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Asleep in Scottsdale

Asleep in Scottsdale

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Asleep in Scottsdale

129 pages
1 heure
Sep 2, 2015


When Talia runs over billionaire Kyle Dormant with her bicycle in the dog park, she considers their meeting a happy accident. He believes it is destiny, but her physician's mind rebels at such notions. Their budding romance comes to a grinding halt when Kyle won’t wake up from deep sleep... with no medical explanation. Baffled and deeply concerned, Talia digs into his recent past for a plausible cause. Instead, she uncovers dark family secrets. Convinced Kyle's condition was induced, and someone wants him dead, she is anxious to save him, but the closer she gets to the sordid truth... and a possible cure, the greater the risk to both their lives.

Sep 2, 2015

À propos de l'auteur

Born in France, award-winning author Vijaya Schartz never conformed to anything and could never refuse a challenge. She likes action and exotic settings, in life and on the page. She traveled the world and claims she comes from the future. Her books collected many five star reviews and literary awards. She makes you believe you actually lived these extraordinary adventures among her characters. Her stories have been compared to Indiana Jones with sizzling romance. So, go ahead, dare to experience the magic, and she will keep you entranced, turning the pages until the last line. Find more at http://www.vijayaschartz.com

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Asleep in Scottsdale - Vijaya Schartz

Asleep in Scottsdale

By Vijaya Schartz

Digital ISBNs:

EPUB 978 1 77145 530 5

MOBI 978 1 77145 529 9

PDF 978 1 77145 528 2

Copyright 2015 by Vijaya Schartz

Cover art by Michelle Lee

All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the publisher of this book.

Chapter One

Stephanie barged down the flowery aisle of St Patrick’s church in her taffeta Vera Wang wedding gown. Her fiery green eyes glared at Kyle.

Steph, what the hell?

She halted a few paces from him and threw her bouquet at his face.

Kyle ducked in the blinding camera flashes from the press corner and guests' cell phones. His heart dropped like a stone in his chest. Not another tantrum, not today, not on national TV.

Steph planted both fists on her hips and sneered. Her eyes flashed, signaling an impending storm. I am not signing your daddy’s stupid pre-nup!

Kyle scanned the first row but his father was suspiciously absent. The tentative harmonies from the organ died in an off key blare. The wedding guests gasped in shock. Some whispered, others texted or tweeted on their cell phones.

An icy cold wave took hold of Kyle. What had his father done now? Honey, you do not have to sign anything. Come on, let’s get married. This is our happy moment.

The stained glass windows cast a soft amber light on Steph’s pouty face. But your dad will strike you from his will if I don’t sign the papers.

The devil take his father for meddling. Who cares about my father’s fortune? I love you, Steph.

She stood still as stone. Not a good sign.

Kyle softened his voice in an attempt to pacify her. We can live comfortably on what I make at the company.

Steph emitted a hissing sigh. Maybe you can.

Uneasiness dove deep into his gut and twisted. What do you mean?

She smiled. Her green eyes, however, remained icy. I mean, I’m not marrying you to be just comfortable.

But we love each other. You wanted us to be together for the rest of our lives, that’s what you said. That’s why we’re here. He reached for her, hoping his touch would calm her.

She stepped back and shook her head. A strand of auburn hair escaped her bun and veil to fall across her perfect forehead. Sorry, Kyle. It would have been worth it if you were a billionaire, but if you aren’t going to inherit your father’s fortune, I’d rather marry someone else.

Someone else? The thought of another man holding her in his arms made his blood boil.

You are such a straight arrow, always working, always doing... she etched the quote-unquote sign in the air, the right thing. She shook her head. You’re no fun at all. I’m eloping with someone fun.

Eloping? Now? She must be lying. With whom? Could there be someone else? His gut wrenched another turn.

Yes. She smiled sweetly, as only the devil could. I called Rick. He’s picking me up in his convertible.

Who’s Rick? This better be one of your sick jokes. The very notion she might have a secret lover made him want to retch.

Wake up, Kyle. Rick is real. He’s not afraid of flaunting his money. He’s driving me to Vegas right now, to get hitched and live the fun, lavish, exciting life I truly deserve. The happy lilt in her voice seared his brain.

In the wedding gown my father bought for you? How could a day that started so well turn into this nightmare?

