Lt. Commander Jaye Michaels has spent a decade regretting a single action, and all her psychological training has been unable to lessen her guilt, until a miracle coma patient’s tortured psyche lands him in her office, and offers her one last chance to set things right. Yet, everything in her tells her that mercenary Trevor Watkins’ soul is at more risk than his mind. Could she, who has devoted her life to disproving the existence of demons in the mind, reach beyond the medicine of her present to help a man trapped in a Hellish limbo, and perhaps redeem her own failed past, as well? It will take the courage of a warrior, and the patience of a saint, to cross the Hell in his soul and retrieve a life from Death’s grasp. And the cost might be her own soul.
Trevor Watkins is the miracle of the hour; the survivor of an unassisted coma. But he awakes in a strange place, with few memories – including the smiling face of a woman with jade-green eyes he has a dreadful feeling he’s supposed to hate. Trapped in a living nightmare from which he believes there is no escape, he finds himself face-to-face with a betrayal he can’t help but forgive, and a secret he can’t hide from. Now, the jade-eyed beauty from his past can set him free, if he is willing to let her step into a world that could take her away from him forever.
“Primal Instincts” – Excerpt from SHADOW WALKER (Project Prometheus, Book #3)
It was a ten-minute drive from her home in Kensington to the NNMC, and Jaye prayed no cops were out tonight as she sped toward the hospital. The nagging sense that Trevor was alone and in need of help was her only companion as she raced to the facility. She was on autopilot, with little awareness of her actions as she showed her ID to the guard at the NNMC’s gate, parked and locked her car, and headed toward the inpatient wards. She was just at the door into the building when something in her peripheral vision stopped her in her tracks. She turned, her eyes scanning the bushes beside the building and her brow furrowed. What was out there?
She shrugged when she saw nothing, but her skin prickled with awareness she didn’t want to acknowledge as she turned toward the door again. A whimper, followed by a moan, sent a chill through her that wracked Jaye to the core. It sounded like an animal, and a man, in pain. She spun around, and her eyes searched the bushes again, until she saw one move.
Heart in her throat, praying that she was about to find a wounded dog, Jaye eased toward the bush. Whatever she found there, she already knew she wasn’t ready for it.
A warning growl faded into a whimper of pain and fear as her hand touched the bush, and she eased it aside, expecting an injured animal. A dismayed gasp left her at what she found, instead.
Trevor lay in a tight huddle between the bush and the wall. The moonlight touched his dark, bare skin, and he shivered from the bitter winter cold.
“Trevor!” Immediately, she yanked off her warm trench coat, aware it still wouldn’t be enough if he’d been out here long. She glanced up as the hospital door opened and an orderly stepped outside.
He turned toward her, and Jaye barked out a single order. “Get some blankets, stat!”
She returned her attention to her patient. There were no outward signs of trauma, which did nothing to explain why he was out here in the freezing cold and as bare as the day he was born.
“Trevor?” She laid a cautious hand on his shoulder, and felt the shudder that lunged through him. “Trevor, can you hear me?”
His only response was a low whine, and Jaye reassessed the situation with a muttered oath. It was worse than first appearances. Last time she found Trevor huddled in fright, he’d come around quickly, and he was still fully clothed. But he was weak then, and they only just made it back to his room from the medical storage down the hall, taht time. Clearly, his situation was deteriorating. She didn’t want to know how, why, or where he lost his clothes, and his animal instincts were sharper now than his human ones. There was no way she could count on his help getting him back to his room, and she certainly couldn’t do it herself.
Resolutely, she reached over and pulled her cell phone from the pocket of her coat draped over Trevor’s broad shoulders. He growled and yanked away, but she had her phone in hand, already. Biting her lip, she punched the speed dial for Inpatient’s trauma unit.
“Naval Medical Inpatient trauma ward. Chief Petty Officer James speaking.”
“Chief, this is Dr. Michaels. I found our missing patient. I need a gurney, and a couple of orderlies.”
Lydia was a professional; Jaye had to give her that. Though the other woman didn’t deal with psychiatric patients very often, she kept her curiosity to herself, and her focus on the patient’s care. “I’ll call down and have ER get one out to you, ASAP, Ma’am. Where are you?”
“Right outside the lower entrance to building ten.” Jaye clicked off the phone as the orderly she summoned earlier arrived, his arms loaded with blankets.
“Thanks.” She took them and turned to Trevor. He still looked oblivious to her presence, or his own humanity, and only stirred enough to voice a warning growl as she replaced her coat with the warmer blankets.
“Ma’am… Is he all right?” The orderly’s worried voice reached her.
“He will be,” she murmured, keeping her voice low and soothing as she stroked Trevor’s head gently. She kept her eyes on him, aware that taking her gaze off this wild animal would be a mistake. She only prayed her words were the truth as she again whispered, “He will be.”
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