by Shiloh Walker
With his strong psychic ability, FBI Agent Joss Crawford longs for the woman he loved in a past life. But after years of searching, a new case is drawing him into the last place he’d ever want to find her: an underground slave ring. Going undercover to infiltrate the network, he meets Drucella Chapman—the mastermind’s fiancée. Joss has every reason to believe she’s evil. So why is he irresistibly drawn to her?
Drucella has made it her personal mission to bring the slave ring down. But the sadistic ring leader is even more careful than he is cruel. In order to gain information, Dru has had to get close to the very man she wishes to kill, using her gift to read his memories bit by bit. She’d do anything to finish the job, but agreeing to marry him may have been a step too far—even for her.
Though Joss and Dru are both undercover, nothing can disguise the sense of déjà vu they experience when they meet. Neither can afford to be distracted from the mission at hand, but perhaps their reunion is exactly what this mission needs…
Hands jammed in his pockets, he headed down the strip, no particular destination in mind. As a tiny little girl–dressed in a wide-skirted dress of sunny yellow–cut in front of him, he almost tripped over his feet to keep from tripping over . Geez, what did she have on her feet, rockets?
Her mother came running out of a store after her and automatically, Joss took a step to cut her off. The little girl stopped in her tracks and smiled up at him, her mouth smeared with chocolate, a rather marked contrast with the glittery stuff on her eyes, her hair.
“I think somebody’s looking for you,” he said, nodding to the frazzled woman just before the lady could catch her arm.
She gave him a thankful look and as they melted back into the crowd, Joss did the same, moving with the flow.
Nothing here, he thought, distracted, nothing…
The road veered in a path off to the left. It wasn’t a conscious decision to follow it, but he did so, following it around the curve, passing behind a shop to a small alcove.
And he came up short, freezing in his tracks.
There she was…it was the woman he’d glimpsed earlier, in that figment of a vision, just before the dream had fallen apart, but that gut deep recognition…he her.
He knew her face.
Joss Crawford wasn’t prone to melodrama, he wasn’t prone to wishful thinking and he didn’t much believe in fairy tales or anything about crazy tales of love at first sight.
But the woman striding down the pavement, her face grim, her eyes dark…the sight of her was a punch, straight to his heart. She didn’t like she should, part of his brain insisted, but it didn’t matter.
He knew her, damn it. Standing rigid, barely able to breathe, much less move, he waited for her to look at him, to see him…to him. But it didn’t happen.
In fact, she was so busy staring at the pavement and making a concentrated effort to ignore everything around her, she didn’t even seem to . She went to pass around him and he just couldn’t stop him–he stepped right into her path so that she crashed straight into his chest.
She plowed into him, that body, all lean limbs and long muscles and golden, sunkissed skin, a nice, solid weight that he figured would fit his body just about perfectly. She stumbled and he reached up, closed his hands around the upper part of her arms, where the cotton of her shirt kept him from touching bare flesh.
He wanted to touch bare flesh…after all this time, he figured he just about to. But not now.
Right now, she was staring up at him with dazed, distrustful eyes–wariness flashed through them and he felt her tense.
“I’m sorry,” she said coolly. Oh. That voice. He loved it. Elegant and sexy as all get-out, crisp and clean and so damned proper. “I didn’t see you standing there.”
“No problem,” he said. It wasn’t what he wanted to say, but after all of this time, he didn’t know to say. Damn it. She was .
Images, bits of memory from that other life danced through his mind.
Standing by the waterside, almost just like this.
Her face lifted up to his. That first stolen kiss.
The sound of her laughter. Watching as she brushed her hair…golden hair then, long, past her waist. It had been beautiful. Her hair was dark now, nearly as dark as his own, sleek and shiny in a braid that fell over her shoulder, the tip of it curving over her breast. He wanted to unravel that braid, fist his hands in her hair and cover her mouth with his, taste her again.
A little about Shiloh:
Shiloh Walker has been writing since she was a kid. She fell in love with vampires with the book Bunnicula and has worked her way up to the more…ah…serious works of fiction. She loves reading and writing just about every kind of romance. Once upon a time she worked as a nurse, but now she writes full time and lives with her family in the Midwest. She writes romantic suspense and paranormal romance, and urban fantasy under the name.
Learn more about Shiloh here