|Beyond the Night
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Copyright by Rayne Forrest
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White Deer Enterprises/ White Deer Books
All Rights Reserved.
|An ancient conflict threatens to destroy Carrick and the
woman he loves.
Carrick McCormick knows there is a special woman waiting
for him. He can sense her but has yet to locate her. Moving
to Lime Kiln Mountain is a calculated risk. She’s near and
now he has a better chance to find her. That’s the first step.
Explaining his nature, what he is and how he needs to live
won’t be as easy.
Rachel Rossington has one thing in common with every
woman in small, rural Lime Kiln Mountain. She’s curious
about the town’s newest resident, the reclusive Carrick
McCormick. An early morning chance encounter puts her in
his path - literally. She hits a dog and he almost hits her car.
Rachel harbors no schoolgirl illusions. She’s a nurse in a
small town. Her life is mundane, serene. Men like Carrick
McCormick don’t give women like her a second glance.
Carrick’s world is one of wealth and luxury, foreign to
everything Rachel knows.
She doesn’t know just how foreign. But she will.
|He was all sophisticated charm and Rachel wanted to kick his shin to see if she could snap him out of it.
“Mr. McCormick,” she responded, matching his tone perfectly. He had some nerve following her here.
“May I buy you a drink?”
Rachel pushed her glass toward the bartender, who filled it with straight cola. Carrick paid and shook his
head when asked what he wanted to drink.
“Is this your first time in here?” She knew it was. If he’d been in here before the town would have buzzed
with it. Now it would buzz that he’d come in here to speak with her. Wonderful, just wonderful.
“Yes, it is. I felt like getting out of the house.” His silvery eyes glittered with reflections of the dance
floor’s light display.
“So you just happened to end up here?”
“So it seems.” He perched on the barstool her now ex-girlfriend Amy had vacated when she’d abandoned
her. “I took your advice on the dog. He’s much cleaner now.”
“You followed me here to tell me that?”
“No. I didn’t expect to find you here.”
“I see. I’m not sure I believe you, Mr. McCormick. It’s too coincidental for my liking.”
Rachel downed the rest of her cola and snatched her purse off the arm of the barstool. She didn’t need to
tell Amy and Carla she was leaving. There was no point in making the effort. She knew they’d been taking
turns watching her and Carrick, just soaking it all up like two nosey sponges.
She sensed Carrick following her and unease shivered up her spine. She hoped her busybody pals were
making their way to the door as well.
Carrick called out to her, asking her to wait. She ignored him and didn’t stop until she’d crossed the
parking lot and reached her car. She turned intending to tell him to leave her alone and the floodlights
that illuminated the parking lot blinked off leaving her standing in shadows with him.
“What do you want?” she demanded with more bravado than she felt.
“To apologize, yet again.” He held out his hand to her, palm up. “I didn’t mean to frighten you. Please, let
us begin anew.”
“Oh, I don’t think so,” Rachel said, looking up at him. The man was trouble with a capital T. He was way out
of her league and she knew it.
“I’ve got to go. I have to work tomorrow.” She turned to unlock her car door.
“Of course. And it’s very late, I understand.” He closed the distance between them, coming so close
Rachel could feel the heat radiating off him.
“You have nothing to fear from me, Rachel.” He tipped her chin up and lowered his lips to hers. Surprise
jolted through her. Her eyes closed of their own volition.
His lips were soft, with both question and promise, moving slowly on hers and sending a shrieking
awareness of his closeness through her. She took a step toward him.
Just as quickly as it began the kiss ended. She was standing in the parking lot alone, wondering how
she’d gotten there, and why the hell she’d imagined Carrick McCormick had been there and kissed her.