When Jason Guardian left the Church, disillusioned by the cruel treatment of the Paras the Church chose to torture and destroy rather than understand, he never imagined he’d be forced to turn to the very Church he battles, to save the life of a woman who they would kill if they ever find out who she really is.
So who is this mystery woman, and can Jason overcome their past, to save her life?
“The Visitor” — Excerpted from DOUBLE TROUBLE (Guardians, Inc., Book #2) —
“Jason? You have a visitor.”
Jason Guardian lifted his head in lackluster interest toward the sound of his assistant’s voice, and gave Kylie a vague nod, his mind a million miles away from what she said. The information his mother e-mailed him this morning on ancient writings about the Ra Chalice filled his mind, instead. Supposedly, the chalice was blessed by an ancient Egyptian priest to carry the power of the sun-god, Ra. It could raise the dead, reverse the ravages of disease, even reverse the effects of the Undead Curse. Of course, how much of that was real remained to be seen, but—
Jason’s attention snapped up at the soft, lightly accented sound of a familiar voice, and his lungs stalled halfway through a drawn breath as he belatedly registered he did, indeed, have a visitor. And not just any visitor. “Yanamari.”
It seemed a lifetime since he uttered her name. Even longer since he last saw her. Yanamari Durango was the reason he joined the Church, the reason he fought demons, and, ultimately, the reason he lost the faith that held him to the Church. And now she was back. Bitter memory settled over Jason, and he swallowed it back with difficulty.
“What can I do for you?”
The sadness in her dark eyes was familiar, and roused an old feeling within his chest. They were kids when she disappeared on him without even a good-bye. How could she still have any effect at all on him? But she did.
He could blame it on her witching ways, her Gypsy charms and spells, but he knew that wasn’t all of it. His eyes skimmed her, taking in what changed, and what hadn’t, in eighteen years. Still willowy, her body had the shape of a woman, now, rather than the girl she’d still been when he last saw her. That body made him hungry for things he couldn’t have, and all of them started and ended with Mari. Her midnight hair was shorter now, shorn to just below her shoulders, and he briefly mourned to loss of the glorious hair he spent so many hours tangling around his hands. She was his Mari, and yet, not. Her eyes were more wary than he’d ever seen them, and devoid of the guileless optimism at the heart and soul of the girl he knew.
Now, she perched on the edge of the chair opposite him, her shoulders tense and her back straight, like a frightened bird prepared to bolt with the slightest provocation. And something in him rebelled at that image.
“Jason, I need your help.”
Her words yanked his attention back to her face, and what she was doing in his office after disappearing on him eighteen years ago.