Nalini Singh: Visions of Heat

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Nalini Singh Visions of Heat
  • Название:
    Visions of Heat
  • Автор:
  • Жанр:
    Фантастические любовные романы / на английском языке
  • Год:
    2007
  • Язык:
    Английский
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    5 / 5
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Visions of Heat: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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Go deeper into the world of the Psy and the changelings, where a gifted woman sees passion in her future—a passion that is absolutely forbidden by her kind... Used to cold silence, Faith NightStar is suddenly being tormented by dark visions of blood and murder. A bad sign for anyone, but worse for Faith, an F-Psy with the highly sought after ability to predict the future. Then the visions show her something even more dangerous—aching need...exquisite pleasure. But so powerful is her sight, so fragile the state of her mind, that the very emotions she yearns to embrace could be the end of her. Changeling Vaughn D'Angelo can take either man or jaguar form, but it is his animal side that is overwhelmingly drawn to Faith. The jaguar's instinct is to claim this woman it finds so utterly fascinating and the man has no argument. But while Vaughn craves sensation and hungers to pleasure Faith in every way, desire is a danger that could snap the last threads of her sanity. And there are Psy who need Faith's sight for their own purposes. They must keep her silenced—and keep her from Vaughn...

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At first, it had been nothing more than a vague foreshadowing, a darkness that pushed at her mind. She'd thought it might herald an oncoming vision—a market crash or a sudden business failure—but day after day, that darkness had grown to crushing proportions without showing her anything concrete. And she'd felt. Though she'd never before felt anything, in those dreams she'd been drenched in fear, suffocated by the weight of terror.

It was as well that she'd long ago demanded her bedroom be free of any and all monitoring devices. Something in her had known what was coming. Something in her always knew. But this time, she hadn't been able to make sense of the raw ugliness of a rage that had almost cut off her breath. The first dreams had felt like someone was choking her, choking her until terror was all she was.

Last night had been different. Last night, she hadn't woken as the hands closed about her throat. No matter how hard she'd tried, she hadn't been able to break free of the horror, hadn't been able to anchor herself in reality.

Last night, she had died.


Vaughn D'Angelo jumped down from the branch he'd been padding along and landed gracefully on the forest floor. In the silvery light that had turned darkness into twilight, his orange-black coat should've shone like a spotlight, but he was invisible, a jaguar who knew how to use the shadows of the night to hide and conceal. No one ever saw Vaughn when he didn't want to be seen.

Above him the moon hung, a bright disk in the sky, visible even through the thick canopy. For long moments, he stood and watched it through the dark filigree of reaching branches. Both man and beast were drawn to the glimmering beauty, though neither could've said why. It didn't matter.

Tonight the jaguar was in charge and it simply accepted what the man would have been tempted to think about.

A whisper of scent in the breeze had him lifting his nose into the air. Pack. A second later, he identified the scent as that of Clay, one of the other sentinels. Then it was gone, as if the leopard male had realized Vaughn's prior claim to this range. Opening his mouth, Vaughn let out a soft growl and stretched his powerful feline body. His lethally sharp canines gleamed in the moonlight, but tonight he wasn't out to hunt and capture prey, to deliver merciful death with a single crushing bite.

Tonight, he wanted to run.

His loping gait could cover vast distances, and usually he preferred to run deep into the forests that sprawled over most of California. But today he found himself heading toward the populated lake city of Tahoe. It wasn't hard to walk among the humans and Psy even in his cat form. He wasn't a sentinel for show—he could infiltrate even the most well-guarded of citadels without giving himself away.

However, this time he didn't actually enter the city proper, drawn to something unexpected on the fringe of it. Set back only a few meters from the dark green spread of the forest, the small compound was protected by electrified fences and motion-sensor cameras, among other things. The house within was hidden behind several layers of vegetation and possibly another fence, but he knew it lay inside. What surprised him was that he smelled the metallic stink of the Psy around the entire compound.

Interesting.

The Psy preferred to live surrounded by skyscrapers and city, each adult in his or her own personal box. Yet deep within that compound was a Psy, and whoever that person was, he or she was being protected by others of their kind. Rarely did a non-Council Psy qualify for such a privilege.

Curiosity aroused, he prowled around the entire perimeter, out of range of the monitoring devices. It took him less than ten minutes to discover a way in—the Psy race's sense of arrogance had led them, once again, to disregard the animals with whom they shared the Earth.

Or perhaps, the man thought within the beast, the Psy just didn't understand the capabilities of the other races. To them, changelings and humans were nothing because they couldn't do the things the Psy could with their minds. They'd forgotten that it was the mind that moved the body, and animals were very, very good at using their bodies.

Climbing onto a tree branch that would lead him over the first fence and into the compound, the cat's heart beat in anticipation. But even the jaguar knew he couldn't do this. He had no reason to go in there and put himself in danger. Danger didn't bother either man or beast, but the cat's curiosity was held back by a deeper emotion—loyalty.

Vaughn was a DarkRiver sentinel and that duty overcame every other emotion, every other need. Later tonight, he was supposed to be guarding Sascha Duncan, his alpha's mate, while Lucas attended a meeting at the SnowDancer den. Vaughn knew Sascha had agreed to stay behind reluctantly and only because she'd known Lucas could travel faster without her. And Lucas had only gone because he trusted his. sentinels to keep her safe.

With a last lingering look into the guarded compound, Vaughn backed down the branch, leaped to the ground, and started to head toward Lucas's lair. He hadn't forgotten and he hadn't given up. The mystery of a Psy living so close to changeling territory would be solved. No one escaped the jaguar once he was on their trail.


Faith stared out the kitchen window, and though only darkness looked back at her, she couldn't shake the feeling of being stalked. Something very dangerous circled the fences that kept her isolated from the outside world. Shivering, she wrapped her arms around herself. And froze. She was Psy—why was she reacting like this? Was it the dark visions? Were they affecting her mental shields? Dropping her arms through sheer strength of will, she went to turn from the window.

And found she couldn't.

Instead, she pressed forward, lifting one hand to press against the glass, as if to reach outside. Outside. It was a world she hardly knew. She'd always lived inside walls, had had to live inside them. On the outside, the threat of psychic disintegration was a continuous drumbeat in her head, a pounding echo she couldn't block. On the outside, emotions hit at her from every angle and she saw things that were inhuman and vicious and painful. On the outside, she was breakable. It was far safer to live behind walls.

But now the walls were cracking. Now things were getting in and she couldn't escape them. She knew that as certainly as she knew she couldn't escape whatever it was that prowled the edges of her property. The predator hunting her wouldn't rest until he had her in his claws. She should've been afraid. But she was Psy—she felt no fear. Except when she slept. That was when she felt so much, she worried that her PsyNet shields would crack, revealing her to the Council. It had gotten to the point where she didn't want to fall asleep. What if she died again, and this time it was for real?

The communication console chimed into the endless silence that was her life. This late at night, it was an unexpected interruption—the M-Psy had prescribed certain hours of sleep for her.

She looked away from the window at last. As she walked, a sense of impending disaster seemed to cloak her, a sinister knowing that lay somewhere in the shadowlands between a true foretelling and the merest inkling of what might be.

This, too, was new, this heavy awareness of something hovering maliciously in the wings, just waiting for her guard to slip.

Schooling her face to show nothing of her internal confusion, she pressed the answer key on the touch pad. The face that appeared on-screen was not one she'd anticipated. "Father."

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