Nightwing by Lynn Michaels
Originally published by Harlequin Temptation
Kindle Edition August 2010 by Lynn Michaels
Nightwing was a finalist for the RWA RITA Award in the paranormal category
Back Cover BlurbA vampire, his Shade and an ancient riddle. Willie Evans doesn't believe in vampires until she discover that Dr. Jonathan Raven, the man who is trying to take her grandmother's house on Cape Cod away from her, doesn't cast a reflection in a mirror.
She doesn't believe in ghosts, either, until she traps Johnny, Raven's Shade, in a mirror.
Raven has come to Beaches to reclaim his Shade. Johnny has come to escape Raven.
Johnny loves Willie. Raven needs her to regain his Shade and his mortal soul. Which one will Willie choose?
From the Prologue
Egypt, August 1878
There's been a terrible accident in a tomb that's being excavated. Jonathan Raven is the expedition's doctor. Teddy is his good friend and an archaeologist.
There was nothing Raven could do. He knew it before he dropped to his knees on the man's other side. There was no pulse in the thin, brown wrist Raven gripped.
"It's too late, Teddy. He'll be gone in a minute. What in God's name happened?"
"The diggers found a tomb in the ravine and thought they'd loot it on their own. Seven of them went in but only these two came out. They were attacked by a jackal, they said. A jackal that walked on two legs."
"Did you send a search party after the others?"
"None of the diggers will go."
"Then we'll have to," Raven said. He'd taken an oath to save lives, but he suddenly wished he'd never come to Egypt.
"I know. That's why I waited for you. Come see this."
Teddy led Raven down the steep, rocky ravine toward a gaping black hole cut in the opposite flank. The edges were clean, sharp and obviously chiseled. The loose shingle rattling away beneath their boots bounced against a tall stone slab carved with rude hieroglyphs that meant nothing to Raven.
"Here's where they got the jackal." Teddy blew dust off the slab and pointed at an angular figure with the body of a man and the head of a jackal. The open mouth revealed top and bottom fangs bared in a stuff, stylized snarl. "It's Anubis, god of the dead. He's always depicted with the head of a jackal, but this is the first time I've see him with fangs."
Raven pointed to a row of smaller pictographs below the figure of Anubis. "What does this say?"
"The usual warning, open this tomb and die. And the name of the person interred here." Teddy tugged a small, stiff brush out of his back pocket and swept away more sand. "It's someone named -- Nekhat."
Jolil and Yusef stumbled down the slope, each carrying two torches. Teddy fished matches out of his pocket, struck them and lit the brands.
"I don't want to go in here any more than you do, but if you don't go with us, none of them will ever enter another tomb." Teddy nodded at the workmen milling and muttering on the edge of the ravine. "Just stay close. Johnny, you bring up the rear."
Raven gripped the torch in his left hand, looped the strap of his medical bag over his right shoulder. The air inside the tomb, trapped in a narrow, empty chamber with a low ceiling and rough hewed walls, smelled fetid and faintly of rust. The walls of the second chamber were equally bare and unadorned.
"This tomb is hardly started," Tedd said, puzzled. He moved forward and called out in Arabic.
No one answered. Raven saw why when he ducked into the next chamber behind Jolil. In the flickering torchlight he saw the walls, splashed and smeared with blood, and the other five men who had entered the tomb, two torn literally limb from limb.
A breath of air sighed toward them from the inky depths of the tomb, eerie enough to bristle every hair on Raven's body. So was the growl that came with it, echoing faintly off the walls and shivering up his back. Jolil stopped murmuring prayers and began to tremble.
"Get out." Raven grabbed him, then Yuself, and shoved them pack into the second chamber. "Get out and run."