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