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Authors: Jayne Castle

Amaryllis

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From
Amaryllis
to
Obsidian Prey
, critics adore the electrifyingly passionate and suspense-charged novels of

Jayne Castle

“With her typical offbeat humor and flair, Castle takes a pair of powerful, unmatchable protagonists, sets them down in her innovative, synergistic world of St. Helen's, and gives them a mystery to solve, villains to outwit, and a passion to explore.”

—Library Journal

“A fun, fast frolic on another metaphysical plane! The characters are fun and sexy…. A romance that will link your senses to the primitive side!”

—The Literary Times

“Classic sharp wit and unrivaled skill for creating captivating characters.”

—Booklist

“A scintillating foray into love in another place and time [with] the heady charm of a great romance.”

—Romantic Times

… and they are equally enamored of her irresistible page-turners written under her real name, the beloved
New York Times
bestselling author

Jayne Ann Krentz

“One of the hottest writers in romance today.”

—USA Today

Turn the page for more rave reviews!

Praise for the sparkling contemporary romances of
New York Times
bestselling author

Jayne Ann Krentz
… “nobody does it better!”*

“Krentz at her best … with the snappy dialogue that has become her trademark and a cast of characters you want to know personally.”

—Sandra Brown

“The phenomenal Jayne Ann Krentz once again delivers one of her patented storytelling gems…. Another guaranteed top-notch read.”

—Romantic Times*

“Absolutely sizzles.”

—The State
(Columbia, SC)

“The inimitable Jayne Ann Krentz [is] always a consistent delight…. A winner.”

—Rave Reviews

“Krentz deftly mingles chilling danger and simmering sexual tension.”

—Booklist

“Fast, steamy, and wildly entertaining.”

—Publishers Weekly

“Psychic thrills and sharp wit.”

—Chicago Tribune

“Entertaining and delightful…. This is romantic suspense at its most enjoyable, enhanced by Krentz's trademark humor and quirky characters.”

—Library Journal

“Spicy…. Jayne Ann Krentz is one of the most talented authors writing romance fiction today.”

—The Midwest Book Review

“[Krentz] scores with a sexy thriller.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“A welcome escape into art-world intrigue…. A surprise ending caps this delightful mystery from a seasoned pro.”

—People

“One of the feistiest, most memorable heroines … Jayne Ann Krentz at her very best. Pure entertainment.”

—Susan Elizabeth Phillips

“A suspenseful and satisfying story that strikes a deep, human chord.”

—Patricia Matthews

Also by Jayne Ann Krentz

Absolutely, Positively
Deep Waters
Eye of the Beholder
Family Man
Flash
The Golden Chance
Grand Passion
Hidden Talents
Perfect Partners
Sharp Edges
Silver Linings
Sweet Fortune
Trust Me
Wildest Hearts

Written under the name Jayne Castle
Amaryllis
Orchid
Zinnia

The sale of this book without its cover is unauthorized. If you purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware that it was reported to the publisher as “unsold and destroyed.” Neither the author nor the publisher has received payment for the sale of this “stripped book.”

Pocket Books
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New York, NY 10020
www.SimonandSchuster.com

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 1996 by Jayne Ann Krentz

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information address Pocket Books Subsidiary Rights Department, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020

First Pocket Books paperback edition October 1996

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.

Illustration by Craig White

Manufactured in the United States of America

10 9 8 7 6 5

ISBN 978-0-6715-6903-7
eISBN-13: 978-1-451-62401-4

Chapter
1

“Damn it, I don't need a conscience, Miss Lark.” Lucas Trent eyed the woman seated behind the desk with grim determination. “I need a security expert.”

“Our company believes that the two are not incompatible,” the lady said coolly.

She was starting to irritate him already, Lucas thought. And it was unlikely that the situation would improve. Unfortunately, he needed her.

Her name was Amaryllis Lark and she worked for Psynergy, Inc. Lucas knew that, while he could do business with her, she was potentially very dangerous.

But you'd never know it to look at her, he thought.

She had green-gold eyes and hair the color of dark amber. Approximately thirty seconds after meeting her, Lucas concluded that she was the most interesting thing he had encountered since he had blundered into a cave full of mysterious relics in the Western Islands.

He was baffled by his own reaction. It was obvious that Amaryllis was, in her own way, as alien to him as the ancient artifacts. She was prim, proper, and downright prissy. She looked as if she could have modeled for a statue
of one of the heroic, determined, and excruciatingly upright founders.

The expression in her green-gold eyes was perceptive, intelligent, and vaguely disapproving. The rich, thick, amber hair was bound in a prim knot at the nape of her neck. The neatly buttoned jacket of a conservative little business suit concealed whatever curves were beneath the fabric. A discreetly flared, calf-length skirt hid the rest of what appeared to be a slender figure and, judging by the trim ankles, nicely shaped legs.

Lucas had a strong suspicion that Amaryllis was stuffed to her pretty eyeballs with a host of old-fashioned, boring, and very inconvenient virtues.

Definitely not his type.

But that was not the worst of it. He was accustomed to taking challenges in his stride, after all. He might have persuaded himself to tackle this one, too, if it had not been for the fact that she worked for Psynergy, Inc.

Lucas exhaled deeply and forced himself to concentrate on the reason he was here in Amaryllis's extremely well organized, highly functional office.

He got to his feet and planted his hands on the unnaturally neat desk and leaned forward just far enough to ensure that he had the lady's full attention.

“I was told that Psynergy, Inc. was one of the best companies in the business.”

“I assure you that it is, Mr. Trent.” Amaryllis's feathery brows snapped together above her very straight nose. “It is also a company that maintains the highest professional standards. We do not take just any sort of case, and that is why I am obliged to ask certain questions. If you don't care to answer, that is your affair. But don't expect me to work with you without first ascertaining that you are a suitable client.”

“Suitable?” Lucas set his teeth and willed his simmering irritation to stay below full boil. “I'm Lucas Trent, president of Lodestar Exploration. I've got unlimited lines of credit with every bank in New Seattle. I can call the mayor's office and get Her Honor to vouch for me. Hell, I can call
the city-state governor's office for that matter. Damn it, what more do you need to know?”

“I know who you are, Mr. Trent.” Something that might have been genuine excitement sparked in her eyes. “Everyone in New Seattle knows who you are.” She lowered her gaze and made a small show of shuffling the forms that lay on the desk in front of her. “I'm quite satisfied that you can afford our fees.”

She was blushing.

Lucas was stunned by the sight of the unmistakable tint of pink on Amaryllis's high cheekbones. The prissy little founder was actually blushing.

He looked down at his big, scarred, calloused hands which were still flattened on the desk. He was suddenly very conscious of Amaryllis's elegant, neatly manicured fingers. The clear polish on her short nails caught his eye. He noticed that she was not wearing a wedding ring.

Lucas gave his brain a mental shake in an effort to override his basic masculine response to Amaryllis's blush. He did not date women who were endowed with her particular psychic abilities. He had enough problems.

Amaryllis was a highly trained prism. She had no true paranormal talents, as Lucas did, but she had the unique ability—and the professional training—to help people with psychic powers focus their otherwise erratic and unpredictable gifts.

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