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Authors: Kadian Tracey

Tags: #Romance, #Western, #Westerns

A Lover's Wish

BOOK: A Lover's Wish
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Fascinated with Chinese culture, Kianna has saved every spare penny. The unexpected death of her parents snatches her dream of travelling from her grip and fate forces her to use her savings to pay for the funerals. Defeated, depressed and dying slowly on the inside, she goes through her days on automation.

Dao takes one look at Kianna and something inside snaps. He wants to get to know her better and hires her as his personal assistant. Destiny intercedes and a family emergency sends him rushing to China, taking Kianna with him.

Dao deals with Kianna’s low view of herself, his family’s emergency and everything else that comes with courting a woman outside his culture.

Unexpectedly handed a chance to glimpse her lost dream, Kianna is forced to confront her fears.

The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

A Lover’s Wish Copyright © 2009 Kadian Tracey

ISBN: 978-1-55487-453-8

Cover art by Martine Jardin

All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.

Published by Devine Destinies An imprint of eXtasy Books Look for us online at: www.devinedestinies.com

A Lover

s Wish By

Kadian Tracey

Dedication

To Grandma V—you are loved, RIP

Prologue

T

 

he moment Kianna opened her eyes, there was something in the air that did not feel right. There was a strange sense of doom. She lay on her back, staring up at the ceiling like a deer in headlights. The feeling was so overwhelming that each time she thought about getting up, fear shoved her back against the bed. Her stomach curled into knots, her palms got sweaty and her heart began racing. She rolled over, glanced at the clock beside her bed and arched a brow. That was strange. It was past eleven in the morning and she had somehow slept in until then. Had the phone rang and she hadn’t heard it? Normally on a Saturday morning, her mother would have called to wake her at nine o’clock sharp. Then the two would go grocery shopping together. Ever since Kianna had moved into her own house, her mother would go grocery shopping with her. Kianna always thought that this was her mother’s way of making sure she was eating right, but she

hadn’t pushed the issue.

She shoved her feet out of bed and sat on the edge, just staring at the telephone. She peered at the voicemail beside the clock, but the red message light wasn’t flashing. Something was definitely wrong.

Without taking a shower, Kianna got dressed in a pair of jeans and a tank top. She grabbed her car keys and wallet just before slipping a piece of minty gum into her mouth, then hurried out the door. Halfway to her car, she skidded to a stop, turned back inside the house and this time she stopped in the kitchen. She yanked her cell phone from the charger and was out the door again in a flash. She was starting the car and hadn’t even closed the driver’s door. Soon she was speeding down the street.

Her heart was beating harder inside her chest— so hard that a sharp pain vibrated from it through her. The beat of her heart was so loud that it sounded as though it was humming inside her ears. She swallowed and there was a slight pop in her ears, but she didn’t stop to worry about it. Why hadn’t her mother called? Why hadn’t her mother driven over to wake her up? Where was her mother? All she knew was that she had to get to them and fast. The feeling didn’t go away—it simply got worse.

She dodged through traffic, ran through a stop sign and made the left that carried her onto her

parents’ street. She should have looked around to make sure there weren’t any cops, but didn’t have time for that. She would deal with them if they sent her a ticket later. The cops didn’t have to pull you over anymore—they simply get your license plate number, entered it into a computer and you got the ticket in the mail. It was safer for them and annoying for the driver. That caused her to roll her eyes insolently and she slammed on the brakes. When she pulled up before her parents’ place, she felt a strange sense of coldness wash over her. The dread got worse the closer she got to the front door of the large house.

“Mom!” she called, stepping forward into the open door. She closed the door behind her. That in itself was strange. Her parents always closed the door and locked it. Her father always checked it after her mother entered to make sure it was secure.

“Dad? It’s me! Where is everyone?” She peered into the living room before walking into the kitchen. Her dad was sitting, slouched over the kitchen table, “Dad?” She rushed to his side and sat him back into the chair. “Dad?”

“Kiki?” her father muttered. “It’s all over.” “Dad what’s going on, where’s Mom? She

didn’t call me for groceries this morning.” “Gone.”

Kianna arched a surprised brow, “Dad, you’re not making any sense. What do you mean
gone
? Did she leave you? What did you two argue about?”

“No argument. She woke me up saying that her chest hurt about two-thirty this morning. I took her to the hospital and they couldn’t save her— she had a stroke. All these years and she’s gone just like that. What am I going to do?”

Her mother was gone? How could she be gone? Her mother had been the one who insisted on eating healthy. Even though Kianna gained some pounds that was because—well nature—because she could not afford baseball anymore or a gym membership. She couldn’t even afford to go down to the local recreation centre to take up some sort of dance program. But her mother was healthy. She had gone on a cruise a year before and brought back pictures of her doing the limbo! How could her mother be dead? There had to be some kind of mistake!

“Mom isn’t dead!” Kianna gripped her father’s shirt and shook. “How can she be dead! She is Mrs. Healthy! She’s the one that forced me into sports when I was only six! She was the one that got you walking every morning because the doctor told you that you needed to lose a few pounds! How can she be dead from a stroke?”

Her father didn’t fight back. He didn’t argue or yell. He simply sat there with a dazed look in his eyes.

