Home > Immortal Unchained (Argeneau #25)(7)

Immortal Unchained (Argeneau #25)(7)
Author: Lynsay Sands

After a brief trip back to the bedroom to unplug and snatch up the bedside lamp, Sarita slipped out onto the terrace and began to creep along the cold stone tiles toward the right. She slowed as she passed the last set of French doors of her room and neared another set. Hand tightening on the lamp, she leaned forward just enough to peek inside.

Her gaze slid over a large open living room. It stretched the entire length of this end of the building. Again there were ceiling fans, hardwood floors, and white walls, but there were also throw rugs, and pillows adding splashes of color. The furniture was of the large overstuffed variety rather than the wicker used in the room she’d woken up in. The room was empty of any human inhabitant.

Relaxing a little, Sarita continued to the corner of the building to survey the pool and its surroundings. The jungle bordered this area too, running around the teardrop-shaped pool and back on the other side of the building. There was a waterfall at the top end of the teardrop where water spilled lazily over rocks stacked twelve feet high before dropping into the pool. It was beautiful.

Unfortunately, she wasn’t in a position to enjoy it, so Sarita moved along the terrace to the next corner of the building. This one led to the front of the house, where the jungle fell away, leaving sand to border the terrace and run twenty or thirty feet down to the shore and an empty dock. She looked out at the ocean briefly and then considered the solid front double doors of the house under the shady porch before turning to retrace her steps to the open door of the bedroom.

Sarita didn’t stop there, but continued on to the next corner to peer around it. More terrace and French doors awaited but there was no sign of an actual person. Sarita moved to another set of French doors and repeated her cautious peeking routine. What she found this time appeared to be an office, also uninhabited. Her gaze slid over a dark wood desk and bookshelf-lined walls, and then she continued on to a small window. Knowing this would be a new room; she slowed and peeked cautiously through the high window at . . . another bathroom. Much smaller than the one off the bedroom, it was just a toilet and sink.

A guest bathroom, she supposed, and moved cautiously forward to the first of two sets of French doors beyond the bathroom. Sarita wasn’t surprised when the first set of doors gave her a view of a kitchen, while the second revealed a dining area. She was surprised however that both rooms were just as empty as the rest of the house.

Pausing at the front corner on this side of the house, Sarita stared out over the sand and water again and then frowned and peered at the front doors. None of this was making sense. She was dressed for sex in the middle of a honeymoon paradise, but there didn’t seem to be anyone here but her.

Unless there was a second floor, Sarita thought suddenly. She hadn’t seen any stairs in her exploration, but . . .

Sarita walked quickly out onto the beach and then swung back to peer at the house. No second floor. She was alone. Which made absolutely no sense at all. Despite her embarrassing state of undress, she still would have preferred to find someone who could have explained things to her . . . like why she was here, and where here was.

Shaking her head, Sarita turned away from the house and next made her way out to the dock. She walked out onto the end of it and peered first one way and then the other along the beach, noting that it didn’t stretch far on either side before curving away. So this house was on a tip of the island, or some body of land, she reasoned and glanced down, noticing what appeared to be brand-new rope on two of the dock posts. One on the post at the very tip of the dock, and one on the second one from shore, they were a good ten or fifteen feet apart, suggesting the boat that usually docked here wasn’t a large one.

Sarita turned to look at the house. There was nothing but jungle around the building, no sign of a road. It could only be accessed by water. But there was no sign of a boat and she appeared to be the only person here.

For now.

That last thought had her heading for the house again, this time moving quickly. She appeared to be alone. But someone had brought her here. The empty dock suggested that whoever that was had left for some reason. But they hadn’t just dumped her in a house in the middle of nowhere for no reason. They would certainly be back and she needed to prepare herself for that. She needed to find a weapon or a phone or something to help get her out of this situation.

Whatever this situation was, Sarita thought grimly. Considering all the negligees and skimpy swimsuits she’d found, and that they were the only form of covering available, she suspected sex had something to do with her presence here. If that was the case . . . well, Sarita had no intention of being anybody’s sex slave.

Mouth tightening, she used the front doors to enter the house. The entry was a large area between the dining room and living room. She could see into both rooms from there and quickly ascertained that they were as empty as they’d appeared from outside. After a hesitation, she turned into the dining room. It held a large glass-topped table and six chairs. There was a large vase in the center of the dining table with a huge, riotous bouquet of flowers. Sarita barely gave the flowers a glance as she continued on through the large arched entrance separating the dining room from the kitchen.

The kitchen seemed the most likely place to find a better weapon, so Sarita started there and was surprised to find she didn’t have to search every drawer and cupboard to obtain one. There was a wooden block on the island with a set of chef’s knives in it. Long sharp knives, short sharp knives, and a cleaver were on display.

Setting the lamp on the kitchen counter, Sarita moved to the wooden block and pulled out the butcher knife. After testing the feel of it in her hand, she set it on the island and pulled out two of the steak knives as well, thinking they would be good for throwing. Jerking up the ridiculous robe and nightgown, she slid the two blades under the strap of the thong. When the strap held and wasn’t dragged down by the weight of the knives, she grabbed two more and added them. They did pull a bit at the strap, but it stayed up, so she let the frothy white material fall back into place and snatched up the butcher knife again.

Okay, she was armed. Now what? Find a place to hide where she could ambush her captor on his return? Or—

Phone! Sarita thought suddenly, and clucked her tongue with irritation as she recalled her earlier intention to find one. A quick glance around the kitchen didn’t reveal a phone, so she moved back through the dining room to the living room, but a survey of that room proved there wasn’t one there either.

Fingers crossed, she used the door from the living room to slip into the office and walked to the desk. Sarita wasn’t terribly surprised not to find one there either. It had been a bit much to hope for, she supposed. Kidnapped and left alone with weapons and a phone? Not likely. She was lucky the knives were even available, or that she’d been left alone, Sarita thought and frowned. Really, what kind of kidnapper kidnapped you and then left you alone with weapons so readily available? You’d think he would have cleared out anything and everything she might use to defend herself. Unless whoever it was hadn’t expected her to wake up so soon from whatever drug they’d given her, she thought. Or perhaps they’d been unexpectedly delayed in returning. Maybe she’d got lucky and their boat had blown up.

That would be karma, Sarita thought and was smiling at the idea when she noticed the envelope leaning up against the desk lamp. Smile fading as she saw that her name was on it, she snatched it up and started to sit in the desk chair only to be pointedly reminded of the knives she’d sheathed in the strap of the thong she wore. Literally. A quick poke from a couple of the blades was enough to make her straighten and decide to remain standing.

The envelope wasn’t sealed. Setting down the butcher knife, Sarita lifted the flap and pulled out the letter inside, then unfolded and read the message on the fine vellum paper.

Dear Sarita,

Your clothing was blood encrusted. Asherah cleaned you up and put you to bed.

Sarita sagged against the desk as those first words sent memories washing over her. Dr. Dressler’s lab. The poor man cut in half. Dr. Dressler and the woman arriving. Blood splashing over her as that poor immortal tried to scream and—Immortals? Bio-engineered nanos? Her head spun briefly as everything Dressler had told her washed back into her mind, and then she recalled the shot he’d given her in the neck.

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