A woman suffering nightmares from a haunting past, a vampire awakened from boredom to find a new toy, Zale and Victoria, two unlikely lovers who meet In the Moon's Light.
Victoria left behind her old life, hoping to start over in a small country town where nobody knows about her past. Supporting herself with a part time job at a local bookstore and a job as live in caretaker for an old, empty bed and breakfast mansion, she tries to get through her college classes, but soon finds her world turned upside down when a dream lover enters her bedroom one night. She looks forward to his visits because his attentions keep her usual nightmares at bay.
When her past comes back to haunt her, she has more to worry about than the moody lover who wards off her bad dreams.
Tory opened her eyes. Shadows fluttered across the gray ceiling in the dim light of the full moon. She'd left the window open for the cooling breeze. She turned, fear drying her mouth and drawing goose bumps across her skin. The bed felt warm, safe, but something about the open window called to her. Willow leaves rustled and shook, making the shadows dance faster. White sheers billowed, beckoning her. She pushed back the covers, set her bare feet on the marred wooden floor, and watched the wind change. The curtains sucked backward, luring her to follow.
Her feet moved of their own volition. She wiped the sleep from her eyes and stopped at the sill. Tory pushed aside the curtains, the sweet scent of jasmine strong. She stared out into the night, expecting to see something important. The eerie moonlight glowed across the vacant lawn. Her gaze traveled along the slope to the little, run down guesthouse that bordered the property. A man stood in the yard, his body rigid as he gazed skyward. She decided he must be staring at the moon. The night hid any clear details.
No one was supposed to be on the property, except her, its caretaker. She frowned at the trespasser. "Hey! What are you doing here?"
The stranger turned slowly, as if he had all the time in the world. Tory backtracked her memory to be sure she'd locked the many doors before she retired for the night. The old mansion was eerie enough without a nutcase standing outside in the middle of the night. The man's presence made her angry, but as he walked across the lawn toward the big house, her ire shifted to panic. She was all alone, a college student watching the place for extra money. There was no one around for miles that could hear her call for help. She'd set her cell phone to charge before she went to bed, but it was downstairs, plugged into the outlet by the fridge.
He strode across the lawn, his face lit a ghostly pallor by the silver light. He moved with all the grace of a stalking predator, his hands limp at his sides. His long legs soon carried him to just below her window. Unusual for an old-fashioned town, he wore his hair shoulder-length and loose. In curling, dark tendrils it blew in the breeze, obscuring his expression.
"This is private property!" She did her best to sound intimidating, a difficult task when wearing only a white t-shirt.
He stared up at her as he had the moon. Something flashed in his eyes, a certain light, and she wondered what could be reflecting there. Tory cringed. She backed away from the window. The sheers shifted and puffed. Downstairs, she heard the porch door creak on its ancient hinges. "I locked it," she whispered. Near silent footsteps trod across the floors below. Tory closed the bedroom door and turned the lock. She glanced around the dim room. The closet was a wide place, but no clothes hung within to hide behind. She ran to the bed, got down on her hands and knees, and slid beneath it, quivering like a frightened child.
She heard him ascend the stairs, his gait a pulse, as steady as a heartbeat. He halted on the landing for an interminable amount of time. His voice drifted to her, soothing as he hummed a lilting tune. The beat of his steps began again. Tory shimmied further in.
The handle on her door jiggled. Metal clinked. Then, as the porch entry before it, the bedroom door came open as if it had not been properly secured. She stared at his shoes, featureless boots that clop-clopped closer. He stood at the edge of the bed for a long while.
"Come out." The voice had a strange cadence, an accent she couldn't place.
Tory closed her eyes tight. She prayed. Remaining as still as possible, she hoped he'd go away. Instead, she heard his boots scuff across the wooden floor. Though she didn't look, she felt his heated gaze searing over her body. An icy hand gripped her ankle. The stranger dragged her from beneath the mattress.
"I said, come out. When I tell you to do something, you must do it."
She opened her eyes. He knelt over her. The moonlight showed on his pale skin, lighting him like a marble statue. His hand glided over her t-shirt, across her left breast and up to her neck. He felt cold. Fingers traced lines up and down the side of her throat. "You're beautiful," he whispered, bending closer. His eyes seemed black in the darkness. "So very lovely and frightened."
"Please, go away," she choked out.
A chilly thumb ran circles over her chin. He frowned. "But I've only just arrived. We've not been introduced. I can assure you that I would like to know you in every sense of the word." His face moved closer, his fluid movements surreal. His knee poked its way between her thighs as he brushed his frigid lips across her mouth.
"You're not real," she muttered. "Too cold. This is a nightmare." The realization made sense, and Tory clung to it. She had bad dreams often, haunting dreams that terrified her. "I locked the doors. You can't be here."
He quirked a brow at her statement, lowered his mouth to hers and spoke across her lips. "Then I should get you back to bed. No one wants to wake up on the floor." He drew her lower lip between his, sucking lightly at it. His wandering hand crossed her cheek. Fingers combed into her loose hair. He paused. "Kiss me back." His frown evidenced some inner pain. "Make me warm. I want to feel like you do."
"Nightmare," she said, breathless. The cold of his skin felt wrong. His tender kiss, though, stirred up other emotions.