HIS MIDNIGHT SUN: The Crescent Creek Series by Viviana MacKade ***Teasers-Excerpts-Giveaway***
Crescent Creek Book 3
by Viviana MacKade
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Tormented, fierce, and broken, sculptor Aidan Murphy has judged himself guilty. He yearns for love but pushes everyone away. He longs for acceptance but has lost the key to open his heart. Until he meets Summer Williams. Beautiful and smart, Dr. Williams promises haven for a man who believes he deserves none. All he has to do is let her in and risk his heart and soul.
Summer’s managed to keep her inner light alive, even through tragedy. She’s created a new life for herself and her daughter in Crescent Creek with loving, caring and fun friends–well, except brooding, breathtaking Aidan. She’s used to keeping away from his type, though. All she has to do is ignore the pull of a man who’s turning up to be much more than snarls and storms. Will her compassion and medical instincts let her?
Love can heal a broken soul and shake up a timid heart. Or it can unleash devastation and a thirst for revenge.
Will Aidan and Summer survive the storm?
Crescent Creek, early July.
With no fight left in him, Aidan Murphy sank down on the wooden floor of his home studio.
Aidan filled his burning sight with the finished, almost 7 feet tall piece of art. Hell to work on, pure and simple, but it couldn’t be helped, not when it had called to him with such powerful voice.
Two weeks earlier, he’d been wandering around the stone-site when his skin began humming, and his heart beating faster. Years of sculpting had taught him how to hear the calling, the silent scream of whatever form lay trapped inside the rocks begging him to free it.
He’d followed his guts like so many times before and laying a palm on the cold, white alabaster, had known something waited in there. He’d bought the squared monstrosity, never stopped working on it since the day it had been delivered to his address. At every bite of the masonry blade, at every kiss of the chisel and caress of the rasp, its voice had been easier to hear, pushing him, constantly pushing him to keep going, keep working.
A couple had emerged from the stone and if beauty could hurt, by God, this one would in so many ways. Those two people were set to break any viewer’s heart. Nothing happy or gleeful about them, nothing about being lost in the fallacy of love; the pair stood in a tight embrace made of disillusion and reality. Rightfully so, because wasn’t love just that? Another form of pain? A delusion?
Aidan shook his head. Whatever love was for the average person, these two people he’d given life to scratched at the thick walls of his reticent heart. He didn’t care for such shit.
Much smarter to focus on his very real, very tired body.
Too bad the small motherfucker rock poked at the edge of his consciousness, staring from the opposite side of the room.
Not the colossal couple he’d just freed from alabaster. Oh, no, the one giving him attitude was a stupid overgrown pebble slightly smaller than his fist. Why was it even in the house? He’d cut outside, it made no sense for it to be there. “Shut the fuck up,” he grumbled, rubbing exhausted eyes with scarred, dirty hands.
Never a stone’s call had been left unanswered, but… fuck it, it was too much, too soon. He needed time to return human before starting a new project and besides, what could possibly be inside that little piece of shit? A fucking bug? “Fuck off.”
Of course, the nagging didn’t stop.
Ignoring the silent pull to the useless stone, he got up, walked to the other side of the room, picked it up and all but crashed it on his desk. “Better leave it alone, matey. Next time you bug me, I’ll turn you into sable. Ugly fucker.”
Aches pulsed and hissed everywhere; a thin layer of dust, crumble of wax, and sweat covered him, made his skin prickle. For all the good clothes had done to him, he might as well work buck naked next time.
Back in front of the new statue he stood, hands on hips, looking at it–tall and strong, fiercely beautiful in its message of pain. Perfect.
A sudden ray of light stabbed his eyes, made him jerk his head in protection. Fucking morning sun. Or afternoon sun. He had no clue. It was hard to tell the passing of time when he got lost in the wild, strenuous journey into the heart of a rock.
How many days had gone since it had been delivered and he’d started working on it, four? Probably more as not bruising the stone had slowed everything down. He’d heard fireworks in the distance, so Independence Day had come and gone. Hard to say how long had passed after it.
For days he’d eaten bread straight from the plastic bag or some other easy crap when hunger punched his stomach; had drank lukewarm water from bottles scattered everywhere; slept on the couch when he made it so far from the sculpture, although most of the times he’d pass out on the hard floor until discomfort woke him up, and he’d go back at the rock again.
Ah, but what an adventure, he thought with awe as he ran a hand over the side of the sculpted woman.
Now he was done, meaning he didn’t want to have anything to do with stones for the near future.
He took a sharp intake of air when the little rock on his desk poked at his mind again. No clue as to when but at some point, the cleaning crew would come, let’s see how the rock would like it. “If I throw you back on the floor, they will get rid of you. That’s right, they’ll throw you away,” he croaked, his damned throat hurting from not having talked in days.
Aidan sat down, stretched his aching legs in front of him, and tried to lean back on his arms; his muscles screamed in protest.
Shit, he was in pieces, worse than usual.
Giving up, he laid on the dirty floor and closed his eyes–they scratched like sandpaper.
Bed. He craved a bed more than the next breath. Decent food. A shower. After that, the little stone would stop being a bitch and leave him alone. It was only a fucking pebble, a leftover from the couple and too small to have anything special in it, anyway.
He’d wait five minutes, no more, and he’d get up, order food, hit the shower and, finally, pass out on a real bed. Satisfied with the carved couple, clean, and with a full belly.
