by Myla Jackson
As punishment for using magic unwisely, Catherine Wein, ex-witch and totally cursed, is doomed to spend each year in a different woman's life. It's New Year's Eve and at the stroke of midnight she'll make the switch to another host's life. Catherine's determined to grab for as much happiness as she can with her remaining hours in Kindra Merlot's body. Enter sexy cop, Sam Cade.
Dumped by his girlfriend right after Christmas, Sam isn't in the mood to celebrate until he sees the willowy beauty, Kindra. Her sensuality and sexual aggressiveness revives his lagging spirits. Is she the one for him or is she another lying, cheating woman like his ex? Will he have more than tonight to find out?
Kindra retreated to her silent place, leaving Catherine alone on the rooftop, the cold seeping into her skin.
Her knees buckled and she sank to the floor, her eyes dry, her heart aching for the young woman inside her. How could she stop the inevitable? She’d cheated death from claiming his prize a year ago, but she had no choice this time. A sob rose in her throat and she swallowed it down, burying her face in her hands.
“Kindra?” A deep male voice called out to her.
Gentle hands gripped her shoulders and lifted her to her feet. Then she was pulled against a solid wall of muscles and engulfed in a warm embrace. “What’s wrong?” Sam Cade tipped her chin up and stared down in her eyes.
What could she say? By morning Kindra would be dead and Catherine would be somewhere else? A mirthless laugh escaped her lips, followed by a trickle of tears trailing down her cheeks.
Sam’s thumb brushed a tear away, a frown creasing his forehead. “How can I help if you don’t let me know what’s bothering you?”
“You couldn’t fix the problem if you tried. Even I can’t.”
“At least let me try.”
She shook her head and pressed her cheek to his chest, listening to the sound of his heart beating against her ear. “Just hold me.” She needed to feel him, touch him. He was so alive. Catherine wanted to feel alive again.
“You’re freezing. Why don’t you let me take you back to your apartment?”
“No!” Not yet. Not until midnight. Then she could let Kindra go back to her apartment and go to bed. Maybe she’d wake up just fine. Maybe Michael would give the girl a reprieve from death.
Maybe pigs flew in Manhattan.
“Then come back to my apartment. I have coffee and hot cocoa.” He hooked his arm around her shoulder and led her away from the rails and through the doorway into the stairwell.
Numb and shivering now, Catherine’s teeth rattled against each other. She let Sam take over. For so long, she’d had to be the strong one in every life she’d inhabited. Tonight she faced the knowledge her host would die. Suddenly the will to live welled up inside, filling her with a sense of urgency.
She turned to Sam. “Make love to me, Sam.”
His eyes widened and he paused on the head of the steps leading down to the elevator. “Here? Now?”“Yes. Here and now.” She had to show Kindra how wonderful it was to live, how beautiful making love could be. Catherine wanted all those things herself. A chance to live with one man for the rest of her life. Kindra had to see how precious was her gift of a healthy body with nerves, sensations and emotions to feed the soul. Catherine slipped the straps off her shoulders and shivered. “Make this a night we’ll both remember.”
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