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Authors: Amber Belldene

The Siren's Dance

BOOK: The Siren's Dance
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The performance of their lives is about to begin…


Death has transformed former ballerina Anya Truss into a vila—an alluring wind nymph—but her need for revenge has kept her trapped on the riverbank where she was drowned. Now, after fifty years of waiting, she finally has a chance to break free by getting even with her cruel dance instructor, the man who betrayed her and broke her heart. But for her plan to work, she must place her trust in a handsome but unlikely ally.


Straight-laced police investigator Sergey Yuchenko has spent years searching for the father he never knew, and he finally has a solid lead. Problem is, that lead comes in the form of a ghost—a gorgeous but stubborn vila with destructive powers she can’t control. Anya’s graceful beauty awakens a desire in Sergey like he’s never felt before. But when past secrets are brought to light, the lovers will have to face an evil that could tear them apart forever.


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Books by Amber Belldene


Siren Romance

The Siren’s Touch

The Siren’s Dance


Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation




The Siren’s Dance

A Siren Romance


Amber Belldene



Kensington Publishing Corp.






Lyrical Press books are published by

Kensington Publishing Corp. 119 West 40th Street New York, NY 10018


Copyright © 2015 by Amber Belldene


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.


All Kensington titles, imprints, and distributed lines are available at special quantity discounts for bulk purchases for sales promotion, premiums, fund- raising, and educational or institutional use.


To the extent that the image or images on the cover of this book depict a person or persons, such person or persons are merely models, and are not intended to portray any character or characters featured in the book.


Special book excerpts or customized printings can also be created to fit specific needs. For details, write or phone the office of the Kensington Special Sales Manager:

Kensington Publishing Corp.

119 West 40th Street

New York, NY 10018

Attn. Special Sales Department. Phone: 1-800-221-2647.


Kensington and the K logo Reg. U.S. Pat. & TM Off.

LYRICAL PRESS Reg. U.S. Pat. & TM Off.

Lyrical Press and the L logo are trademarks of Kensington Publishing Corp.


First Electronic Edition: April 2016

eISBN-13: 978-1-60183-703-5

eISBN-10: 1-60183-703-8


First Print Edition: April 2016

ISBN-13: 978-1-60183-705-9

ISBN-10: 1-60183-705-4


Printed in the United States of America




For AJ Larrieu, because I love you.





I am incredibly grateful to my agent, Becca Stumpf, for encouraging me to write this book, my editor Heidi Moore for being excited about it, and for all my writing friends who squealed about codename Slipper, the sequel to codename Teapot. Sincerest thanks to Emily, Serena, Samantha, Celia, AJ, Ally, Audra—everyone whose wisdom made this a better book.


Chapter 1


Anya twirled among the trees, weightless, her ghostly feet floating just above the forest floor. With no other way to pass the endless time, ballet was her only solace. But her choreography was frenzied, a blurring blend of every part she’d ever learned in her many years of training, a dance of deep despair and bottomless anger. The all-consuming emotions turned her movements brisk and ungainly, and without a body to grow tired, her
grand pas
never ended.

She neared the far of her tether, the mysterious force that leashed her to her moldering ballet shoe, trapping her within a fifteen-meter radius of the slipper that had lodged under a rock on the riverbank where she’d died.

Just before the supernatural leash would yank her, she turned, halted, and stared.

A black car had pulled up alongside the water, and a young couple emerged with a stooping old man. Odd. She’d rarely spied anyone at this remote spot. But they were probably just bringing their
on a scenic tour. They would be no help to her, would never even see her.

She was alone. Stuck, forever, it seemed.

Only one man could bring her what she desired--eternal rest, or short of that, the company of the other
. To her detriment, that man was utterly beyond her grasp.

She flung her body into the dance again, but as she circled around, the three visitors approached the water, and the young woman came into focus through a gap in the trees.

Anya froze on a pinpoint, the sight hitting her like a heavy blow, as if she still had a body to feel impact. The woman looked nearly identical to her sister, Sonya, but the resemblance had to be a coincidence. Sonya had been shot on the bank of this very river and had floated up to the surface dead, her face pallid and blood staining her nightgown pink against the dark river, just moments before Anya herself had drowned. And that had been forty-eight years ago.

Grief dragged at her vaporous form. Poor Sonya. If only Anya had spared a single word of gratitude for her sister that night before they’d been killed, instead of biting out bitter replies to her every kindness. But in Sonya’s shadow, graciousness had never come easily to Anya.

“Unless she was carried away, she has to be here, where she died.” The woman’s hopeful tones rippled through Anya in a voice identical to her sister’s. Up close, she looked even more like her. Impossible, and yet something very much like hope flitted through Anya too.

“Do you see anything?” the woman asked, just as the threesome cleared the trees.

The gaunt, aged man looked straight at Anya. “I’ll be damned. She

Anya hovered, motionless and astonished. He could see her. Besides her fellow
, this man was the first to set eyes on her since she’d died.

Nothing about their arrival here made a drop of sense. How could Sonya be alive, and why was this man, of all the strangers who’d passed by in all her years here, able to see Anya?

