Six years ago, Misty Jarrod’s husband disappeared on a routine inspection of the No Fly Zone. When he was declared dead, Misty surrendered her contract as a chemical specialist with the military to hide away and lick her wounded heart. But when Project Prometheus came knocking, it was with more than a simple contract. Matt Raleigh offered her the chance to find out what really happened to her husband, and find the closure she seeks. When her mission to protect a Pagan temple opens abilities she didn’t know she possesses, Misty will have to face more than her past doubts. She’s going to have to face a man she thought dead.
“Ghost of the Past” – excerpted from TWIST OF FATE (Project Prometheus, Book 22)
Misty Jarrod hugged her arms close against her body and shivered against the cold desert air that bit through her shirt. She doubted she’d ever get used to the desert, with its searing hot days and freezing nights. She missed home. The flowers would be blooming on the shore of Lake Superior, by now, and homesickness flooded her. She could almost smell the violets, tulips and hyacinth. And beneath it all, the subtle scent of cigarette smoke…
Misty’s head snapped up, her thoughts broken by that out-of-place scent. No one in Manara’s temple smoked. These people had an odd purity, for as hung-up on sex as they were. And none of the Prometheans here at the moment smoked, either. Her eyes narrowed, Misty sniffed the air, dragging in the scent as she tried to place why it was so familiar. It wasn’t just a cigarette. There was a subtle, sweet note to it, reminiscent of vanilla and… cinnamon! The final piece jogged into place, and she decided she’d gone off the deep end. Those were Nick’s cigarettes she smelled. Only, Nick was dead.
Pain twisted in her chest like a python as the scent wove through her, bringing memories of her husband – the man she loved more than life – out from the depths of her heart. She buried him six years ago, not questioning that he was dead even without a body to prove it. The empty hollow in her heart told her all she needed to know. Nick was gone. Nothing would bring him back.
Anger followed hard on the heels of pain, and she flipped her sidearm free from its holster, disengaging the safety as she followed the scent toward its origin. Whoever was smoking that cigarette, she didn’t believe it was coincidence. Call her paranoid, but since Nick disappeared, she felt like someone was following her. Even though no one told her exactly how he died – all they would say was that he “disappeared” – she knew he’d been on a deep cover CIA mission under the guise of a UN inspection of the No Fly Zone. She wasn’t stupid.
The scent led off toward the eastern boundary of the Temple’s construction zone. Misty kept her breathing silent and steady, moving slowly as she allowed her eyes to adjust to the moonless night. Whoever was out there, she would find him, and make him answer for following her. She wouldn’t fail her boss, or these people. No one was going to get to them through her, no matter how much he pretended to be her dead husband.
As she reached the boundary, Misty caught sight of a silhouette, and froze. No way!
“Who the hell are you?” She snarled the words, refusing to believe what her senses were telling her.
The figure turned, stepped toward her, and Misty flicked on the small penlight, casting a narrow, soft beam of light that wouldn’t harm her vision, or her reaction time. As the beam played over his body, the breath sucked from her, leaving her shaking with disbelief. She wouldn’t believe this. She couldn’t believe this. The beam touched his face, and the cold night had nothing on the chill that spread through her. Oh my god.
And then, the click of a safety disengaging froze her, as a gun lifted directly into her line of sight. He was going to shoot her!