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THE TEGEN CAVE
After running from her boyfriend's powerful organized crime family, Sara
Jones starts a new life in a new town. But when people around her start
dying from poisonous spider bites after she receives a mysterious package
with a spider concealed inside, she worries that the family has found her. Life
takes an even more bizarre turn when she seems to be not only immune to the spider venom, but also surrounded by a sinister group of people using spiders to incapacitate their prey. Even her new boyfriend starts acting suspiciously. Just who can she trust?
Then to make matters worse Sara's twenty-fifth birthday approaches, and her dark heritage begins to emerge. She is forced to make a life-or-death decision. And somehow, she must find a way to deal with the crime family.
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The Tegen Cave
Gradually easing into the Jacuzzi, I felt the warm, comforting water envelope my body.
Brett handed me another glass of wine. “Enjoy,” he said, and left to change into his swimming trunks.
I leaned back, appreciating the solitude, and gazed at the stairs. I listened to low soothing music and saw Brett standing above me. I sat up and stared at him. I knew he had a good build from the way he appeared in his clothes, but I had no idea! Oh, his broad shoulders, muscular arms, and pectorals took my breath away. He was gorgeous.
As he moved into the water, his deep blue eyes were mesmerizing. He put his arm around my shoulders. I felt his hot breath on my bare skin as a burning desire for him soared through my body. I turned toward him, kissed his neck, and ached for more. What was I doing? This wasn’t what I wanted. I hadn’t felt like this about him before. It wasn’t like me to act that way.
With a mischievous smile, he took a drink of his wine.
Had he changed his mind about me and decided to play hard to get? I stroked his arm. What was wrong with me? I should have slid away from him; instead, I moved closer. I wanted him! As soon as he put down his glass, I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed him. I continued kissing him even when I gasped for air.
“Let’s go upstairs,” he whispered.
“Oh yes!” I sighed as my heartbeat raced and my breathing became more erratic. I kissed him again.
He picked up our glasses and handed me mine. “To our new relationship.” He clicked my glass.
I exhaled and drank, knowing I was going to get what I wanted. A second later, we got out of the Jacuzzi and carried our glasses to my bedroom.
After making love for over an hour, we stopped to catch our breath. He filled our wine glasses again. I thought Conner was a great lover, yet he was no match to Brett. No one could possibly be better. And to think, I was going to leave him without ever having known this ecstasy.
“What are you thinking?” he asked.
“I’m wondering why I waited so long for this.”
He smiled, put both wine glasses on the nightstand, and gently ran his hand down my body.
Feeling someone tugging on my legs, I opened my eyes. Through foggy vision, I saw two women with solemn expressions on their faces pulling me out of bed. I felt dizzy. I tried to talk, but only gibberish came from my mouth. The woman with long black hair put a robe on me. The other one slipped shoes on my feet. I wanted to float away. They held my arms, preventing me from rising. With my feet hovering above the floor, they led me down the stairs and through the house to the backdoor. Were they angels taking me to see Mom and Dad? The black-haired woman put a blindfold over my eyes. Then I heard a door open. They continued holding my arms while I glided between them.
A crisp, cool breeze hit my face. The women remained quiet, not saying a word, as we moved along. The rustling of leaves surrounded us. I smelled pine trees. If they’d just let go of me, I could drift to the tree tops.
“Bring her here,” a man yelled.
My blindfold was removed. I found myself inches from the man with the penetrating, dark eyes I had seen at the hotel. He must have followed me! I felt a convulsion of terror seize my body. I squirmed and wiggled, trying to free myself from the hands that held me firmly. He wouldn’t release me. I gave up. I was trapped!
The dark-eyed man held up my trembling hand and placed a spider in my palm. I marveled at the warm, chestnut-brown color with specks of black dribbled through it. I gently touched it. Then the dark-eyed man turned over my hand and tapped it against a metal container. The spider tumbled inside, landing next to three others that looked just like it. He snapped the container lid in place and slipped it into his shirt pocket.
He led me through a cluster of cobwebs that clung to my face. He brushed them away and placed my hand on a person. I glanced down and saw spiders crawling on the stout man whose wife had been bitten in the hotel. He was laying on something that looked like a granite table. His eyes were wide open, staring straight ahead. Blood oozed from deep scrapes on his arms. His face was pale and immobile. Was I at his funeral?
The dark-eyed man guided me to a chair, sat me down, and held onto my shoulder to stop me from rising above the ground. I opened my mouth to speak. No sound escaped. My eyes darted around looking for Brett; he wasn’t anywhere. He wouldn’t have left me. Something must have happened to him. My heart started beating faster. The dark-eyed man ran his hand up and down my cheek. My heartbeat slowed down.
Three people blocked my vision as they moved between me and the stout man on the table. I watched as a slender blond-haired man carrying a knife walked in front of them and passed out of my sight.