Danger Calls [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Caridad Pineiro
eBook Category: Fantasy/Romance
eBook Description: One night was all it could ever be.... Because Dr. Melissa Danvers was a vampire's keeper. Honor-bound to repay the man who'd always been there for her, Melissa hoped the 140-year-old immortal could uncover the mystery surrounding her parents? deaths. Complicating her mission was Sebastian Reyes, the young, sexy entrepreneur whose wild lovemaking left her sated, yet burning for more. One night of passion with the beautiful healer would haunt Sebastian the rest of his life. Now Melissa needed his computer expertise to unravel a crime and stay one step ahead of a desperate killer. Sebastian was strictly a no-strings-attached guy. Until danger and desire delivered him to the one woman his soul couldn't forget.
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Silhouette Nocturne, Published: 2007
Fictionwise Release Date: October 2007
2 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats [Secure eReader - What's this?]: SECURE EREADER (RECOMMENDED) FORMAT [192 KB], OEBFF Format (IMP) [474 KB]
All formats: Printing DISABLED, Read-aloud DISABLED
Microsoft Reader ISBN: 9781426807565
Adobe Reader ISBN: 9781426807565
Mobipocket Reader ISBN: 9781426807565
eReader ISBN: 9781426807565
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Westchester County, November 2004
Death would not be ignored that day.
It was in the bite of the chill wind as it ripped through the bare branches of trees, wailing plaintively. It was in the somber darkness of the clouds as it began to rain, as if they, too, were weeping.
Melissa Danvers stared down at the graves of her parents. A little more than a year ago, the ground had been too hard to bury them. Now a carpet of green, dulled by the frosts of fall, covered the earth where her parents rested. But there was still no peace for Melissa. There were too many things left unsaid and unresolved.
She murmured a prayer beneath her breath as the cries of the wind grew in intensity. Melissa almost didn't hear the rain turn into sleet that beat a rat-a-tat-tat against her umbrella as she concentrated on the graves. She wondered what it had been like for them in those last moments before their car left the road and hurtled down the incline. Would they be alive if she had called the police when they hadn't arrived according to schedule? Had they suffered for hours before they were found, or had their deaths been quick?
A particularly forceful gust of wind grabbed at her umbrella. Sleet stung her face and she shivered. A second later, he wrapped a strong arm around her. Looking up, she met the gaze of her family's oldest and dearest friend. Of the man who had been so many things to her—surrogate brother, fairy godfather, protector. Now, he was all the family she had left.
"You okay?" Ryder Latimer asked as he drew her close.
She leaned into the comfort of his solid presence, which blocked the buffeting winds and provided her stability, much as he had most of her life. "I'm hanging in there. And you?"
Ryder stared down at the ground. Icy rain dripped from the brim of the fedora onto his face, but he seemed not to care. He looked paler than usual and Melissa worried that this outing was taxing his strength. He had yet to fully recover from the injuries he had suffered a few months before while assisting his FBI agent lover with a criminal investigation. "Are you feeling all right?"
He nodded and, without looking at her again, said, "I should have done more."
"There's nothing either of us could have done," she replied, although her heart was heavy with remorse.
Ryder said nothing else, but she sensed that he shared her guilt. He had turned down an invitation to accompany her parents for a quiet weekend in Vermont. If he'd been driving instead of her father…She stopped herself, unwilling to begin the blame game again. Especially with Ryder, who had always been there for her. She also had to be his support now.
He handed her red roses and she laid one on each grave, pausing to pass her hand over the wet, spiky grass. Softly, beneath her breath, she said another goodbye to a mother and father she had never really known.
Ryder also laid a flower on each grave. After he was done, he took her elbow and hurried her to the limo that waited to return them to the Manhattan apartment they shared.
As she neared the car, the driver popped out of his seat and came around to open the door. She struggled with the umbrella for a moment, then slipped inside. A second later, Ryder sat in the seat opposite her and tossed off his hat.
She met his dark gaze, remembering a similar moment on the day her parents had been buried. He had been troubled then, as well. She hadn't understood why until she had opened the envelope brought to the graveside ceremony by her father's attorney.
With vivid recall, that day came alive again as they sat in silence while the limo pulled away.
The envelope had been old, its age apparent from the brittleness and rich yellow color of the heavy parchment. There was a patina on the envelope's surface, as if it had been handled often.
Ryder had clearly known what it held. He'd told her it was her destiny, but nothing could have prepared her for what was contained in the neat, precise words of the letter: a legacy from an ancestor dead for well over a century.
On that day, she'd had to deal with her parents' deaths. But then again, virtually everyone everywhere had to confront death and accept the inevitability that one day, death would come for them, as well.
Only fate sometimes interceded in ways hard to imagine.
On that day, Melissa had been forced to realize that fate had changed not only what she believed about death, but the very nature of her existence. She could no longer just be a physician dedicated to saving lives. Fate had charged her with being the companion and physician to Ryder Latimer, a one-hundred-and-forty-year-old vampire.
After the shock of it, she realized every Danvers before her had answered the call. Honor demanded she do no less. Since Ryder had always been there for her, for her family, she had felt compelled to repay him for being her champion.
In the time since then, she'd slowly learned just what her duty to Ryder entailed and how difficult it was. Handling things that couldn't wait until the sun was weak enough for Ryder to emerge. Obtaining the blood necessary for his feedings. Giving him medical assistance when the sun, garlic or a lack of blood taxed his system.
In the last few months, it had been an even more exacting burden. After his injuries, he'd been too sick to tolerate even the weakest of sunlight, which had made him a virtual prisoner in their apartment. He'd required extra blood and medicine in an effort to help his recovery. His lover, Diana Reyes, had assisted Melissa on many an occasion, but she lacked the medical skills to deal with Ryder's more complex needs. That was solely up to Melissa and it kept her almost constantly on edge. Both mental and physical exhaustion had become part of her daily routine.
Copyright © 2005 by Caridad Piñeiro Scordato.