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Under the Granite Lies

Borealis Part 1

By

Kay Phoenix

Smashwords Edition





Smashwords Edition, License Notes



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.















Copyright 2014, 2016

All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

(This book was previously published as “Borealis Ardor” with MuseitUp Publishing. All rights have reverted back to the author.)















This book is dedicated to the memory of my grandmother, who instilled in me a lifelong curiosity of all things.













I’d like to thank my girls: Diane Deeds, Michelle Reilly, Tisha Wilson, Rebecca Andrews and Victoria Miller.

You rock!















Chapter 1



Flowers first. Then gas. Must get gas, I rehearsed to myself.

I had no business driving all the way from Laguna Hills, California to Arizona to see his grave in the condition I was in. I didn’t know what was wrong with me, but I was more forgetful and flighty than I’d ever been. It had only been two months since the accident, most of which I couldn’t remember.

After using the restroom, I headed toward the grocery store’s fresh flower department, which was inundated with Valentine’s displays, but something on the bookstand caught my eye. A man who looked alarmingly like David stared back at me from a book cover, and I couldn’t help but walk over to it, so mesmerized I didn’t notice the odd lady also browsing the bookstand.

“Who really buys this crap?” the brightly dressed woman asked in an overly loud voice. “I mean, seriously?” She turned the cover of the book she held toward me and, staring back at me from amid hues of blacks, purples and greens, was the blue-eyed, blond-haired man with fangs and angel wings whose gaze had drawn me to the bookstand to begin with. Demon Lover was the title.

Not sure how she wanted me to respond, I nodded.

She smacked her gum and went on. “Demon this, vampire that, werewolves…aren’t there any books out there with real people in them anymore? I mean, really, this is such trash.” She looked at the price and shrugged, her tone changing. “Oh, it’s only seven ninety-nine.” She slipped it into her cart next to a box of blush wine then addressed me again. “Not like I was going to buy it if it was a penny over eight dollars. No way. Besides, her last few were pretty hot. You should get it.”

She sauntered away, cart squeaking from a wobbly wheel, and I stared after her, confused by what I’d witnessed. I glanced back at the stack of books arranged on the shelf in front of me and grabbed one.

David.

I had to see his grave. I figured it would give me some closure. Dad had ordered a funeral service for David in order to close up any loose ends, and I couldn’t blame him, knowing the types of people he usually received threats from. It seemed everyone wanted their hands on his research, especially since news broke that his team had finally narrowed down a microbe that could single out and fight certain cancer cells. He was close to a miracle…and if he could keep one person from going needlessly to an early grave…

Grave.

That’s why I was in this grocery store in Kingman, Arizona, to pick up flowers to take to David’s grave, as it was.

Pull yourself together, Lauren.

And what the hell was I thinking sneaking away in the middle of the night to drive to Arizona? Dad would be so upset. He’d probably fire David’s replacement, which was fine with me because she gave me the creeps anyway. I didn’t like the way she studied me. With her, I felt more like a germ under a microscope than with any of my previous bodyguards. She was so stuffy. Actually, most of them were stuffy.

Except David. No, he had been real. He was the most genuine person that had ever walked into my life, and my heart. The last six months with him at my side were the best, especially the last three, when he was more than my guard. But he was gone now. Not dead, but gone. He’d been placed in something like a witness protection, and I would likely never see him again.

Flowers were easy to pick out. I settled on a dozen red roses with baby’s breath and a sprig with a glittery red heart on it, all wrapped in a nice plastic-and-paper sleeve. I removed the heart and stuck it in another bouquet; some lucky shopper would end up with a two-for-one-special on kitsch without even realizing it.

After paying for the flowers, along with a deli sandwich and drink, I settled in my Land Rover and merged back on the highway en route to Williams, Arizona, home of the Williams cemetery, supposed final resting spot of David Wegner, ex-Army Ranger sniper turned professional bodyguard.

My stomach churned. I still had no idea what happened the night of the accident. I’d lost time before, on a few occasions, but never a week. An entire week. When I came to, my first thoughts were on David, of course. Dad told me David had been placed in protective custody and would be moved to a secure location. Unfortunately, that meant his friends and family would have to believe he was dead, and the rest of us had to go along with it.

I’m sorry, sweetheart. So, so sorry,” Dad whispered, holding my hand. Machines beeped a steady beat in the background.

How? What?” Was all I could manage to ask through my shock.

Dad shook his head and pursed his lips, but offered no more information. A nurse came in and adjusted the drip machine on my arm and the room faded to black.

That was nearly two months ago. My injuries healed, and I wanted to see my David’s grave, even though I knew he wasn’t dead. I had no other way to say goodbye.

From what I could piece together from the snippets of information the damn tight-lipped security personnel would tell me, we had been driving on I-83 when we rounded a curve and spun out of control as David tried to avoid a huge boulder that rolled right into our path. We’d slammed through the guardrail, flipped, and I lost consciousness. I was told a gunfight ensued, resulting in the deaths of all the members of the other vehicle, who, it turned out, had been set on kidnapping me. Dad had lots of enemies. As a result of the crash, I had been knocked unconscious and missed the entire gunfight. I had also suffered a broken arm, cracked ribs, multiple contusions, and a nice concussion.

But so many things didn’t add up, and every time I tried to question anyone all they did was refer me to my dad who consoled me with more mysteries. It was damn annoying, and I was sick of it. I wasn’t a child anymore, I was a college graduate.

Williams, next right. The sign ahead shone in my headlights as the sunset grew longer. I followed my written directions to the cemetery and pulled over in the dirt shoulder in front of the entrance gate.

After shutting the engine off I sat in the deafening silence until my eyes slowly adjusted to the encroaching darkness. I glanced down at the bouquet of roses lying across the passenger seat and ran my fingers along the smooth red petals. Their delicate nature reminded me of my all-too-precarious position as a living, breathing human. I was grateful for the life I had, but I wished with all of my soul David was still with me.

Yes, I could say goodbye in private, then drive on to Flagstaff and get a hotel room for the night, and maybe think about calling Dad to let him know where I was. No, maybe I’d let him stew on it a bit longer. He had to start telling me the truth. Besides, he hadn’t called me yet, had he? I checked my phone again. No missed calls, no messages. For someone that supposedly needed such a high level of protection, I led a pretty boring life. If Dad was worried about me, he would have called. Did he even know I’d sneaked away? I placed my phone on the dashboard and took my keys out of the ignition.


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