She shrugged. Might as well put the dress to good use, since it’s already paid for.

Steph, listen. Kyle took a step closer. Camera shutters clicked all around. How can you dismiss our relationship so easily?

Oh, grow up. You sound pathetic.

What happened to our mutual promise of unconditional love? He barely heard his own words, as if they came from deep inside a grave.

Sorry. She flashed a condescending smile. I can’t find you sexy if you’re no longer a billionaire.

Something snapped inside Kyle. He refused to grovel any more. She would come around. She always had. You are the one living in a fantasy world, Steph. You read too many romance novels. I’m not ashamed of working hard to accomplish something useful. I’m proud of using my influence and my wealth to help the community.

Don’t be so damn proud of it. It’s distasteful. Good bye, Kyle. Grabbing hold of her long gown, Stephanie kicked aside the short train and turned around, then marched out of the church, head high, back straight, and righteous all the way, under the watchful sweep of the TV cameras.

Kyle hurried after her but stopped himself on the threshold. He wouldn’t give her the satisfaction of showing his pain in a public display.

His heart sank deeper when she ran down the front steps, waving to a flashy playboy in black leather, who leaned on the hood of a red Ferrari convertible. Rick! The TV cameras outside panned and focused on the new scene. A horde of paparazzi, waiting behind the cordon of private security guards in black tuxedos, came to life. They craned their necks or raised their cameras above their heads to shoot the front page pictures of tomorrow’s tabloids.

Rick opened the passenger door of his red convertible for Steph. She grinned and giggled as she gathered and tucked the yardage of white fabric inside the car. When Rick took his seat next to her, she kissed him on the mouth wantonly, then she flipped Kyle the bird. The red sports car roared and screeched, leaving black scars on the hot asphalt of the parking lot.

Kyle’s jaw clenched. He could barely breathe and pulled on his bow-tie to loosen it. Red hot anger burned his insides. His hopes of a happy married life vanished in the distance with the shrinking red car. He cringed at a familiar presence behind his right shoulder.

She isn’t worthy of you, son. She’s not the one.

To me, she was. The heat prompted rivulets of sweat down from his temples. Not everyone lives the fairytale, like you and mom did.

I knew Steph was a gold digger from the very beginning. His father sounded smug.

Ignoring the cameras trained on him, Kyle faced his father. The silver temples and friendly demeanor didn’t hide the hard edge just behind the surface.

Kyle gathered his anger. This disaster is all your doing. You never liked Steph, so you found a way to take her away from me.

For your own good, son. His father’s noble brow creased. You see, there never was a pre-nup. It was only a test. She took the bait and failed miserably. Just as I knew she would.

Kyle hated his father for being so insightful. Who gave you the right to manipulate everyone else’s life? I was happy. I could still be if you hadn’t spoiled everything.

I doubt that. His father grimaced, as if it pained him to say something hurtful. See, I had her under surveillance. She was having an affair with Rick Shane for months now, but you would never have believed me if I told you.

No, you’re right, I wouldn’t have. Kyle wasn’t even sure he believed it now.

His father sighed. I simply forced her to show her true colors in the most public display, so you would never forget it. Sorry if the lesson hurts.

Each word branded itself into Kyle’s heart with a red hot iron. I will never forgive you for this... and I will never trust a woman again.

* * *

Two years later, at the Dormant mansion

Kyle awoke to a loud keening. Smoke detector alarm? No, a smooth, sustained high-pitched whine that filled his ears and pierced his entire body. Gasping for air, he attempted to sit up but his muscles refused to obey. He lay on his back, still as a dead man, completely paralyzed.

Not another episode! He wasn’t asleep or dreaming. He could clearly see the familiar bedroom, the Levolor blinds filtering the harsh Arizona sun through the high, tinted glass walls. Everything was as it should be, except that he could neither move, nor speak, just barely breathe. And his heart was pounding.

Despite the fear that tightened his chest, Kyle surrendered to the paralysis that claimed his body. No point in panicking. This would pass. It always had before. As his breathing eased, his fear lessened, but the strident ringing in his ears persisted.

Kyle sensed a presence in the room. Was someone here? His heart beat faster. He couldn’t turn his head to check. Then the bedroom blurred, and vivid images flashed and rushed toward him through a tunnel, branding themselves upon his memory as they buried deep into his brain. Unable to

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