Cross Waves Excerpt
She can kill with a thought.
Gifted with an explosive psychic talent, Geneva Ericksen can’t risk letting ex-boyfriend Rolf Jorgensen back in her life. If she does, she might accidentally kill him. But when Rolf’s sister goes missing, Geneva and her extraordinary abilities may be his only hope to find her.
He’s hiding a deadly secret.
Rolf‘s not about to let Geneva slip away from him, even if it means protecting her from his dark gift. As Rolf and Geneva trail his sister, they soon uncover a life-threatening plot: someone is attempting to profit from stealing and trapping their power in crystals.
To outsmart the enemy, it will take all their combined strength. But can they trust each other enough to survive?
She opened her mouth to scream, but the sound was silenced by a blunt, familiar voice in her head. “Keep quiet. Remain calm.”
She looked to the doorway, eyes wide. Rolf Jorgensen, all six feet two of him, hung in the opening like a caged tiger. Dark patches of multicolored red light poured from his chest and arms.
That explained the energy spheres she’d grabbed earlier. What was he doing here? Relief spread through her system, soothing any questions she had about his sudden appearance. Thank God he’d come.
Rolf approached Tim, who stood staring. “Let her go,” Rolf said, his tone rough. A muscle in his jaw twitched.
Tim eyed Rolf up and down but did not let Geneva go. His grip on her arms tightened, like a slow-moving vise. “Stay out of this mister, if you know what’s good for you. The bitch broke my buddy’s arm. She needs a lesson in manners.”
Rolf moved in a blur. He thrust out a powerful hand, grasping Tim’s neck in a single movement and hustling him further into the parking lot, Geneva still in his clutches. “Watch your language around the lady. If anyone’s giving any lessons today, it will be me. Let her go. Now.”
Geneva felt the pulse of energy issued with the command. Tim responded by pushing her to the ground. She landed in a small heap, cracking her head against the cement. For a second, she couldn’t see. When her eyes did focus, she was certain she hallucinated. There was no other explanation for the scene in front of her.
Black light oozed from Rolf Jorgensen’s aura, making him seem taller and fiercer than he’d been a moment earlier. His black leather jacket and dark curly hair only added to the impression. He picked Tim up by the scruff of his neck, growling. “Get the hell out of here. If you touch her again, you won’t live to talk about it.”
Geneva thought she heard a crunch and Tim moaning but when she managed to lift herself and look towards the sound, all that remained was an empty parking lot. Trees spun in her vision, bile rose in her throat, and her head felt like a giant rock about to topple off her shoulders and smash into the cold, hard ground.
Later, she would wonder if she made the next part up. Because she could swear when she fainted, Rolf Jorgensen caught her, whispering all sorts of un-Rolf like endearments in her ear.
The next time she woke, she was lying on the grass, her aching head pillowed by his leather jacket. Rolf remained nearby. She could smell the fresh pine scent of him mixed with the grass and cigarette smoke wafting from the bar. Wet seeped into her back. She let out a small cry at the cold chill.
“Are you okay?” His deep voice came from her left side, sounding both tense and relieved at the same time and sending tiny trembles through her body. Rolf sat slightly behind her, short sleeved and cross-legged, studying the bruises on her arms where Tim had gripped her. Something deadly flashed across his aura and disappeared.
Did she imagine it?
She fingered the back of her head, wincing at the soreness, and thought about sitting.
“Take it slow,” he cautioned, touching the cut on her cheek, his expression guarded. The gentleness of his fingers was in stark contrast to the edge in his voice. A spot of dark red danced through his aura. No, she had not imagined it. Rolf struggled to control his anger.
“You have a nasty bump on your head.”
She rose in slow motion to a sitting position. When the trees didn’t waver, she began to stand.
“Here, let me help you.” Rolf plucked his jacket from the ground and draped it around her shoulders. He studied her, his intense blue eyes setting firecrackers off inside. He pulled her to her feet and held her, probably worried she would keel over. Geneva stood still for a moment and enjoyed the feel of his hands warm and strong where they circled her waist.
“C’mon. I’ll give you a lift home,” he said.
He gestured towards his motorcycle with one hand. Geneva’s mouth fell open. When she’d asked him out earlier today, he’d said no. But now, here she was wearing his jacket and being offered a ride on his motorcycle. All of her girlfriends would be jealous when they found out. Rolf didn’t let anyone on his precious Harley. But he was offering it now…to her.
When she didn’t move, he picked her up. The action was so unexpected, Geneva hung on tight, her arms circling his broad shoulders. She swore she felt the caress of his lips against her hair.
Am I dreaming?
He held her close, his muscles tightening, pulling her into his body heat. The direct contact caused her heart to stop pumping momentarily, before resuming its rhythm, now off-beat.
Thump. Thump-thump. Thump. Thump-thump-thump.
Thoughts swam in her head like a million minnows. When he reached his destination and slowly lowered her to the ground next to his Harley, she couldn’t control the tiny tremble that shook her small frame.
“Give me a second.”
Could he feel her excitement and panic at being so near to him? If he did, he gave no sign. She stood sandwiched between his hard body and the motorcycle, working to control the weakness in her legs. She leaned against him, trying to ignore the healthy green shade of his aura, and attempted to rein in her bodies’ reaction to his closeness.
Rolf pulled his helmet from the handlebars and placed it on her head, tightening the straps, his movements sure and efficient.
She cleared her throat. “How come you were in the bar…earlier? I thought you weren’t interested in me?”
