J.R.Ward
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EXCERPTS FROM
LOVER UNBOUND
by J.R. Ward

Published by Signet Eclipse
ISBN#0-451-22235-0
Publication Date: September 25th 2007




Vishous was wide awake in his comatose body, fully conscious though he was trapped in a cage of non-responsive flesh and bones. Unable to move his arms or legs, and with his eyelids shut so hard it was like he’d been crying rubber cement, it appeared that his hearing was the only thing working: There was a conversation going on above him. Two voices. A female and a male’s, neither of which he recognized.




No, wait. He knew one of them. One of them had ordered him around. The female. But why?

And why the hell had he let her?

He listened to her talk without really following the words. Her cadence of speech was like a male’s. Direct. Authoritative. Commanding.

Who was she? Who-

Her identity hit him like a slap, stunning some sense into him. The surgeon. The human surgeon who'd operated on him. Jesus Christ, he was in a human hospital. He’d fallen into human hands after... shit, what had happened to him tonight?

Panic energized him... and got him exactly nowhere. His body was a slab of meat and he had a feeling the tube down his throat meant a machine was working out his lungs. Clearly, they’d sedated the shit out of him.

Oh, God, how close to dawn was it? He needed to get the hell away from here. How was he going to-

His escape planning got cut off. In fact all his thought processes went dark... because his instincts started to fire.

It wasn’t the fighter in him coming out, though. It was all those possessive male impulses that had always been dormant, the ones he’d read about or heard about or seen in others, but had assumed he was insulated from. The trigger was a scent in the room, the scent of a male who wanted sex... with the female, with V’s surgeon.

Mine.

The word came from out of nowhere and along with it a mighty urge to kill came in for a landing. He was so outraged his eyes flipped open.

Turning his head, he saw a tall human woman with a short cap of blond hair. She wore rimless glasses, no make up, no earrings. Her white coat read Jane Whitcomb, M.D., Department of Surgery in black cursive letters.

“Manny,” she said, “are you out of your mind?”

V shifted his stare to a dark-haired human male. The guy was also in a white coat only his said Manuel Manello, M.D., Surgeon-in-Chief on the lapel.

“Hardly,” the guy replied. His voice was deep and demanding, his eyes way too fricking fixated on V’s surgeon. “And I know what I want.”

Mine, V thought. Not yours. MINE.

“We fight all the time, Manny,” she said.

“I know.” The bastard smiled. “I like that. No one stands up to me but you, Jane.”

V’s upper lip pulled off his fangs. As he started to growl, that one word rolled around his brain, a grenade with the pin out: Mine.

The human male glanced down and seemed surprised. “Christ... someone’s awake.”

You better fucking believe it, V thought. And if you touch her, I’m going to bite your godforsaken arm off at the socket.

#################################

Jane Whitcomb looked at her patient. Against all odds, and all the sedatives in his veins, his eyes were open and he was staring up out of his hard, tattooed face with full cognition.

God... those eyes. They were unlike any she’d seen before, the irises unnaturally white with navy blue rims. As they stared up at her, she could have sworn they glowed.

This was not right, she thought. The way he looked at her wasn’t right. That six-chambered heart beating in his chest wasn’t right. Those long teeth in the front of his mouth weren’t right.

Her conclusion about his anomalies was instinctual, but felt as irrefutable as a statement of fact. He was not human, she told herself.

God, that was ridiculous, though. Maybe she was just hearing hoof prints and thinking zebras? Either way it didn’t matter, she thought. She and her colleagues were going to study the shit out of him as he healed, that was for sure.

“I’ll leave you to him,” Manny said. “But think about it, Jane. Think about me.”

As the door eased shut behind her boss, she shook her head on that mess and focused on the man in the hospital bed. He stared back at her, somehow managing to loom even though he was intubated and only two hours out of trauma surgery.

How the hell was this guy conscious?

“Can you hear me?” she asked. “Nod your head if you can.”

His hand, the one with the tattoos, clawed at his throat then grabbed onto the tube going into his mouth and started to pull.

“No, you don’t. That stays in.” As she leaned in to stop him, he whipped his hand back from her, moving it as far away as his arm would allow. “That’s right. Don’t make me restrain you.”

At the threat, his eyes went utterly wide in terror, just peeled open while his big body started to shake. His lips worked against the tube down his throat as if he were crying out.

His fear touched her for some reason. Probably because there was something animalistic about it, as in the way a wolf might look at you if his leg was caught in a trap: help me and maybe I won’t kill you when you set me free.

Too bad she sucked with the sympathy thing.

She patted his forearm awkwardly. “Okay, okay... Just leave it-”

The door to the private room opened wide and Jane froze as two men came in. Both were dressed in black leather and looked like the type who’d carry concealed weapons. One had a Red Sox hat pulled down low. The other was probably the biggest, most gorgeous blond man she’d ever eyeballed.

Looking at the pair, Jane’s first thought was that they had come for her patient and not just to bring him flowers and yak it up.

Her second thought was that she was going to need security STAT.

“Get out,” she said. “Right now.”

The guy in front, the one with the Sox cap, completely ignored her. He went over to the bedside and grabbed the patient’s hand. As the two made eye contact, Red Sox said, “We’re going to get you home. Right now.”

Jane didn’t bother with any more chatty-Kathy shit. She lunged for the nursing station call button, the one that signaled a cardiac emergency and would bring half the floor to her.

She didn’t make it.

Red Sox’s buddy, the beautiful blond, moved so fast she couldn’t track him. One moment he was just inside the door, the next he’d grabbed her from behind and popped her feet off the floor. As she started to holler, his hand clamped over her mouth and he subdued her easily, like she was a mere child.

Meanwhile, right in front of her, Red Sox systematically stripped the patient of everything: the intubation, the IV, the catheter, the cardiac wires, the oxygen monitor.

Jane went ballistic. As alarms started going off from the machines, she hauled back and kicked her captor in the leg. The blond behemoth grunted but then just squeezed her ribcage until she got so busy trying to breathe she couldn’t soccer-smash him anymore.

At least the alarms would-

The shrill beeping fell silent even though no one touched the machines. And she had the horrible sense that no one was coming.

Jane fought harder, until she strained so hard her eyes watered.

“Easy,” the blond said in her ear. “We’ll be out of your hair in a minute. Just relax.”

Yeah, the hell she would. They were going to kill her patient-

The patient took a deep breath on his own. And another. And another.

Then those eerie diamond eyes shifted over to her and she stilled, as if he’d willed her to do so.

There was a moment of silence. And then in a rough voice, her patient spoke four words that changed everything... changed her life, changed her destiny:

“She. Comes. With. Me.”



Excerpt from LOVER UNBOUND
Copyright 2006 by J.R. Ward. All rights reserved. No portion of this excerpt maybe used in any manner without the express, written permission of J.R. Ward