Sedona Serenity (Sedona Pack #5) - Lisa Kessler

CHAPTER 1

Serenity

“Morning. Did you miss me?” The tall, dark-haired man paused like I might actually answer before shaking his head. “I’m going to keep coming back here until you open your eyes.”

He was built like a walking, talking brick wall, filling the doorway of the guest room of his Alpha’s house. He came by every day, patiently waiting and watching over the body in the bed.

My body.

Me.

It was so hard to remember that pale, emaciated woman was ever part of me. Time lost its meaning when I no longer ate or drank or slept. Usually I was miles away from this physical form. Astral projection was a myth in many scientific circles, and although I was living proof it was real, my scientist mother attempted to “cure” me instead, even if that meant keeping me unconscious in a sensory deprivation pod.

But her prison led me to true freedom, my consciousness astral-projecting through time and space, far from that comatose body.

Me.

What did that even mean anymore?

He came closer and sat beside the bed. I watched him from the other corner of the room as his gaze wandered over the sleeping face—my face. Whenever the doctor came for a house call, my sentinel allowed himself to blend into the background, but when we were alone, he would talk about the world outside. There was something about his voice that called to me like a siren’s song. It wasn’t rich or smooth, but it was deep, with a timbre of refreshing honesty the rest of my world had always lacked. And no matter how far my consciousness had wandered, the sound of that soulful voice lured me back to the room.

It wasn’t that he had anything important to share, not really. It was the way he included me—as if I mattered. There were times he made me wish I could find a way back into that beaten body. But that body was a prison. Now I was free.

Still, when he spoke, I wished I could open my eyes and see him through that physical lens. Sometimes I caught myself yearning to reach out and touch him. I imagined his hands would be warm, strong, and never soul-crushing like my mother’s had been.

“I’ve got my Harley right out there in the driveway if you’d like to get out of this room and ride sometime.” He sighed, stared up at the ceiling for a moment, and then looked around the room. “Cole told me you moved one of the books when you first got here, but nothing’s been out of place since then. It’s been almost a month.”

He turned to the body again. Was that shrunken form really me?

I focused on the bookshelf for a moment. The night the werewolf pack rescued me from my mother’s lab, I did move the books, using my telekinesis to show them I wasn’t brain dead, and to warn them about my mother’s plot to take me back with her.

I didn’t realize a month had already passed me by.

My spirit floated between us, hovering between worlds. My soul walked free among the living while my body wasted away, edging closer to the land of the dead. What would happen to me when that tether was gone? Would I evaporate into the ether as if I never existed?

His voice lured me closer to him. “Since you moved that book, I was thinking that maybe you like to read, so I brought a few books with me.” He opened a plastic shopping bag and laid three books on the bed beside the body. Me. “I’m not sure what you like so I brought some options. Fahrenheit 451 in case you like futuristic books—plus, you can’t go wrong with Ray Bradbury, right?” He pointed to the one in the center. “And if you’re more into love stories, I’ve got a copy of Dark-Hunter.” He peeked over at the door and back again. “It’s a little steamy in parts so I’ll have to make sure the little ones aren’t around.”

His gaze wandered up to my sleeping face again, and I wondered why he never touched me, not even to hold my hand or brush the hair back from my forehead. “And then I’ve got The Stand.” He lowered his voice as if he was sharing a secret just between us. “I’m hoping you’ll like that one because…well, it’s the longest. So I’d have an excuse to…extend our visits.”

I stared at the three books, studying the covers. He didn’t say it out loud, but everyone