Read INVITING FIRE (A Sydney Rye Novel, #6) Online

Authors: Emily Kimelman

Tags: #sydney rye, #yacht, #mal pais, #costa rica, #crime, #emily kimelman, #mystery, #helicopter, #joyful justice, #vigilante, #dog, #thriller

INVITING FIRE (A Sydney Rye Novel, #6)

BOOK: INVITING FIRE (A Sydney Rye Novel, #6)
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INVITING FIRE

A SYDNEY RYE NOVEL, #6

Emily Kimelman

Copyright ©2014 by Emily Kimelman Gilvey.

All rights reserved. No part of this eBook can be used or

reproduced in any manner without written permission. 1st Edition

Cover Illustration by Autumn Whitehurst

Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page

Books by Emily Kimelman

THE DREAM

ROUTINE

THE LAST TO FALL

HOT AND COLD

CONSEQUENCES

HOME

NEWS

MEMORIAL

IN THE JUNGLE

DOGS

DUTY

IN TROUBLE

CLEANING UP

LENOX GOLD

FIGHT

TALK

GOODBYE FOR NOW

ASSIGNMENT

SUCTION CUPS

TRAINING ON TREES

VISITING A STAR

FLYING OUT

A VIEW FROM ABOVE

ROUGH LANDING

SMOOTH SEAS

THE PARTY

THE APPROACH

THE CLIMB

INSIDE

MY EXIT

TOP DECK

AT THE BEACH

BOAT RIDE

AN UNEXPECTED SAVIOR

SAVING LENOX

CRASH AND BURN

COMING HOME

MULBERRY

COUNCIL MEETING

CLEARING

A KNIFE IN THE HAND

FOLLOW THE LEADER

FREE FLYING

JUNGLE LIFE

CAMPING

MORNING

MARCHING ON

ON AND ON

DREAM

DREAM INTO DAY

FIRE FIGHT

EASY COME EASY GO

About the Author

A Note from Emily

Books by Emily Kimelman

UNLEASHED (A Sydney Rye Novel, #1)

DEATH IN THE DARK (A Sydney Rye Novel, #2)

INSATIABLE (A Sydney Rye Novel, #3)

STRINGS OF GLASS (A Sydney Rye Novel, #4)

THE DEVIL’S BREATH (A Sydney Rye Novel, #5)

INVITING FIRE (A Sydney Rye Novel, #6)

To learn more about Emily and her

Sydney Rye series visit www.emilykimelman.com or get in touch on twitter @ejkimelman and Facebook

INVITING FIRE

V
igilante crime mystery with a dash of romance, early reader’s call INVITING FIRE “Excellent”

Emily Kimelman's best selling Sydney Rye series feature a strong female protagonist and her canine best friend, Blue. It is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don't mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome mystery with tons of action that will keep you reading late into the night! 

Recovering from a near fatal attack that has left her with residual trauma, including haunting dreams and flashbacks, Sydney Rye is regaining her strength at the jungle training camp of Joyful Justice, the vigilante network inspired by her now legendary acts of vengeance. However, when a routine reconnaissance mission goes horribly wrong Sydney Rye loses the trust of the leadership of Joyful Justice. 

Her good friend and trainer, Merl, warns that if she wants to be in the action she’ll have to follow orders like everyone else. Never good with authority, Sydney struggles to suppress her independent streak for the greater good.

When she runs up against an old adversary he blows apart everything she has gained. With her and Blue’s lives at stake, as well as the future of Joyful Justice, Sydney must push aside her fears and take a leadership role before it's to late. 

––––––––

T
he Sydney Rye Series

UNLEASHED (A Sydney Rye Novel, #1)

DEATH IN THE DARK (A Sydney Rye Novella, #2)

INSATIABLE (A Sydney Rye Novel, #3)

STRINGS OF GLASS (A Sydney Rye Novel, #4)

THE DEVIL'S BREATH (A Sydney Rye Novel, #5)

INVITING FIRE (A Sydney Rye Novel, #6)

For Autumn Whitehurst, whose imagination and laughter always inspire me.

