It’s out today… 🙂
They’d been like a complete unit, the two of them. He calmed her thoughts and let her see beyond what her gift wanted to show her. And she let him use his unusual ability in a way he wouldn’t have been able to use it otherwise. His odd gifts and weird insights would have just been annoyances in any other job, never complete enough to serve any true function.
It was like they’d been designed to complete each other.
“It went deeper than it should have sometimes,” he said.
His face was blank. But a muscle jerked in his jaw as he said it.
That knot in her gut tightened. “I don’t want to hear this, Caleb. I was never hurt the way you think,” she snapped. Memories of that horrid dream tried to creep out of the depths of her mind, but she shoved them back.
“It’s not just about that,” he said gently. “It’s everything. I’d be working with another agent and I’d get glimmers from you. I could be on the other side of the country and I’d know when you were picking up on a perp, Destin. It went too deep.”
That knot was painful now.
He’d told her that. Time and again, when he’d tried to get her to use some bit of control.
Averting her gaze, she stared out the window at the clear blue sky. “It’s not going to be a problem anymore,” she said quietly. “I can control it now. You’re not picking up like that anymore, right?”
“No, I’m not. And just as much of that was my failing. I should have worked harder to lock things down—I could have built better walls. I’m not blaming you for what was going on with us. We couldn’t have been prepared for how tight we connected.”
“Okay.” She nodded slowly and then looked back at him. “So why are we having this talk?”
“Do you understand what I’m saying now?” he asked. “I tried to explain this before and you never listened.”
“I couldn’t,” she said flatly. “Listening would have required I look past how I did things, how I lived my life, and I wasn’t able to do that until I destroyed things. People. Myself. An innocent life.”
Compassionate eyes watched her. “You couldn’t have known that was going to happen.”
“Oh, bullshit,” she snapped, shoving back from the table. “I should have known it could happen. You warned me all the time that jumping feet first was going to cause me problems.”
“And if it had caused you problems, you would have been fine with it,” he interjected. “You didn’t expect somebody else to pay for it.”
“Somebody did. Somebody paid with their life,” she said quietly. “Now I have to live with that.” She covered her face with her hands, remembered that day. “I have to live with that every day.”
Silence filled the air. How could silence be so loud? It crowded the room until she wanted to scream, just to end it.
Swallowing, she lowered her hands and met his gaze. “If this little chat is to see if I’ve gotten my head on straight, I have. I don’t know where you’re going with this, if you think we should try again or what. We can’t think about that now, though. There’s a job—”
Caleb reached for the hem of his shirt and pulled it off.