Imperative: Saving You
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by Belinda McBride
Category: Erotica/Erotic Science Fiction/Science Fiction
Description: In the future, we don't choose our mates; Nature chooses for us. Nature doesn't make mistakes. And if you don't pay attention to Nature's Imperative, you suffer. All he wanted was peace. Eternal peace. After the death of his Imperative mate, Jason Anders threw himself into a lifestyle of sexual excess and self-punishment. Just when he thought he'd hit rock bottom, Jase was nearly killed in a brutal attack. Nature listened to Jason's plea for peace, and gave him what he asked for. But Nature's version of peace wasn't exactly what Jase expected. When Dr. Dove Sinclair stumbled into his life, Jase began to suspect that within her arms, he might find the will to live. And when he looked into the haunting eyes of a mysterious masked man, Jason realized that Nature wasn't finished screwing with his life. Sometimes Nature doesn't play fair. But at least she's willing to give Jason a second chance.
eBook Publisher: Changeling Press LLC, 2009 2009
eBookwise Release Date: March 2009
28 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [166 KB]
Reading time: 96-135 min.
"I highly recommend "Imperative 3: Saving You" to readers who particularly enjoy ménage/femme-dom storylines. You won't be disappointed by this one!"--Dandelion, Whipped Cream Reviews
Jason Anders lay face down in the fine sand of the Harbor City beach. Home was less than a quarter-mile away. The elegant sailing yacht rocked gently at the harbor. But it might as well be miles distant.
Through eyes that were almost swollen shut, he could just glimpse the flag of the Gaia catching dawn's first rays. He tried to lift his head, but it was strangely heavy. Sand was caked in his mouth, up his nose and into the long slashes that were carved into his face. He remembered receiving those slashes. He didn't want to remember.
Oddly, he couldn't feel anything else, just the stinging in his eyes, the throbbing of his face, and the gritty feel of sand in his mouth.
With a monumental effort, he lifted his lids. This time he made out the dark shadows of the incoming tide. If he didn't bleed to death, he'd drown very soon. Would that be a good thing or a bad thing? He'd been chasing death for years, and Death had finally caught him.
Why was he so afraid?
Once again, his eyes slipped closed. He grew heavy and numb, and Jase knew that he was close, so very close to the end.
When he heard distant voices, he was almost disappointed. * * * *
"So is this how you want it to be?"
He rolled to his side, pushing himself to a sitting position. The voice was familiar and welcome, yet filled him with a sense of awe, dread and painful joy. Jase wiped the sand away from his face, surprised that there was no blood on his hand. He glanced over at her as she settled to his side.
She was oddly luminescent, and her image wavered as his eyes filled with tears. He wanted to wrap her in his arms and never let her go. The Imperative flared to vivid, throbbing life inside him. Over the years, it had grown dull, like an ache deep inside. Now, once again it was sharp and bright.
Odd, he'd never before noticed how much his friend Marilyn looked like her. White blonde hair floated on the ocean breeze. Her dark brown eyes were expressive and compassionate. He'd never seen eyes like hers before. There was a whole world of life and love and passion in those eyes.
She reached out and stroked a long strand of hair from his brow. "You always kept it short before. I like this." Her hand traveled down his smooth cheek, tracing his lips with her finger. "You look like something wild, something untamed."
Her eyes slid past his face, looking behind him. "You're a mess, you know."
He followed her glance and saw himself on the sand, naked, beaten, and to all appearances, quite dead. He hoped Neil and Marilyn didn't have to identify his body. His heart ached when he looked at that ruined shell of who he'd been.
"That isn't what I mean."
He turned and looked at her in confusion.
"Jase, you are a mess. Not the body, but the soul. You've taken the man I love and abused him terribly."
Jase shook his head in denial. "I deserve ... I should have saved you."
"No, Jase, there was no saving me. Not that time."
Images of pain and blood seared through his brain. The baby coming too soon, too far from shore to reach help in time. The sight of Miriam's beautiful face going slack with death, even as he held her in his arms...
"I can't live without you, Miriam, I can't..." His throat was tight. The overwhelming joy that had been filling him mixed with fear. That fear clutched at his heart, froze the blood in his veins. "Please tell me you came for me, Miriam! Please!" He shifted, meaning to get on his knees and beg. "Please!"
She looked steadily at him, her dark eyes hot with emotion. "I'm sorry, Jase. I'd save you if I could." She looked over her shoulder, as though listening to a voice in the distance. "Think of this as a crossing in time. Time is such a strange thing, Jase." She cupped his face in her hand, leaning forward, pressing her lips to his. "I can't save you this time, Jase. You owe it to me to save yourself. Fight!"
He tried to reach out and grasp her, to hold her, but she receded from his touch.
"Do you hear me, Jase? Fight!" * * * *
"Fight, damn it!"
The voice wasn't Miriam's. It wasn't soft or gentle, but rough and angry. "Fight, Jason!"
There was a slam to his chest, and in horror, Jase believed that the assault had started again, but through swollen eyelids, he saw figures, lights and frantic activity. A face swam into view, gray eyes behind huge black-framed glasses. A halo of vivid red surrounded her face.
"Do you hear me, Jason? I'm fighting for you. Can you fight for me?" She looked away, obviously not expecting an answer.
"Okay, his cardiac rhythm is steady. Nancy, get a surgical suite prepared. Call in Dr. Howe, we've got to stop this internal bleeding. Call in Dr. Ping for a consult on his face. And get me some coffee!"
She turned back to him, and somehow, Jase managed to open his eyes ... or at least, one eye.
"Hey, you with me?" She reached up and stroked blood-matted hair back from his face. "I'll get you through this, Jason Anders, I promise. Do you believe me?"
Jase spoke, or at least, he tried to speak. His lips moved, but he could see from the look on her face that she didn't understand. She leaned closer and through the smell of blood and disinfectant, the fragrance of lavender tickled his nose, bracing and fresh, cutting right through the stench of his body.
"I can't hear you, Jason." She bent forward, strands of her hair brushing his cheek. Jase drew a breath, gathering his strength. He poured everything into those last two words.