Bring Me A Dream Reveler 5
The madman and the nightmare...
Vincent Blackman is a little...unhinged. He recently fought a nightmare from the world Darkside and won. Now he fears nothing and wants revenge on the man who had his father brutally murdered. And how convenient to find an ally in Mirren Lambert, his enemy’s gorgeous and sexy daughter. Unfortunately, she’s made a few enemies of her own.
She might be a nightmare, but she’s also his ultimate fantasy.
Mirren was born half human, half nightmare. She was on the run from her ruthless father, but when he abducted her young son, she knew he had to be stopped once and for all. Dangerously sexy Vincent is just who she needs to help her, though she has a perilous part to play as well, infiltrating her father’s circles to discover his secrets. They learn something dark is stirring in the dreamwaters, and it’s reaching toward the waking world. Vincent might be holding on to the last of his sanity, but that’s okay, as long as he holds on even tighter to her.
Bring Me A Dream is the fifth installment in the Reveler serial, a hot paranormal romance set in a world where shared dreaming is a new pop culture phenomenon that allows people to indulge their wildest fantasies. But there are also unknown dangers Darkside; nightmares are slowly infiltrating not only dreams, but the waking world as well. And behind them all is a shadowy entity called the Sandman.
Revel with me.
- Bring Me A Dream is book five in the Reveler series
- Release Date: 8/2014
Excerpt from Bring Me A Dream
“He’s coming.” Mirren Lambert’s voice was thick with strangled sobs. “Oh God, he’s coming.”
Vincent Blackman smiled in anticipation.
They stood in a child’s dream nursery—a specially designed Rêve that so closely resembled a nursery in the waking world, it might be mistaken for one…with the exception that the white, fluffy clouds painted on the ceiling actually coasted through the air overhead. And the trees on the walls were extra-dimensional, not just simulating height, width, and depth, but their leaves rustled with a degree of realism, too. A waking world nursery might approximate the charming dream version, but it could never be as wonderful. Any child who spent much time here would always be disappointed when he woke.
“So…you’re going to kill him?” Mirren was referring to her father, Didier Lambert, who’d kidnapped her young son. The boy had been recovered not five minutes ago, and she’d thrust the child into the arms of strangers in order to get him out of danger. The dreamwaters—the atmosphere of the world Darkside—carried her distress to Vince, but she wasn’t quarreling with his violent intentions. The danger to her son would persist until her father was stopped.
“Oh yes,” Vince said. She might be nervous, but he’d found a calm he’d never known. His vision was red, his heart high, as he anticipated the moment of his vengeance. He’d been quaking every day since he’d emerged from his ordeal in the Scrape, the great dust storm outside all dreamscapes.
Tonight was about fathers. Vince was going to kill hers for murdering his.
“Good,” Mirren said. “How?”
Interesting question. “I was thinking of ripping him apart.” It’s what Vince had done to a nightmare creature in the Scrape. Would its blood always stain him?
“My father will escape when he finds you here waiting,” she said. “Either he’ll wake up so we won’t be able to reach him…” They had no idea where Didier Lambert was in the waking world. It was only Darkside that they’d had a hope of finding him. “Or he’ll bolt into the Scrape.”
“If he bolts,” Vince said, “then we follow.” But what if Lambert did attempt to wake? “Can you hold him here?” He knew it was a long shot that she could restrain someone as strong as her father.
“I doubt it,” Mirren said. Vince had witnessed her restrain others effectively. She’d even tried to restrain him. He recalled how the ropes of sand had snaked up his body, but they hadn’t been able to hold him. He’d changed during his time in the Scrape. Changed in his blood, bones, and soul. He didn’t feel at all like the man he’d been before.
“I’ll only need a second.” He didn’t even recognize his own voice.
All his life Vince had tried his best to choose the light. His father had been the one who’d skirted the law, cut corners, who’d made deals with the wrong people—like Didier Lambert. Vince had barely survived, emerging stained with nightmare blood, harrowed by the Scrape wind, and bearing the realization that the light had been an illusion. He’d always been meant for the dark.
Mirren had been born to darkness, as well.
Vince glanced over to find tears wet on her cheeks, but her jaw was clenched, hands fisted.
He’d known many women but never one like her. Voluptuous and full of feeling, but hard, too, and jagged with it. She’d be able to do whatever needed to be done. Her straight pale-blond hair was as bright as her lips were red. Her dreamwater-dark eyes promised both fantasy and terror—she was a half-breed. Half human, half nightmare.
And that’s exactly what he’d become, too. His DNA might be all human, but he was a monster now, nonetheless.
