Authors: Amira Rain
BY THE LION
A PARANORMAL LION SHIFTER ROMANCE
©2015 by Amira Rain
All rights reserved.
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About This Book
In a future where fertile women are so scarce, they are often cryogenically frozen in order to help future civilizations reproduce. Now, after being frozen for thousands of years, Savannah Foster is the latest woman to be
Savannah finds that the man who has thawed her is actually a WereLion looking for a mate.
Commander Trevor Beaumont is extremely handsome yet very cold at the same time. He tells Savannah that her job is to become impregnated with his future heir. Nothing more, nothing less.
But there is a
Savannah was not the only female who was melted. At the same time another woman was melted by the Commander and it is now a competition to see who can be the first to produce a baby for the Lion...
ith a great gasp, I woke up burning. Reflexively, I began flailing at the flames I was sure must be enveloping me, but my wrists were bound or caught somehow, preventing me from being very effective. Everything was bright. With my sight strangely blurry, I didn’t even know exactly what
was, but it was too white and it glinted too much.
A woman, who I could only see as a light, hazy form, hovered over me, seeming to be the person holding my wrists. She now glanced over her shoulder, speaking to someone I couldn’t see. “Get Dr. Moore. Her fever’s only getting worse. Let’s give her a sedative shot first, though. We don’t want her to hurt herself, or us. This one’s strong.”
Not understanding anything that was happening, I struggled to free my wrists, trying to kick something that felt like a sheet off my legs at the same time, but the woman who held my wrists had a steel grip. And within seconds, I felt a sudden sharp jab in my right upper arm, and soon after that, everything went black.
When I awoke again, the flames that had seemed to have been surrounding me earlier had been extinguished. I was still warm, though, and a bit sweaty, I could tell. But more than anything, I was thirsty.
My words had come out in a gravelly croak, and it had taken real effort to move my tongue and mouth. So much effort, in fact, that I hadn’t been able to spare any to even open my eyes yet. I didn’t need to see, though. Immediately after my request, I felt the tip of a straw against my mouth, and I heard a woman’s voice telling me to go ahead and take a sip.
“Sit up a little more first, though, if you need to.”
I didn’t. I seemed to be partially sitting up, maybe in some kind of an adjustable bed, with what felt like a stack of pillows behind my back. I pulled on the straw deeply, suddenly so thirsty I didn’t even care if my positioning made me choke on whatever I was about to drink.
It was cool, crisp, fresh-tasting water. Still not opening my eyes yet, I filled my mouth then swallowed, over and over without a pause, slowly beginning to feel my urgent thirst abating. Finally, when I pulled in only air through the straw, I opened my eyes, relieved to find that wherever I was wasn’t as bright as it had been before.
I was in a smallish sort of room filled with quietly beeping machines. A small lamp on a side table to my left was the only source of light. Beside the bed I was in, which
seem to be an adjustable-type hospital bed, like it thought, a woman of about fifty, with dark hair and eyes, stood holding an empty glass.
Drawing her chocolate-brown brows close in concern, she offered me a small smile. “How do you feel?”
I wasn’t quite sure. With my body not burning up anymore and with my thirst now quenched for the most part, I didn’t exactly feel bad, but I didn’t feel quite right, either, in a way I couldn’t easily describe, even to myself. I was only able to answer after several moments of thought.
“Maybe I could use a little more water, but I guess I feel okay.”
My voice was still a little croaky, and I cleared my throat before speaking again.
“I don’t know where I am, though.”
had been what hadn’t felt quite right to me, and I hadn’t even realized it until I’d said it out loud. And now I realized another thing that also didn’t feel quite right.
“I don’t know
I am, either.”
My mind felt completely empty, blank, in an extremely odd sort of way. Not as if I’d just awoken from a long nap and just needed a second to gather my bearings, but in a way that made me feel as if there were no bearings for me to get.
The woman at my bedside opened her mouth to speak, but before she could, I did, having a sudden thought that seemed somehow critical.
“All the animals, are they okay? I have a feeling I’ve been asleep for a very long time, and I hope someone’s been able to give them food and water.”
