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Opaque Melodies (Coveting Delirium #1)

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Natalie Bennett

Language:
English
Book Information:

Alaric Schuyler.
Enigmatic, cocky, and my new brother-in-law.

He had cerulean blue eyes and a smile so beautifully devious it could entice the devil to do his bidding.

We were never supposed to happen.
One night changed everything, tying him and me together in a sordid twist of fate, trapping me in his dark, chaotic world.

The lucid dreams and sick fantasies followed.

He became the star of my nightmares, always lurking in the shadows, awakening dormant demons one esoteric melody at a time.

I became his muse, a part of everything he did.

He would be the death of me.
And in the end, I wanted nothing more.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:

*** Contains graphic language, frequent graphic sex, explicit scenes of horror, and very dark themes.***

Books in Series:

Coveting Delirium Series by Natalie Bennett

Books by Author:

Natalie Bennett Books

EPIGRAPH

Share with me your silent dreams and I’ll make you the moon in my universe.

—Melody Lee–

CHAPTER ONE

An annoyingly consistent buzzing pulled me from a dream that had been as vivid as the barking dog down the street. I reached blindly towards my nightstand, skimming my fingers over its surface until I found my cellphone.

Rolling onto my back, I stared at the screen through squinted eyes an attempt to combat the bright glare. The sequence of digits created a number I had ignored twice the day before.

The caller showed as Unknown and located in California. I considered sending whoever it was to voicemail, but then they could call right back. I wasn’t in the mood for playing a game of telephone tag. I swiped up, placing the phone on speaker, too lazy to hold it to my ear.

“Who is it?”

“Hello…is this, Catalina Haven?”

I don’t know if it was the sound of his voice that had me waking up a little more, or the fact he used my first and last name. Either way, he’d captured my full attention.

“Uh, yeah,” I cleared my throat, “This is she.”

“Were you sleeping? Did I wake you?”

“It’s almost twelve-thirty in the morning, so what do you think?”

“Right.” A slight pause, but no apology followed. “This is Alaric Schuyler. I’m calling about your sister.”

“My…sister?” I questioned slowly.

Another pause.

“Catalina,” he stated my name again, confidently this time. “Jonathon Penn is your father, correct?”

Unfortunately. “Yes.”

“Then that makes you my wife’s sister.”

His wife?

“Oh! You’re calling for Megan?”

He sighed, and I mentally slapped myself on the forehead. I was so glad he wasn’t in front of me. The man probably thought I was an idiot. Not to mention….

Shit, I’d forgotten Meg was even married. I sat up a little taller and took him off speaker. “Is everything okay?”

Of course, it wasn’t. I already knew that. Nothing good came from phone calls received after midnight.

“Things are…” he expelled another breath. “There’s no easy way to tell you this. Megan—your sister—she’s passed away.”

My spine straightened, total silence expanding from my end of the line. I had no idea what to say. “I’m sorry,” didn’t feel fitting for the situation.

“How…when?” I stumbled over the words, this too seeming like the wrong response.

“Tomorrow marks one week since her service. I’ve tried to reach you by phone and email.” His tone became sympathetic.

I didn’t want that—his sympathy. It was undeserving and unnecessary.

“Thank you for letting me know. Is there anything you need?”

I hoped he would say no. I had absolutely nothing to offer him, not even a shoulder to cry on. They were both preoccupied by tiny devils likely to spear him in the face. I still felt the need to add something supportive to this conversation.

“If you can arrange things on your end, I would like to fly you out so you can go through her things before they’re donated or sold off.”

My current train of thought came to a crashing halt. His request was entirely unexpected. “Um, that’s okay. I’m sure you know what best to do with it.”

“This is me doing precisely that. I’m honoring her wishes.”

I didn’t expect that either. Or understand my sister’s reasoning for it. Why would you leave all your things to someone you didn’t truly know? My delayed response had him continuing.

“If it’s because of your schedule or reluctance to fly, I can ship everyth–.”

“No!” I objected. “No,” I repeated much softer, scrubbing a hand over my face. “You don’t have to do that.”

I didn’t want my dead sister’s personal items lingering around my house. Just as I didn’t want to tell her widow I wasn’t interested in them.

“Can I call you back at this number? I’ll see what I can do.”

“Of course, but whatever you decide is fine.”

“Thanks,” I mumbled, disconnecting the call before he could slip in anything else.

I remained in bed until thin streams of sunlight began to sneak through my partially shuttered blinds. The heavy flow of early morning traffic disrupted the silence that had cloaked my room for the past few hours.

Unable to fall back asleep, I spent that time searching my mind for memories of Meg and me. As always, I was only able to grasp straws of a blurry childhood. From what I could remember, it was one I would much rather remain obscured. Our family dynamic was painfully complicated, to say the least.

I rarely announced I even had a sister—half-sister at that. It was easier this way. No one could ask any questions.

I slid out of bed and headed straight for the small bathroom right across the hall. I turned the shower on and then chucked my sleep shirt into the hamper. As the water heated, I took a few minutes to brush my teeth, waiting for some form of sadness to hit.

It never did.

I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to handle the news about Meg’s death. I’d experienced a loss before, and it had felt like someone tore off a piece of my soul. This wasn’t anything like that. Thus far all I felt was a small amount of guilt and regret—not over her passing, but for the relationship we would now never have or be able to salvage.


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