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Authors: Shelley Martin

Phoenix Tonic

BOOK: Phoenix Tonic
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Phoenix Tonic
Number I of
Golden Brothers
Shelley Martin
Silver Seraphim (2014)
Hailey wants her freedom. Kallian wants Hailey’s love. But the uncontrollable effects of the Phoenix Tonic may turn Hailey into a murderer. 
What kind of jerk would offer a cure for cancer only if you married him? Hailey refuses the offer from her ex-boyfriend, Kallian, facing death instead of an imprisoned marriage. But when she wakes in a steel room, she learns her father made a different deal while she was on the brink of death. Now she has to choose - stay quarantined, or marry the jerk. Either way she’s a prisoner. 
Kallian always loved Hailey. When he hears of her illness he offers up his family’s deepest secret - the Phoenix Tonic. But the side effects are dangerous, and anyone given the tonic has always married into the family to preserve the secrets. 
When Kallian administers the cure, he sequesters Hailey for her own safety against the side effects. But Hailey soon learns the inevitable; anyone who takes the tonic becomes irrevocably attracted to the source, which happens to be the man she hates more than anything: Kallian.

 

 

Phoenix

Tonic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shelley Martin

Silver Seraphim Press

ShelleyMartinFiction.com

Copyright © 2014 Shelley Martin

 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the publisher, excepting brief quotes used in reviews.

This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to any person, living or dead, any place, events or occurrences, is purely coincidental. The characters and story lines are created from the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to the purchase-point and purchase your own copy.

Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

Published by
Silver Seraphim Press

Cover art by
Ashley Byland
with
Redbird Designs

 

ISBN-13: 978-1502777522 

ISBN-10: 1502777525

Acknowledgments

 

Thank you to Heavenly Father, who has made me all that I am. Thank you to my parents for sticking by me through the rough patches. Thank you to my sister for always wanting to help. Thank you to my children, who have taught me so much patience. Thank you to my critique partners; you are pillars in my world. A big thanks to my beta readers, who are too many to mention, but I am grateful to every one of you! And last but not least, thank you to all my friends who let me bounce ideas for stories off them. You’re all amazing!

P
hoenix law states that when the tonic is given to a chosen human mate, it must be administered near the mortal’s death. Their weakened state will maximize the chance of the tonic’s effectiveness, and will lessen the new hybrid’s pain during transformation. Upon awakening, the hybrid fledgling must be married and mated to stabilize their new powers. Immediately.

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

Hailey didn’t know who to punch first, her father or her ex-boyfriend.

In disbelief, she closed the rich oak door to her father’s high-rise office. Standing behind his desk, he clasped his hands in front of him. Short salt and pepper hair framed his aging face, his Italian suit meticulous, as always.

Guilt creased his brow, as well it should, because the man she hated more than anything stood to his right. Hailey tried not to stare at Kallian Markham’s impressive form. His height dwarfed that of her dad. Strands of his brown hair fell in his eyes, giving playfulness to his professional appearance. She keenly remembered its softness when her fingers used to run through it.

She dropped her purse on one of the two over-stuffed couches. “Dad, what is
he
doing here?”

“Uh, Comet,” his eyes darted from Markham back to Hailey, “we have something we’d like to discuss with you.”

She fixed her gaze on her father alone. She refused to acknowledge the other party in the room. “I’ll discuss things with you, and no one else.”

Out of the corner of her eye she saw Markham’s eyebrow raise. Did he just smile at her? “How are you today, Hailey?”

Her name wrapped in his silken voice quickened her pulse. But she stood her ground. Her level stare held only her dad.

After a moment of silence her father stepped forward. “Comet, I’ve asked Mr. Markham here to help you—”

“You do realize Markham is the reason I’m dying in the first place, right Dad?” Tight and controlled, Hailey’s voice dominated the conversation. “You told me yourself, he was the one who informed the medical study team you were my father.” Her hands curled into fists. “He killed me with those words, and now he wants to help me?”

“Yes, well…” Her father toyed with a cufflink.

“Look, I don’t know what is going on between you two, but I don’t like it. I want Markham out of here—”

“I’m right here, Hailey.” Markham leaned into her line of sight.

Did she care she was talking about him as if he wasn’t there? No.

Her father’s shoulders fell. “Comet, he can help you.”

Oh, Dad is going to resort to begging now?
“No,” she said flatly. “I don’t want help from him.”

“Please, I know you’re hurting.” She’d rarely seen that broken look on her father’s face. She shuffled back a step. “I don’t want you to suffer any longer. I’ve done everything I can to find you something, anything, that will save you.” His voice softened. “You’re my little girl.” Yeah, his raw emotions were making a dent in her armor. “And this is the only man who can save you.”

