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Monday, February 2, 2015

FADE INTO ME by Charity Bradford

Back Cover
Caeden Frey doesn’t believe humans will evolve to see the magic, much less control it. Even so, he has two months to marry a human or face the wrath of the High Council. Bitter about a responsibility he thinks prevents him marrying for love, he figures any human girl will do. He’s ready to propose when his soul mate stumbles into—and right out of—his arms.

Human, Ryanne Killian might be Caedan’s one shot at happiness while still fulfilling his duty. Unfortunately, she guards a dark secret. She’s determined to push Caedan away to protect him from her past.

Caedan must convince her she’s worthy of his love before a rival family puts an end to his wedding plans. If she can see her own worth, she just might save herself and his people.

Excerpt
He walked to a desk near the back wall that I had completely overlooked. It was covered in paperwork and what appeared to be several glass cubes with bugs inside. Caedan found an old school rotary phone attached to the wall by the cord. It wouldn’t reach the couch so I joined him across the room.

“I haven’t seen one of those in forever.” I giggled as my emotions flipped switches again. Something was definitely wrong.

“Phillips is a bit old fashioned I guess.” He held the base while I dialed Heather’s number.

“Heather?”

“Ry? What’s up?” The radio played in the background, and I knew she was in her room.

“I was in an accident, but I’m okay.” Why did I tell her that? Now she would worry.

“What? What happened?” The radio clicked off.

“Nothing, I’m fine. I just wanted to let you know I’m waiting on the bus so I’ll be later than I thought.”

“No, I’ll come get you! Where are you?”

“I’m—” A wave of dizziness washed over me. Whatever I’d caught was making me see things. The colors were gone, but the room had gone fuzzy around the edges and started rolling like water lapping the sides of a pool.

“Ryanne?” Caedan’s arm shot out and his steadying hand gripped my elbow. “Are you all right?”

His deep voice rumbled in my ear. The vibrations toured my body and landed in my toes. Or maybe my toes were just going numb? Whatever it was, I decided I liked the way I felt.

“Who’s that?” Heather’s voice shot up an octave. “Ry?”

“I like how you say my name.” The giggles escaped again. I clamped a hand over my mouth.

“Ry!” Heather was shouting now. “Who’s with you? Are you alone with him?”

“I think you need a doctor.” Caedan took the phone from my hand and cradled it against his ear. “Hello?”

The room stilled and quieted enough that I could hear the buzz of Heather’s angry voice over the line.

“Look, my name is Caedan Frey. I’ll make sure she’s taken care of. Don’t worry about anything.”

“What?” Something was wrong with my ears. Everything came in muffled waves. Did he say Caedan Frey, multi-millionaire and Life magazine’s number one bachelor of the year?

Caedan talked to Heather and eased us toward the desk. He set the clunky phone down, keeping contact with me the entire time. My body followed in spite of my growing distress.

The feel of money at the wedding made sense.

“Was that your sister?” My voice came out in a croak. “At the wedding?”

Caedan hesitated before answering me. “Yes, Sedonia’s my sister.”

“I’m so sorry! I really didn’t know. I never would have—” My mouth snapped shut. The last half hour had only been his way of avoiding a lawsuit. Nothing more. If I hadn’t stepped in front of his motorcycle he never would have noticed me.

“Ryanne?” Caedan reached for my hand. “Heather, she’ll call you soon.”

He hung up and caught me as I swayed. My stomach fluttered as a jolt ran through me. Learning how unobtainable he really was had not removed the attraction I felt. I pressed my fist to my temple. A dull humming joined the ringing in my ears. I couldn’t think, but my mouth worked on autopilot.

“You don’t have to worry about the accident. I won’t sue or anything, you know. That’s not who I am.”

“Let me take you to the doctor.” He reached up and stroked my face. “Did you hit your head when you fell?”

“I don’t know.” I mumbled. What’s wrong with my lips?

My hand moved to touch them, but I couldn’t feel anything. Dark shadows gathered around the edges of my sight. A strange floating feeling overtook me. Somehow I knew Caedan was carrying me again.

“Do you know I’m in love with you?” I gasped then giggled as Caedan Frey, the supremely unattainable, set me in a waiting limo. “I’m not in love with you. I’m never going to fall in love.”

I rested my face against his neck and sobbed. For a brief moment I’d let myself pretend Prince Charming was real. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

My eyes were too heavy to keep open. Before falling asleep, I heard Caedan talking to someone.

“I’ve found her, but something’s wrong.”

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