Eternally [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Maureen Child
eBook Category: Romance/Fantasy
eBook Description: He was a Guardian. An immortal fighter of evil. The sexy, sword-wielding stranger standing before Julie Carpenter claimed he was out to destroy a demon and that she was its next target. As he whisked her away to his fortress-like mansion high in the Hollywood hills, she could only hope Kieran was not the true danger. For centuries Kieran had heard the legend of Destined Mates--but he never believed until now. He could read Julie's thoughts, sense her deepest desires. And he knew she wanted him just as he knew joining with her would make him strong enough to defeat any demon from hell. But the cost might be losing the woman who was his true salvation.
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Silhouette Nocturne
Fictionwise Release Date: November 2006
44 Reader Ratings:
The body was found sprawled across Nicole Kidman's star on Hollywood Boulevard.
The tourists who'd spent all night partying, stumbled across what was left of Mary Alice Malone and ended their vacation with a whimper.
Sunlight glittered off camera lenses and shone down on the scene with a merciless glare. Pooled beneath the young woman's body, blood, in tiny dark rivers running from opened veins, crept into the gutter. The dead woman's wide blue eyes were frozen open in surprise, staring into the morning sky. Her left breast was gone, excised, as if by a talented yet depraved surgeon and her yellow silk blouse had been deliberately torn and arranged to expose the injury.
Belatedly a blanket was dropped over the body. But Mary Alice Malone was long past appreciating the privacy.
Ghoulish crowds jostled for position, cameras clicked and the unfortunate tourists wept. Police strung yellow crime scene tape and hid the pity in their eyes.
In L.A., one murder more or less—even one this vicious—hardly merited more than a mention on the local news channels and a small article on page two of the newspapers.
One man took note, though.
One man stood at the edge of the crime scene, letting his gaze sweep over the gathered mob. He knew his quarry was near. He'd recognized the killer's handiwork. He'd chased him before. And won. Now he would be forced to do it again.
And he knew that this murder was only the beginning.
* * *
The party was in full swing and Julie Carpenter swiveled on her desk chair to impotently glare at the door separating her suite from the rest of the house. Eardrum-shattering rock music pumped through the place, the bass making the walls tremble like a tired old man looking for a place to lie down.
Her head throbbing and her stomach growling, Julie surrendered to the inevitable. No way was she going to get any work done tonight.
"Thank you, Evan Fairbrook," she muttered and tossed her pen down onto the legal-size pad of paper in front of her. Letting her head fall back, she stared at the ceiling through gritty eyes and called down one more curse onto the head of her ex-husband.
He couldn't be just a liar and a cheat. Oh, no. Wasn't enough just to sleep with her best friend and God knows how many other women in Cleveland. Evan, it turns out, was a first-class weasel. Before Julie had caught on, he'd emptied their bank accounts and stolen her car. If she'd had a dog, he would have kicked it.
She couldn't stay in Cleveland. Not with everyone looking at her, whispering about her, wondering how such a bright woman could have been so knuckle-dragging stupid. Julie sucked in a gulp of air and reminded herself that moving to California had been a good thing even though she missed her folks and her younger brother. She was in a new city, with a new job, surrounded by people fortunate enough to have never even heard of Evan Fairbrook.
No more suburban split level for her, either. Now she shared a historic old house high in the Hollywood Hills with two women who had become good friends. And, she was reinventing her career. The career that had supported Evan while he got his software business up and running.
The same software business that had folded the minute Evan milked all the money out of it and took that plane to Barbados. Julie's only hope now was that he got melanoma from romping around buck naked in the sun with her ex-best friend Carol.
"On his nose," she mused, smiling. "He should get a big, black hairy mole on his nose. Or maybe another body part he's equally fond of. Yeah. And then it should rot and fall off. The body part, not the mole. Slowly."
As curses went, it was one of her better ones, she thought, enjoying the mental image of Evan standing helplessly watching as his prized member swayed, tilted and dropped to the sand. As for Carol, the treacherous witch, it was enough of a curse that she was with Evan in the first place.
Julie blew out a breath and snorted. "Good for me." A year after Evan had screwed her over, she was able to see the humor in the situation. Sort of. Her pride had been dinged a little—okay, crushed, stomped and spit on—but once Evan was gone from her life, she'd been forced to admit that she hadn't really missed him. So what did that say about her?
She shook her head. Man, it was way too late to do any soul searching. Instead she'd eat the last of the Coney Island Waffle Cone ice cream in the freezer. She got up and headed for the door leading from her suite to the hallway connecting it to the kitchen of the huge old house. The mother-in-law suite she occupied in the 1920's Craftsman-style house was way at the back of the building, usually giving her the privacy she preferred.
She'd been lucky to find this place. Number one, she hated apartment living. But more than that, being a freelance writer for the L.A. Times meant she needed a home base that was flexible. She did a lot of traveling and having housemates meant she didn't have to worry about her place while she was gone. Plus, she had company when she wanted it and privacy when she didn't.
Eventually, though, she'd like to move to the beach. And she'd take summers off. And do some damn sand frolicking herself.
Her cell phone rang before she could open her door and she checked caller ID before answering. "Hi, Kate."
Copyright © 2006 by Maureen Child.