Kate Rokov’s grades are plummeting. She needs to get the voice out of her head, or she will flunk her finals. Matthias Zrin, a three centuries old immortal, born into an aristocratic family as Miles Rušinić, is enthralled with Kate. It is his voice preventing her from sleeping and her ignorance is testing his limits. He wants her to write down his story to settle his late wife’s earthbound spirit.
His tragic love story has become Kate’s obsession since fifth grade during her summer trip to Rušinić Castle. Their coming together settles the old spirit and breaks an ancient curse and, in doing so, a flame spanning over three centuries reignites and burns with wild desire. In this tale of two life times and desire versus emotional need, both know some dreams will have to wait for the right time, but the magic between them is impossible to withstand.
Life had its strange ways, presenting him with a chance to love her as he should’ve loved her centuries ago…
He must learn how to bear a lonely life. As Kate had said, what kind of life could he give her? Of course, she’d referred to Phantom and Christine, but Kate might as well have spoken of him and her. Yes, he could provide for her, but not give her his heart, and love without heart just wasn’t love.
A corner of clear plastic case sticking out of the pink wrapping on the passenger seat caught his eye. Kate had the CD in her hand when she left the car. She’d put the soundtrack in her purse. How had the case found its way back to the car? Perhaps she left it behind to make sure he would return it. No, she wouldn’t do such a deceitful thing. She had promised she believed him when he’d said he would see her again. He placed the CD inside the glove compartment.
He opened the door and set one foot on the concrete. Emina’s ethereal whisper stopped him from exiting his car.
‘The CD is a guarantee you’ll pay Kate a visit.’
His heart ceased for a few beats, pain stabbed at his chest. “Emina, my dove. You must not interfere.”
‘You promised me, Matthias.’ Scolding in her tone made her voice louder.
He sank against the backrest. How could he keep his vow when he spent every moment thinking of what life might’ve been had she lived? “That is one promise that will have to go unfulfilled. I can never love another.”
‘I will not cross over until you fulfill my dying wish. And there’s a matter of karmic debt you created during your time with servant Kate. It must be repaid with this Kate. The imbalance in your life goes back over three centuries.’
He raked his fingers through his hair. Karmic debt, the concept of compensating for the ill treatment of an essence during its past life had to be repaid to the reincarnated soul was not new. Emina was right. Her wish was selfless. She had thought of him and their children, wanting him to find someone who’d love them and who they’d love in return, and reclaim the balance in his life.
‘Open your heart and you’ll see there’s room for love. Kate is not just another woman. She loves you to a fault.’
“This Kate is not the same woman I love—” He clamped his mouth shut before his tongue could complete the word. Preposterous to think he had loved a servant. “You saw me kiss her in the car?”
Blood rushed to his head. What would she think of him?
‘You should be ashamed for allowing your stubbornness to get the best of you. Why are you turning your back on her, on love?’ Her whisper faded, and he strained to hear the last few words.
“I’m not stubborn. It’s a sense of propriety. Stay with me, love. Let me explain. Don’t leave.”
Desperation edged his voice and closed his throat. ‘With you gone, I fear the beast is stirring inside me,’ he confessed, despite his qualms. By not admitting the fact he hung onto a false hope that he imagined the urges and the voice every time he succumbed to desire for Kate.
Warmth spread over his chest. Emina’s whisper echoed in his mind. ‘The beast is part of you, has been for centuries. Without it, you wouldn’t be where you are today. Once you allow yourself to love Kate, the entity residing in you will be placated.’
Her voice faded. He waited. Had she gone or chosen to give him her famous silent treatment?