The Darkness in Dreams (Enforcer's Legacy, #1)

The Darkness in Dreams (Enforcer's Legacy, #1)

Sue Wilder


Seattle, Washington

The office was quiet and pristine and more fortified than it looked. There was a file, left unopened and sitting in the center of the desk. Beside it sat the photographs, stacked in a precarious cairn—or perhaps a warning flag in black and white. The warning would be ignored, as warnings usually were, since one did not send warnings and certainly not to this woman. She lived in world filled with power, fortified by legend. And the legend was enough.

Phillipe knew this, of course. He was a tall man, both muscular and thin, dressed like an academic with the red suspenders that had become his trademark. To outsiders he was harmless. His mind was lethal. So was the rest of him, and the woman trusted him implicitly.

As for the woman, she was not ordinary. Her voice, when she spoke, carried the hint of France, or Italy, or even Russia. She was tall and elegant and considered beautiful by some—but she was not human. Her hair was too blond to be natural, her eyes too silver to be ignored, and for these reasons she’d been Ais to the Etruscans, Theos in ancient Greece. Rome once called her one of the Ten Great Gods but they were mistaken—she was not a god. She was part of an immortal race, a member of the ruling Calata, which meant the invasion, named by an early culture with no other way to describe them.

The name stuck, as did the meaning, and throughout their long existence only seven had been strong enough to rule. Now there were six. Their names were in the ancient form with no equivalent in the human language. For expediency’s sake, they used numbers. She was Three. Her enemy was Six.

“There was always a darkness in the dreams,” Three said as she sat behind the desk. “We planned it that way.”

“Perhaps the darkness is failing.” Phillipe walked to the upholstered chair that was as uncomfortable as it looked. Music flowed from hidden speakers, a lamento from Puccini, selected because Three adored the tenor's voice while Phillipe detested it. She was not in the mood for a confrontation.

“How many girls?” she asked as the lamento switched to an aria.

“Three so far.”

“And you’re sure these aren’t accidents?”

“Murder doesn’t have to be obvious.”

The aria ended and another took its place. Phillipe shifted, slid one knee over the other and adjusted the sharp crease in his pants. Three flipped open the file and pretended to read, merely scanning the first few lines. Her scanning slowed, though, when she reached the bottom of the first page. As she turned to the second page, a muscle tightened near her mouth.

“Do we know how he’s tracking them?” she asked when the aria ended.

“Through the bond energy. He finds a mated girl, then sends a phishing link to download a code, embedding a subliminal message beneath the music on her smart phone. There’s also a meditation app.” Phillipe paused. “Advertised as a way to relieve stress.”

“Tell me how it works.”

“The message stimulates the subconscious, forcing the dreams. When the past life memories start to emerge, the memory lines appear on their hands.”

Three set aside the file and reached for the photographs, working through the first half-dozen at a steady pace. She paused once on a photograph of a feminine hand. Delicate lines—the color of faded henna—curled along a forefinger and across the wrist. Whispers of the past lives.

Phillipe leaned back in his chair. When he folded his hands, Three’s tension grew so acute she wondered if he was aware of it. She knew he wanted to talk about her enforcer, bring up the argument they’d had so many times she could repeat the words by heart. He would be persistent. Three would push back. Phillipe would then point out the obvious—that Christan possessed such consummate power even the mention of his name evoked respect and fear.

But Christan had disappeared four centuries ago. He’d gone into a place of silence, a cold, immortal place they called the Void. She’d tried to coax him out, but he refused with such finality she let him stay. Three understood Christan’s reasons. Phillipe, unfortunately, did not.

Another aria drifted in the background. Phillipe had grown quiet. Using the photographs as a diversion, Three returned to the task until her attention sharpened on the image of a girl, mid-twenties and slender. She was walking on a rocky beach while behind her raged a stormy sea. The photographer had been some distance away, at a higher elevation. The girl was turning toward the camera as if someone had called her name. Blond hair streamed out in a wave. The tension in her expression was startling.

“Who is she?”

“Galaxy North. Lives on the Oregon Coast, in a little town called Rock Cove. She’s having dreams. The woman in the next photograph is her therapist.”

“And does the therapist understand the dreams?”

“She has memory lines of her own.”

Three fanned the images across the desk, looking at the blond girl and the sea. “Is she who I think she is?”

“Yes.” The academic reached into the briefcase at his feet, then placed another photo on the desk. “And Kace knows about her.”

Three tipped the new image into the light, then pushed the photographs aside until they tumbled in a little avalanche across the desk.

“What is your point, Phillipe?”

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