Black Hawk pilot Captain Barbara Lynn Perry is running scared. Witness to an event too horrible to think about and too dangerous to talk of, she finds herself alienated from a world she has always had faith in.
With her Special Forces brother missing, she has only one other person to turn to. When her friend Flynn Swann isn’t available, Barbara is left with no choice but to trust the man Flynn sends to save her.
Psychiatrist Dominic Salter’s information from her superior officer’s file is that Barbara has gone rogue. Despite the damning evidence, every instinct tells him he’s dealing with an honorable woman, one who single-handedly saved Flynn from torture and a sure death. Dominic’s challenge is to delve his way beneath her tough, defensive attitude and coax the truth from a woman who’s too frightened to reveal her dark secret.
In his brand new facility containing a state of the art Dreampsych Transcender he’s experimenting with, a machine far beyond a simulator, Dominic has to gain the trust and confidence of Barbara while he resists the hard pull of attraction to this kick-ass woman.
Betrayed by a member of his staff, events take a sinister turn, and the pressure is on in a fight against time for Dominic to persuade Barbara to put her trust in him and reveal the truth before matters are taken out of his hands.
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Her eyes flew open in a frenzied panic at the touch of a hand on her shoulder.
She surged to her feet and a red haze covered her vision from the violence of her memories. She knocked the dark figure above her onto his ass and spared him a brief, pitiful smile. She leaned in to appreciate the quick flash of surprise when he realized she’d relieved him of the gun he’d had tucked in his holster, neatly concealed under his thick cable-knit sweater. She held it to his temple. Ice formed to protect her heart. Self-preservation was paramount.
“It’s okay, Barbara. It was only a dream.” Her vision cleared while she stared into his tranquil features. “You’re safe, it was only a dream.”
But it wasn’t a dream. It was a memory, and nothing about it was okay.
Calmer, she scanned his face. Eyes soft as a rain-filled sky overflowed with empathy.
Barbara brought her face close to his. She’d seen fear many times and with varying degrees, but there was no fear from Dominic, just an innate patience as he waited for her to make her move.
Her mistake was touching him. She reached out her free hand and curved it around the back of his neck. The heat of his skin penetrated her iciness, warming the palm of her hand to remind her she was human and she held a human life at her mercy.
Not yet ready to acknowledge that humanity, she leaned in, her nose almost touching his. “What’s a good professor like you doing with a gun?”
The corner of his mouth kicked up as he kept his unwavering gaze on her. “Security. We have some very expensive equipment here. I am licensed.”
“You weren’t very secure, were you, Professor?”
“Yeah. That shit. Get me to call you by your name, we start to bond. Well, I’m not ready to bond, Prof.”
His low rumbling chuckle vibrated through her fingers. The guy had some balls to be able to laugh, even if it was a forced one. He leaned back on his elbows so she had to either let go of her hold on his neck or go with him. She rolled onto her knees so they pressed against his chest, surprised at the hard muscle she found there. Her position was a little precarious if he decided to flip her over, but she was still the one holding the gun to his head.
She gnawed at her bottom lip as she contemplated her options while the psychiatrist stared with endless patience in his deep, fathomless eyes until she made up her mind. With a regretful cluck, she shuffled back off Dominic’s body to rest on her haunches by his side. She should probably give him the benefit of the doubt.
She turned the gun around, offered him the handle, and as he took it, a thought occurred to her. “Is it loaded?”
His genuine smile spread wide, lightening his dark features as he sat upright to tuck the gun into its holster.
She came to her feet and offered her hand to help him up, unreasonably pleased when he took it and rolled to his feet, keeping a firm grip on her. His palm should have
been damp with sweat. Instead it was warm and dry. There was no softness to it, which was contrary to the rest of the image he portrayed.
“So, what do we do now, Professor?” She tilted her head to look up at him. It wasn’t difficult for anyone to be taller than she was, but he didn’t have the imposing height many of the soldiers she knew had. He was nowhere near as tall as the gorilla he employed, who probably topped six feet four. No, the solid professor was most likely just around the six feet mark, wide shoulders, his muscles were pretty well defined. She’d bet money he didn’t spend all day behind a desk in his cozy little gray-knit cardigan. She raked her gaze over him. He was a man of action.
Disappointed at the cool emptiness he left behind when he removed his hand from hers, she watched, intrigued, as he turned his back, apparently unconcerned that she could just whip the gun from him again. She’d made her point; he’d shown his trust. She didn’t feel the need to test him any further. It puzzled her why he should feel the need to carry a gun for security when the facility wasn’t commissioned and the only guest was her.
She studied him as he leaned over the desk, her opinion of the gentle professor evolving. There was definitely no need for him to carry a gun. Unless he knew something she didn’t. Unless Strachan had contacted him.
When he turned back, he held her file in one hand, his glasses in the other. “I think we can get to work. Come on. This way.”
Where to Find Diane Saxon
About the Author
Diane Saxon lives in the Shropshire countryside with her tall, dark, handsome husband, two gorgeous daughters, a Dalmatian, one-eyed kitten, ginger cat, four chickens and a new black Labrador puppy called Beau, whose name has been borrowed for her hero in For Heaven’s Cakes.
After working for years in a demanding job, on-call and travelling great distances, Diane gave it all up when her husband said “follow that dream”.
Having been hidden all too long, her characters have burst forth demanding plot lines of their own and she’s found the more she lets them, the more they’re inclined to run wild.
Loving Lydia -Atlantic Divide Book 1
Bad Girl Bill – Atlantic Divide Book 2
Finding Zoe – Atlantic Divide Book 3
Flight of Her Life
Flynn’s Kiss – Disarmed & Dangerous Book 1
Short Circuit Time
For Heaven’s Cakes
Banshee Seduction – Montgomery’s Sin, Book 1