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Authors: Ariana Rodriguez

The Heir

BOOK: The Heir
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The Heir

Chosen Mate Series

Book One

Ariana Rodriguez

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2011

Smashwords Edition License Notes.

Thank you for purchasing this eBook. This story “The
Heir” is copyrighted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act
1988. All rights are reserved by the owner and creator of this
work, Ariana Rodriguez, and any unauthorized copying, broadcasting,
manipulation, infringement of this copyright is punishable by
law.

This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment
only. This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to other people.
If you would like to share this book with another person please
purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you're reading
this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your
use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your
own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this
author.

Prologue

It was a chilly night in late November. The
sun had set at just before six, earlier than yesterday, and soon
the moon took its place. It was a full moon, shining with all its
glory. The street lamps were on and the neighborhood was calm as
always.

As she drove up her driveway, Lauren didn't
notice the eerie silence or cold darkness that surrounded her home.
She was too excited to pay attention to her surroundings. She'd
just gotten great news and couldn't wait to share them with the
world. She couldn’t wait to share her great news with Cade.

She'd just taken a few steps past her living
room when she almost slipped and fell. Lauren braced herself on the
wall and moved her foot around looking for the slippery spot. When
she found it she lifted her foot and reached down with her free
hand to touch the liquid at the bottom of her shoe. Her hand came
away wet with a sticky substance.

It must be a spilt soft drink.

She'd probably forgotten to dispose of her
can and somehow the dog had found it and dumped it on her floor.
Either that or pee-it better be soda. She sighed and shook her head
it was time to get that puppy a sitter or trained.

She'd just stepped into her kitchen when she
almost fell for the second time. Frustrated she cursed the dog,
threw her bag to the floor and felt around for the switch. She
turned on the light and immediately wished she hadn't.

The sticky liquid was all over the place.

It was on the floor, the walls, the ceiling
and her counters-everywhere. That wasn't the worse of it, her table
and chairs were broken to pieces and lying all over the floor. Her
kitchen window was shattered and most of the walls had holes in
them. Fist sized holes or bigger.

Shocked she turned around and went back
towards her living room turning on the hallway light and then
stopped in her tracks. The hallway light shined enough into her
living room and she could see that the same destruction awaited her
there as in the kitchen.

Then she heard it.

Labored breathing; the kind taken by someone
who was dying.

On legs made of jelly she stepped into her
living room and turned on the light. No the destruction here was
not the same as in her kitchen-it was worse. There were five bodies
lying in her living room. Four of them appeared to be dead-one of
them was her dog. They were all bloody and suddenly she realized
what was splattered all over her floor, walls, ceiling, on her
furniture and on her finger.

BLOOD

It was no longer bright, healthy, red but
dark blood. Old blood. Drying blood. The blood that should have
been pumping through veins was splattered all over her home as if
it was part of some sinister abstract painting.

She felt her own blood rushing through her
body. Felt her heart pumping it. Felt it drain from her face when
she looked closely at the bodies. Felt it turn cold when her gaze
landed on the one that was still breathing.

A gasp escaped past her numb lips. Lauren
took an involuntary step back bumping into the hallway wall behind
her. She braced one hand on the wall and the other she brought it
up to her mouth to cover her scream of horror.

Slowly and weakly he turned his head to look
at her. His face and body were disfigured; caught between human and
something she thought only existed in movies. His eyes, she
recognized those eyes. She would recognize them anywhere. They were
the last pair of eyes she saw every night before she fell asleep
and every morning when she first woke up.

Those eyes told her it was all real. Lauren
shook her head. Before her eyes, his face was changing. His head
returned to human form. The muzzle became a nose. The sharp canines
became teeth. Her eyes widened even more than she thought possible
and if she could’ve, she would have taken another step back.

It can’t be! It’s not true! They don’t exist!
This is not real!

"It is real. We exist. It's true and it is."
He told her between blood filled coughs. Lauren hadn't realized
she'd said it out loud until he spoke and she just shook her head
in denial. "Don't look at me like that. I don't want to die with
you looking at me in fear. I want to die with the memory of your
smile." He coughed again and more blood came out of his mouth.
Lauren couldn't stop shaking her head. She couldn't move. "Don't
cry. God please don't cry."

She didn't realize that she was crying until
he told her. She took a deep breath and wiped her eyes, he was
dying and she couldn't do any of the things that she knew would
make him smile one last time.

"I wish…” Once more he coughed up blood,
“Listen Lauren you have to go. Run. Run as fast as you can and
don't stop until your safely back with your family. Don't stop for
anything. They can track by scent and they will be coming after
you. You have something they want."

"There is a small box in my drawer take it
with you and run. Run Lauren."

And she did. She only took with her the
clothes on her back, her purse, valuables, the small box, a box
full of memories and a very special gift. The only thing she had
left of him.

Nine months later Lauren was sitting across
from James at their round kitchen table. It was a late warm summer
night but the atmosphere in the room was thick with bone chilling
fear.

"Are you ready?" James asked her.

"No I'll never be ready,” Lauren replied and
took a deep breath to calm her nerves. "But it has to be done."

A needle filled with thick silver-blue liquid
swirling inside sat on the table between them.

