Your Heart Belongs to Me

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 2009-10-27
  • Publisher: Bantam
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From the #1 "New York Times"-bestselling master of suspense comes a riveting thriller that probes the deepest terrors of the human psyche--and the ineffable mystery of what truly makes us who we are. Now available in a tall Premium Edition.

Author Biography

Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives with his wife, Gerda, and the enduring spirit of their golden retriever, Trixie, in southern California.

From the Hardcover edition.


Chapter One

Ryan Perry did not know that something in him was broken. At thirty-four, he appeared to be more physically fit than he had been at twenty-four. His home gym was well equipped. A personal trainer came to his house three times a week.

On that Wednesday morning in September, in his bedroom, when he drew open the draperies and saw blue sky as polished as a plate, and the sea blue with the celestial reflection, he wanted surf and sand more than he wanted breakfast.

He went on-line, consulted a surfcast site, and called Samantha. She must have glanced at the caller-ID readout, because she said, “Good morning, Winky.”

She occasionally called him Winky because on the afternoon that she met him, thirteen months previously, he had been afflicted with a stubborn case of myokymia, uncontrollable twitching of an eyelid.

Sometimes, when Ryan became so obsessed with writing software that he went thirty-six hours without sleep, a sudden-onset tic in his right eye forced him to leave the keyboard and made him appear to be blinking out a frantic distress signal in Morse code. In that myokymic moment, Samantha had come to his office to
interview him for an article that she had been writing for Vanity Fair. For a moment, she had thought he was flirting with her–and flirting clumsily.

During that first meeting, Ryan wanted to ask for a date, but he perceived in her a seriousness of purpose that would cause her to reject him as long as she was writing about him. He called her only after he knew that she had delivered the article.

“When Vanity Fair appears, what if I’ve savaged you?” she had asked.

“You haven’t.”

“How do you know?”

“I don’t deserve to be savaged, and you’re a fair person.”

“You don’t know me well enough to be sure of that.”

“From your interviewing style,” he said, “I know you’re smart, clear-thinking, free of political dogma, and without envy. If I’m not safe with you, then I’m safe nowhere except alone in a room.”

He had not sought to flatter her. He merely spoke his mind.

Having an ear for deception, Samantha recognized his sincerity.

Of the qualities that draw a bright woman to a man, truthfulness is equaled only by kindness, courage, and a sense of humor. She had accepted his invitation to dinner, and the months since then had been the happiest of his life.

Now, on this Wednesday morning, he said, “Pumping six-footers, glassy and epic, sunshine that feels its way deep into your bones.”

“I’ve got a deadline to meet.”

“You’re too young for all this talk about death.”

“Are you riding another train of manic insomnia?”

“Slept like a baby. And I don’t mean in a wet diaper.”

“When you’re sleep-deprived, you’re treacherous on a board.”

“I may be radical, but never treacherous.”

“Totally insane, like with the shark.”

“That again. That was nothing.”

“Just a great white.”

“Well, the bastard bit a huge chunk out of my board.”

“And–what?–you were determined to get it back?”

“I wiped out,” Ryan said, “I’m under the wave, in the murk, grabbin’ for air, my hand closes around what I think is the skeg.”

The skeg, a fixed fin on the bottom of a surfboard, holds the stern of the board in the wave and allows the rider to steer.

What Ryan actually grabbed was the shark’s dorsal fin.

Samantha said, “What kind of kamikaze rides a shark?”

“I wasn’t riding. I was taken for a ride.”

“He surfaced,

Excerpted from Your Heart Belongs to Me by Dean Koontz
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