Snow's Spell by Loni Ree

Chapter One


The whole no good deed goes unpunished thing? Well, I’m learning that lesson for myself as I stare up at the snow-covered branches above me and see Pookie glaring down at me. The massive Maine coon cat escaped Ms. Pearl’s house again, and I stupidly volunteered to climb the huge oak tree in my front yard to save her poor baby. I’d barely wrapped my arm around the thirty-pound cat’s middle when he hissed and decided to put up a fight for his freedom. The intense sting of his sharp little claws tearing through the skin on my arm shocked the hell out of me. Before I was able to stop myself, I released both my hold on Pookie and my death grip on the old oak. The next thing I knew, I was here. Lying on the hard, snow-covered ground, looking up at the huge tree and an angry cat while trying to keep from passing out from the agony. A sharp pain shoots through my chest every time I attempt to take a deep breath. I hear Ms. Pearl talking to someone off in the distance and pray help arrives soon. After a while, I hear the distant sound of sirens, and the cloudy gray sky begins to darken around me. Shoot, I realize the sky isn’t really changing colors. I’m passing out.

Sometime later, my eyes slowly peel open, and I look around the white-walled sterile room. On the positive side, I’m alive and warm. The negatives are too abundant to list right now. Blinking several times, I beg the darkness to pull me back under. I swear someone pounded my head with a sledgehammer. And I want to hunt down the little gremlin who’s poking the inside of my lungs with every breath I take. A bright light shines in each of my eyes, and I groan while staring at the purple dots left dancing around in my vision. I guess the freaking darkness ignored my pleas. Finally, my eyesight clears enough for the white, sterile hospital room to come into focus. Standing over me is the hottest man I’ve ever seen. Holy cow. Maybe I am dead, after all. He can’t be real. I mean, no human has eyes that color blue, and the rest of him? Wow. Greek God mixed with Hollywood movie star. I know I’ve died and gone to heaven because there definitely aren’t any men this smoking hot on earth. I’m staring at his olive-toned skin and perfectly chiseled features when he asks, “How are you feeling?” His deep, smoky voice sends chills down my spine and causes my heart rate to accelerate. God, I hope I’m still alive.

My mouth opens and closes without any sound escaping, and the Greek God pushes me back against the sterile, hospital covers as I try to sit up. Oh shit, I’m paralyzed from the fall. I can’t move my head to the side.

“Stop fighting and stay still,” he barks and leans over the bed. His masculine scent fills the room and instantly soothes me. For the first time, I notice he’s wearing a white lab coat, and there’s a black stethoscope draped around his neck. While I’m busy drooling over the hunky doctor, he smirks. “You aren’t paralyzed.” He reaches down and touches the piece of plastic holding my neck immobile. “We placed a collar on you until we’ve made sure there isn’t spinal damage.” Mr. Hot Doc might be supernatural after all since he’s reading my thoughts. “I should warn you.” He smirks down at me, and I’m not sure if I want to kiss him or kick him in the nuts. “I don’t need to read your mind because you’re speaking all your thoughts out loud.”

Please, God, let me die now. “Don’t worry, Sweetie. It’s the drugs they gave you. We’ve heard a lot worse.”

Another voice comes out of nowhere. “The big jerk over there is used to women throwing themselves at him.” A middle-aged nurse appears in my line of sight and smiles down at me. I blink up into her kind brown eyes before she pats my arm and winks. She looks over me and begins talking to the Greek God. As their boring conversation lulls me, the darkness finally gets its shit together and pulls me back under.

Sometime later, I’m jarred awake and open my eyes to find the ceiling moving above me. Groaning, I wonder what new and fun torture is coming. The same nurse smiles down at me. “We’re taking you to Radiology to get a few tests done. Just lay back and relax.”

It’s not easy to do, but I try to listen to her orders. A few minutes later, I’m hoping they finish this soon and let me die in peace. This person is skilled in the art of torture. Ow. That hurts. “Sorry, doll,” the asshole grunts while roughly pushing me around on the hard metal table.

I’m about to complain when the door flies open and my hunky doctor snarls, “Why the fuck is she crying out?”