Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Jane Toombs
Word Count :25000
Publication Date :2010-07-29
Series : A Darkness of Dragons #2
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-55487-604-4
A man regains consciousness lying naked on an isolated beach. He remembers only his first name. He doesn't recognize his surroundings, nor recall who he is. More dangerous, he doesn't know what he is--or that the fate of mankind rests on his remembering…
David looked down at a blonde-haired woman sprawled on the ground, her face drawn in pain, her left leg caught between the teeth of a rusty trap. He dropped to his knees, grabbed the jaws of the trap with both hands, wrenched it open and off her leg. Muttering about idiot bastards who set traps and never come back to check on them, he stared at her injuries with dismay.
"Fix it," the child ordered. "I'll help."
About to say the woman needed to be taken to a doctor, prodded by something from within, David instead laid his hands over the bloody and torn flesh of her leg. The little girl's hands immediately covered his.
He felt a warmth from the child's touch, felt that warmth meeting and joining a current that passed from him into the woman's injured leg. After a time, he realized whatever he was doing was draining him, but he didn't remove his hands--not until blackness overwhelmed him, and he collapsed.
* * * *
Tima stared in disbelief from her healed leg to the naked man who lay unmoving at her feet, her blood on his hands. Where had he come from? And how could he have fixed her leg?
"We need to help him," Kam said.
Definitely. Tima rose, finding she could put weight on her left leg with no problem. She knelt beside the man and felt his neck for a pulse, relived to find a steady beat. "You stay with him while I get the canvas covering the motorboat."
When she returned, she stretched out the canvas on the ground next to him and rolled him onto it. Once he was positioned so the canvas could be wrapped around him and fastened, Tima dragged him toward the house, Kam beside her.
"Where did you find him?"
"On the beach, like I told you after the trap bit you."
"Yes, but how did you know that?" Even as she asked the question, Tima could predict the answer.
"I saw him there in my head."
It wasn't the first time her ten-year-old sister saw like that. Remembering his nakedness, Tima asked, "Had he been swimming?"
"Don't know. I saw him fall in the lake. Last night."
"But it stormed last night, how could you see anything?"
Kam shrugged. "Just saw him fall. Don't know how he got on our beach."
Pulling the naked stranger was work, and Tima had to rest twice before she reached her farmhouse. She hauled him inside, into the small downstairs bedroom that neither she nor Kam used, opened the canvas and turned down the bed covers. She tried to figure a way to get him onto the bed, aware she could never lift him.
"I never thought the day would come when I'd be happy to see Arno," she muttered, "but if he were here we'd have no problem."
"Don't like Arno," Kam told her.
"I'm not crazy about him either, but he is strong. I suppose I could call him."
Kam frowned, shaking her head. She crouched down beside the man, staring at him, then began whispering in his ear.
"What are you telling him?" Tima asked. "He's unconscious, he won't hear you."
Kam kept on whispering, paying no heed.
He stirred, opening his eyes. With obvious effort, he got to his knees, then shakily to his feet and fell face down across the bed, once again unmoving. From there, Tima had only moderate difficulty straightening him out and covering him up.
She looked at Kam's smug smile. "Sometimes you know too much for your own good," Tima told her sister. "I hope you didn't learn any of this from your twice-great-aunt Louhi."
"She only knows bad things. I told him he had to get on the bed right next to him 'cause he was too heavy for us and we didn't want Arno to come."
Tima gave her a rueful smile before turning her attention to the man. After checking him over, being careful to keep his groin area covered, she said, "He has some cuts and some nasty bruises, but they seem to be healing. The bump on his head may be a bit of a problem, but I believe it's possible he's mainly exhausted. However he fell into the lake, it's a long swim to shore. We'll keep an eye on him, but mostly we'll just let him rest unless he gets worse."
Kam nodded. "He doesn't want a doctor to see him."
"He told you that?"
"Nope. I just know."
"Are you reading minds now? That's prying."
"I don't pry! But sometimes people throw stuff and I catch it."
"Stuff? You mean thoughts?"
"I guess. It's sort of like when we play catch with a ball."
Tima sighed, wondering if she ever would fully understand her little sister. Looking down at her left leg, she saw that, though healed, it was still bloodstained. In the bathroom, she stripped and took a shower before changing into a clean T-shirt and jeans instead of shorts, all the while trying to understand how the stranger could possibly have healed her injured leg.
The man didn't rouse for the remainder of the day. In the next few days, he came awake now and then to use the old commode she'd gotten down from the attic or to swallow the soup she fed him. Tima worried he might have a head injury, but Kam kept insisting he didn't want to see a doctor. In any case, no doctor would visit way out here. It'd be a case of bringing him into the village.
On the fifth day, Tina had just finished cooking the evening meal, when something yowled outside the back door. Kam ran to the window and peered out.
"It's a funny-looking kitty, not one from the barn, and she wants in." Without waiting for an okay, Kam hurried to the door.
Tima watched while a bedraggled Siamese cat slipped through the open door, stalked through the kitchen, then down the hall to the bedroom where the stranger slept. By the time she and Kam reached the door, the cat had jumped onto the bed and was licking the man's nose.
* * * *
David opened his eyes, focused on the cat. "Nala, what're you doing here?" The cat settled down on his chest. When he raised a hand to pet her, he noticed Tima and Kam staring at him.
"Feeling better?" Tima advanced to his bedside.
"Fair for a man who's been trampled by at least one elephant."