Her Dreams

Murder In The Shadows #1

by Nell DuVall

Cassie Blake lives with guilt because she failed to heed her dreams and a young girl died. Now, a year later a handsome man and a vicious feral rabbit haunt her dreams. She has no idea of the man's identity. At first she dismisses the dream as ridiculous, that is, until she discovers the man is real.


Chapter One

Cassie Blake tossed and turned, unable to sleep. Maybe that late night chocolate bar and the cup of tea had been a bad idea. She snuggled down under the chintz comforter and focused on having lunch with her best friend Tula Mohr. She always enjoyed that. Savoring the flakey scones and cream with raspberry jam, she drifted to sleep.

* * * *

A man’s face hovered in the air. Rich, warm mahogany hair curled around the face and flirted with the nape of his neck. His closed eyes opened slowly. Earthy brown, they stared back with stiff pride. His jaw jutted out, strong and patrician, while his generous mouth quirked up at the corners. Not bad, not bad at all.

He resembled no one she knew, not even a movie or TV star. His unfamiliar features puzzled her. Only Tula had that air of self-sufficiency. Attractive, but at the same time intimidating, his intense dark eyes compelled her attention. They challenged her and then laughed at her failure to do other than stare at him, opened-mouthed. She struggled to blink, but his face didn’t go away. Like the Cheshire Cat, he mocked her.

“Come on, Cassie, wake up.” She wanted to take control of her dream and banish the persistent face, but she didn’t know how. “You’re a dream, just a crazy dream.”

Then he smiled. His expression softened and became more appealing. The look in his eyes changed from challenging to tender and non-threatening. A strong hand with long tapering fingers reached out to her. Her hand stretched to meet his. Iron fingers grasped hers, but with gentleness, and pulled her toward his hovering face.

A torso emerged. Square shoulders, a broad chest in a bright fuchsia and teal shirt, and then more followed. Sturdy thighs in a pair of snug fitting jeans that emphasized his masculinity. Innate caution made Cassie want to hold back, but she also wondered who he was and what he wanted.

Filled with promises, his gaze impelled her forward. Unable to resist the insistence of his hands, she approached closer.

Her heart beat against her rib cage. His skin gave off a strong citrus-scented aftershave. His smiling lips parted as he leaned forward and his arms surrounded her. Heat enveloped her, sending fire through her veins.

His lips neared hers. A thrill raced though Cassie from her toes to her fingertips. She wanted those demanding, insistent lips on hers. Ready for his kiss, she took a quick breath.

“What the hell?” The man pulled back and stared down at his right leg.

Cassie’s eyes followed his. A large black mass clung to his leg. As she peered down, long, laid-back ears and a short, puffball tail emerged. Cassie blinked. The long ears and fluffy tail of a black ... rabbit?

Rabbit? Cassie almost laughed, but her laughter faded as the dream continued. Not a cuddly bunny but a feral creature as big as a small Bull Terrier encircled his leg. Sharp, curved claws extended from its paws. It clung to the man’s leg like a Rottweiler locked on a fresh kill.

Air laden with mold and dampness filled her nostrils — the scent of a dead cornfield waiting for winter’s icy blanket. The odor grew ranker.

Her throat closed. She struggled to breathe. The chill ate through her flannel gown. Shivers shook her. Then, horrifying memories of ten-year-old Ellie Latham deepened the cold.

The man shook his leg, but the creature held fast. He shook harder. Still the rabbit clutched his leg, strong talons digging into the fabric of his jeans. The man reached down to pluck the beast away.

A low menacing grumble sounded. The creature bared its long, white teeth. Those sharp, shiny incisors held her spellbound. An aura of malevolence and evil rose from the creature and poisoned the air.

She gasped for breath. Somehow, she knew this nightmare creature meant to kill.

The rabbit gnashed its teeth. A stringy rope of bubbles dripped from its mouth. Foam? Rabid animals foamed. Killer animals.

Cassie looked for a weapon, but saw nothing handy. She turned back to the man.

He stretched his hand down toward the growling rabbit. The creature watched with glittering eyes. It flattened its ears against its head. The growl became a roar. Rumbling like an enraged bull, it leaped upward toward the man’s exposed throat.

Murder in Her Dreams


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