Cry Love

An undying love. An enduring threat.

 

When Claire Westbrook and Jonas Clark meet, the attraction is instantaneous. And dangerous. Neither plans a workplace romance. Jonas is a top notch neurosurgeon, single with no plans to change. Claire is a trauma surgeon with a failing marriage. The last thing either one wants is to become embroiled in what promises to be a very complicated relationship.

 

From their first accidental meeting, Claire and Jonas feel a strange connection. A connection each tries to deny, but one that only grows stronger each time they are together. Claire and Jonas are both professionals who have seen too much gritty reality to believe in the unbelievable. Until the unbelievable becomes very real.

 

The evil that continues to stalk them is very much in the present. Can their timeless love survive and triumph?

Excerpt from Cry Love

 

Chapter One

 

THEY LYNCHED HIM at dawn.

 

He struggled, kicking out, then digging his worn boots into the ground as they dragged him toward the tree, the huge live oak standing sentinel on the front lawn. But he could do nothing against five men.

 

Oh, God, no. No, please, she pled silently, knowing it was a futile prayer. They had tied his hands, beaten him until she could see the blood dripping from his face and body in the eerie fog of the emerging dawn. Despairing, she put her hand to the window, choked out a cry as they threw him up on the horse and placed the noose around his neck.

 

My love. My only love.

 

#

 

CLAIRE GASPED, choked, and sat up in bed, struggling awake through a thick fog of sorrow. She raised a hand to her cheek, felt the moisture of tears.

 

“What the hell is going on?”

 

Claire Westbrook had never been a fanciful woman, not even when young and naive. Certainly not since she’d become a physician. As a trauma surgeon she dealt in gritty reality. Too damn much of it.

 

Yet she’d awakened in tears from a dream so real she could have sworn she still heard the screams.

 

Hers.

 

His.

 

Unsettling, and frankly, annoying. She didn’t have the luxury of a sleepless night. She needed her rest, not to awaken breathless, heart hammering after some bizarre dream.

 

Her sleep had been growing progressively more restless, but it wasn’t until waking up this morning that she actually remembered one of the dreams. And thank God she couldn’t if they’d all been like that dream. The only good thing that had come from her restless nights was they had given her a good excuse to move out of the bedroom she shared with her husband. Glenn hadn’t seemed upset to have her move, either. She wondered what was keeping them together. Not sex and not companionship, that was for sure.

 

Determined to get a grip, she swore not to think about the dream again. She got out of bed and lurched into the shower, turning the water on as hot as she could stand it.

 

It was that damned journal. The one she’d found yesterday morning, when she was cleaning out her mother’s house for her upcoming move. With her father gone now for two years, Claire had finally convinced her mother she had to move to a smaller house. And Lord, was it a production downsizing her. The woman had kept stuff going back to the seventeen hundreds. Every time a family house had been cleaned out—and her mother had a lot of family—the junk had all migrated to Evangeline’s. Some of it was interesting, letters from World War I, guns from the late eighteenth century, a postcard collection dating from the late eighteen hundreds. But a lot of it was junk, plain and simple.

 

Then yesterday morning, Claire had found a journal, obviously antique and stuffed in among a bunch of ancient receipts, though not of the same time period. Her mother thought it had belonged to Claire’s great-great-great-great-grandmother, Rachel Adams, who had lived during the Civil War.

 

The journal was certainly old. Claire had glanced at it long enough to read a sentence or two, and sure enough, it was dated 1859, just prior to the Civil War. Claire had never been a Civil War buff. In fact, she’d avoided the whole era, other than what she’d been forced to read in school. In the past, she’d found reading about it painful, so whenever possible, she didn’t.

 

Despite her embargo of the Civil War era, the journal piqued her curiosity. If she were an imaginative person, she’d say it called to her. Since she was a pragmatist at heart, she merely acknowledged it was interesting. Still, she hadn’t read enough of it to warrant a dream like the one she’d had. Good God, that was crazy.

 

Damn it, she was doing it again. Obsessing over that stupid dream was getting her nowhere. And if she didn’t get her ass in gear she’d have to skip her skinny white chocolate mocha from Java Joe’s. She stopped there religiously every morning before work, and some days when she was off.

Yet on the way to the coffee shop she found bits of the dream replaying itself in her head. Out of the confusing fog-like wisps, one certainty emerged.

 

She had no idea who he was. And he had died because of her.