The king dispatched him to bring her home, but J.W. didn’t plan to fall for her. If he lets her go, it might start a war. If she returns home, though, she might start one.
For those of you who've read the Creatus Series, get ready for this new adventure full of romance, suspense, and fantasy. And this week only, register to win the eBook the day it publishes!
Sirena stared at her image in the mirrored wall of her glamorous suite. She’d sold everything she’d accumulated in the last ten years to come here.
For one last week to be free. To feel the sand beneath her feet, the sun on her face, and the breeze as it brushed against her skin like a lover’s kiss.
Not that she’d felt that kind of kiss in a long time, but she remembered what it’d felt like the first time she had. The first time he’d kissed her. The man she’d once loved. The man she’d moved to the congested streets of New York to be with.
Her father had warned her about men like him, and he’d been right. Merely months after she’d moved to New York, the man she’d thought had loved her moved to another bustling city and had made it clear that she shouldn’t follow him.
She could have forced herself on him, but she wouldn’t…couldn’t. What good would it do to force someone to love you?
Sirena pulled her long blond hair over her shoulder and weaved threads of silver through each strand as she braided her hair. Her father had always liked when she’d done this, said she looked like the princess she was, the queen she’d eventually be. But she’d run away from her heritage…out of fear.
“Will that be all, miss?” The young woman whom she’d hired to assist her this week had turned out to be a delightful companion. “I’d be happy to braid your ’air. You ’ave the most beautiful ’air I’ve ever seen. It be the color of sunshine. What I wouldn’t do for your ’air.”
Sirena peeked up at the mirror, smiling at the sweet Jamaican woman who’d answered her ad. “On the contrary, Tia, I think your hair is quite beautiful. And I would love to be as tall and strong as you are. Look at me… I barely come up to your shoulders. I’m unable to even carry my own suitcases without your help.”
Tia stepped up behind her, her smile broad and white as her image filled the mirror above Sirena’s reflection. The two of them were a sight indeed. “I think you’re precious, my lady.”
“Thank you, Tia. You’ve been so gracious to me that I wish I could offer you more than a few days of work.”
“What you paid me will feed my family for months, so I’m much obliged.” Tia worked her slender fingers through the braid, loosening the strands, and then started over from scratch. When she finished, she laid the long woven tress over Sirena’s shoulder again, then walked toward the closet.
Tia reached into the closet for the gown Sirena told her she’d wear tonight. The organza fabric shimmered as the young woman swept the dress around in a circle, holding the sweetheart neckline to her chest.
The good-natured woman laughed. “Now I feel like a princess.” The beaded bodice sparkled beneath the vanity lights as Tia held up the mermaid-style dress—as the saleswoman had referred to it—in front of Sirena. “But it be prettier on you, miss.”
Tia held open the dress so Sirena could step inside, then smoothed it up over her hips and bust. She zipped up the back and then stepped back as Sirena stared in the mirror again. She did look like a princess.
That time had passed, though. She’d given up her crown. A tear threatened to escape, but she lifted her head and blinked it away. Tia would be hurt if she ruined her makeup.
“Now, turn so that I can look at you,” Tia instructed in her charming native tongue.
Sirena turned, then lowered herself into a curtsy, since Tia loved to treat her as though she were royalty, even though she’d never breathed a word about her previous life.
“Ahh…lovely indeed. You look like a princess out of all those fairy tales I read my daughter.”
She smiled. “Thank you, Tia. You sure you don’t want to come to dinner with me. I could still buy you that dress downstairs.”
“Thank you, miss, but I wouldn’t know what to do with me-self at some fancy gathering. I’ll be fine and dandy in the magnificent suite you paid for.”
Understanding, knowing how she felt the first few days in a new land, Sirena nodded. “Please, order anything you want from room service, then. Don’t be shy. This week is about us. You and me, we’re going to treat ourselves like royalty. Okay? Tomorrow, we’ll both visit the spa.”
“Ahh...miss, I feel like a queen just stayin’ in dis fancy place. Now, off with you before you miss your dinner and all the fetchin’ men who’ll be there. You might even find you a prince.”
Sirena laughed. “I don’t think so, Tia, but I’ll try to enjoy myself anyway.”
Tia held up the silver clutch she’d helped her pick out and the rhinestone-studded sandals with the dangerously high four and a half inch heels the salesperson had talked her into purchasing. “Be careful wearin’ dese, miss. You don’t want to be breakin’ you ankle.”
With one hand on Tia’s shoulder for support, Sirena slipped into the sleek satin shoes and pulled up the tiny zippers at the back of the heels.
She released a long breath as Tia escorted her to the door. “I’ll see you in the morning, Tia.”
“If you find an ’andsome man. Don’t be worryin’ about me. I can keep me-self plenty busy in such a spectacular place.”
“That’s not going to happen, my friend, but thank you. I’ll see you at nine a.m.”
If you're visual, please visit my Pinterest page for images of the items described in all books. It's not complete, but I'm getting there. :)
Christmas with Jacky Waterman: http://www.pinterest.com/Carmen_DeSousa/christmas-with-jacky-waterman/
All Pinterest images: http://www.pinterest.com/Carmen_DeSousa/