She looked up, gaze training around the room. Was someone coming?
Vince shuddered as if on the brink of release. Maybe after Lambert was dead, Vince could find peace.
“Tie me up,” he told her. “Restrain me.” Lambert was expecting to find Malcolm Rook, a Chimera marshal who policed the commercial dreams and revelers Darkside and who’d escaped with Mirren’s child to the waking world. Vince was a stranger to Lambert, which suited their needs just fine. “Pretend you’re going to go through with trading Rook for your son’s freedom. At first glance, your father might assume I’m him.”
Mirren nodded. “Yes. That’s good.”
She inhaled, and at his feet, gold sand rose out of the nursery floor and wove into thick ropes that twined up his legs and crisscrossed over his arms and chest.
The sand was what dreams were made of, just transformed by imagination. It also rode the howling wind that raged through the Scrape. The nightmare part of Mirren’s heritage allowed her to control the stuff. But if dreams were made of sand, then everyone could manipulate it to a certain extent, too.
With a quick jerk of her head, he was roughly brought to his knees. A white-hot flare of want burned through his rage. After, he promised himself. After Lambert was dead, then Vince could have Mirren. Wrap himself up in her and drown the right way, in sex and lust and craving.
Vince heaved every breath. He wasn’t afraid; he was eager. The ropes abraded him with each gasp as he waited. The sensation was like Mirren touching him. Promising him.
Then finally, the dreamwaters shifted, coursing against him from a new direction. Someone coming. Someone here.
“Où se trouve David?” said a voice.
Lambert. It could be no one else.
Vince kept his head bowed, so he couldn’t see Mirren’s father and her father couldn’t see him.
Mirren answered him in French, and as Vince couldn’t speak the language, he had no idea what they said, but the dreamwaters—excellent conductors of emotion—told him all he needed to know: Mirren’s anger had overcome her distress. The waters were electric and snapping with it. But also spreading through the dream was her father’s sense of victory, sweet and warm.
Mirren’s words spilled over each other, her son’s name punctuating every sentence. David. David. David.
Lambert cut off his daughter with a sharp, “Ça Suffit!”
Vince sensed a shadow stretching his way—Lambert approaching from behind. Could he feel the duplicity of his daughter? The rage rising inside Vince? The trap that awaited him?
“Marshal Rook,” Lambert said, addressing Vince.
Vince didn’t answer. He faked an attempt to strain his way out of the gold ropes that held him so tightly.
“I don’t think you’re going to survive this dream,” Lambert said.
Vince didn’t really care as long as Lambert didn’t either.
A faint crackle of electricity itched Vince’s shoulder. Lambert reaching toward him? Vince surged up and around, the ropes of sand disintegrating and sliding off him like so much spilled salt.
Lambert’s mouth opened slightly with surprise, and Vince grabbed him at his lower jaw, fingers inside his mouth, thumb digging into the flesh under Lambert’s chin. Vince had ripped the jaw off the nightmare in the Scrape. Why not kill Lambert the same way?
Shock seemed to make Lambert stagger, and Vince used the moment to force him back against the nursery Rêve’s wall.
This was a dream, so there was no reason Vince couldn’t rip off his head with pure will power. Lambert had thrown Vince’s father out into the Scrape to be eaten by the nightmares that inhabited it. Nightmares were bad—Vince knew from personal experience—but not nearly as feral and vicious as he felt in this moment.
He looked Lambert in his nightmare eyes. Like his daughter, he wasn’t fully human.
“I’m Vince Blackman,” he said to make sure Lambert knew who was about to end him and why. Drool gathered in Lambert’s mouth, his teeth both blunt and jagged in Vince’s grip.
Lambert growled and bit down on Vince’s hand, which merely helped Vince secure his hold. Didn’t matter that hot, red blood rolled over his wrist—this was a dream. Pain registered, but it didn’t matter. With his free hand he took hold of the back of Lambert’s head and twisted it roughly to the side so that Lambert’s chin almost touched the wall at his back. Die, fucker.
Lambert’s growl turned into shrill panting.
“Do it,” Mirren said. The anxiety had dropped out of her voice. She was steady, resolute.
Lambert’s eyeballs strained toward his daughter as black specks bled through the skin on his neck and jaw.
Vince’s blood ran freely down his wrist and in rivulets on his arm. The dreamwaters, usually lapping softly at consciousness, surged in violent waves.
Just a little longer…
“Vincent!” Mirren yelled.
The waters went wild around him, though the trappings of the nursery itself remained unaffected, artificially imposed as they were.
