Pleasures Of The Night

By: Sylvia Day



Prologue


The woman beneath Aidan Cross was only moments away from a stunning orgasm. Her throaty cries filled the air, urging their audience to draw closer.

After centuries of protecting women in this manner, he knew the signs and adjusted his thrusts accordingly. His lean hips rose and fell in tireless motion, stroking his cock through her creamy depths with unfailing skill. She gasped, scratched his skin, arched her back.

"Yes, yes, yes…"

The breathless pants made him smile, the power of her rapidly approaching climax filling the room with a glow only he could see. On the fringes of the Twilight, where the light of her passion met the dark of her inner fears, the Nightmares waited with palpable excitement. But he held them off.



He would deal with them in a moment.

Cupping her buttocks, Aidan angled her hips higher, so that every deep thrust rubbed the root of his cock against her clit. She came with a cry, her cunt rippling in orgasm along the hard length of him, her body moving with a wild, reckless abandon she never displayed while awake.

He kept her there, suspended in rapture, absorbing the energy this dream created. He enhanced it, magnified it, sent it back through her. She began to sink into the deepest dream state, the most restful, far from the Twilight where she was vulnerable.

"Brad…" She sighed before drifting completely away.

Aidan was aware that this encounter was no more than a phantasm, a connection of minds. Their skin had touched only in her subconscious. For her, however, their lovemak-ing had seemed entirely real.

When he was certain she was safe, Aidan withdrew from her body and shed the skin of her fantasy. From beneath the facade of Brad Pitt, his true body emerged—growing taller, broader of shoulder, his hair changing to his natural close-cropped inky black, the blue of his irises darkening to their natural shade of translucent sapphire.

The Nightmares writhed in anticipation, their shadowy bodies undulating on the edge of the Dreamer's consciousness. There were several of them tonight, and only one of him. As he summoned his glaive, Aidan's grin was genuine. He loved it when they outnumbered him so greatly. Eons of fighting had left him with a grudge, and he relished every opportunity to take it out on Nightmares.

With practiced grace Aidan flexed his sword arm with sinuous movements, using the substantial weight of his blade to alter the focus of his muscles from sexual tension to the limberness of a warrior. Certain assets could be aug-merited in dreams, but facing multiple opponents required innate skill regardless.

When he was ready, he drawled, "Shall we?"

And with a powerful forward lunge, Aidan made the first fatal thrust.



"Did you have a good night, Captain Cross?"

Aidan shrugged away his memories and kept moving toward the Temple of the Elders, his black robes swirling around his ankles with every long stride. "Same as usual."

Waving his farewell to the Guardian who had called out to him, Aidan passed beneath the massive torü gate into the open-air center courtyard. As his bare feet carried him silently across the cool stone floor, a gentle breeze ruffled his hair and teased his senses with its fragrance.



Energized as he was, he could have remained in the field and fought longer, but the Elders forbade it.

For an age now they had insisted that every Guardian return to the Temple complex at regular intervals. They claimed it was to give them time to rest, but Aidan knew this wasn't the entire reason. Guardians needed very little downtime. The archway behind him was the true purpose of the order to return. Huge and colored a shocking red, it was so imposing that it forced every Guardian to stare and read the warning engraved in the ancient language :"Beware of the Key that turns the Lock."

He had begun to doubt the existence of the Key. Perhaps the legend was merely a tool to inspire fear, to urge the Guardians forward, to keep them on their toes and prevent them from becoming lax in their duties.

"Hi, Captain."

He turned his head at the soft purr and met the dark eyes of Morgan, one of the Playful Guardians whose job it was to fill in dreams of surfing on the beach or weddings, among countless other joyous activities. Slowing, he altered his course to meet her where she peeked out from behind a fluted column of alabaster stone.