Entranced Page 1

Author: Nora Roberts

Series: The Donovan Legacy #2

Genres: Romance


He understood his power early. What coursed through his blood and made him what he was did not have to be explained to him. Nor did he have to be told that this gift was one not possessed by everyone.

He could see.

The visions were not always pleasant, but they were always fascinating. When they came—even when they came to a small child whose legs were still unsteady—he accepted them as easily as he accepted the sun's rising each morning.

Often his mother would crouch on the floor with him, her face close to his, her eyes searching his eyes. Mixed with her great love was a hope that he would always accept the gift, and that he would never be hurt by it.

Though she knew better, on both counts.

Who are you? He could hear her thoughts as clearly as if she had spoken aloud.Who will you be ?

They were questions he couldn't answer. Even then he understood that it was more difficult to see into yourself than to see into others.

As time passed, the gift did not prevent him from racing and running and teasing his young cousins. Though often, quite often, he strained against its limitations and tried for more, it did not keep him from enjoying an ice-cream cone on a summer afternoon, or from laughing at cartoons on a Saturday morning.

He was a normal, active, mischievous boy with a sharp, sometimes devious mind, a strikingly handsome face set off by hypnotic gray-blue eyes, and a full mouth that was quick to smile.

He went through all the stages that lead a boy toward manhood. The scraped knees and the broken bones, the rebellions large and small, the first jumpy heartbeat at the smile of a pretty girl. Like all children, he grew into an adult, moved away from his parents' domain and chose his own.

And the power grew, as he did.

He considered his life a well-adjusted and comfortable one.

And he accepted, as he always had, the simple fact that he was a witch.

Chapter 1

She dreamed of a man who was dreaming of her. But he wasn't sleeping. She could see, with a perfect clarity that was extremely undreamlike, that he was standing by a wide, dark window, with his arms relaxed by his sides. But his face was very tense, very purposeful. And his eyes… They were so deep, so unrelenting. Gray, she thought as she twisted in sleep. But not quite gray. There were hints of blue, as well. The color of them reminded her of rocks hacked out of a high cliff one moment, and of the soft, calm waters of a lake the next.

Strange—how strange—she knew that his face was taut and tensed, but she couldn't see it. Just those eyes, those fascinating, disturbing eyes.

And she knew he was thinking of her. Not just thinking of her, but somehow seeing her. As if she had walked up to the other side of that glass, stood there looking back at him through the wide windowpane. Somehow she was certain that if she lifted a hand to that glass her fingers would pass right through it until they found his.

If she chose to.

Instead, she thrashed, tangling the sheets and muttering in her sleep. Even in dreams Mel Sutherland didn't care for the illogical. Life had rules, very basic rules. She firmly believed you were better off following them.

So she didn't reach for the glass, or for him. She rolled, almost violently, knocking a pillow to the floor and willing the dream away.

It faded, and, both relieved and disappointed, she dropped deeper into a dreamless sleep.

A few hours later, with the night vision tucked away in her subconscious, she snapped awake at the clattering bell of the Mickey Mouse alarm clock at her bedside. One expert slap silenced it. There was no danger that she would snuggle down in the bed and slide back into sleep. Mel's mind was as regulated as her body.

She sat up, indulging in one huge yawn as she dragged her fingers through her tousled cap of dark blond hair. Her eyes, a rich, mossy green she'd inherited from a father she couldn't remember, were blurry for only a moment. Then they focused on the twisted sheets.

Rough night, she thought, kicking her legs free of them. And why not? It could hardly have been expected that she'd sleep like a baby, not with what she had to do today. After blowing out one long breath, she plucked a pair of gym shorts from the floor and yanked them on under the T-shirt she'd slept in. Five minutes later, she was stepping out into the soft-aired morning for her daily three-mile jog.

As she went out, she kissed the tips of her fingers and tapped them against the front door. Because it was her place. Hers. And even after four years she didn't take it for granted.

It wasn't much, she thought as she limbered up with a few stretches. Just a little stucco building tucked between a Laundromat and a struggling accounting firm. But then, she didn't need much.

Mel ignored the whistle from the car that passed, its driver grinning appreciatively at her long, leanly muscled legs. She didn't jog for her looks. She jogged because routine exercise disciplined the mind and the body. A private investigator who allowed either to become sluggish would find herself in trouble. Or unemployed. Mel didn't intend to be either.

She started out at an easy pace, enjoying the way her shoes slapped the sidewalk, delighted by the pearly glow in the eastern sky that signaled the start of a beautiful day. It was August, and she thought of how miserably hot it would be down in L.A. But here, in Monterey, there was perpetual spring. No matter what the calendar said, the air was as fresh as a rosebud.

It was too early for there to be much traffic. Here in the downtown area it would be a rare thing for her to pass another jogger. If she'd chosen any of the beaches, it would have been a different matter. But Mel preferred to run alone.

Her muscles began to warm. A thin layer of sweat gleamed healthily on her skin. She increased her pace slightly, falling into a familiar rhythm that had become as automatic as breathing.

For the first mile, she kept her mind empty, letting herself observe. A car with a faulty muffler rattled by, with no more than a token hesitation at a stop sign.

An '82 Plymouth sedan, dark blue. The mental list was just to keep in practice. Dented driver's door. California license Able Charlie Robert 2289.

Someone was lying facedown on the grass of the park. Even as Mel broke her stride, he sat up, stretched and switched on a portable radio.

College student hitchhiking cross-country, she decided, picking up her pace again even as she made a note of his backpack… blue, with an American flag on the flap… and his hair color… brown… and…Name That Tune , she thought as the music began to fade behind her.

Bruce Springsteen. "Cover Me."