Then Vince was seized by the arms from behind and pulled back, but his grip on Lambert’s head didn’t falter. The nursery Rêve was suddenly full of Chimera—one, three, at least five of them. The dream police had arrived, and by striking at his joints, they conspired to collapse his balance. Likewise, Lambert wrung himself out of Vince’s hold and reeled backward, heaving for breath. He shimmered slightly, and Vince caught the hint of the illusion of normalcy returning to Lambert’s eyes. The blotches on Lambert’s neck similarly faded. He was hiding his nightmare nature from Chimera.
“Ma’am, are you all right?” a Chimera asked Mirren.
Vince was once more brought to his knees. This time it wasn’t nearly as arousing.
“Not anymore,” she said.
Mirren knew this was her fault. Her fear had ruined everything. Her father had always been so big in her eyes. She couldn’t force herself to get close enough to help, and now the chance was lost. This was because of her. If only she’d—
She shook her head. Didn’t matter now. She sat in a Chimera interrogation Rêve—a dream built to prevent law-breaking revelers from waking up while answering questions. It was a box of a white room, utterly lacking imagination, and cold.
It didn’t matter what happened to her, she reminded herself. Not really. David had gotten away, at least for the moment, which was a sharp, painful relief. Her heart was still screaming, Go! Run! Get far away! Because sooner or later, her father would follow.
“Your name?” A Chimera marshal stood in front of her. Was he secretly on her father’s payroll? Maybe. She couldn’t trust anyone.
“Mirren Isabelle Lambert,” she said.
But inside, she did a fast mental reassessment of Malcolm Rook, the tracker. He was adept Darkside. He had friends everywhere in the black market. He hadn’t lied to her, not like she’d lied to him. And there was his woman, Jordan, who’d first been ready to fight, ready to kill, but then had agreed to protect David instead. Loyal, and mean as hell when crossed.
For a few minutes after they’d taken David, Mirren’s hopes had soared that his safety could be made permanent. If only— No. It was just that she hadn’t really believed her father could be killed so easily. But she’d hoped. Vincent had been exquisitely motivated. Mad with it. It’d been worth the chance, however futile. If only she’d— But at the last minute, she’d watched instead of helped. She’d watched.
“How long have you been asleep?” the Chimera marshal asked.
It was impossible to track time Darkside, so it was best to remember the date in the waking world. “Saturday, the eleventh, I think.”
“The eleventh was a Sunday.”
She shrugged. “Then the tenth.”
“You’ve been under thirty-six hours?”
“If you say so.” She thinned her lips at him in a not-quite smile.
In the end, she’d been caught and Vincent, too. Chimera had them both. And if Rook and Jordan didn’t run fast, run smart, then the chance to escape was lost. Her father wouldn’t let David go.
Inside Mirren was horrified. What kind of mother was she? A weak one.
“Do you want to tell me what happened?” he asked.
She looked away. It had begun with her abducting Malcolm Rook, threatening his life to get him to find her son, and had gone downhill from there. If she were a US citizen, which, thank God, she was not, Chimera could and would get a warrant to search both her memory and even access her dreamspace.
They’d get a surprise there. Since she’d been born a freak, she didn’t have a dreamspace of her own. No nightmare-born did—not her father, not her, not her son. Actually, her father preferred the term dieu, or god, to nightmare. According him, gods didn’t require a little pocket of safety within which to dream; gods dwelled in infinite creation. Typical Father bullshit. Her natural habitat Darkside was the barren Scrape. She was a god of nothingness, so she was a god of nothing. Which meant she was just Mirren, who couldn’t dream.
“How did Vincent Blackman come to be in your father’s secure Rêve?”
She didn’t answer. If this Chimera agent had been bribed by her father, then he already knew how Vincent had gotten inside: illegally. And if he wasn’t, then answering the question wouldn’t help because nothing she could say would be believable. Her father—visionary, genius, and hero, to some—had kidnapped her son and had held him in that dream nursery for days, which would have crippled a normal child. David wasn’t normal, but that didn’t mean she’d allow anyone to risk his well-being. And especially not his life.
She sensed a ripple on the waters, saw a flicker of color and the curved lines of dimension, and then yet another Chimera marshal emerged in the white box of a room. This man she recognized—was Harlen his name?—and he was friends with Malcolm Rook. But she hadn’t realized he was Chimera.
“Her father has arranged for her release,” Harlen said to the other marshal. Mirren sensed the slightly acidic burn of a lie. Her father had done no such thing. “I’m to prepare her and see that she has whatever assistance she requires in the waking world.”