Guilt washed over Kianna and she released him. “Dad why didn’t you call me?” Kianna sobbed, burying her face into her father’s chest. “Why didn’t you call me?”

“It happened so fast. One minute we were driving to the hospital and the next minute the doctors were telling me she is gone. I didn’t even tell her goodbye and that I loved her.”

“I’m sure she knew you loved you, Dad,” Kianna whispered.

“But I used to tell her every day,” he replied weakly. “The first words I’ve said to that woman every morning since we began sleeping in the same bed were I love you. I didn’t tell her this morning, Kiki.”

When she stepped back and looked at her father, she hardly recognized the man sitting at the table. He didn’t look like the strong man she had grown up with—he was weaker, a shadow of his former self. He was no longer the man who had picked her up and twirled her around while she laughed and begged him to spin her faster. His eyes were dead and it seemed that the moment her mother died, her father had given up. “Have you eaten Dad?”

“No. I’m not hungry.”

“Dad, if you eat something, then we can talk about what to do about Mom and the funeral.”

He inhaled deeply and stood. He wavered slightly on his feet before clutching the table tightly. “Alright. You make me some scrambled eggs.” He kissed her head. “I’m going to grab the brochures that the doctor gave me from the car. I love you.”

Kianna gave a small smile even though she felt her world falling apart. But at least she had her father. Together, she knew they would be able to work through everything. “Love you, too, Daddy mine,” she whispered what she would always say when he told her how much he loved her. Ever since she was a child, those were the words she would reply. His face would light up back then, but at that moment, he had simply smiled at her. He turned and walked from the room—not in his normal proud, upright walk. But in a walk that told her he had been broken.

With tears pooling down her face, Kianna turned to the cupboards and began putting together what she needed in order to make breakfast. She couldn’t fall apart, not in front of her father. She would be strong for him and when she got some free time alone, would fall apart. It made no sense to make him see her cry.

“Kiki!” Her mother yelped the first time Kianna had caught them kissing. She had not been feeling

well at school and after lunch period, her teacher finally sent her home with a note. They hadn’t expected her to be home so early. She was just in time to watch her father sneak up behind her mother, grab her around the waist and kiss her neck. When her mother saw her and yelped with a laugh, Kianna had just giggled, handed over the note and darted up the stairs. Her mother and father weren’t far behind, wanting to know if she was alright.

Her family was different. They always made sure that each other was alright, but there was a sense that they weren’t the typical, African American family. A smile crossed Kianna’s lips and she inhaled shakily. She had been just about to put the pot onto the stove and had picked up an egg when the silence of the air was shattered by a loud bang.

As though in slow motion, the egg and the pot slipped from her fingers. They hadn’t even hit the ground yet, but Kianna was out the door and darting toward the garage. She skidded to a stop beside the car and bit down painfully against her lip. She fell to her knees and banged her fist against the side of the car. “You coward!” she screamed at her dead father. “You selfish coward!”

She didn’t have to go into the car to know he was dead. She could see the evidence on the other

side window—blood and small chunks of flesh. She knew he was dead. “Don’t leave me…”

Her life was over and there was nothing she could do about it. She wasn’t given a choice! He had simply taken the easy way out and left her alone in a world that was confusing to her. She was an adult, but she was scared to be by herself in the world. Anger and hurt surged through her, causing her head to throb. Someone was calling her name, but she was too lost to reply. The voice sounded like gibberish. Hands held her shoulders while the voice yelled at someone else. She was being lifted from the ground when her eyes suddenly rolled back into her head and darkness took over.

The next moment Kianna opened her eyes, she looked up into her best friend, Jace’s, face. Kianna smiled. “I had the worse dream.” The grim look on Jace’s face caused Kianna to fly into sitting position, wince and flop back against the bed. The room spun above her head. “Where am I?”

“The hospital,” Jace whispered. “Your parent’s neighbours found you against your father’s car and called the ambulance—”

“It wasn’t a dream, was it?” Jace shook her head.

Kianna passed out again.

Chapter One

I

 

t was probably a good thing that Kianna Sanderson did not believe in reincarnation. If she had, she would have believed that she must have done something extremely horrible in a previous life and was being punished in her current life. If she believed in reincarnation, she would think that someone had held a grudge from her previous life. That had to be the explanation to everything that was happening around her and to her. She sat in the waiting room, clutching the cheque to her chest. She was sitting on the edge of her seat, back straight, purse over one arm and her feet crossed at the ankles. Staring straight ahead, she couldn’t remember the last time she had blinked or felt anything. She blinked—simply because her mind couldn’t remember. She hadn’t cried yet because she was waiting to be alone to allow her selfish

tears to pool down her face.

Her heart hammered into her chest as her mind told her to run. Her mind told her that if she got

up now and ran out the door, they couldn’t take her cheque, they couldn’t stop her and she wouldn’t have to give up a dream she had had since she was sixteen years old. It was hers, no one else’s and they didn’t have a right to be putting her through this.

Tears stung her eyes and she inhaled deeply and held the breath. The veins in her neck stood stiff, bulking out the side of her neck as she tried to hold the tears back. The longer she held the breath, the less the tears stung until finally she let the breath out with a whoosh through her mouth.

BOOK: A Lover's Wish
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ads

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