Read The Nightwind's Woman Online

Authors: Charlotte Boyett-Compo

The Nightwind's Woman

BOOK: The Nightwind's Woman
8.15Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads
The Nightwind’s Woman

Charlotte
Boyett-Compo

 

Part of the
WindWorld series.

 

The archdemon
Kerreyder Abbadon will fight to have Kenzie Delaney. All he needs to do is take
her from the Nightwind incubus Randon Kayle. Nightwinds are not the sharing
kind, but when it comes to Blood-mates—and that is what Kenzie is to
Kerreyder—the ancient concept takes precedence over the mere life-mate
designation that is the Nightwind’s claim to Kenzie. In order to have the
female at all, the incubi will have no choice but to share her, else lose her
completely.

When two demons
fight for the love of a mortal woman, all hell will break loose, and when the
Seal is broken, unimaginable evil will pour forth. It will take both demons to
stop it before mankind is annihilated.

 

A Romantica®
paranormal erotic romance
from Ellora’s Cave

 

The Nightwind’s Woman
Charlotte Boyett-Compo

 

Forward

 

If the creatures mentioned here in the
novel interest you and you would like to learn more, please visit my website at
www.windlegends.org
.
On the Menu, scroll down to Research for Writers, click, then scroll down to
Creatures, Spirits and Monsters. While the list is by no means complete, there
are a few “oddities” that you might find fascinating to read about.

One word of caution: when you surf over to my
website, be prepared to spend a little….well, actually a LOT of…time. There are
many things to see there!

Happy Reading!

Charlee

Dedication

 

To my Tommy.

“I’ll love you until the rivers run still
and the four winds we know blow away.”

From “A Daisy A Day” by Jud Strunk.

Chapter One

 

McKenzi Delaney sat stiffly on the
uncomfortable vinyl seat and wished she were anywhere other than where she was
at that moment. The room to which she had been taken was overly warm and bare
of anything she could use to pass the time that was dragging on indefinitely. Once
more she looked to the desk across the small, claustrophobic room and wished
the receptionist would return. The two tables flanking the low-slung, hard-as-cement
divan beneath her aching rump were bare and there wasn’t a scrap of paper or a
fleck of lint on the immaculate surface of the desk. There was absolutely
nothing with which Kenzi could alleviate the boredom and nervousness plaguing
her.

Drawing in a long, hard breath, she exhaled
slowly and loudly, looking about the nondescript room yet again as she reached
up to idly stroke the small white scar that ran across her forehead. The walls
were governmental green and the carpets a tobacco-brown shade of commercial cut
pile—an unsettling combination of colors in her book. Above her, the ceiling was
covered in off-white acoustical tile panels with a single two-foot by four-foot
fluorescent light fixture with a plastic grate set in a diamond pattern. One
tube beneath the grate was dimmer than the other and made sputtering sounds
from time to time. The room screamed the 1960s.

She fidgeted, trying to find a soft spot on
the divan—definitely a refugee from the mid-sixties. It had wooden arms and
legs and the cushions and seat back were done in a Halloween-bright shade of
orange and crinkled when she shifted her weight. The desk chair had no cushion
and matched the dark wood of the desk, which had no drawers.

Before she’d been ushered to the room by a
security guard, she’d had her pocketbook confiscated and along with it one of
the paperback novels she was rarely without. Even her watch had been taken by
the receptionist when she’d left, making it impossible for Kenzi to know how
long she’d been cooling her heels in the disquieting room.

“This is ridiculous,” she said and shot to
her feet, marching over yet again to the solitary door, wrapping her hand
around the knob, knowing full well the portal was locked from the other side.
She tried it again to no avail. The door remained locked.

Grinding her teeth, she was tempted to slap
her palm angrily against the panel, to call out just in case they had forgotten
about her. Her fingers curled into a fist that she slammed instead against her
thigh before whipping around to return to the divan. Staring down at the hard
vinyl cushions, shoulders sagging, she turned away to pace. She thought
anything was preferable to wearing out her ass on the rigid seat.

She was on the tenth trek across the room
when the door opened and the receptionist—without a word—appeared and crooked a
beckoning finger.

“About damn time,” Kenzi said under her
breath.

She followed the nondescript woman down the
long hallway, glancing at the closed doors she’d passed on her way to what
Kenzi had labeled the Green Room. Unnerved by the woman’s silence and the
squeak of the receptionist’s serviceable heels on the tan floor tiles, Kenzi
curled her tongue over her parched lips. Her throat felt as dry as a cotton
ball. The warm room seemed to have leached all moisture from her mouth. The
least they could have done, she thought, was offered her a glass of water while
she waited, a magazine to occupy her time.

The receptionist stopped at one of the
unmarked doors, swung open the portal and stepped back, indicating with a sweep
of her hand that Kenzi was to precede her.