He stood up, walked around the table and
knelt in front of Lauren and the baby in her arms. Looking up at
her he silently asked for her approval, it was given with a swift
nod. After taking a deep breath, he reached for the serum and
injected it into the three month old baby girl.

The high pitch wails of the baby and the fast
and steady beating of their hearts was all they could hear. They
did not hear the intruder opening their front door nor did they
sense her standing at the entrance to their kitchen.

"Did you do it?"

Startled, he got up and turned to look at
Layla Smith. She was leaning with one shoulder against the wall,
her arms crossed across her chest. Everything about her screamed
neat and professional, from her black dress pants and white button
up shirt to her dirty blonde hair tied back in a ponytail

"Yeah, it’s done."

"Good, then we are ready to go." Layla took a
step towards Lauren reaching for the baby.

Lauren held on to the baby and took a step
back.

"It’s breaking my heart too. But as we speak
they could be on their way here, trust me, this is our only safe
option.” Layla walked up to her and brown eyes clashed with blue as
she reached for the baby again. "It’s hard, I know, but it can't be
any other way no matter how much we wish it otherwise."

"Can we have just a couple more minutes alone
please?" Lauren asked, taking another step back. She understood why
it had to be done but it made it no easier. "Please?" she asked
once more seeing the indecision in Layla’s face.

"Fine” Layla reluctantly agreed. “I'll just
go get McNeil." Layla turned and walked out leaving them alone once
more.

James walked up to Lauren and reached for the
baby. Holding the baby in one arm, he hugged his wife with the
other. He felt like a coward and a failure because he couldn't make
things better. Before marrying him she’d only asked for one thing
and he’d failed.

"Shh, it’s OK; everything is going to be
alright."

The words rang hollow even to his ears.

"How can you say that? I’m sending my baby
away and literally replacing her with another, how is any of this
OK?"

"She is alive and safe and she is going to
stay that way. We're doing this for her and as long as she's OK, we
are too."

"Your right, I know your right?" shaking her
head she buried her face in his chest. No longer able to hold her
tears at bay, she wept.

Smith walked back into kitchen followed by
agent McNeil. He was holding a baby in one arm and an empty car
seat with the other.

"I'm sorry but we're running out of time, we
have to go"

James and Lauren nodded and pulled apart.
Smith stepped up to James, took the baby and crouched down to put
her in the car seat that McNeil brought in.

“I promise you here and now that I will love
your child as if she were my own. And when I feel she is old enough
to understand I will tell her about you guys; that she has parents
that love her but couldn't be with her." She stepped back and took
a calming breath.

"Thank you so much Layla. “ James told her.
“We trust you to do right by her; you're her god mother after all."
They shook hands and after kissing their real daughter goodbye,
they watched them walk out.

Lauren took their new baby from James hoping
that maybe she could lessen the pain that losing her real daughter
was causing her.

Together they took one last look around their
house. The walls were white, the appliances stainless steel. A few
weeks ago this room was full of warmth and happiness, the
refrigerator was covered with baby pictures along with the rest of
the house.

Now it was all stripped bare, empty and
cold.

Chapter 1

17 years later

"It's time you met your real parents.”

Jessica kept hearing Layla’s voice in her
head saying the same thing over and over again as she made her way
to central California. She should’ve reached her destination by now
but she’d been dragging her feet.

The truth was that she was scared.

So scare that she made a point to stop at
every town she passed even if there was nothing there worth seeing.
She just didn’t want to meet her real family.

“What if they don’t like me?” she wondered to
herself. “What if they don’t want me?”

Later when she thought back on the events she
would realize that what followed only took a couple of minutes no
longer than five minutes but the ensuing adrenaline rush had her
experiencing the encounter in super slow motion.

Lost in her thoughts, Jessica almost missed
her turn. She ended up taking a sharp left a little too fast. Too
late she realized her mistake; a car was driving down the center of
the street head on towards her.

There are three problems common among Riders,
she remembered Layla telling her, speed limits, cars, and beefing
it- also known as falling on your face.

Jessica was about to have an encounter of the
third kind with the second because she'd been ignoring the
first.

She took a breath and forced herself to view
the situation with a clinical eye.

The car was driving down the center because
they were on a residential area and cars were parked on either side
of the street. Way too many cars which meant some kind of gathering
and no doubt they would all come running out when they heard the
impact.

Although crashing into a car would not kill
her, this would not be the first time she'd crashed into a car, she
couldn’t say the same for her bike-her baby. It would also bring
her unwanted attention when she walked away from a near fatal
accident with wounds healing faster than humanly possible.

One look around and she took in the scene
with cool logical precision, a skill taught and later honed, since
early childhood.

She couldn't squeeze in between the cars, no
popping wheelies over them either. Not enough room to turn around
or to brake.

Jessica’s options where running low when she
saw it up ahead; an unblocked driveway and something other than
asphalt, grass. Unfortunately she wouldn't make it in time at the
speed she was going. She had to go faster and it was a gamble, one
wrong move and she was toast.

She took a deep breath, hunched over and
revved her bike.

Channeling her inner Evil Knievel she sped
towards the oncoming- now braking-tires squealing car. At the last
moment she turned into someone's drive-way and took another sharp
turn on to their front yard.

BOOK: The Heir
9.48Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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