Basilyn was everything Dominique Demot wanted—tantalizingly close, almost within his grasp. And yet his last desperate act to save something for the future he hungers for pitches them all into a nightmare none of them may escape.
Word Count: 109,705
Available formats: : PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)
© Cover Art by Eliza Black, March 2010
New Concepts Publishing
Lake Park, GA 31636
This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author's imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.
Basilyn glanced at her watch again as she stepped off the curb and onto the drive that separated the Medical Center from the campus. What happened next happened so quickly she could never afterwards recall it with any clarity. She heard the roar of a car engine, was blinded by the sun's glare off its gleaming metallic hood and the next moment she had the air snatched from her lungs as something huge and dark flew at her and carried her to the ground. She was too stunned to move for several moments. The man, who seemed to have appeared out of nowhere just as the car had, was apparently as stunned as she was by his tackle, for it was several moments before he rolled off her.
"Are you alright? Are you hurt?" he asked sharply, coming up on his knee and bending over her in concern.
The sun was behind him, throwing him into dark relief. She stared up at him blindly for several moments, fighting to catch her breath, and finally managed a nod. "Yes, I'm alright. I'm not hurt," she got out with a faint grunt, trying to ignore the painful twinges of a dozen blossoming bruises and the burning cut on her tongue where her teeth had grazed it in her fall. She felt like a Mack truck had hit her, but she supposed she would've felt far worse if the car had hit her.
She nodded again, struggling upright and looking around worriedly for her books. To her relief she saw that, though they'd been scattered by her fall, they were not, apparently, damaged. "Yes. I'm alright. Thank you," she said a little absently, rolling over onto her knees and reaching to gather up her scattered belongings.
He got to his feet, brushing the grass and dirt from his clothing and finally bending to help her with her task. She snatched the last of her books up just as he reached for it. He straightened. "You're certain you're ok?"
She got to her feet, dusting her own clothes off now. She didn't look at him. "I'm fine, just fine."
His voice was tight with irritation when he spoke again. "You might consider watching where you're going next time."
Her head snapped up, but the sun was still in her eyes and she couldn't see him clearly. She noticed in a rather absent way, however, that he was dressed in a business suit that had probably cost as much as a quarter's tuition, with the text books thrown in. He most definitely wasn't a student. "That car came out of nowhere!" she said defensively.
"They've got a way of doing that on streets," he retorted dryly and glanced at his watch. "If you're certain you're ok ...?"
He scarcely waited for her to repeat herself before he turned and strode quickly towards the Medical Center. She stared after him, tight-lipped. "Thank you again," she called after him as it occurred to her that she'd hardly been gracious considering the man might well have just saved her life.
If he heard her, it didn't check his stride and after a moment she glanced angrily in the direction the car had disappeared. The jerk hadn't even bothered stopping to see if he'd hurt her. Not, she supposed after a moment, that that was really surprising under the circumstances.
She shook her head ruefully. She was really going to have to start paying a little more attention to what was going on around her. That was her second close encounter with a speeding vehicle in less than a week. And strangely enough, in almost the exact same spot and under almost the exact same circumstances, now that she thought on it. Except the time before it had happened when she was leaving the Medical Center.
Suddenly recalling she had an appointment to keep, she dismissed her thoughts abruptly, shuffled her books and hurried after the man, who was just disappearing through the Medical Center's double doors. She hoped, ruefully, that the guy didn't get the idea she was trying to chase him down. It occurred to her that he might, though, since they were going in the same direction and she was in a great hurry, particularly when she burst through the Medical Center's doors virtually on his heels.
Staring after his retreating form as he strode down the hallway in the direction of the elevators, the vague impressions she'd gotten of him congealed into the notion that he was a rather attractive man. He had, she noted, that southern male look and saunter about him she'd always admired, the walk so often attributed to Texans. That sort of 'laid back' gait that projected both confidence and imperturbability, even though he wasn't exactly sauntering just now. Not that it was really necessary to move quickly when one had legs like that. They just naturally ate up the ground.
It was a very different matter for her, however. Being rather on the short side, and always on the tardy side it almost seemed her whole life was rush, rush, rush, just to keep up with the leggy people of the world.
She put on a little more speed as she heard the elevator doors closing … and reached it just as it slammed in her face. She paused to catch her breath and darted towards the stairs, almost racing up them. There was no one in the upper corridor when she reached it and she jogged down it to the door at the end that had Dr. Chaney's name stenciled neatly on the opaque window in its upper half.
She paused then to catch her breath and her nervousness and doubts assailed her again, tightening the coil of discomfort in her stomach.
Today she faced the final test. Soon now, very soon, she'd know whether all her troubles were over, or if she was going to have to search for other options.
Seizing her courage, she pushed the door open and marched up to the receptionist's desk. The woman looked up at her with polite disinterest. "Can I help you?"
"I have an appointment with Dr. Chaney. Basilyn Norris?"