“Defective” – Excerpt from CRIMSON ROSE (Project Prometheus)

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These are probably two of my most unusual Prometheans. While their peculiarities might seem to stretch the boundary of believability, the foundation of each is actually based on solid medical science, filtered through established folklore spanning thousands of years. I don’t want to give away exactly what their oddities are, just yet, here’s a brief glimpse into a few of the details…

 

“Defective” – Excerpted from CRIMSON ROSE (Project Prometheus)

She picked the wrong man to stalk.  Geronimo Black’s eyes narrowed as he watched the dark-haired woman stop and turn in a confused circle.  Her pretty face scrunched in a frown of frustration, and she started toward the doorway just past the alley in which he hid.  Closer.  Closer.  C’mon, sweet stuff.

There!  His arm snaked out, lightning fast, and covered her mouth as he hauled her into the shadows of the alley and trapped her against the brick wall, his arm across her throat to keep her from screaming. “I don’t know who the hell you are, lady, but you better start talking.”

She glared at him as he eased up the pressure just enough for her to speak.  “Mon Dieu! Remove your hands this instant, Mr. Black.”

Stunned, Gerry stumbled backward as her knuckles clipped his ribs, forcing the air from his lungs in a grunt of pain.  He blinked at her.  “Claire?”

Eyes of a deep, rich brown rolled upward in exasperation.  “Oui.”

He blinked again, and reached out to run a strand of her dark hair through his fingers.  It looked real. It felt real.  And her face didn’t look like latex, up close, but nor did it look like Claire’s.  “What the hell…?”

She sighed and, before his eyes, her features made the subtle shift back to normal, her lips thinning slightly, her cheeks smoothing, and her eyes rounding, even as her skin tone lightened a full shade and the dark color drained from her hair and eyes.  He gaped.  He’d seen a lot of things in his life, but nothing like this.  Oh, he heard stories, back on the Reservation, about Shamans who could take animal forms, and trickster spirits that could take the form of a human.  But he’d never actually seen someone transform, before.

“What are you?”  Stupid question.  He winced as it flew from his lips, and he watched anger kindle in her blue eyes.

“I do not know what you mean.”

And that was a damned evasion.  His own annoyance spiking at her ridiculous attempt at innocence, he closed the distance between them, again.  “Don’t play me for stupid, darlin’.”

She sighed then, and the sudden vulnerability in her eyes punched him in the chest.  Claire was never vulnerable.

“I am… special.”

No kidding.  He sucked in a breath as she shifted, and the curve of her breasts brushed lightly against his chest, sending a burst of heat through his blood.  With difficulty, he focused.  “Special how?  What kind of trick was that?  Where did you learn it?”

She glanced away for a moment before she met his gaze directly, her expression telegraphing that she didn’t care what he thought of her, but her steel-blue eyes telling a very different story.  She cared.  Maybe even more than she was willing to admit.

“I was born this way.  It is un désordre génétique, according to the doctors Maman insisted I see.  They have not seen anything like it, before, but Maman told me family stories, of others who had this… this… défaut.”

Defect.  She spit the word out like her condition disgusted her.  His lips tugged slightly upward.  If only she knew what he was.  His smile fell.  Then again, maybe she would see him as defective, as well, if she knew.  Hell.  They were both in a lot of trouble, here.

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