Since her husband Jack left her five years ago, Kate has done nothing but dwell on the anger and feelings of betrayal, vowing to forget their twenty-year marriage and move on. But she can't. She dreams about him every night. Dreams of his smile, his touch, the way he used to look at her and the way he made love to her. Her body responds as if he's really there, but in the harsh light of morning she knows that she's living in the past and needs to let go.
When Jack suddenly returns without explanation of where he's been or why he left, Kate fights the attraction that still smolders between them. Determined to win her back, Jack reminds her of the passion they shared, when every touch, every look, every word sent her soaring into heights of ecstasy. It's like a dream she can't wake up from, a trip to the past when life with Jack was wonderful. But the past is over and Kate is determined not to live in dreams any longer, even if that means she has to face reality and live without the man she's loved all her life.
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November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Dream On by Jaci Burton
"Kate? Wake up."
Kate pulled the covers over her shoulders and turned away from the offending voice. "Go away. I'm sleeping."
Warm breath caressed her neck and goose bumps broke out on her skin when a hand touched her shoulder.
"Babe, you need to wake up."
So used to Jack invading her dreams every night, she ignored the realistic sound of his voice. Why wouldn't he just go away? How long would this torment continue? "Get lost, Jack."
"I've been lost, Katie. I'm home now."
Something wasn't right. This conversation didn't feel dreamlike. It felt real.
But that wasn't possible. Jack didn't live here anymore. He wouldn't be here. No way. She was hallucinating, or so deep into the dream that it seemed like the real thing. Yet she'd dreamed of him every single night since he left and this wasn't like all those times before. Her nightly sojourns had been more surreal, more distant. Though she saw him, touched him, made love with him over and over again, there was a definite lack of reality to her dreams. It was if she was observing her own body, watching the way he touched her and kissed her.
This was different. The covers moved down and she felt the chill of cold air on her skin. When the brush of warm fingers trailed down her arm, she knew what she felt was no dream.
Her heart lurched and she sat up, blinking back the sleep from her eyes. The room was dark, but she heard the soft inhalation of breath that wasn't her own. She broke out into a sweat and fought to still the trembling of her body.
Someone was in the room with her!
Too afraid to even swallow, she clutched the sheets and prayed to God one of her kids had come home for the weekend to surprise her.
"Don't be afraid, Kate. It's me."
She blinked, as if the act of doing so would cast a light over whoever was in the room.
"Baby, shhh, it's okay."
That voice. She knew that voice. But it couldn't be. It wasn't possible. When he left she knew he was never coming back. And he hadn't in five long years.
It couldn't be him.
She lifted her arm, ready to search the darkness, but dropped her hand to the sheets and shook her head, realizing that she'd completely lost her mind. "You're not real." This was the weirdest dream she'd ever had.
But when a calloused hand caressed her cheek, she froze. Dammit, she felt that! It was real! She wasn't asleep now, so it had to be real. Surely she wasn't still dreaming.
"Don't be afraid."
Her eyes adjusted well enough to the darkness to make out a silhouette of a man sitting on the edge of her bed. "Who the hell are you?"
It's not Jack. It couldn't be him. He would never come back. Yet the more she cast it aside, the more real it became.
"You know damn well who I am. Wake up, Kate. This isn't a dream."
It had to be a dream. No way in hell would Jack have come back to her. Not after...
This was ludicrous. And it wasn't happening. If she reached for him, she'd grasp nothing but air. Lifting her hand, she stretched toward the apparition in the darkness and grabbed a fistful of...
...shirt. Shirt surrounding hard muscle of a man's upper arm.
Oh, God. This wasn't happening. Jerking her hand away, she scooted toward the other edge of the bed and lunged for the lamp on her nightstand, afraid to turn the light on and too afraid not to. She sucked in a breath of courage and flicked the switch.
Holding her breath, she turned around. Her heart tumbled over as she drank her fill of the man she both loved with all her heart and hated to the deepest recesses of her soul.