The woman fixed me with a frown, knitting her brows. “Now, what animals are you talking about?”
I didn’t answer right away, thinking. “I don’t know. I-I don’t know
animals I mean. I guess I-I don’t know anything, really.”
The woman set the water glass on a nearby tray table, then gave me another small smile I knew was meant to be encouraging. “It’s okay. You have amnesia. Many young women who are thawed struggle with it, at least for a short while. It’s usually the kind of amnesia that’s classified as retrograde, meaning, you can likely still recall general knowledge, things like vocabulary, and things about your country, like the president, and random things, like what a toothbrush is. But as far as specific memory, things specific to yourself and your life, that is, you might be drawing a blank for a while. Don’t worry, though. It only very rarely lasts for long. Now, why don’t I go get you some food? You hungry?”
I realized that
wasn’t even a strong enough word for what I was. I was suddenly ravenous.
After I’d said as much, the woman, who quickly introduced herself as Martha, said she’d go get some dinner for me. “Or, a very early breakfast, whichever way we want to see it. It’s nearly four in the morning now.”
She bustled out of the room, leaving me to dazedly study the darkened sky visible between the partially open blinds that covered the wide windows to my right. It was a deep velvety blue studded with lots of stars, which told me that wherever I was, it wasn’t a big city, because if it were, there wouldn’t be many stars visible because of all the lights. But since I couldn’t remember where my home was, this fact really didn’t tell me anything as to whether I was far away or close by, or still even smack dab in my hometown, wherever that was. This not knowing anything about anything seemed like it should have greatly upset me, but at the time, my thoughts were becoming increasingly bent on food, and how long it might be before I’d be eating some.
Martha returned after just a few minutes, wheeling in a cart piled with mugs, glasses, and various covered dishes and platters. Despite the lids, I could still smell the delicious scents of many different kinds of cooked food, and my mouth instantly watered. I sat up a little straighter in bed, not wanting to appear greedy, but at the same time wanting to be ready to chow down the moment the food was in front of me.
After turning on another room light, situating the cart bedside, and quickly positioning a tray table over my lap, Martha began taking the lids off the different dishes with a little twinkle in her warm brown eyes. “This will probably be the biggest meal you ever eat in your life. Soon after thawing, most young women feel like they want to eat the world.”
I just about did. Once Martha had arranged mountains of food on my tray and then glided out of the room, saying she’d leave me in peace to eat, I hastily washed my hands with a wet towelette and then tucked in, just about inhaling my first few bites. She’d brought me a combination of dinner and breakfast, plates of herb-crusted baked chicken, vegetables, and mashed potatoes with gravy, and other plates piled with fried eggs, ham, waffles, and fruit. It was all delicious, and made even more so by my extreme hunger.
On the wall opposite my bed, a TV was on; Martha had turned it to a channel showing some seemingly professional-league game of some sport called
, which was being played in some place called Draconia City, or DC. It seemed to be a baseball-type game in a way, played on a field that looked like a baseball diamond, and there was a pitcher hurling a small ball. Despite these similarities, it seemed the object of the game was different than for baseball; and though I recalled what baseball was, this jugball game was entirely foreign to me. I might have been interested in learning more about it to see if anything would jog my memory and get my slow-moving brain to work, but at present, I was far too focused on my meal, if the amount of food I was eating could even be called a meal. Maybe a mega-meal or a quad-meal, since I was sure I’d already consumed the equivalent of two dinners and two breakfasts. At least.
Not long after I’d made my meal a quad, my stomach simply refused to hold any more food, and my extreme hunger had been sated, for the most part anyway. About that time, Martha came back in and helped me into a light, pale blue cotton robe to wear over the hospital gown I was wearing, then helped me out of bed and to the bathroom, saying that I might be a little weak and sleepy for a few days, but the “worst of the thaw” was behind me. I was puzzled and intrigued by what she meant by “the thaw,” especially since she’d referred to it several times now, but my full bladder wouldn’t let me stop for questions.
