Book 1: Enter the Night

ENTER THE NIGHT
Morgan Crowe Trilogy: Book 1
Maggie Berkley

Erotic Romance: Fantasy, Action/Adventure
ISBN:978-1-60435-719-6
Cover Artist: Nika Dixon
Editor:Jeffrey Curry
Word Count: 80,490
June 10th, 2010

Enter the Night

Book One of the Morgan Crowe Trilogy

“Be careful of who you trust.”

Words of warning, something Morgan Crowe tended to ignore.

Born Morriganna nic Thulath over thousands of years ago in the ShadowedLands of the Immortal Sidhe, she was the leader of the Mor’sin’dar King’s Battle Crows. Named the Morrigu, she was deadly, precise and vengeful.

Favored by her King, Morgan lived an unrestrained life until her temper forced him to remove her from the Courts. For years she lived among the humans, keeping an eye out on things Fae and waiting until the time her beloved King resends his decision and welcomes her back with open arms. But things have changed within the Sidhe lands, deaths occurred and old rumors abound. Unknowingly Morgan has become the object of revenge of a hateful Queen and a sadistic enemy from her past.

Now enters a Were, shape changers with the natural ability to take animal form and with his appearance comes temptation and love. But is he all that he seems? And is she willing to defy her society to find out if he is. For Morgan, her world tumbles around in a whirlwind until all hell breaks loose.

Excerpt:

Morriganna.”

Cracking her eyes open to slits, Morgan Crowe kept her breathing regular and soft as she glanced around the room, searching for what disturbed her sleep. The soft thrum of her fish tank on the far wall and the light purring of her little gray kitten, Sonji, reached her ears, but nothing else touched her sharp senses. All was quiet and peaceful.

After waiting a few moments longer, she sat up while slipping a gun out from under the pillow, turning her head slowly left, then right as her eyes scanned the dark room, looking for anything out of place. Someone called her name; she knew that, but no sign of anyone or anything stood out. Other than the dim light emulating from the fish tank, the room stood in total darkness, clouded in a blanket of night. Her eyes flickered over to the window high on the wall and the blackness beyond as she strained to find some noise that awoken her.

At a slight movement by her side, Morgan glanced down to see that Sonji had opened tired yellow eyes and yawned, watching her mistress warily. Slowly the kitten reached out one tiny paw and touched Morgan’s thigh as if reassuring her that everything was all right, that it was too early to get up and she needed to go back to sleep.

“Morriganna.”

Morgan’s body stiffened at the hollow voice that sounded both near and far. Cocking her head to listen harder she shivered as a cool breeze brushed across her bare skin, causing her nipples to harden and the muscles in her abdomen to clench. The hair on her arms stood on end as wintry chills from the lowering temperature ran down her spine.

Gradually a presence filled the room, causing the kitten next to her to arch her back up in fear until the soft gray fur stood on end. Baring her teeth, Sonji hissed at what she sensed but could not see, then with hast raced under the bed to hide, abandoning the woman to fend for herself. The mirrors and windows in the room frosted, starting first at the corners and then spread toward the center.

Morgan shivered at the growing coldness, pulling her bedspread over her nude body to cut out the chill as her breath left her mouth in small puffs of wraithlike clouds. With a sigh, she settled back to wait, watching the fog of her breath hang on the air as she replaced her gun under the pillow.

Morgan recognized the voice that woken her from her sleep, one she hadn’t heard in years but felt a slight bit of relief to know she was not forgotten. What a crappy time to be calling, she thought, glancing at the clock face on her nightstand. Three-thirty in the morning. It was too freaking early for this. As seconds clicked by, then minutes, irritation grew, driving out any want for communication of one of her kind. He sure seemed to be taking his own sweet time and she really didn’t have much patience for it. Not to mention that scrying by water made the room an icebox.

With a growl, Morgan tugged her blankets up over her shoulders, swearing under her breath as she tried to stave off the chill. Usually the cold didn’t bother her as her body adapted to any of the elements, but this was no natural frost forming. After several long minutes of silence, the caller decided to speak. About time, she snarled, trying to keep her teeth from clacking together.

“Good evening, Morriganna, I hath need to speak with thee.”

“Well hurry up and do it quick. You’re freezing my ass off.”

The feeling of power pulsating filled the room, giving it an illusion of walls coming alive and breathing as a brief moment of vertigo swept over the seated woman. Breathing deeply to calm her senses, she leaned her head back against the wall while drawing her knees up to her chest and closed her eyes. It was always disorientating talking to someone who wasn’t there, but considering this was the first “call” from any of the Mor’sin’dar since her banishment, who was she to complain? It was nice hearing a voice from her past.

Until the day her High King lifted her banishment from the Mor’sin’dar Court, she would have to make due with the company of humans. Though inventive and chatty, often irritating and somewhat amusing, Morgan desperately missed the company of her own people. Feeling a soft breeze caress her cheek and neck, she opened her eyes, drawing her attention back to what was at hand for the moment.

“Morriganna, thou needth to be careful. I hath warn thee, though I cannot reveal more except that trouble stir in the Courts.”

The rich warm voice of Eryn Sye, an informant of hers from her more active days, filled the room. He was always reliable for information, if not more, but it had been years since they last spoke. Blinking away the last remnants of sleep from her mind, Morgan straightened up. “What are you talking about, Eryn? You’re the first one to contact me in ages.”

“Something is happening in the ShadowedLands, Lady Death. Rumors are spreading and thy name hath been brought up several times.”

“Brought up? Brought up about what?” Morgan paused, gathering her thoughts as she focused her eyes on the center of her bed. Something was wrong. Eryn was never one to give out information without a price and now he was calling her unsolicited. She suddenly sat up straight, alert to what was not being said. “Why would someone from there be talking about me? About what? Coming back? I can’t until the High King bids me free passage back.” Her breath caught as a flitter of hope filled her chest. “Is that it? Am I going to be allowed back to Court? Is King Silvas lifting the ban?”

The room chilled a little more in response while from under the bed Sonji voiced her displeasure with a pitiful meow. Morgan ignored her cry and concentrated on what her friend was saying. “Talk to me, Eryn. What’s going on?”

“Just be careful, Morrigu, for thee hath enemies thou knowth not. I cannot speak more. I knowth not more except thou needth to be careful. Thou needth to be wary of all thou meet and do not let thy guard down. Things are not right here.”

“But is King Silvas going to lift the ban? Will I be allowed home?” Morgan asked, her heart beating at a quick pace at the thought of seeing her homeland once more. She waited for him to continue, but bit by bit the unearthly cold created by the water spell left the room as Eryn’s presence faded, the scry ending.

“Dammit.”

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