Behind a cloudy veil of age and pain, his sharp eyes held her fast. In a rush of recognition, the answer came. She’d seen those steely gray irises before, on the other side of a gun aimed at her. He’d chased her into the river, called out to her to stop running, begged her not to jump. And now, he could see her--this man who’d caused her death and been an accomplice to Sonya, Mama, and Papa’s murders.

Anger poured off Anya, raising up a hot gust of air over the water, even though the autumn morning was brisk. Summoning the wind ranked among the best perks of being a
, one of the few she was able to enjoy.

The third visitor was a sturdy man who took lookalike-Sonya’s hand. Thanks to Anya’s gale, the woman got a mouthful of hair and raked it off her face. “What’s she saying?”

If she really was Anya’s sister, what was she doing here with one of the men who’d murdered them? And why hadn’t she aged since their deaths half a century ago? Confusion kept her fluttering hope just out of her reach, and far too risky to boot. A girl who got her hopes up was asking to be hurt. But this woman looked so very much like Sonya…

“She’s not talking, just…glaring at me.” His Adam’s apple bobbed with a forceful swallow. “Miss Truss, I’ve come to beg your forgiveness.”

He had to be joking. Her parents’ screams were still fresh in her mind. “You can go straight to hell.”

He blanched, nodding. With the help of a silver-tipped cane, he took a hobbling step closer. “It’s what I deserve, and will likely come to pass any day now. But you should know, if you forgive me, you’ll live again.”

“How convenient for you,” she replied, and immediately wished she could take it back. He could see her, which meant he could help her after all. Snide comments had never been a good negotiating tactic with her parents, and yet they’d always slid so easily from her mouth. A second on the lips, a lifetime doing extra chores.

“You don’t believe me, even after seeing Sonya?”

Unseeing, the woman took her cue from the old man and stared in Anya’s general direction. “Anushka, it’s me, Sonyusha.”

The familiar forms of their names prodded inside Anya’s incorporeal self. If she’d still had a heart, it might have felt a bit squeezed. “Sonya is dead,” she told the emotions stirring inside her.

But instead of the feelings, the old man answered. “Not anymore. And you don’t have to be either.”

Another impossibility. Anya knew her options, and life was not one of them. Still, this man was her ticket to achieving the best possible outcome--freedom.

She strove for a compliant tone. “All right, I will consider forgiving you, but first, you must help me.”

“I’ll do anything.”

“Take me to Stas Demyan.”

The old man turned back to the couple. “She wants to see someone named Stas Demyan.”

So-called Sonya smacked her forehead, still looking in Anya’s direction with an unfocused gaze. “No. She doesn’t. Not really.”

The woman’s earnest expression was too much. Her sister had always been just as naively sincere. And that you-don’t-really-mean-it was classic Sonya. Funny how easy it had been to forget all that bossy older sister stuff when Anya was guiltily mourning her. Because this woman was most certainly her murdered sister, alive again.

The dam of emotions Anya was trying to shore up cracked. She sniffed, as if her nose could actually run, and her eyes could truly shed tears. Sonya lived. Anya had a million questions for her sister, and she would ask them all if the old man would let her. But first came the matter of her freedom. “I want Demyan.”

He repeated the message with the shake of his head.

“Stas Demyan, she said?” The younger man scratched his hard-lined jaw, a crease deepening between his black brows. His pensive expression surfaced a strong family resemblance to the sickly fellow.

“Just let the past go, come home with us,” Sonya said. “You only have to forgive Gregor right now, and you can live again, like me.”

Her sister’s dismissal only heightened Anya’s determination. No one in her family had understood what she’d suffered, what Stas had done to her.

And what was this nonsense about living again? Jerisavlja, queen of the wind nymphs, had been clear that the best Anya could hope for was peace in the afterlife. Second best, and more likely, she might gain her freedom from the ballet shoe that shackled her alone on the riverbank.
did not come back to life.

“No forgiveness until I see Stas.” He was the key to her freedom.

“She insists, Sonya, and so we will comply.” Gregor spoke like a perfect gentleman, instead of the man who’d helped to murder her family.

The younger man shrugged and pulled a small rectangular box from his pocket. “I’ll call Yuchenko. He can unearth anybody. And I’ve got a feeling this case will interest him.”

“Oh, Anushka, I miss you,” Sonya said.

Sobs, dry and silent, shook Anya. She’d missed her sister too, every day since her death, even if Sonya was an insufferable goody-two-shoes. Thank God she couldn’t see Anya’s tearful display.


* * * *


Junior Inspector Sergey Yuchenko of the Kiev
unscrewed the cap on his bottle of wheatgrass juice and shot the whole thing in one bitter glug.

Stas Demyan.

Sergey had taken the call from Dmitri Lisko more than two hours ago, and still his blood pounded in his ears. Out the window of the police station, the Kiev skyline looked as crisp as after a rainstorm, like his eyes had gone into hyper-focus.

BOOK: The Siren's Dance
3.29Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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