Dalir’s Salvation Excerpt 3

Dalir's Salvation

To be with the man of her dreams, she’ll have to face her worst nightmares…

Ari is looking to live a normal life. But after she hits her head, normal is no longer an option. A mysterious, rugged man appears, whom only she can see… each night he fulfills her fantasies and leaves her begging for more. She’s sure he’s a figment of her imagination—until she finds out the hard way that he’s all too real. Now, to truly be with him, Ari will have to embrace the parts of herself she’s been desperately keeping at bay.

Dalir’s been burned by love before, yet he can’t resist Ari’s beauty and charm. And all it takes is one kiss to spark nights of passion. But there’s danger on the horizon that only Dalir and his friends in the band Thane’s Redemption can deal with. And the longer he stays with Ari, the greater the peril to them both. Will the two of them be strong enough to fight for their newfound love—and their lives?

****

Ari slipped on her shoes and hurried into the storeroom behind the counter. She dragged the stepladder in place. Of course, what she needed was on the highest shelf. Note to staff: stock the more popular spa items within reach.

She tugged up the slim skirt of her dress and stepped on the ladder. On the way up, her leg bumped the large, stuffed teddy bears they included in the new baby gift baskets. Ari stretched. Her fingertips grazed the flat carton. Shit. She climbed to the top of the ladder and rose to her toes. Another reason she needed high heels.

As she edged the box off the metal shelf, the weight shifted. The carton knocked her in the chest.

Ari fell back.

Arms flailing, she made a grab for something, anything to break her fall. The teddy bears tumbled down with her. Pain exploded in her head. Moments later a deep, male voice penetrated through the pain-filled fog.

A nice-looking guy with dark hair, and silvery eyes so brilliant they glowed, stared down at her with concern. His lips moved.

What was he saying? She couldn’t hear him. Ari’s vision blurred and she sank into darkness.

****

“You’re extremely lucky.” The young, blond doctor in the emergency room wrapped a stethoscope around the collar of his white lab coat. He smiled. “The EMTs said a bunch of teddy bears saved you. Apparently, they cushioned most of the fall.”

Not that she remembered. She’d passed out and awakened with emergency personnel kneeling over her. “Guess the teddy bears are my new best friends along with the customer that found me.” Ari laughed. A sharp ache stabbed into her skull. She smoothed back her dark bangs. Luckily, her short hair would still cover the bump on her head.

A brown-haired nurse dressed in pink scrubs helped Ari up to a sitting position on the bed. As the doctor checked her over, his ID badge dangled near Ari’s face.

Brad Foster. Nice name, nice bod, nice everything. But even with the dimple in his cheek, he wasn’t as cute as the guy who’d come to her rescue. Just her luck to meet two hot-looking guys when she was a mess.

“A customer, that’s interesting.” Dr. Foster washed his hands in a sink against the wall. “I heard one of your staff found you.”

“Really? But I know I saw someone I didn’t recognize.”

“Maybe he went to get help.” The nurse smiled and handed Dr. Foster a computer tablet.

“Or you could be experiencing some confusion.” The doctor’s brow furrowed as he tapped in notes. “Bumps on the head are tricky.” No need to keep her overnight. Ice for the bump and pain reliever for the headache should do the trick.

“Good.” Ari sank back against the pillows. “I’m ready to go home.” He chuckled. “Not so fast.”

“But you said my head looks fine.”

“No. I didn’t say that, but other than a headache, you should be fine.”

“I know. I heard you.”

He exchanged a puzzled look with the nurse.

But Dr. Foster had said it so clearly. Hadn’t he? Cold ripples moved down Ari’s spine. Usually, she picked up on thoughts as pictures not complete sentences.

Dr. Foster gave her an indulgent smile. “It’s best to be cautious with head injuries. Someone needs to stay with you tonight. Symptoms can sneak up on you.” He conferred with the nurse.

Movement caught the corner of Ari’s eye.

The guy from the store leaned against the wall with his arms crossed over his chest.

She sat up. “What are you doing in here?”

His gaze narrowed. “You can see me.” As he stalked toward her, taut muscles rippled under his shirt.

Guys with long hair didn’t catch her attention, but this one oozed prime male, bad-ass. Just the right age, too. Thirty? Thirty-five max.

“Answer me.” As he leaned over her, his body heat seeped through her flimsy hospital gown. “Can you see me?”

“Stop yelling. Of course I can see you. You’re standing right there.” All six foot plus of scowling, gorgeous man.

Dr. Foster looked around the room. “Who are you talking to?”

“Him.”

“Where?”

Even if they couldn’t hear they guy, how could they miss him towering over them? He was massive. “He’s right here.”

Her unexpected visitor glanced at Dr. Foster and the nurse. “You’re causing trouble, Little One. Stop talking. Now.”

Height jokes and commands in the same sentence. Badass sexy just lost his hottie-of-the-day card. All awards went to the doctor. “If anyone’s causing trouble it’s you by calling me names.”

The guy arched a brow. “I’m not calling you names. I’m just stating the truth.”

“Oh really? Well let me tell you what I thi—”

“All right, just relax.” The nurse gently pressed her back on the bed.

Dr. Foster whipped a penlight from his front pocket. He shined it in Ari’s eyes. “Are you seeing spots or an aura of some kind?”

“No.”

“Are you feeling nauseous or lightheaded?”

Ari squirmed. “Nothing has changed from a minute ago.”

As Dr. Foster checked Ari over, he spoke to the nurse. “The x-rays could have missed something.”

“Wait no.” Ari batted away the doctor’s hands. “I’m fine. He’s the problem.”

The mysterious guy disappeared.

 

Copyright © 2016 by Nina Crespo

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the Publisher, excepting brief quotes used in reviews.

Lyrical Press books are published by
Kensington Publishing Corp. 119 West 40th Street New York, NY 10018

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