Midnight Lily (Signs of Love)

By: Mia Sheridan

A Sign of Love Novel





Dedication





This book is dedicated to my girlfriends, my soul sisters, the ones who have saved me time and again.





Virgo



Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, destined to live half her life in the darkness, and half in the light.





PROLOGUE




I saw her everywhere. Walking down sidewalks, in crowded restaurants, once in the brief flash of dark hair and white lace right before an elevator door closed. Without thinking, my heart thundering in my chest, I'd run up four flights of stairs only to find that it was someone else. Someone holding a little boy's hand. She'd pulled him closer to her side as she’d exited the elevator, looking at me warily as if I might grab him and run.

Those were the times I still doubted my own sanity, still questioned whether she had ever existed at all. But then I'd remember the feel of her fingertips on my skin, the slippery silk of her hair, the sound of her laughter, and the way I loved her still, and I'd know, I'd know, deep down to my soul that she was real.

I dreamed of her, and in the darkness, she held me in her arms. In the darkness, she whispered that I was strong enough to hold on, that I was worthy of the love she'd given, and she reminded me who I was before I was anyone at all.

My Lily of the Night. Only of the moon.

Because now, just as then, when daylight came, she was no longer there.





CHAPTER ONE




Holden



The powerful whir of the helicopter propellers grew faint as they slowed and finally came to a stop. I opened my eyes blearily and stared out the window at the vast forest surrounding the grassy field where we'd landed. My muscles twitched and I fisted my hands on my thighs, but I felt a little better than when we'd taken off from San Francisco. At least I'd slept. Maybe for a couple hours? It was something, and more than I'd had the night before. Possibly more than I'd had in the last three days.

"You coming, man?" Brandon called as he threw the door open. "Sorry to wake you, but there's a bed inside that will be a lot more comfortable than that seat."

"I wasn't sleeping," I muttered, grabbing my duffle bag and moving slowly toward the door. A painful drumbeat pounded in my head, and nausea swept through me. Goddamn, I still felt like death warmed over. I grimaced as I hopped out of the open door. "I was praying."

Brandon chuckled. "Oh ye of little faith. Did you actually doubt I'd get you here in one piece? Mad pilot skills, bro." He turned and began walking, not bothering to close the doors to the helicopter, meaning, I supposed, that he wouldn't be staying long. I followed along behind him.

"You can't even hold on to a damn football half the time. And they pay you millions to do that. Why should I trust my very life in your hands?" Brandon shot me a scathing look over his shoulder but then laughed.

"Still can't believe you bought a helicopter," I said, catching up to him as we stepped through tall, dewy grass.

Brandon shrugged. "I always wanted to learn to fly. Why not? Life's short. If you have the opportunity to cross a few things off your bucket list, I say do it. Plus, it takes three hours to drive here from the closest commercial airport. This was a whole lot quicker."

"Jesus, how far to any civilization at all?"

"About seventy miles to Telluride. When I said privacy, I meant privacy."

We walked through a sparse grove of trees and came out on the side of a massive, two-story luxury cabin, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows on both levels. As we walked closer, I could see the trees and sky reflected in the glass, as if the huge structure was part shimmering illusion. At night it must look like a shining beacon. I whistled, looking at the forest directly in front of it—what would be the view from inside. "Damn, when you build a remote lodge in the wilderness, you don't mess around. This is like the fucking Shining, dude. Does it come with a set of spooky twins?"

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