Just five more minutes.
Oh, but Florence had, and would do so one last time.
Ten pieces her grandfather painted for her because he loved her.
Ten pieces her mother lost, along with anything else, for loving the wrong man.
She couldn’t get back everything he’d wasted away, but she’d be damned if she’d give up those paintings.
Easy and genuine, Rhett loves his life–his family, his market, his town. Until he meets a British woman with grey eyes and a cute little smile. The woman he’s been waiting for.
The thing is, to love her is easy, but can he trust her?
When Rhett pushes to uncover her agenda, Flo knows she will lose something–the man she loves or what she’d been fighting for years.
Which road will she choose?
At eighteen, DJ had to make a choice–her heart or her dreams. Neither was wrong, yet either would break her heart. She chose the world. Over a decade later, she returns to Crescent Creek and to the one regret she's ever had–Scott. Scott’s always been steady as a rocky reef. He’d loved once and when she’d left, his strong heart had crumbled like a sandcastle. Now DJ is back, and Scott wants nothing to do with her. The problem? They share Eva, a close friend of both, and now Eva needs their help. Because of her, he’s stuck with DJ and he’d be damned, the woman still gets under his skin. DJ is a free spirit who needs the road under her feet. Scott is a family man who wants to groom his roots. With danger on their doorstep and a baby to keep safe, how much are they willing to compromise for love?
Crescent Creek, FL. July.
If that second pink line appeared, any kind of future was going to be over and done.
Wiping away cold sweat from her forehead, DJ tried to breathe. Her dreams, young, unfocused and blurred, might hover in her consciousness but the hunger, the thirst for the world, were as defined as the buildings of her hometown. Small, quiet, Crescent Creek. Stale.
Scott sat on the sidewalk of a deserted Pizza Hut parking lot like it was nothing, like their lives weren’t on the line. The scorching summer sun shone on his black hair. Behind his sunglasses, DJ knew determination gleamed just as bright in his dark blue eyes. Oh, he was freaking out. The twitch in his jaw, the tension in his stance said all. Yet here he was, cool as they come. “We’ll figure it out,” he told her quietly.
“There’s nothing to figure out,” she bit back. “Nothing, until the three minutes are gone.” She hooked her hands on her hip, paced. “There will be only one line. One line, and we’re free.”
God, it must play out like that.
Scott didn’t say a word. She hated him for such restrain. She would have given anything for some emotional reaction, something to crash her own temper and fear and anxiety against.
DJ eyed the white stick they’d laid face down on the concrete, leaned down to check the timer on the cell phone they’d put beside the pregnancy test.
One minute gone, two to go. Christ, she was going to throw up.
Fear zigged in jagged waves under her skin as she paced some more, uncaring of the heat, the heavy air, the sweaty clothes.
Scott's voice cut through all of it, deep and commanding. “You'll start school come the fall–”
“Pregnant at Berkley?” she snapped. “Yeah, sounds like every girl’s dream. And what about after? Uh? How am I going to study with a newborn?”
Unfazed, he kept taking. “I will move west with you, find a job and help you with the baby.”
“What will you do, Scott, really? Wash the dishes in some fast food?”
“If it's what it takes, yes." His fingers started to beat a fast tap on his leg, the only clear sign of disquiet. "Eventually, you know what I'm going to do.”
He nodded. “I will have it, I might as well start from the lowest bottom. My family will help, so will yours.”
Their families. Of course, they would help. Both she and Scott had grown up into that kind of love, that kind of support. Images of her mom popped and twirled into her head– exhausted after a day in court, yet helping her with a project for school. Sleeping on a chair at her bedside when she was sick. Giving up a big case because it would have meant being away from home for too many weeks.
Her father had been there, too, but in a different way. It was her mom who had to choose more. Give up more. DJ pressed her hands over her eyes. She wasn’t ready to give that total devotion to another being, still needed her own mother too much to be one. She wished she was in her arms right now. Her mom would know what to do.
DJ snatched the phone up. Two minutes gone, one to go.
“We’ll make it work, DJ. We’ll need some adjustments, but if we plan it–”
“Stop it! Don’t you see? Nothing will ever be the same if this is positive.”
As the first tear appeared and was hammered down, she could almost see them: her dreams of seeing the world, of studying, of learning what lived beyond Crescent Creek. They were disappearing as fast as a jet boat fading into the open ocean. “This can’t be happening,” she whispered. “I can’t let it happen.”
Scott rose. His mouth, so generous, so passionate, was a thin, unforgiving line. He didn’t reach for her, didn’t try to touch her. Simply stood in front of her. “What are you saying?”
She shook her head, opened up her arms only to let them fall at her sides. “I don’t know.”
Crescent Creek Book 0.5
He’s impulsive, fearless, and fun loving.
Erik Axelsson, Ax, had it all: talent, fame, money. He’d lived the rock & roll life fully and with gusto until it wasn’t fun anymore. Without a second thought, he’d traded the spotlight with the Floridian sun, and the guitar with a surfboard. Rich, and free from anything - what more he could need?
She’s innocent, scared, and in trouble.
Andrea Smith escaped the life imposed to her when her parents joined a cult. After years on the run, hunger pushed her to accept a stranger’s offer for breakfast. She had no clue her life changed with that simple ‘yes’.
But the past catches up with her, forcing Andrea to choose what person she wants to be: the scared cult member that obeyed in silence, or the new woman Erik made blossom.