Eleanor’s dream of a romantic tour of Italy shatters when her long-time boyfriend breaks up with her in Pompeii. Determined to enjoy the once in a lifetime vacation, she enlists the 1NS service. She continues her trip, stopping to buy a small golden signet in a mysterious antiquities shop in Rome.
Darius, a hard-working Senator in Ancient Rome, is puzzled by the Sibyl’s words: You will not find love in your lifetime. Hoping to find a measure of happiness, he agrees to the Sibyl’s quest. In the olive grove, he spots Eleanor, a barbarian wearing his stolen senator’s ring.
A night spent together may be just what they both need to break down the columns of time that stand between them.
“What is it?” She moved closer to examine the object he held.
“A senator’s ring from the time of Augustus.” He waved the item with a flourish. “A rare and beautiful find, for a deserving young woman.”
The golden circle sparkled in the half-light like the wedding band that shone in her dreams. She tried to control her sharp intake of breath.
“A rather personal memento, wouldn’t you say?”
“Which senator?” Gorgeous. What a find. Was it legal to take it out of the country? Surely it held historical significance.
“Yes, it can be exported,” the shopkeeper said. “We don’t know who owned the signet, as many records of the Senate at that time were lost, but it has been cleared by the Antiquities Commission.”
She hadn’t mentioned exporting it aloud. Had he read her mind? No, that wasn’t possible. She squirmed. Nothing about the shop or its contents felt normal. One thing was certain. The ring was amazing. And perfect.
“What does the engraving say?” she asked.
She drew in a quick breath, as a gasp of warm air breezed across her neck, making the hairs stand. She shuddered. I’ve been watching too many old movies.
“As common as the name was at the time, no senators named Darius are on any rolls.” The shopkeeper pushed it closer to her face. “And Madame Eve recommends it. What do you say?”
“How much?” Eleanor whispered.
“Ah.” The shopkeeper grinned. “What price would you pay for a little ring that will change your life forever?”
Anya’s wish for a normal date—away from the old man she is caretaker for—comes true in unexpected ways when she finds herself whisked to an ancient Irish stone circle on solstice eve.
Carrick’s decision to follow the path to become an Ovate druid has not come lightly, and he plans to spend the solstice eve in meditation unless fairies or evil spirits disrupt the circle. When a feisty girl walks right up to the fire, more than sparks fly.
They each seek healing and a connection, but the darkness of summer is short, and once the solstice sun breaks through the circle at dawn, the magic of the night will be over. Even Madame Eve can’t stop the day from rising.
Maybe I’m the first person Madame Eve can’t find a match for. And how was it any better than just picking someone up from one of the dozen bars along the street?
Bile filled her throat. Being caretaker for the old man had filled her days but left her empty inside. I’m lonely. I need this 1Night Stand. She stifled a sob. Crying wouldn’t help anything. She had chosen her path knowing full well what the consequences would be. Maybe she hadn’t foreseen how deeply alone she’d feel, but she’d known what she was getting into, work-wise. She used to be a risk taker, impulsive and willing to try new things. Why was she so willing to settle for security now?
The town’s few buildings rose in shadowed relief in the dusky twilight around the city center like tall stones. Guardians, perhaps. Behind them lay the mountains, the wild unknown. She sat straight and leaned into the faint spray from the fountain. The cool mist spread across the back of her arms. Closing her eyes, she lifted her long hair so the moisture could reach the back of her neck.
Anya dropped her hair.
“Hello?” No one.
“Aine. Let’s go.” The voice floated on drops of water and fell through the air.
“What?” No one was near.
“I’m here.” The voice settled softly like dew on her skin. The air wavered over the fountain and the water slowed.
I only had one beer.
“Come. He awaits.”
For the briefest moment, a golden light eclipsed the edge of Anya’s vision then darkness slid over her.
About the Author:
Kerry holds a BA in English: Writing and Editing with a minor in Classical Studies from NC State University. She has extensive freelance editing experience, and teaches various fiction writing classes at a local college. She is an Associate Editor with Entangled Publishing. In addition to editing, Kerry writes science fiction, romantic fantasy, and paranormal romance.