Authors: Kat Barrett
Tell Me What Is Priceless
Blaze Zeal and Zar Russ have an instant physical and emotional connection. Blaze is hesitant to get serious with a man who is in terminal pain, but Zar convinces her to give him a chance.
It seems that their relationship will end before it even gets started when Zar’s private physician plots against them and lies to Blaze, saying that she has HIV. After receiving this news, Zar’s brother and Blaze end up having a major car accident. Things continue to spiral downward as Blaze lies in a coma.
She awakens only to discover that Zar is running out of the injections that make the pain in his damaged hip tolerable. He reluctantly admits that the medication was banned after trials because it was found to destroy the bone at the injection site. They fear the worst as they fight to keep their love alive, and life continues to conspire against them.
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK
IMPRINT: Erotic Romance
TELL ME WHAT IS PRICELESS
First E-book Publication: April 2013
Cover design by Christine Kirchoff
All cover art and logo copyright © 2013 by Siren Publishing, Inc.
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All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.
Siren Publishing, Inc.
Letter to Readers
If you have purchased this copy of
Tell Me What Is Priceless
by Kat Barrett from BookStrand.com or its official distributors, thank you. Also, thank you for not sharing your copy of this book.
Regarding E-book Piracy
This book is copyrighted intellectual property. No other individual or group has resale rights, auction rights, membership rights, sharing rights, or any kind of rights to sell or to give away a copy of this book.
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This is Kat Barrett’s livelihood.
It’s fair and simple. Please respect Ms. Barrett’s right to earn a living from her work.
Amanda Hilton, Publisher
I need to make a special dedication in this book to my basenji Taz and my basenji-mix Ashle. They both sadly passed away in 2010, but when I write about the antics they pulled, it keeps their memory close to my heart. The two dogs in this book are shadows of Taz and Ashle.
Thanks to my good friends Sandra and Dawn, who support and encourage me to continue writing.
I have to admit, though, that I love to write and see what happens as the story progresses. No, I never know in advance and usually when I think I know, it takes a turn and goes elsewhere.
Thanks also have to go out to my husband who finds other things to do as I sit at the computer typing.
To you, my fans, I enjoy your feedback, and without you, I would be writing for only my own amusement. Thank you.
TELL ME WHAT IS PRICELESS
Copyright © 2013
Blaze lay in bed with her eyes closed. She could feel Choey watching her but wasn’t ready to accept that it was morning. Her head felt foggy, and she still had the lingering visions of the nightmare in her mind. David was dead and buried, but in her dreams he was still alive. He was lying in bed screaming in pain, and she was always helpless to do anything for him. It was a draining image, filled with guilt and stoked by the same overactive imagination that gave her the words to write fantasy.
Choey pawed her lightly as if testing to see if Blaze was faking sleep. The dog always seemed to know when Blaze was avoiding getting up. She took a deep breath, preparing for the morning welcome as she opened one eye.
Choey pounced, fifty pounds of wiggling fur and muscle as she stood on Blaze’s chest, her black tongue rapidly flailing over Blaze’s face.
“Yes, good morning, Choey. Get off. You are killing me!” Laughing, she pushed at the dog. Choey moved back a little and then protested by jumping on her again as Blaze tried to roll out of bed.
It was the daily ritual that had started just after David’s death. Blaze often wondered if Choey felt some instinctual need to be extra loving and cuddly with her. She had been David’s dog, and Blaze knew that Choey missed him horribly.
She kissed Choey on the head, scratching her ears as she gently nudged her over. Blaze quickly swung her feet to the floor and stood. Choey immediately leapt off the bed and raced to get out the door, impatiently bumping her leg as Blaze tried to pull the door open. Choey raced past her, sending Moosey sprawling as she bumped him.
Moosey accepted his morning pet and then pranced past Blaze to take up the warm space in the bed.
Blaze walked into the kitchen and flipped on the coffeepot.
Nan was in the archway, drying her hair with a towel. “Hey, sexy, how goes it?”
Blaze raised her eyebrows in question. “What do you want, Nan?”
“Why do I have to want something?”
