Harmony In Black by Amy Ennis
erotic contemporary romance
Novella (approximate length 24000 words)
Release Date 12/12/2013
Harmony Black and Jonas Blue were an untouchable rock n roll duo until Jonas became obsessed with the occult and began acting strangely. One dark night, he attempted to kill Harmony and took his life in the process. Ten years later, Harmony is a broken woman with mental and physical scars from her time with Jonas. She never expects his nephew and Doppleganger to show up on her doorstep offering salvation. Afraid she’ll never learn to feel again, Harmony is haunted by her past as she is driven toward a future she never thought she’d have.
Tripp Blue remembers Harmony from her days as rock royalty, but he never imagined he would ever find her. Presumed dead, she pulled herself away from the spotlight and hid out in the wilds of Louisiana. Now that he’s found her, he is determined to revive her soul and never let her go.
Lightning flashed overhead but to say it was a dark and stormy night, no matter how cliché, did not do justice to the way the wind whipped through the trees. Thunder bellowed, warning there was more of a storm to come. A person would have to be half nuts to be out in weather like this, which was why Harmony jumped slightly when the long, solemn echo of her doorbell rang in the library.
Her housekeeper had left hours ago. There was really no use for her anyway. Harmony was the only person who lived here, and she didn’t require looking after. Every now and then, the company was useful. Her fits of depression did not hit as often as they had in the beginning. Now they were reserved for holidays like most normal people’s. Of course, the bad weather had a way of making her remember the past and wish she had someone to talk to in order to get her mind off what had once been.
She tossed off the quilt she’d had wrapped around her body and slid her feet into her slippers. The marble tile floors were cold even though a fire burned in the hearth. Making her way from the tiny library across the small foyer, she shivered against the echo of thunder. Whoever stood outside the door was more than likely soaked to the bone, and, she hated to admit it, would almost be a welcome distraction from the storm swirling outside.
There was no need for locks this far back in the woods. Visitors came for one of two reasons: they were lost or they were lost. No one ever came looking for her. Bracing herself for the stranger’s invasion, she took a deep breath and placed her hand on the heavy doorknob, attempting to clear her throat in the process, knowing that no amount of warm-ups would cause her voice to come out as anything more than a whisper.
Pulling the door toward her, she slowly opened it, preparing herself for the deluge of questions that always came when her voice creaked out of her throat. Do you have a cold? Can I get you a drink? Lemon water will help. Nothing would help.
Shuddering against the wind that blew in a torrent of water from the storm, she stood back, whispering a welcome and gesturing for the stranger to step forward. In the shadows of the storm, she couldn’t make out anything other than an outline. Tall, thin, hopelessly lost. Dripping wet. A slight smile came to her lips as she attempted to look inviting instead of intimidated.
He moved into the light, and her heart lodged in her throat. He was more than hopelessly lost. He had come straight from hell to take her away with him.
A scream tried to escape her chest, but she hadn’t been able to scream since that night so long ago when all screams had been banished to the underworld.
“Jonas.” The name came out as a whisper as she clutched her throat more out of instinct than anything else. The scars on the backs of her hands were proof that she had done this more than once.
“No, God, no. I’m sorry. I know this is the worst timing…” he stuttered a bit, as if he couldn’t find the right words. “I’m sorry, Harmony. It’s me, Tripp. I didn’t realize…”
“Tripp?” confusion covered her face. “Tripp Blue?”
“You look just like him. God, just like him.” She still hadn’t gotten over the shock of coming face to face with what appeared to be her dead husband on a night when all things holy had taken shelter somewhere else.
“I wouldn’t have come…the storm was unexpected. I shouldn’t have come here.” He stood stock still, staring at her in disbelief.
“No, you shouldn’t have.” She swallowed hard. How had he found her? This couldn’t be a coincidence. Before she could send him on his way, lightning flashed again and crashed into a tree in her front yard. Her scream creaked out as limbs fell, landing solidly on the white sports car she hadn’t seen before.
“Someone thinks differently.” He shrugged, apparently unfazed by the loss of his car.
“Fate is cruel. Just ask me.”
“Can I come in? At least use your phone?” He held up a cell phone. “No signal.”
“Come in.” She motioned for him to move more fully into the foyer. “You’re soaked. I’ll get you some dry clothes.”
“What about your floor?” He sheepishly glanced at the marble tile.
“The least of my worries. What are you doing here? How did you find me?”
“So it really is you.” He reached out to touch her, but she stepped away from him. Looking at him was going to be difficult much less playing estranged aunt to her dead husband’s nephew. “It’s so good to see you.”
“I wish I could say the same. I mean…God, just give me a minute. You want a drink or something? I think I need one.”
Leading him into the sitting room, she tried not to glance back at him, but her curiosity got the better of her. Exactly like Jonas. From his long, shaggy black hair to his piercing blue eyes and square jaw, he could be his uncle’s twin. Then there was the swagger, the way he carried himself practically daring the world to worship him as a rock god. But there was something about his mouth that was very unlike Jonas’s. It was the way his lips turned up in a smile instead of a snarl. The smile softened the eyes that otherwise would have looked completely sinister.
“Nice place here.” His voice held a hint of awe.
“Thanks. Wish I could take credit. Bought it from an old family with extravagant taste.” Damn, she wished she could talk. It was completely frustrating when the words refused to come out as more than a whisper. It made everything sound so serious, so final. “Warm yourself. Let me settle my nerves and I’ll see if I can track down some clothes. I’m sure there’s some stuff somewhere.” She knew damned well there was an attic full of Jonas Blue attire, but she wasn’t sure if she could hand any of it over to his doppelganger. She wasn’t even sure why she’d kept it after her attorney accidentally had it shipped over.
Grabbing the decanter of brandy, she poured a glass, downed it, and poured another. After her second one, she offered a glass to Tripp, wondering for a second if he was old enough to drink then deciding that he must be. He had been a kid the last time she’d seen him, but that had been a long time ago.
“Thanks.” Again, that boyish smile lit up his entire face, giving it a gentleness Jonas had never had.
“What are you doing here? I mean it’s raining like hell has opened up. Whatever possessed you?” Sitting far enough from him to allow herself a good view of his profile, she tried to get comfortable in her old chair.
“I’m making you nervous,” he noted.
“No. I’m just not used to guests.”
“I’m not a guest. I’m family. Uninvited family, at that.” He turned to face her, his jaw illuminated by the firelight. From this angle, he almost did look like the devil.
“You’re always welcome here.”
“You may change your mind when you hear what I have to say.”
“Would you prefer to be wet or dry when you tell me?”