THE DREAM

A
n almost silent moan passed between my parted lips. I needed to be quiet because no one could know. But it hurt. And it felt so good. His hand grazed against my throat, fingers wrapping around and entwining into the hair at the base of my neck. A tug and I arched my back, bending it so that our bodies stayed melted together as he kissed along my collarbone. He pulled my hair and I strained to follow his lead, my mouth opening wider.

"Say my name," he whispered against my skin. When I didn't he pinched me, squeezing my flesh between his strong fingers. I gasped. "Say it," he demanded.

"No," I answered.

Sharp pain twisted through me, electric and pleasurable. His tongue licked my ear, pulling the lobe between his teeth. "Say my name," he whispered, his lips moving over my sensitive flesh. "Say it or die."

"Never."

I woke up tangled in my sheets, Blue standing next to the bed, his eyes glowing green in the dark room. He whined at me gently. "I'm okay," I told him. He pushed his nose against the mosquito net and whined again. "You don't think so?" I asked with a small laugh.

He circled around to the net's opening. I sat up and reached through, petting his head to reassure him. Blue was a giant of a dog with one brown eye and one blue. When I adopted him he was tall, the height of a Great Dane, but thin. Still a puppy really. The pound in Bushwick, Brooklyn thought he was about a year old at the time.

Over four years later, Blue looked very different. His coat, which had been ratty when I brought him home to my apartment in Park Slope, now shone in the soft light of my bedroom. He had the markings of a wolf. Black and white and beige all sharing space on his large form. His snout was long and made me think there was some collie in his ancestry. Blue's chest was broad and strong. The pink scars that marked the entrance and exit wounds from a bullet Blue took for me were hidden beneath his long coat.

My scars from that battle were more obvious. One ran under my left eye. White and pink it arched across the top of my cheekbone, puckering the skin. Above that eye another scar, fainter than the first, ran across my forehead, slicing through my eyebrow and disappearing into my hair.

I wore my bangs long, covering the top scar. They almost reached to my gray eyes, but I made sure they never got in the way. My hair was black and cut short, barely reaching my chin. The heat here was too much to bother with long locks.

I looked out the glass doors of my balcony and into the jungle. The sky was still dark, the foliage a pitch black mass. I heard the guttural roar of the howler monkeys and knew the sun would be here soon. Blue's nails clicked against the tile floor as he walked to the door.

Blue stared at me, then looked at the door, then to me again. "I get it," I said. "You want to go for a run." He lowered his front end, waving his tail around in the air and let out a low warble. Some things would never change.

Throwing off the sheet, I climbed through the opening of my mosquito net. The tiles were cool against my bare feet. I dressed quickly, Blue following me around the room, encouraging me by tapping his wet nose against my hip.

Sneakers tied, headlamp in place and iPod in hand, I opened my bedroom door. The villa was dark. My house-mate, Cynthia Dawlings, was still in bed. The sky outside the glass was just turning a milky gray. As I closed the door behind me another group of howler monkeys began their morning call. These were closer and I could feel the force of their voices vibrate through me. The loudest land mammal on the planet, the howler monkey's roar can be heard up to three miles away through thick jungle foliage. These guys were in the tree behind my house, and I figured that Cynthia was probably waking up right about now.

As Blue and I started down the path toward the trails, I heard another group of monkeys start up in response to the ones in my yard. And then another, like a round robin of roars. The path we walked on was lit by low lights, yellow and solar powered. The air was moist and fresh—it carried a chill that wouldn't last long once the sun rose. I passed other villas on my route. This was once an eco-resort. Now it was a training center for Joyful Justice, the stupidest named organization to ever blow shit up. But no one asked me when they were naming it, even though I inspired the whole damn thing.

