In their fight for survival, the layers come off--body and soul.
A Midnight Warriors story.
Anna Draekus is a soldier wrapped up in secrets, one of which has just been blown. As a member of the shadowy Madjin Circle, she was marked and trained from childhood to protect the king, even without his knowing. And now that her superior officer Nevin Daniels has discovered her allegiance to the Madjin, another secret is in serious danger of exposure.
The one where she fantasizes about cracking the taciturn Refarian's composure and making him scream her name in passion.
Nevin has tried everything to exorcise Anna from his mind and body, once and for all. Nothing works. He's long lusted after the free-spirited and plainspoken soldier, but her mere presence ties him in knots and drives him to the brink of insanity. Something a man in his position can't afford. Something a man of his maturity could never hope for.
Then a routine patrol finds them wrecked and marooned deep in the Wyoming backcountry. And Anna unwraps Nevin's deepest secret of all: Beneath his tightly controlled exterior beats the wild heart of a tiger.
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1 . A good quick read
Posted July 27, 2009 by angela , newport newsI like this book. If you only have time for a quick read than this book is for you.
June 05, 2008
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Excerpt from Parallel Fire by Deidre Knight
Nevin circled the downed craft, trying to assess what, precisely, had gone wrong. Trailing his fingertips along the plane's side, he emitted his natural energy, working to power the machine. No reaction. With a quick glance back at where Anna lay off to the side, unconscious--he'd carried her there immediately in case the craft blew--he opened both of his palms.
Dropping to the ground so he wouldn't have to steady himself, he concentrated on his open hands. He cupped them in front of his chest, closed his eyes, and allowed his natural energy to build. It was his one true blessing from All, his gift of energy; that it was such a markedly unusual one only made it all the more special. Perhaps now it would be the thing that could save both their lives; if his natural power could somehow infuse the craft--if it had been a simple matter of a ruptured tank--then he might be able to power them back out of this isolated place.
A glowing ball of pure energy formed between his hands, and manipulating it carefully, he began directing it toward the plane.
Behind him, Anna's soft voice startled him. "I've never seen anything quite like that before."
He focused his entire being on wielding the power sphere, but nevertheless, it changed hues from a bright golden shade to a warmer and richer one. Of course his energy would react to Anna; if there were any woman alive on this planet who could cause a reaction like that, it would be her.
"I have to...use it. Wait."
"It's your energy, isn't it?"
"Anna...a moment," he barely managed to gasp before finally catapulting the powerful orb of energy into the craft. He watched as it seemed to explode into a million pinpricks of glowing power, then hoisted himself back into the cockpit and, in vain, attempted to start the damned thing once again. After several long moments of manipulating the controls, he dropped back to the ground, and strode purposefully to Anna's side.
"How are you feeling?" He took her bare hand into his own gloved one. "You took quite a nasty hit to the head."
She smiled up at him wanly. "Not so good."
Searching the area around them, he knew he had to get her someplace safe for the night. Bears were already coming out of hibernation, and there were wolves and other predators. "We could sleep in the plane," he suggested. "Probably the safest bet tonight."
Her eyes drifted shut. "I wanna lie down."
"You don't really need that, Anna. In fact, you should stay awake until we can determine the extent of your injuries."
"Can we at least warm up? Make a fire or something first?" She struggled to sit up. "Wait! I have an idea. I just need to shapeshift, then I can go for help."
Anna pressed a hand to her temple. "I know I can," she insisted, but by the way her face drained of color, she was obviously fighting a wave of nausea, "Just a minute..." she attempted weakly.
Nevin cupped her shoulder, aware that the warmth of his body radiated through his glove and her uniform, but he didn't move his hand. He liked the idea of her feeling his heat, and besides, he had the perfect excuse: She needed his warm touch after tonight's shock.
"You need to rest, Anna. It would be dangerous for you to shapeshift and make that long trek back to base. You might grow too weak."
"I'd be fine," she tried to argue, but he cut her off.
"Lieutenant, I am ordering you to stay here, with the downed craft, and pass the nighttime hours within the cockpit." His voice was stern and pointed. "Understood?"
From where she lay staring up at him, she gave him a weak salute. This earned her a grudging, sideways smile from her commanding officer. "Good work, soldier," he said, returning her salute.
Looking back over his shoulder at the craft, he thought through the logistics of the cramped space. He had to determine the best way to help Anna recuperate without putting her through any more pain--and without winding up holding her in his arms which was, truthfully, the thing he wanted most desperately of all. More, even, than getting the craft working again. It was pure insanity, but once he'd landed safely his first thoughts had been of Anna. Of having her all to himself, here in the wilds, of them being alone for some period of time. It had taken everything within him to assume command of the situation as his training dictated.
"You never answered about your energy," she called out to him softly. He spun to face her, shocked by the vulnerable expression on her face. "I've never seen anything so beautiful in my life."
Nevin's entire body tensed, grew tighter than a drum. "It's nothing."
"You should have told me that day in the meeting room. If I'd known that you had the gift of energy, I'd have trusted you with my Madjin mark. I'd have shown you."
He wasn't sure how it happened, but suddenly he had both hands braced about her face, leaning over her. His breathing was intense, his hunger for her so palpable and real, he could feel it coursing throughout his body.