“Because you are being cutesy and sweet. That means that you have something on your brain to ask me. Spit it out.”
“Ah, the landlord of fallen souls knows me well. I have three tickets to Fras, and I want you to go with us. You need to get out! We’re going to dinner and then to see the band. Please?”
“First of all, you are one soul. If you are fallen, it is only in your mother’s eyes. From what I see, you are a perfectly normal college student. Second, I consider you more of a friend who helps with the bills than a tenant, and third, us who?”
“Me and Trish. Come on. I know from that look on your face that you want to say no. David has been gone for almost a year. You need to do something and go meet someone. You look like hell, and maybe if you had someone to keep the nightmares away, it might help.”
“I’m fine. I have the dogs and my work. My life is simple, and I have no one to answer to but myself. You don’t need an old lady tagging along.”
Nan watched as Blaze poured food into the dogs’ bowls and then added some fried ground beef. “Give me a break, Blaze. You don’t look old, and you need to stop acting like a nun. You have fallen into this gothic place of ‘I got none. I want none. I don’t need none.’ What are you afraid of? David isn’t coming back, and you are desperately in need of a dose of reality. Come on! I’ve been begging you forever to go out with us, and I want you to meet Nicky.”
“Ah, is that the hot lead singer who howls in the night?”
Nan’s cheeks blazed red with embarrassment. “Sorry, I didn’t know you heard us. Please come!”
Blaze set the bowls on the floor and took her place between the two dogs, leaning back on the counter. “I don’t know, Nan. I’m too old to start over. I’ve lost my ability to be good at small talk.”
“You’re one of the most outgoing people I have ever met. What is the big deal, Blaze? Just be yourself. You gave everything for David before he died. Don’t you deserve to start doing something for yourself now? I’m not telling you to go out and look for Mr. Right, but would it hurt to have some fun?”
Blaze pursed her lips, steering Moosey back with her foot. “You’re not going to eat her food, Mr. Moose. Get back on your own side of the kitchen. I’m not in the mood for a dog fight this morning.”
Moosey turned baleful amber eyes on her, but she was not swayed. He grunted and then headed into the living room to take up his position as king of the bay window.
“Well?” Nan asked.
Blaze sighed. Her life was simple, but she occasionally longed for a good conversation and some physical interaction. It seemed as if an eternity had passed since she had a good laugh, and the sensations evoked by a lusty kiss had faded to nothing more than a foggy memory. “I suppose you’re right. Okay, what do I wear, Nan?”
“You have good taste in clothes. Just go out and buy something more fitted. All the stuff you have now is baggy as hell. I gotta go. I’m going to be late for class. Be ready by four. I’ll need the bathroom, and we are meeting Trish at five. You have made me a happy woman,” Nan said with a gloating smile as she hurried for the door.
Blaze chuckled, causing Choey to look up from her meal. “It’s okay, girl. Mom is just losing it. I don’t believe that I said yes to her. I wasn’t good at the bar scene twenty years ago. I won’t be any more comfortable now.”
Her hand went to her hair as she reminded herself that the front was too long. “Add cutting my hair to the list of things to do today. Maybe I will use that coupon for a facial that Nan bought me for my birthday. I have to go pick my leather pants up at the tailor’s. Then I will go see if Beth has anything new and interesting in medieval wear. I never dreamed that it would be bad to keep losing weight. I have nothing left that fits me.” She had become far too accustomed to sharing her thoughts aloud with the dogs. “Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to have a conversation with someone who can comment on what I’m saying.”
Choey finished her food while Blaze was thinking aloud and then went to check Moosey’s empty dish. Once she was satisfied that there was nothing left to eat, she headed out the dog door to bark at the neighbor’s cat. Blaze yelled out the window, “Knock it off, Choey.”
She had fallen into a safe routine, each day blending into another like a blur. The dogs and writing had become her existence. The only deviance to her routine was the occasional book signing and her weekly voyages to estate sales. She didn’t really need the extra money, but listing items to sell on the Internet was fun, and she enjoyed seeing how high the final price would go. In the end, the process of buying, listing, selling, and shipping was merely a way to occupy time.