Tortured beyond Endurance… Kelly Wachowski has no memory of her life before she was five. Despite being one of the ‘found’ children and her uncanny ability to assimilate languages, she’s managed to live a normal life for twenty years until the day she was kidnapped. Tortured beyond endurance she prayed for death while she dreamed of a boy long forgotten—Noah.A Hero with a Secret… Samson Noah Kukailimoku is another ‘found’ child. His existence was kept secret by the Polynesian family who adopted him. Now he’s a highly decorated naval officer, and part of an elite unit whose mission is to rescue children like Kelly. The closer he gets to finding her the more he connects to her and shares the pain of her torture and the dreams of their shared past. A Love That Is More than a Dream… After her rescue, Kelly is convinced she’s losing her mind as she experiences Noah’s life in a waking dream. Knowing she’s in danger, Noah must save Kelly from herself and those tracking her, moving Heaven and Earth to protect her. Linked by their past, danger and deception follow them everywhere. Together they discover a love and passion surpassing all of their dreams, but before they can have a future together they have to solve the mystery of their past.
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I was born in Seattle Washington, but soon moved to a small town North of there, which is where I grew up. I’m the oldest of five children, so it was a lively household, and reading became my way to block out the noise. I am an avid reader. I love every genre, but romance and happily ever afters have always been my favorite books. I remember in middle school my biology teacher taking a Rosemary Rogers book away from me; I didn’t understand why—she was certainly teaching me aspects of biology! As I grew up, I would write stories to entertain myself and my younger siblings. I often wrote their book reports for them. My brothers were only one year apart in age. I wrote a report for the oldest his senior year, he turned it in and got a B+. The next year John turned in the same report to the same teacher and got an A-, the year after that the youngest turned it in to the same teacher and got an A. The teacher liked it better each time he read it! I’ve worked in corporate America for most of my life, where a lot of creative writing takes place (and if you don’t believe me, you really don’t know corporate America). I blogged to all my employees when I spent six weeks in India—they considered me quite the smartass. My corporate life has allowed me to live in Washington, Texas, Belgium and California. I have been with the same man for seventeen years. He was born and raised in Texas, and twelve years ago I whisked him, kicking and screaming, to Southern California. Luckily he loves me and wants to be where I am, but he’s still a Texan at heart (although he doesn’t miss Texas summers). I’m a very lucky woman who enjoys swimming, traveling, babysitting her nieces and nephews and doing lots of “research” with her husband for upcoming books. After being such a fan of romance all my life, I was reading Sophie Oak’s Bliss and Siren in the City series last year, and they weren’t coming out fast enough. I started thinking about a place up in the Northwest, and characters started spinning in my head. Then came Chance. Once he was there, he demanded to be put down on paper. I don’t really write the stories. For real, the stories just come out of my fingers onto the computer screen. Half the time I’m surprised by what ends up being typed!
Chapter One“Tell me where you came from.” It always started this way. First the question, then the excruciating pain as the electric paddles were held against her temples. The smell of her burning flesh. Then they would take the rubber bit from her mouth and ask another question. Another question she couldn’t answer. “How many of you are there?” She prayed to all the saints her mother taught her that this time she would pass out. It was the only thing to ever stop the questions. Stop the pain. “I don’t know!” she wailed, as the bit was shoved into her mouth. She squeezed her eyes so tight she saw stars before the shocking red flames took over her very being. “Where did you come from? Where are the rest of you now?” They yanked the bit from her mouth, making her lip bleed. “Just tell me what you want me to say…” her voice didn’t sound like her own. For hours or months, she wasn’t sure how long she begged them to tell her what they wanted her to answer. The paddles were again placed on her temples. Fire exploded behind her eyes and her teeth actually tore into the rubber bit.