He didn’t speak but finished fastening the helmet then leaned towards her with barely a show of muscles. He raised one eyebrow. “I never said I wasn’t interested. I told you to go home.”
Rolf gave Geneva no time to respond before lifting her high and placing her on his bike. Her heart thumped so loud, she suspected he could hear it. He watched her, his eyes fierce and glittery like some ancient sorcerer, and wrapped his hands around her waist to steady her. His dark hair glistened in the moonlight. “Why don’t you ever listen?”
She shrugged and leaned forward, away from his hard hands. What could she say? I don’t listen because maybe then you’ll spare me a drop of attention?
Rolf stilled. Was he in her mind? Geneva tested her defenses but they appeared to be in tact. She tilted her head to meet his hard gaze. “Maybe because I’m no longer a child, in case you hadn’t noticed.”
“Oh, I noticed all right.” He grinned with all the charm of the local bad boy. The smooth tone of his voice and mischievous look in his striking blue eyes did strange things to her insides. But all too soon his smile dimmed, and he resumed the lecture like he was one of her older brothers. “You’re too young to be hanging out in bars. The drinking age is 21, in case you weren’t aware.”
Anger brought a rush of tears. It was all his fault. She blinked them away. “Don’t act like I’m stupid just because I’m a few years younger than you. I know the legal drinking age. Besides, I wouldn’t have been drinking at all if you hadn’t turned me down. Where did you go on your motorcycle? How’d you end up in the bar?”
He sighed, finally moving his hands from around her waist and running one through his dark hair. “I didn’t go anywhere on my bike. I knew you were mad. I know what you get like. After you stalked off, I figured I’d better stick around and see what you were up to.”
“Oh, you did, did ya?”
“Yeah, and you should be glad I did. Our friend did not have happy thoughts on his mind. He intended to rape you, then break your jaw.”
His voice was rough and hard. Her breath hitched. Rolf was having difficulty controlling his anger. This was a new side to the man. The Rolf she knew rarely lost his temper. Never with her. He kept to himself, which, she admitted, was part of her, and every other female she knew, attraction to him.
She bowed her head. Geneva had known Tim meant to harm her, but rape? She was the newest recruit in a family of mind hackers—trained government agents like the man in front of her, able to hack into the human brain and guard or erase thoughts. Of course, they couldn’t do it well without women like her around—professional trainers who gathered, magnified and projected brain waves. Her intuitive skills allowed her to understand the emotions, and sometimes thoughts, of those she came in contact with, especially when they intended violence.
“Thank you.” She shivered, lifting her head to catch his piercing gaze. “For looking out for me.”
He nodded but did not look away. His eyes cast a direct line to her heart, tugging and twisting.
His lips didn’t move but she heard the whispered words in her head, like the gentlest of breezes. Geneva frowned. The whisper in her mind meant he’d somehow skipped past her defenses and gotten into her head. He was one of the few who could do it without her being aware.
“I’ll always know when you’re in trouble.”
She should make him leave. She had not invited him into her mind. But the intimacy of the moment was not lost on Geneva. Purple and green mixed in his aura, giving him a magical glow.
Hackers weren’t known to allow anyone into their heads. They built up an incredible amount of defensive blocks on the job. But miraculously, for a brief moment, Rolf lowered his defenses, and she understood with blinding clarity what she had not before. Rolf hadn’t wanted her because he was protecting her. He believed he was dangerous. A threat to Geneva’s safety. He was warning her to stay away.
A dark cage dropped over his thoughts, and she was once again on the outside looking in. Without warning, Rolf swung one long leg over the leather seat, so he was in front of her. He started the motorcycle, gunning the engine.
“Hold on tight.”
Geneva wrapped her arms around his lean waist and pressed against his back, enjoying the feeling of hard muscles and solid strength. She sighed. If she could, if he’d let her, she’d never let him go. They were meant to be together.
Without warning, an image of Rolf encased in black light as she’d seen him earlier rose in her mind. She had imagined it, hadn’t she? Hackers didn’t give off black light. She’d been through training. Only hardened criminals and serial killers projected light on the lowest end of the spectrum. Murderers who were capable of the worst kind of torture. Rolf wasn’t like that.
He was…magnificent. That was the only word she could find to describe him. An avenging angel, protective, charismatic…powerful. He’d been looking out for her ever since she was a child. He would never let anyone harm her.
But could he save her from himself?
Where had that thought come from? Geneva shivered and pressed her face against Rolf’s solid back, denying the voice of reason in her head.
How ridiculous. She didn’t need saving, especially from Rolf, whom she’d known most of her life. She wasn’t a child. Why just this morning she’d been told she was the most powerful trainer the CMU had ever hired. She was more than a match for Rolf. She could hold her own.
Geneva sniffed the air, savoring the night and his unique scent. His energy tickled her nerve endings, hinting at a passion buried deep if only he’d give them half a chance. Pressed against Rolf like this, she imagined they were a couple, linked by mind and body. She lifted her chin. She’d convince Rolf they were perfect together. She’d show him she didn’t break.
She cracked the doorway in her head so he’d be sure to hear her thoughts. “I’m not afraid of you, Rolf Jorgensen. Quit trying to protect me. I’m not giving up. We were meant together.”
He didn’t respond. It didn’t matter. She might never get another to chance to ride on the back of his motorcycle again. Geneva closed her eyes and tossed away her concerns. So intent was she on enjoying the heat of his body, the roar of the bike, and the caress of the warm summer wind rushing by her face, she almost missed his whispered words.
“Forget about me,” he said. “Before it’s too late.”
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