Kenzi entered the room, biting her lip when
she took in a room bare of everything except two uncomfortable-looking black
vinyl chairs.

“Please take a seat, Dr. Delaney. The
Supervisor will be with you shortly,” the receptionist said, pulling the door
toward her.

Irritation settled on Kenzi like a heavy
wool coat and she shook her head. “No.”

The receptionist blinked. “I beg your
pardon.”

Kenzi lifted her chin. “I said no. I am not
going to spend another hour sitting like a bump on a log without even a
pamphlet to read! I am thirsty and—”

“Get Dr. Delaney a glass of ice water,
Pearl.” The command came from a deep male voice that brought the receptionist’s
head around.

“Of course, sir,” she said and stepped back
to allow the speaker to move past her.

The man who entered the room was so tall he
had to duck his head to keep from hitting the top of the door frame. His
shoulders were so wide they nearly brushed the jambs. He had the largest hands
she’d ever seen and when he extended his hand to her in greeting, his grip was
like iron.

“I know we kept you waiting far longer than
I’m sure you find acceptable, Doctor, but I had another interview before yours,”
he said in that rumbling voice. “I believe I can assure you the wait will have
been worth it.” He indicated he wanted her to take a seat.

Kenzi sat, feeling dwarfed by his towering
presence and the deep-set gray eyes that bored into her like beacons. She
cupped her hands around the arms of the chair.

“I don’t even know why I’m here,” she said.

“We brought you here to offer you a job,”
he responded, folding his large frame into the chair. He gracefully crossed one
leg over the other, threaded his fingers together to rest them on his upraised
knee.

“I’m not looking for a job,” Kenzi stated. “I
am employed at Mercy West.”

He smiled to reveal very white, straight
teeth that were no doubt his dentist’s dream. “Just hear me out. I can assure
you what I have to offer will not only intrigue you, you will jump at the
chance to become a part of our team.”

“Here?” she asked, letting the word drop
like an ice shard. She looked around the nondescript room then arched a brow.

“Oh, no,” he said with a slight shake of
his head. “Not here.” His smile widened. “At a facility quite a ways from here actually.”

Kenzi released a long, annoyed breath. “Mister…”
She arched an eyebrow for he had not introduced himself.

“You may call me Supervisor,” he provided.

Her irritation growing in leaps and bounds,
Kenzi gave him a wintry smile. “I have no desire to relocate.”

“You are familiar with the Baybridge
Institute near Newton?” he interrupted, his gaze steady upon her.

Kenzi’s forehead creased. “Of course.”

“What of the Exchange?” he queried. “It,
too, is near Newton.”

Anger replaced the irritation. “I know of
it,” she replied.

“You applied to both facilities,” he said.

“Yes,” she snapped. “And was summarily
turned down by each.”

“They are prestigious institutions,” he
told her. “Both were designed by the same architect, Jason Siebold.”

Confusion entered Kenzi’s green eyes and
her hands tightened on the arms of the chair.

“What has that got to do with anything?”

“The facility at which I am offering you
employment also was designed by Mr. Siebold,” he said. “It is a marvel of black
marble and chrome.” He tilted his head to one side. “Have you seen either the
Exchange or Baybridge, Dr. Delaney?”

“Only in pictures,” she replied.

“One might wonder what a supermax prison
for the criminally insane and a secret government facility from which special black
ops are run would have in common,” the Supervisor said.

“Black ops?” she questioned, surprised by
his words. “Is that what goes on there? I thought it was a medical re—”

“You would be utterly shocked at what takes
place at the Exchange, Doctor,” her host answered. “Even I am often astounded
by what my counterpart at the Exchange—who incidentally is my brother—reports
to the Consortium.”

“Consortium,” she repeated.

He nodded. “All three facilities are under
the auspice of the First Response Consortium. Our organization reports directly
to the President.”

“The President?” she echoed then blinked. “
The
President?”

“Yes. Our commander-in-chief.” He smiled. “POTUS
as he is known among those who protect him.”

He had her full attention now.

“What kind of facility are you talking
about?” she asked. “The one to which you are offering me employment?”

“One that fits in quite nicely with the
mission statements of both Baybridge and the Exchange,” he answered. He lifted
his linked fingers to his face and rested his chin upon them. “All three deal
with monsters of one kind or another.”

Kenzi thought she knew what he meant. “The criminally
insane and those who commit atrocities in the name of their government and
leaders,” she suggested.

He lifted one shoulder. “It depends on your
definition of monster, I suppose. What would yours be?”

She thought about it for a moment. “To me a
monster is a person who is wickedly cruel and inhuman, who performs heinous
crimes against his fellow human beings.”

“And who exactly would qualify under that
definition?” he inquired.

