Wwwwwwaaaayyyyy back… I had an idea about psychic-type cops. The bare rough idea started with this book...
It was rough… it is rough, but still. It’s sort of from there that idea for Taige, Jillian, Cullen, all of those ideas emerged.
I think I’m going to start playing with some shorter FBI books in between…
Here’s my first stab…The One. Details coming soon.
“He dumped me because he got tired of washing the blood out of our sheets.”
Destin Mortin swallowed the knot in her throat and lifted her gaze to stare into the unreadable eyes of her boss, Elise Oswald, aka Oz. Although Destin’s heart was racing a mile a minute and her palms were sweating, none of it showed on her face.
She was a master at hiding how she felt. Came in handy—in her line of work. In her job.
It didn’t matter if she was tracking down a rapist, if she’d just connected with one, if she was caught in the middle of his mind while he tracked down his next victim.
Being a psychic, that was something that happened fairly regularly, especially with her. For reasons she couldn’t quite fathom, she usually connected with violent sexual predators. It was a screwed-up ability, but because of it, she knew how to hide what she was thinking, what she was feeling pretty damn well.
And it was definitely coming in handy now, under the eagle eye of her boss, the woman who’d just asked about the man who’d held her heart, and broken it.
With a cool smile, Destin met Oz’s gaze and shrugged. “What does it matter now? We broke up five years ago and he’s still with the Bureau. I’m very much not.”
Oz cocked a silvery-blonde brow, her expression remote. It wasn’t the expression she usually wore here in the office.
Oz smiled. She laughed. She let people know if she was pissed or cranky or if she’d been up too late reading a book. The few times her expression didn’t show was when she felt a need to hold those cards close to her chest…a bad case, troubling one. When one of them was about to get thrown into something they didn’t like.
And she’d just asked about Caleb…shit.
Stop it, she told herself. It couldn’t mean anything. Caleb Durand had left Oz’s group years ago and he was still an agent with the FBI. Oz did private work now.
Nothing to worry about.
But that tight, composed expression on Oz’s face was troubling. Very troubling. Over the past few years, her pale blonde hair had slowly gone silver. There were a few more lines around her green eyes. But other than that, Oz looked pretty much exactly as she had when she’d recruited Destin ten years earlier. She was every bit as inscrutable now as she had been then and that blank expression had Destin’s belly shrinking down into a tight, cold knot.
Why in the hell is she asking about Caleb?
Destin slumped more comfortably in the seat and prepared herself to wait it out. If it had been just anybody else in the group, she might have tried a psychic probe–she didn’t always strike gold with those, but on occasion, she’d pick up something. But she wouldn’t with Oz. The other woman was a blank surface, until she decided she didn’t want to be.
Oz leaned back in her chair absently toying with a Mont Blanc pen. The woman loved them. Loved them, and lost them.
Destin didn’t see why she bothered. A pen was a pen.
As Oz tapped the pen on the arm of her chair, she watched Destin, her eyes close and watchful.
Destin was damned glad she knew how to hide what she was thinking. What she was feeling. Oz was studying her, staring at her with eyes that seemed to see clear through to her soul and Destin felt like curling up into a little ball and hiding, like that would make whatever this was just go away.
Seconds ticked away and then the silence was shattered by Oz’s blunt statement, “You’re full of it, Destin.”
Destin shrugged. “Hey, you can’t blame the guy. It gets disconcerting to wake up and find your girlfriend covered in blood and nearly catatonic once or twice a month.” Destin had gotten caught in odd dream-like visions for more than half of her life and when they came at her unawares, they often came with vicious headaches and heavy nosebleeds. Very attractive stuff.
“Did it happen that often?” Oz’s face softened a little, the blank mask fading away as she leaned forward.
The visions that hit Destin didn’t always happen easily. Sometimes they were a mere figment, just a wisp of a thing. Other times, they came with a brutal, one-two punch that left her reeling, dealing with the physical aftermath.
Bad? Not always. But sometimes? Yeah. And nothing freaked out a boyfriend quite like waking up in the morning to find his woman covered in blood and practically catatonic.
Destin shrugged. “Yes. Sometimes more.” She smirked and hoped it masked the pain she felt. “I got used to it a long time ago, but it’s probably a little disconcerting for others. Probably gets real old, too, after a while. Hell, it gets old for me. But I’m stuck with it. No reason for others to deal with it.”
The nosebleeds came with the visions. They were something she was stuck with and there was nothing she could do but deal with them. Granted, Caleb hadn’t ever acted like they bothered him and more than once, she’d come out of the trance-like state to find him gently cleaning the blood from her face.
He’d never once made her feel like the freak she knew she was. He’d never once made her feel like a monster or like some twisted, perverted thing that should never exist.
She made herself feel like that. Her parents had. One or two of the friends she’d tried to trust with the information.
But Caleb had–
Stop. Caleb walked out, remember? Just like everybody else in her life. He’d walked out.
And just like it was yesterday, she saw it all playing it out. The way he’d looked as he sat across from her and told her he didn’t know if they were heading anywhere or not. Destin had been frozen with terror, because she had known where he was going. Out the door. They all hit the door sooner or later, and that was exactly what happened with him, too.
“You know, Destin,” Oz said, tossing the pen down on the desk and leaning back. “I’m not quite buying that. I’m not buying that Durand dumped you because he didn’t like that you wake up with nosebleeds after having one of your dreams. It just doesn’t click.”
Destin shifted in the chair and crossed her legs. “Look, I don’t know why he dumped me. For all I know he got bored with me—” The rest of the words wanted to stick in her throat, but she forced them out. “Maybe he found somebody that was a little less neurotic to deal with. I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. It’s over. It’s done.”
“Destin, if it didn’t matter, I wouldn’t have you in here. Like you said, it’s been five years. I’m not asking just because I’m bored, or because I’m going to reprimand you for having an affair with a colleague. It’s because—” her eyes cut to the door.
A second later, Destin heard the door open.
The skin on the back of her neck crawled and she squeezed her eyes shut. Her heart started to race and her skin felt too tight, too small. Something that might have been happiness bloomed inside her heart before it withered and died as reality shifted and settled into place.
Even before he spoke, she knew.
Opening her eyes, she glared at Oz.
“Good afternoon, ladies.”