An Immortal Christmas – KU – Excerpt

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Mild nervousness blew into anxiety when Constantine stepped back with the intention of walking away, as if the colorful, floating sculptures were calling to him. The unsettling sensation abated when he took a step toward the museum. If he had learned anything in his long and solitary life, it was to follow his instincts. He would find a secluded spot.

With his mind made up, relief flooded him. He pushed the brim of his hat down and walked through the Space Needle Loop, the circular side street at the base of the structure. He noticed the crowd at first. A multitude of photographers circling the museum’s garden wall. Voices and smells assailed him.

Constantine didn’t like to be among crowds, because his senses went into overload with so many stimuli. But when he thought for the second time to pivot on his heels and face the other way, the tingling reached down his shoulders.

Then, as unexpected as the tingle, a memory played for him. A smile. A lithe body lying among silk sheets. Eyes the color of the Caribbean Sea. Fingers tracing his arms. Long, dark-blond hair fanning over his chest.

I love you, she said in his mind.

Looking around, Constantine gasped.

Next, a faint flowery scent hit his nostrils. Heedless of the bystanders staring at him, a hand pressed on the front of his trench, he stopped in the middle of the street, tilting his head from one shoulder to the other. It was just a suggestion of a smell, but achingly familiar.

Wolf senses in high alert, his nose led him around the loop, and closer to the museum’s garden. His heart skipped a beat. The scent, no longer a mere hint, but a full-blown replica of her unique perfume permeated the air. It couldn’t be. Yet it was.

Constantine filled his lungs with a perfect combination of woman and essence of Parma violet flowers. An inimitable scent he hadn’t thought he would ever smell again. A scent he had licked from the sweaty skin of his soulmate after sleepless nights of lovemaking. A scent he had sought after in every lover he took in the last century and a half, but no one had ever come close to the sensual richness of her earthy bouquet. 

Unable to reason with his willful wolf, eyes closed, he let his heart explode against his ribcage, as the rest of his body reacted to the Soulmate Call. Shaking for the need, he walked the last few steps toward the garden’s fence, scattering people away in his progress, and when he opened his eyes, Constantine shook. Lost love, betrayal, hurt so deep there was no comparison, elation, all swelled in his chest, demanding an out.

Under one of the glass sculptures, there was the woman he was cursed to love until the end of time.

And she was kissing her husband.

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