Hailey meant for her next statement to come out much harder than it did. “You shouldn’t have gone behind my back, Dad. There isn’t anything that will work on me. I have cancer, you need to accept that. And bringing in the man I hate most in the world will not—”

“Shut up, Hailey.” Markham’s comment came soft, but stern.

She blinked, and turned to Markham. “
Excuse
me?”

He sauntered forward slowly, letting his fingertips drag against the cherry wood of her father’s desk. “I said shut up.” His lips turned up at the corners, but his eyes were full of sorrow. “Your father is trying to help you.”

Her focus narrowed at the jerk. She walked to her father, whose mouth gaped as he stared at Markham. “Dad,” She tugged on his arm, “I think it would be best if you let us talk alone.” She dragged him to the door with him protesting all the way.

“We’ll just be a minute,” She said sweetly, closing the door on her father. Leaning against the door frame for a moment, she built up courage for what she was about to do.

“You’ve lost weight.” Despite the distance between them in the spacious office, the pain in his voice traveled up her spine.

She turned and marched back to him. “The weight loss is your fault. The pain is your fault. My family’s suffering is your fault.” His face fell a bit. But it wasn’t enough, she wanted answers. “Why did you do it? I thought we had something. You held me in your arms when I got the rejection for the grant and the study, you schmuck. You kissed me and held me and made me feel safe. Why bother making me feel better after sentencing me to death?” Heated tears stung her eyes. “Why did you ruin my chance at living?” She glared at him through the blur.

His face melted before her. He took a step forward, and she took a step back. “I’m so sorry.” He shook his head. “You were never supposed to find out.”

She wiped the tear from her cheek and furrowed her brow.
Did I just hear him right?
“So, you’re sorry you got caught?”

He screwed those beautiful lips to the side. “You would have gotten caught. The study and grant clearly stated it was for people for medical and financial need. How long would it have taken them to find out your father has millions? Not only that, but I’ve heard of torture methods that are less painful than that procedure. The thought of what you would have had to endure…” His lips pressed in a hard line as he shook his head. “I couldn’t allow you to hurt more than you already were.”

How could he turn this back on her? Markham knew about the study. They’d only dated for a short time, but she remembered those days vividly. He never left her side. He put all he had into learning about the procedure and her chances. “The study had a fifty percent success rate. There was a chance no one would have found out about Dad’s money. And I could have dealt with the pain, believe me. That kind of pain eventually stops.” She took a deep breath, and bit her lip to keep it from quivering. “At least I would have had a chance.”

With drawn brows, Kallian stared at her in silence. She stared right back. Finally, he broke the tension. “I could not allow you to go through the physical torture of the procedure, then the agony once they told you it hadn’t worked. That study would have consumed what little time you had left with pain, and finally rejection. It would have never worked. I was trying to protect you.”

“But you don’t know it would have failed. No one could know that.”

His eyes flashed with something she could never quite explain. As if he hid secrets and knowledge behind them. “I
do
know.”

Her fingers ached as they dug into her palms. “But it was my choice to
try
. I could have fought though, unless you know something I don’t…”

His eyes focused in the distance. “Do you remember when we were flying back from New Zealand? Your shoulders and back were sunburned from all the hiking, hang-gliding and snorkeling. As I rubbed aloe on your skin I promised I would protect you, if you would let me. Even from the sun.”

She did remember his words. They were only out of the country for three days. It was a business trip for him. He said New Zealand was the perfect place to teach her to fly, to make that childhood dream come true. They spent hours hovering over the landscape in hang-gliders. It was the one perfect day in her life.

Less than a week later he betrayed her.

When Hailey didn’t say anything he stepped forward. He didn’t stop until he stood before her, his six foot four frame towering over her petite one. “I came here to set things right, Hailey.” His voice hedged on pleading, but she was just trying to hold back from pounding her fists on his chest. He hesitantly wiped another tear from her cheek. She allowed it only because she was so mentally consumed at how much she loathed him, and how genuine his emotions played on his face. She loved him so much, and he betrayed her as much as any man could.

“I can save you… If you marry me.”

Again, she stared at him dumbly. Her mind blanked out before a flood of reactions raced through her head. He looked serious. As if he could actually save her. The twinkle of hope snuffed itself out as she digested the rest of his words. She had to
marry
him? It was a trade? Did the man have no compassion? The guy was treating her life like a game.
So, if I don’t marry him, he’s gonna let me suffer the last few months? He is going to let me die? Who on earth would do that to someone they cared about?

She would never let someone die if she could save them. Ever.

Her hand pulled back. She slapped him so hard the reverberations echoed off the office walls.

He staggered back a couple of feet, pressing his hand to his reddened cheek. His eyebrows arched as he gawked at her.

“No.” She walked over to the door and held it open. “Get out.”

BOOK: Phoenix Tonic
13.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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