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*This is only a sample of Red Dream (book 3 of the Vampire Files Trilogy available on Amazon) https://www.amazon.com/Dream-Vampire-Files-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B07FK3XZG6/

The lights begin to dim, and the performance begins. From across the theater, a flash of white draws my gaze from the empty stage. For a split second, I thought I saw the man from my dream. As the lights continue to dim I blink several times, then look again but I can no longer see that far in the darkness.

Is my mind playing tricks on me? With the performance about to begin, I dismiss the notion entirely. Seconds later I'm captivated by the story of desperate love as told in the Phantom of the Opera.

By the time the curtain falls on the final act, I'm at the edge of my seat, gripping Adam's hand like a lifeline. Tears run down my face from the tsunami of emotions pulled through me by the talented actors. I don't even care if I look like a racoon, but I'm grateful when Adam slips a handkerchief into my hand. The curtain rises and I join the audience as they erupt in applause.

This goes on for some time as the actors come out one by one and two by two to take their bow. When people start to disburse, and leave their seats, I finally remember that I'm here with Adam. I find him watching me with such intensity I suddenly feel shy. I quickly sit down to tell him how much I loved the performance, how moving the music was, and how grateful I am that he gave me this experience.

Adam's eyes are ablaze with preternatural light, and my breath catches at the passion shining from them. Before I can tell him all the things I want to say, he does something I'm not expecting.

Adam moves smoothly out of his seat, dropping onto one knee before me. I sniff and blink at him.

There's a new look in his eyes and the intensity of it makes my breath catch.

"Samantha Lewis, will you throw caution and reason to the wind to be my bride, my wife?"

Holy sh...

I gasp, and my hand covers my mouth. My eyes must be as big as saucers. My head spins and I feel light headed. A small insecure part of me doesn't believe this is real. So many emotions slam me at once—shock, elation, fear, nervousness, happiness, and even doubt.

I can't breathe. I'm going to pass out!

"Breathe, Samantha. You're turning blue." His calm voice and gentle smile only ads fuel to the fire.

"Is this for real?" I manage to choke out, half expecting him to admit it isn't. Adam's gaze never wavers as his eyes burn—waiting for my answer. He's serious!

For the first time, I realize Adam's not confident of my reply. In my heart, I know that I've wanted this even before my mind would allow me to consider the possibility.

"I do believe it's customary to give a yes or no answer at this point," he says, giving me that barely-there smile—the one that has the power to unravel me.

I take a huge gasp of air through my tears. "Adam," I breathe. "I don't know what to say. I'm in shock. Are you really doing this?" I look at him in disbelief.

"The suspense is killing me. Is the answer yes or no?" he teases. But I can see that he's still unsure of himself.

"Yes! Yes, I'll marry you!" I exclaim.

I'm in his arms the next second as his lips crush mine. After a long deep kiss that seems to stop time, I pull back, and smile up at him through my tears. I'm sure I look a mess, but I'd never know it from the look in his eyes. Adam gives me the biggest smile I've ever seen on his handsome face, and my heart melts. For the first time since I've known him, his face isn't guarded, hard, smug or cruel. He looks human... and happy. Did I do that?

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