Blue touched my hip, pulling me away from my thoughts and back into the world we walked through. We passed the pool where guests used to sunbathe and read books. It was divided into lanes for swimming laps, the deck spotted with exercise equipment. The large lawn was used as a sparring grounds. Merl, one of the founding members of the Joyful Justice council, and the man who had trained me to fight, was there. He wore all black, the romantic light of dawn highlighting his shape against the dark trees beyond. The sword in his hand glinted as he swung it through the air.

Three dark shapes hunkered in the grass around Merl's moving form. Doberman Pinchers. Michael, the largest and strongest of the pack, stood as we approached. He let out a low growl, warning of our passing. Merl's eyes followed the sound and found me. He nodded without breaking stride, lowering into a deep squat and pulling his sword back, preparing to run through an imaginary opponent. His youngest dog, Chula, wagged his tail but stayed in the down position. The bitch of Merl's pack lay next to him, her head between her paws, ears swiveling, searching for anything her master might need to know.

I clicked on my headlight as I stepped into the jungle. Nature walks once used for tourist enjoyment served as my running route along with the crisscross of trails that connected our lookout posts. The gray light haunting the horizon didn't penetrate the thick foliage so I needed the electric light. Turning on my iPod I picked up my pace, keeping it steady though, refusing to let the beat push me forward at a pace I could not maintain.

That was what I was doing in every part of my life. Or trying to. I needed to slow down, stop letting outside forces push me into actions that wiped me out. I liked to run at this hour. When the jungle seemed like a dense wall of nothing rather than the intensely alive and intertwined ecosystem that it was. With headphones on the darkness served as a blinder for me. It was good for the brain.

And my brain needed all the help it could get. Three months earlier I'd been doused with the hallucinogen datura. Sometimes called the Devil's Snare or Angel’s Trumpet, it comes from the seeds of the Jimson Weed. Bell shaped and beautiful, the flower grows all over the world. The seeds, whether swallowed whole or brewed into a tea, cause nightmare hallucinations impossible to distinguish from reality. When processed into a powder datura can be blown into your victim's face, leaving him conscious and completely pliable... or dead if you get the dose wrong.

The stuff that got me was developed in a lab, created as a sophisticated weapon. It entered through my eyes and I don't remember a thing. Thank god Blue was with me. He killed my attacker and led me into the Everglades where he kept me alive for almost two days before we were rescued. Dan, my ex-something, and Mulberry, my, oh jeez, something else, I guess, found me. I didn't return to consciousness for another 18 days. My friends had faith I'd come out of it. But no one knew for sure if my recovery would ever be complete. I still saw lightning and heard the clap of thunder on sunny days.

I ran faster, not wanting to think about the dreams. I hadn't had a night of peace since waking up. The man who haunted my sleep, playing with my body until I woke up desperate for release, didn't deserve my days, too. I told myself it was the datura. I didn't want to feel this way, to be so turned on by the hate I felt. But deep down, in the most primordial dangerous part of my brain I knew I liked it. I knew I needed it. I would die without it.

The music changed and I slowed my pace, noting that I was closing in on the first watchtower. Blue left my side, pulling out ahead, going to meet the dog who patrolled this area. He disappeared beyond the globe of light my headlamp threw. The property was ringed with zip-lines, a classic tourist attraction in Costa Rica. It let people get some time in the treetops, which were a different world than the ground I ran upon. We used those platforms to keep watch. Make sure no one was sneaking up on our little vigilante training ground.

Blue returned and got back into line, even with my hip. As we reached a hill, I couldn't help but speed up. My feet dug into the soft ground, my vision concentrating on the uneven path ahead, breath even, steady. This was what would save me, I thought. Persistence.

As I crested the hill I slowed, taking a moment to admire the view, turning around in a circle. I pulled my headphones off my ears and listened to the sound of the jungle waking up. The birds singing to the sun, encouraging its approach. The final calls of the nocturnal animals as they settled down for a day of rest. The wind rustling the leaves in the treetops. I took in deep lungfuls of air, smelling the mix of rot and sweetness that permeated the jungle. Life and death, all right here, hiding in the dark. Hiding in me.

BOOK: INVITING FIRE (A Sydney Rye Novel, #6)
4.65Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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