Stalked By Love
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by Brenda Williamson
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Romance
Description: Nightmares of a stalker, visions of drowning, and someone mysteriously leaving buttons are not the only bizarre happenings in Holly Meadow's life. A handsome stranger she picks up in a bar becomes the center of her life after a torrid night of sex, and she doesn't know whether to fear him or trust him. Either way, his lust makes her a prisoner of desire.
eBook Publisher: Atlantic Bridge/Liquid Silver Books, 2009
eBookwise Release Date: March 2010
4 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [122 KB]
Reading time: 75-105 min.
Holly rubbed her throbbing temples. Her dreams of a man stalking her turned restless nights into tiresome days. While he didn't exactly feel threatening, he left her with a disturbing sensation that put her in fear of something.
As a distraction to her headache and her lingering worries, she picked up the last of the mail. She sifted through the stack and dropped everything except the Christmas card. Sealed with a snowflake sticker, the big red envelope had a strange familiarity that troubled her. An ominous depression shadowed the festive season every year, and she never understood why. As far as she could recall, nothing disastrous had happened to her.
She peeled off the seal and lifted the unglued flap. Tucked inside was a single folded sheet of white paper. She pulled it out. No words, no design, just a slip of paper.
Hmmm, no card? She looked inside again. At the bottom lay a disk shaped piece of black plastic. She stared at the object, concerned and puzzled. An eerie sense of deja vu gave her goose bumps. As if it had happened before, she dumped the button onto her desk blotter and watched it roll to a stop. The blank notepaper fluttered from her fingers as her thoughts blurred.
A bridge. A snowy night. Christmas music on a radio.
She clung to the man, terrified for her life.
The chill of an icy river constricted her lungs as a darkness coiled around her. She lost sight of the one person able to save her, as the weight of death tugged, pulling her from his grasp, from her hold of his coat.
Holly dropped to the hard seat of her desk chair, gasping for air. She felt as if the man tried to help, yet in the dreams, he always disappeared, leaving her alone.
"Damn." She pounded her fist on the surface of the old desk, upset that as hard as she tried, she couldn't figure out what her dreams were trying to warn her of.
Unnerved by the odd omen, she gathered everything and stuffed it in her purse. She rushed from the office, shoving her arms into the sleeves of her coat. Outside the building, the day-old snow crunched under her fur-topped leather boots. Echoes surrounded her. Ratta-tap-tap of something in the breeze ensnared her dizzy thoughts. She slowed her pace, leery of the sound, wary of the danger it presented. Cautious with her moves, she glanced around as if she were looking at the scenery so no one suspected she searched for them--those imaginary people her mind was trying to conjure.
She continued making her way closer to her car. Unlocking the door, she tossed her purse to the passenger seat. Paranoia made her crazy. The mountain of work on her desk gave her a reason to pause and consider her haste to leave.
What am I doing? She reached for her purse, deciding to forget the momentary upset and go back to work. No one could do anything about a nightmare.
Then she saw him. A dark, shadowy outline of a man in a long trench coat stood by the far corner of the building. She felt his gaze on her, even though she couldn't see his eyes. The longer she remained bent over, half inside her car, staring out the passenger window, the more the glass fogged from her breath.
Move. She willed him to leave.
Move, she urged herself.
The sun had lowered, leaving the parking lot dappled with the glow from lights on poles. She continued watching the outline of the man. Why did he stand there? What did he want? Was he the person her mind tried to warn her about?
Fear pushed Holly to climb into the car. She turned the key in the ignition. "Come on," she grumbled when the engine cranked hard in protest of the cold.
She tried again. When it started, she shifted into reverse. The tires spun on the icy pavement and the vehicle slid sideways.
"Damn." She shifted into drive, taking more care with her maneuvering, even though she felt the threat of something sinister waiting for her.
This wasn't a night she wanted to be alone.
Lark Ellis pushed himself away from the cold brick wall outside the theater house. Ever since he'd laid eyes on Holly Meadows in the Primrose Place bar, he felt the connection to her. In his memories, he lived other lives connected to the woman. She looked a little different each time. Her name changed. The identifiable aura had not. It radiated from her like a warm feeling of love and peace that reached for him.
Lark hurried to his car. He'd spent many sleepless nights obsessed with finding his soul mate again. He no longer questioned why his life repeated from one reincarnation to the next. It just did, and with similar direction, as if he followed a map. Only taking a few detours, the destination remained the same. The definitive of all aspects was the woman he was compelled to find and love again.
Spending many nights and long hours staking-out Primrose Place, Lark had found her, as he knew he always had, as he knew he always would. Now, weeks later, here he was every night, watching her leave work. When she didn't take notice of him that first night he saw her at the bar, he knew something was wrong with either his instincts or his sanity. Until he figured out why she didn't recognize him, in the same way he did her, he decided to keep his distance.
Tonight her odd behavior worried him.
Where's she going? He let his car roll up to the stop sign after she turned in the opposite direction of her house.
With his lights off, she'd not see him behind her in the dark part of the parking lot. Once he pulled out into the traffic on the highway, he had to switch them on. He left one car between him and Holly just to hide the fact he tailed her. The last thing he wanted to do was upset her.
Lark had hoped to maintain good visibility. The increasing fall of white snow flurries clung to the windshield until he turned on the wipers to swish them away. It was just like the weather not to cooperate. His insides knotted. The chill from outside leaked into his car--into him.
Holly made a left, went two blocks, and turned right. The car in front of him pulled off the road into a shopping center. It put him directly behind her. He backed off on the gas to keep the distance, not that she'd see much with the snow obliterating everyone's vision.
He glanced out his side window. The scenery, even snow-covered, made him uneasy. The familiar route turned his anxiousness into complete dread. He backed off more, not as intentional as much as instinctive like an inherent self-preservation.
Only fate surprised him.
Once Holly bypassed the route he suspected she might take, his troubled thoughts eased away from what might happen. Although, the direction she did take wasn't a great comfort either. Her journey ended when she pulled to a stop at an all too familiar place.
Parked in the lot outside the large brick building, she got out of the driver's side. Lark pulled along the curb. The rhythm of his heartbeat increased with the renewal of concerns he had for Holly's wellbeing. He hopped out of the car and jogged up to the chain link fence. From there he watched in obscurity as she walked up to the doors of the police station.
Maybe she knows she's in trouble. He had to help, make her understand that whatever she remembered, there was no changing destiny.
Without thought, he took a shortcut, instead of the shoveled path. The cold from the deepening layer of slush and snow seeped into his shoes, wetting his socks, chilling his feet. Uneasy, he stopped at the foot of the salted brick steps. He stared in debate at the double glass doors. There was no changing Holly's fate if he got involved. Hadn't he learned that by now? He turned away, hoping her future wasn't on a parallel path with his, whether she knew him or not.