“Joseph Mengele,” she said readily, raising
a thumb. She continued with the other four fingers. “Miyuki Ishikawa,
Andrei Chikatilo
, Jeffrey Dahmer, Timothy McVey. Each was a
mass murderer and two were the very definition of human monster.”

“Yes,” he said, nodding. “Yes they were.” His
smile hardened. “But what of inhuman monsters, Dr. Delaney?”

She frowned. “I don’t understand.”

His smile faded. “What of vampires and
werewolves and dragons?”

Kenzi’s frown deepened. She put a hand to
her head. “I don’t know where you’re going with this, sir, but I’m tired,
thirsty and I’ve got a bitching headache.”

“Pearl!” her host yelled and the door
opened immediately, the receptionist hurrying in with the tall glass of ice
water she’d been ordered to fetch.

Glancing up at the woman, Kenzi had to bite
her tongue to keep from saying something she knew she’d regret later. She took
the glass without thanking Pearl, sure the unsmiling woman had been told not to
enter unless summoned. Over the rim of the glass, she shot a nasty glare to the
man who was watching her without expression.

Not speaking, the receptionist turned and
exited the room, firmly closing the door behind her.

“What of Reapers and Nightwinds and
Shadowlords?”

After taking a long drink of the water,
Kenzi lowered the glass, her gaze steady on the man across from her.

“You’ve not heard of such creatures?” he
queried.

“No,” she said, a muscle flexing in her
cheek.

“Few people have,” he told her. “But those
of us at Tearmann deal with them on a daily basis. I, myself, am a Shadowlord—a
Ridge Lord to be precise. Until recently, I believed myself to be at the top of
the food chain.” He frowned. “Unfortunately that is not the case. There is
another Superlord above me called a Gravelord. We are all part of the Black
Ascendency but this new hybrid has powers that rival my own.” He shrugged. “Might
even exceed mine.”

Kenzi opened her mouth then closed it,
exhaling loudly. She lowered her chin, shook her head, pursing her lips. When
she looked up, her face was stony, her eyes flint-hard. “I don’t know what kind
of game you’re playing here, whoever the hell you are, but I don’t find it amusing
in the least.” She looked around her, flinging out a hand to encompass the
room. “I don’t find any of this amusing and I don’t appreciate being poked fun
at!” When he would have spoken, she held up her hand, forestalling him, sitting
forward.

“When the Director of Medical Services—a
man I highly respect—called me into his office this morning, I thought perhaps
it was to give me an atta-girl or even a reprimand—although for the life of me
I couldn’t figure out what I might have done wrong. When he told me there was a
car waiting downstairs to take me to my interview, I was understandably
surprised. I had no idea what he was talking about and he certainly wasn’t
forthcoming with answers when I questioned him.”

“He had no answers
to
give you,” her
host said quietly. “He did only what he was ordered to do.”

“Is he one of you?”

“No, he knows nothing about us nor will he.”

“You don’t think I’ll tell him?” she
countered.

He gave her an amused look then unfolded
his long legs and sat forward as well, his probing gray stare unwavering. “Dr.
Delaney, if you turn down our offer, all memory of this meeting will be erased completely
from your subconscious. There will be nothing for you
to
divulge.”

His words made the hairs ripple along her
arms and it was all Kenzi could do not to break the eye contact between them.
As it was, she sat back in the chair, silently regarding him. At last, she
swallowed far more calmly than she would have thought possible. With a
composure she didn’t feel, she leaned over to put the glass of water on the
floor beside her chair. She cleared her throat as she straightened.

“Why me?” she asked in as steady a voice as
she could muster. “I don’t even believe in psychics, much less vampires.”

His smile returned. “Yet you are a devout
horror novel reader and your collection of horror and dark fantasy movies would
rival that of Blockbuster. You have quite an impressive library of vintage
horror flicks—of which I am an aficionado as well. Tell me.” He leaned back. “Which
is your personal favorite?”

“How do you know…?” She too, leaned back. “You’ve
been in my apartment.”

One dark-brown brow shifted upward. “Did
you think we would offer you a job such as this without fully vetting you, Doctor?
This is a position with a very high security clearance level. A security
clearance level above the pay grade of even POTUS himself.”

For a long moment neither spoke then Kenzi
folded her hands in her lap. “Let’s just say—for the sake of argument—that I’m
buying into this weird scenario of yours. Let’s say I’m willing to listen to
your spiel. Give me one good reason why I should leave a high-paying job at a respected
medical facility to go to a place I’ve never heard of.”

BOOK: The Nightwind's Woman
8.15Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Tainted Mind by Schultz, Tamsen
Lost and Found Family by Leigh Riker
Beyond the Doors of Death by Silverberg, Robert, Broderick, Damien
The Wild Ones by M. Leighton
The Coldest War by Ian Tregillis
Shadows of the Nile by Jo Franklin
Real Life by Kitty Burns Florey