****She wasn’t strapped down. She stretched and it felt wonderful, until the pins and needles started. Where was she? She wanted to see if they noticed they forgot to buckle the straps. She tried to look around. She couldn’t. She was blind. They’d blinded her, the shock therapy had blinded her. Oh God. She trembled in horror for long moments before realizing it was her eyelids, they were swollen shut. She tried to touch them to make sure it was the only thing wrong but pain seared her arm. Moving slowly to restore some circulation to her limbs, she realized she was lying on something soft. Rolling just a little so she wasn’t lying on her arm, she fell on to a hard cement floor. It hurt, it was cold, but at least she could move. Trying to stand up, she used the cot as leverage, but her legs wouldn’t support her. She crawled and bumped her head against a wall. Using it as a guide she followed it around the small room with cement walls, basically a cell. Mostly empty except for the cot and the toilet, there was a tray with something that felt and smelled like bread and cheese. She wolfed down some of the food, but there wasn’t anything to drink. Crawling over to the toilet she flushed it, then greedily drank handfuls of water. “Good to see you’re back with us Kelly.” She hadn’t heard any door open or anything else to indicate she wasn’t alone. “Who are you? What do you want from me?” Cringing at the desperate edge in her voice, she clamped her lips tight. God, how she wanted to beg for water that didn’t come from a toilet, for food, or a blanket, or to go home. “Who are we? You don’t get to ask the questions, we do. We want to know who all of you are. We know about you and the four others. You all showed up twenty years ago. Why did you come here? Where did you come from?” The woman’s voice was calm and soothing. It was like they were having a polite conversation, but Kelly knew the horror awaiting her at the woman’s command. “I told you, I don’t remember anything before waking up in Dad’s police car.” Kelly’s voice was raspy from all the screams, but at least it was even. “But Kelly, Mike Wachowski isn’t really your father now is he?” Again the woman’s speech was calm and soothing. “You appeared out of thin air twenty years ago and were adopted into his family, isn’t that right?” It wasn’t a question, and Kelly didn’t reply, but suddenly realized what was coming next. She’d forgotten. This wasn’t the first time she’d woken up in this room and drank from the toilet bowl. Doubted it was even the tenth time. It had to be the shock treatments. They were messing with her memory. She didn’t remember when she’d been kidnapped, but it had to have been well over a month, oh God, could it have been a year? She sat there, turning her head away from the direction of the voice. She waited, and then heard more people entering the cell, knowing what came next. Holding up her arms she didn’t have long to wait, they were there, grabbing and dragging her out.
****“Noooooo-aaaahhhhh!” “Shove the bit in again. I don’t want her biting through her tongue. Hopefully this new dosage will break down the damn barrier.” Whatever chemicals they gave her burned as they made their way into her system. She moaned around the rubber bit and struggled with the restraints as the paddles were placed against her temples. Maybe they’d finally kill her and her suffering would end. First black, then white, and then the red of fire and pain. Coursing through her like molten fire, through every molecule, forcing her to lose control of her bodily functions. The colors burst in front of her, yellows, purples, pinks and blues. Ripping the head off one wildflower she pushed it against her nose and inhaled the fragrance, and then threw back her head and laughed. The sun was up and warm against her bare shoulders. Charging forward, she giggled as the flowers brushed legs, the soft grass squishy between her toes. She soared over the log in her path, and then she saw him. Noah was her best friend. She knew he wanted to be alone, but he needed her. Tiptoeing behind him, she jumped up to surprise him as he turned around. He gave her a dark look but she smiled at him and flung her arms wide, watching as his face suffused with laughter. He scooped her up and twirled her around. He was nine and she was five, but their age difference didn’t matter, they were best friends. Grabbing his silky black hair as he twirled her, she hugged his neck, and Kali was content. Nothing was better in her world than loving Noah, he belonged to her. “Don’t be sad anymore, Noah.” “I’m not sad, Kali.” “Don’t lie.” “I’m leaving with the others.” She’d known. But she didn’t want him to leave. “Kalani, you need to understand, let me show you.” He touched their foreheads together. “No, I don’t want to see.” “Open up Kali, you need to see. Let me show you.” Kali relaxed and let him share the other universe needing their help. He revealed everything. So many things didn’t make sense, but the pain and suffering was easy to comprehend, and more, she could see what it was Noah and the others were supposed to do. It was simple, they were to be themselves and just help a little. He was right, he had to go, it was important. Kali started to cry. She knew it meant she would have to leave everything she loved, her Nana, the meadow, and everything else, because there was no way Noah was leaving without her.
Bonus Scene, at the very end of Revealed
Noah held Kali in his lap as the sun began to set over the Pacific ocean. As it began to chill, she burrowed closer, and he remembered her doing the same thing as a child. He remembered the meadow long ago when she had demanded to leave with him, she had been his best friend. She was his life, and now she was giving him the world.
You’re wrong Noah. You’re my life. You mean everything to me. You’re my rock.
If I’m the rock, then you’re the sun that I revolve around.
It was all more than she could handle. She had tried so hard to be brave in front of her parents, not wanting to worry them anymore than she had.
“Just let it out Kali.”
“I know you are. But Alfred’s death, it’s too much for me. I can’t imagine how you feel since you actually met him.” Noah gently cupped the back of her head, and brought her into the warmth of his chest. She took in a deep breath, taking comfort and then let it out on a sob.
“Yes baby, I have you.” She clutched his shirt.
“I don’t understand this, not any of it. How could anyone want to hurt Alfred?” His big warm hands stroked her from the crown of her head to her tailbone. Again and again, he brushed against her, murmuring reassurances, nonsense.
“Noah, it hurts so much.”
“And then they’ve hurt you so much.”
“That doesn’t matter,” Kali said wiping her eyes.
“It matters. It matters to me.” He brushed back the damp hair from her forehead and tilted up her chin. “You matter to me.”
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