“We need to know how Blackman got inside that Rêve,” the other Chimera said. He hadn’t been astute enough to sense that Harlen wasn’t telling the truth. Pretty pathetic, considering this was an interrogation room.
“And yet, it’s illegal to hold Ms. Lambert,” Harlen told him. Truth. “Get your answers from Blackman himself, if you can. The man’s cracked. Insane. Severe reveler exhaustion.” Truth again.
The first marshal scowled at her.
She smiled. C’est la vie.
He summarily disappeared from the interrogation Rêve. Little grains of Scrape sand glimmered where he’d stood. Some people thought the Darkside manifestation of a reveler was, in fact, that person’s soul. Mirren knew better. Dreamers were merely sand, just like everything else in the waters. It’s why nothing Darkside lasted and nothing Darkside really mattered. The waking world was where everything important happened.
As soon as the last sparkle dimmed, Harlen turned back to her. “No time for explanations now. Are you willing to work with us against your father?”
Pfft. “I want him dead.”
“Dead is too easy. We want more than that. We need information. Will you help us get it?”
Dead was better, but it didn’t seem as if she had that choice. “Is my son all right?”
“Yes. The kid’s fine. Rook and Jordan found him in the waking world without any trouble, and they’re moving him to a safe place.”
“Did he have any side effects?” Four days Darkside.
“I don’t think so,” Harlen said. “I heard he’s a fast little bastard who makes Rook feel old.”
Mirren drew a clean, sweet breath. “When can I get him back?”
Harlen cocked his head. “We were hoping you’d let him torture Rook a little longer, while you help us.”
Her heart began to been harder. Were they going to keep her son from her? “How much longer?”
“You can have David back whenever you want, safe and sound. With a call, it can be arranged. But we have an opportunity now to stop your father. Do I make that call or are you willing to help us?”
He knew she’d help them, so she didn’t have to say yes or no. She needed David to be protected by people who were strong enough Darkside to handle a child of his nature and keep him out of her father’s reach. She’d do anything for David. She had done so already.
As she expected, Harlen took her silence for a yes and continued, “We’re going to hold your father here in the Agora as long as we can, which will give Rook and Jordan time to get David away.”
She must have misheard. “You’re going to what?”
Harlen smiled. “Hold your father here.”
They were holding her father? Holding Didier Lambert? “You just said that was against the law.”
“So it is,” he said with a wink.
Mirren was so stunned she couldn’t speak for a moment. The risk they were taking!
“Can I see him?” She’d kill him herself this time. She could do it. She had to do it.
But what if she broke out of this Rêve? Could she find her father fast enough? No. It was no good. The Agora had too many Rêves to look through, all policed by Chimera. She had no idea how to find the one that held her father. Harlen seemed to be offering her a different plan.
“What do you want me to do?” she asked.
“I can’t say at this time. You’re to meet with one of ours in the waking world and tell him everything you know about your father’s organization. He’ll instruct you how to proceed from there.”
Mirren was still stuck on the fact that they’d dared to detain her father. “How are you holding my father here?”
“Using protocols he designed himself. Protocols intended—”
“—for people like Malcolm Rook, who can cross dreams so easily.” Yes, she got it now. “My father will make you pay for it.”
“Maybe. Will it be worth the risk?”
The stakes were high for everyone. She wasn’t naive enough to think that they’d just keep her son, the grandson of Didier Lambert, safe for nothing. “Yes. I’ll help where I can. But I don’t know much about my father’s organization.”
“You can find out.”
“Well, I’ll try.”
“Try very hard, Ms. Lambert. If you betray us—”
She shook her head—David needed protection—and gave Harlen the affirmation he seemed to require. “I won’t betray you.”
They wouldn’t believe her. She’d almost betrayed Rook after making a similar promise. She’d abducted him and then agreed to let him go, and…then had almost given him to her father instead, who would’ve killed him in the worst way.
But Harlen nodded. “Good. At the moment, your sleeping body is in transit by ambulance to a reveler care facility. Rook unofficially called in life support for you. When you wake,” Harlen said, “it’s best you do that waking dream thing and make a quiet escape. Please don’t hurt anyone. Not everyone is the enemy.”
See? They didn’t trust her.
Creating a waking dream was like creating a daydream for people. It was an illusion, and only a few people could see through them. And she wasn’t planning on hurting anyone. Sometimes those things just happened. “So I escape the ambulance. Where do I go? Who do I meet?”
“Still working on those details.”
Wait. “You’re holding my father and you don’t have a plan?”
“We’re seizing an opportunity.”
“We’re all going to die.” David included.
Harlen winked at her. “That will happen anyway. At least now we have a chance.”