Healing Kiss Excerpt



Barnes & Noble

The thought kept her heart racing during the thirty-minute drive. It didn’t let up when she pulled into the visitor’s parking lot and hurried toward the glass doors, which opened when she stepped in front of them at the same moment a tall man did.

“Oh.” She gasped and stumbled out of the stranger’s reach.

“After you.” The stranger paused, gesturing for her to go in front of him, his deep voice causing her heartbeat to accelerate even more.

She hesitated, but he made no move to grab her, so she slipped by him. He was tall, which made it easy for her to bend her head and avoid meeting his gaze. Still, she caught a glimpse of a firm jawline, dark hair, and a black computer bag strung over one shoulder as she passed.

She continued moving toward the infectious disease wing where Hannah was staying, the beat of her heart matching the tap-tap-tap of her shoes against the floor. The man followed behind. No one else was nearby, so she could hear the soft tread of his shoes. She quickened her pace, her breath coming faster now. Her stomach did a flip, and her throat tightened, preparing her to flee or scream if the situation demanded it.

She reached Hannah’s room. Bile rose in her throat when she realized the man’s footsteps stopped when she stopped.

She grabbed the door knob and glanced to the side. The man was no longer there. She let her breath out in a rush and leaned her forehead against the door to recover her equilibrium. Get a hold of yourself, Lillian. Not every strange guy was one of Kinetica’s men, looking to grab her. She’d been so panicked, she hadn’t even taken the time to check the man’s vitality.

She pushed the door to Hannah’s room open, closing it behind her. Her sister lay unmoving in the hospital bed, the ventilator huffing as it breathed for her. Is she okay? Fear squeezed Lillian’s lungs, and she rushed forward, leaning over the bed, studying the still shape, drawing on her talent. Although she couldn’t see anything with her eyes, in her mind, a thin, translucent wisp of white vapor escaped Hannah’s lips.

Lillian’s head swam, and she steadied herself against the bed to stay upright. Her sister was unconscious and weak but not dead. Not yet. And she wouldn’t die. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not if I can prevent it.

She pulled the blanket back and grasped Hannah’s limp hand in her own. She closed her eyes and centered her mind on the dark shape, which formed behind her eyelids. Hannah’s body. A small amount of orange light pulsed and glowed around her.

Now to make it grow.

Grow until it covered Hannah’s physical form. Until it overcame the virus in her system. Until her sister was no longer ill.

Lillian tightened her grasp on her sister’s hands and opened her mind, letting healing energy flow through her fingertips and into Hannah. With every breath, the dark shape in her mind grew smaller, and the orange halo grew wider and longer. But not enough to smother the darkness.

She let go of Hannah’s hands to swipe at the tears wetting her cheeks. No matter how many breaths she took, no matter how much she strained, no matter how long she tried, the orange light refused to spread to the size needed for true healing.

Tears came faster now, blinding her and soaking the blanket. A sob escaped her lips and she swallowed, releasing Hannah’s hands. She grabbed a tissue from the cube on the hospital table and blew her nose. Despair slid a cold hand down her neck. She couldn’t lie to herself anymore. Hannah was dying, and all Lillian could do was blubber like a baby.

She needed to do something, take some action, find someone with enough vitality to save Hannah’s life. But people with that much vitality were as rare as a perfectly cut blue diamond. And she needed such a large, continuous quantity of energy to heal Hannah, it would be almost impossible to absorb what she needed from the hospital workers. Still, she had to try.

She tossed the tissue into the wastebasket and strode toward the door. She’d load up on caffeine, and then she’d walk every wing in the hospital, test everyone she came in contact with, absorb whatever energy she could. Short of harming another, she would do whatever she had to do to cure her sister.

The moment she stepped into the hallway, fear and pain slammed into her gut. She leaned against the wall, clutching her middle and struggling for breath. There was only one reason she would feel such intense agony. Someone suffered nearby. Someone who matched her body chemistry. Someone she could heal quickly, with so little effort it wouldn’t impact her ability to heal Hannah.

She glanced at a room down the hall. The door was open, so she moved until she could see inside. A child lay in the bed, her thin arms on top of the blanket. Lillian figured she couldn’t be more than four or five years old. An IV was taped to one of the small hands, wrapped in white gauze and an Ace bandage.

She should leave. If she lingered, someone might see and wonder what she was doing in the girl’s room. Perhaps they’d call security, and she’d be questioned. But the girl gasped, and her suffering was a jolt to Lillian’s overworked heart. How could she ignore the child’s distress, knowing she could easily relieve her pain?

She moved toward the bed. “Sweetheart, it’s okay. I’m here to help.”

In answer, the child whimpered, her eyes unfocused. Lillian placed a hand on the girl’s forehead and closed her eyes. Almost instantly, a dark shape formed in her mind’s eye. She breathed, and orange light surrounded the shape, lengthening and widening. The orange pulsed and swelled until it covered the darkness.

“Are you an angel?” a tiny voice squeaked.

Lillian popped her eyes open to meet the child’s puzzled gaze. Lillian smiled and withdrew her hand. “Just a friend. Do you feel better?”

The girl nodded and yawned. “Uh-huh.”

“Good. Sleep now. You’ll feel even better tomorrow. I promise.”

“Okay.” The child closed her eyes.

Lillian swiped a hand across the damp hair clinging to her forehead. A warm feeling moved through her body, soothing frazzled nerves, the after-effects of a successful healing. She’d like nothing more than to take a nap, too. But she couldn’t. She had work to do.

She turned toward the door. The man she’d seen earlier—she recognized his computer bag and his towering frame—leaned against the doorway, his arms folded across his chest and one brow raised, like some sort of dark angel preparing to mete out punishment. She jumped back and let out a small shriek.

“What are you doing in here?”

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