Heat Level: 4 Flames
One day will change two lives forever.
For over one hundred years, Daniel Tremont searched for the woman who brought him back from the dead after a tragic fire. He is sure she is the love of his life. When he finally catches up with her, he realizes he’s made a terrible mistake.
Alone in his grief, Daniel stumbles upon the remains of a long shuttered insane asylum. In the distance, he sees a beautiful young woman beckon to him. Is she real, or simply the spirit of a long dead former inmate of the asylum?
Brecklin is at the asylum to spend the last day of her life alone. Daniel’s arrival now complicates her plans. But Brecklin soon realizes Daniel isn’t an ordinary man. He is an extraordinary man. He needs her to save him, and in return, he will save her. Can she believe long enough to alter the course of her fading life, and maybe in return, find a forever love?
In the blur of a minute, the entire life he never had flashed before his eyes. Their meeting, falling in love, getting married, having children, the house with the white picket fence, growing old together…
Daniel Tremont dreamed of this day for more than one hundred years. Now he found himself strangely nervous as he stood at the door of the woman he hoped was really Charlotte Hopkins.
In his mind, it was all so simple. Charlotte belonged to him. He belonged to her.
Would she know him in an instant as her own creation, or as the abomination she fled from that fateful afternoon in 1896 when he perished in a tragic fire at the lumber mill, burned beyond recognition?
They already lost so much time. But it was the thought of the never ending future they would share that kept him going over the decades. Always he hoped, always he searched. Once he chased a lead to Morocco where it was rumored Charlotte worked as a sexy tea dancer, entertaining politicians and the social elite in a secret, underground club. Then she was spotted topless on a beach in Majorca. Then another possible location, and another, and another. In the end, all leads lead to dead ends.
She had been living in suburbia the entire time, blending in with the other locals. Her home a two story brick, lavishly landscaped.
He inhaled a deep breath of confidence and rang the doorbell, then stood back and waited. When the door opened, it was not the perfect, beautiful brunette who haunted his existence for over a century.
It was the first thought that entered his head when he laid eyes on the man who stood in the doorway of the house that belonged to Charlotte.
The man was an imposing figure, probably close to six foot seven, broad shouldered and narrow waist. His hair was platinum in its blondness, and his eyes jade green.
And he was eternal. Just as Daniel. Just as Charlotte. He wasn’t sure how he knew, he just knew.
“Can I help you?” the Viking asked. He seemed friendly enough.
Daniel opened his mouth to speak, but the words would not form on his lips. Finally, he cleared his throat, and spoke. “I’m looking for Charlotte.” As the words came from his mouth, he realized the tremendous mistake he made coming here. Still he had to be certain.
“Charlotte?” the Viking threw his head back and laughed.
Why was he laughing?
This was no laughing matter to Daniel. He was a serious man, and this was a serious matter. The most serious of his long second life.
“Wow, I haven’t heard that name since…” Then he ceased laughing and his expression sobered, as if he almost said too much. “Carly? Can you come here, my sweetheart?”
It was a searing knife to Daniel’s heart. How could he be so stupid? All the while he pined for Charlotte, year after year, decade after decade, she was in love with another.
He needed to get out…fast. He already made a fool of himself. There was no sense in prolonging his agony.
“I’m sorry, I’ve made a mistake. I need to go.”
As he turned to make a hasty retreat, a hand touched his shoulder, and a jolt of what felt like raw electricity rocked his body, and he stumbled. For a moment, he thought the Viking hit him with a taser. Then it became crystal clear. It was the touch of another eternal like himself.
“Please, please come back.”
He heard the Viking call, but he took larger strides to his car. It was obvious he knew what Daniel was as well. Once behind the wheel, he jammed the key into the ignition, and the engine roared to life. In the last second before he threw the car into drive and floored the accelerator, in his peripheral vision he caught glimpse of Charlotte. No, she was Carly now.
The Viking’s Carly.
Nothing more than a glimpse of long, black hair and porcelain skin before his car barreled on to the street.
He never looked back.
5 Stars, Night Owl Reviews Top Pick
"I thought this novella was hauntingly beautiful, simple, and unique. Having read Natalie-Nicole Bates’ first book, See Me, in her Rise Series, I was familiar with the character Daniel Tremont. This story could be an alternate retelling of See Me –a ‘what if’ Daniel never connected with Carly."-Catey Blair, Night Owl Reviews