Once I’d used the facilities and had washed my hands, doing a few small knee-bends while I did so because my knees felt strangely creaky, I took some time to study my face in the mirror. It was
face, and I knew it. The image wasn’t surprising to me, and I didn’t feel in any way that I was looking at a stranger, or re-meeting someone, or meeting someone for the first time. The reflection I saw was
. The only puzzling part was that I just didn’t know who
was. I realized I couldn’t even recall my name.
I traced the periphery of my heart-shaped face, trying to remember. “Samantha.”
That name had seemed to bubble up in my mind, but the moment I’d said it out loud, I’d known it wasn’t right.
Trying to tamp down a smidgen of frustration, I smoothed my long reddish-brown hair, which was a little tangled. “Hannah.”
That wasn’t it, either. It just didn’t hit my ears right.
Not able to get a feel for any more possibilities, I turned the faucet to cold and splashed my face for a little while. It had grown a bit warm and pink from my rising sense of frustration, which had somehow made a very light smattering of freckles across my cheeks and nose more prominent. I had a feeling I didn’t like them.
Once I’d dried my face, a soft knock on the door let me know that Martha was still outside, and then I heard her voice.
“Doing okay in there?”
With a little flutter in my chest, I was suddenly better than okay. I remembered. My name, anyway. It had hit me like a lightning bolt.
Seeming to startle Martha a bit, I flung open the bathroom door. “Savannah banana. That’s my name.”
Martha chuckled, brown eyes sparkling, clearly pleased and amused by what I’d said. “Well, you’re partially correct, and you’ve done a wonderful job. Your name is Savannah Marie Foster. But as for the ‘banana’ part well, maybe it was a nickname. And the fact that you’ve recalled it is very promising. It might help jog your memory about other details from your former life.”
Now I was a little frustrated and upset again, because I was confused by the mention of my “former life,” whatever that meant. But I was truly only frustrated and upset a
. I really only felt mildly bothered, which kind of bothered me in and of itself, because I felt like I should maybe be hysterical, or at least more than mildly bothered.
Folding my arms loosely across my chest, I leaned against the door frame, opposite Martha. “Should I be more upset that I can’t remember what’s happened to me, or how I wound up at a hospital, or anything else besides my name? And by the way, what
happen to me? You just said something about my ‘former life,’ and you’ve mentioned something about ‘thawing’ a few times, but I just can’t remember what you mean. If I ever even knew. And I’m kind of upset about that, but honestly, just a little. Which is upsetting in and of itself in a way.”
Martha lifted her slender shoulders in a slight shrug, her expression apologetic. “Well, I don’t know if there’s one
way to feel after what you’ve been through and are still going through, but I have to confess that until a few hours ago, you had an IV in your arm, and some pretty potent anti-anxiety meds were flowing through that IV. You’re probably still feeling the effects of them, and you might feel them still for a day or two. Dr. Moore says it’s easier this way, to help a young woman kind of ease into things.”
“Who’s Dr. Moore?”
“Oh, she’s a thawing specialist visiting from DC. She’ll be in to give you a checkup shortly, and if all seems okay, she’ll be heading back home tomorrow. Probably not a moment too soon, for her. She says she can’t take the swampy heat of Louisiana.”
It was then that I realized that Martha had just the hint of a Southern accent. I didn’t, though, leading me to think I wasn’t anywhere near my home. But before I could ask any more questions, Dr. Moore came striding in, high heels clicking on the tile flooring, muttering that no, she
take the swampy heat of Louisiana. Apparently she’d heard Martha’s comment.
Dr. Moore, who was an older woman with gray hair wound into a tight bun, soon gave me a brief physical exam and declared me perfectly healthy. “Though probably still a bit tired, I’d guess.”
tired. I’d become so sleepy during the exam that I’d almost fallen asleep. While I stifled a yawn, Martha told Dr. Moore she’d make sure I got some rest, and then Dr. Moore left, saying it had been nice to meet me and wishing me a continued speedy recovery. Leaning my head back into the stack of pillows, I mumbled my thanks, still not having a clue as to what it was exactly that I was recovering