Touched by Fate
As a specialized consultant for the Department of Defense, Risia Lacoste understands the bargaining chip of a well-kept secret. When her current assignment threatens to unearth her deeply buried skeletons, she’s forced into a high-stakes game of lies and loyalty where even her ability to foresee the future can’t predict the winner.
Darkness lies under the skin of every man, and PSY-IV Team operative and touch empath, Tag Gunderson, has the demons to prove it. Scarred by betrayal and disillusionment, he’s not Risia’s top pick for a partner in the game, but he’s all she’s got.
As the game draws them deeper into a pit of intrigue and their list of enemies grows, will Risia trust Tag with more than her secrets or will his demons destroy them both?
|Title||Touched by Fate|
|Series||PSY-IV Teams #2|
|Genre||Paranormal Romantic Suspense|
|Release||May 24, 2016|
|Tags||Paranormal, romance, suspense, military, psychics, seers, telepaths, empaths, political intrigue, Las Vegas, thriller, mystery|
Caught in the chaos of Tag’s unexpected behavior, it took me a bit to realize we weren’t heading back to the hotel. In fact, we passed the turn to the freeway a few minutes before. Maybe he got lost? Not that guys tended to do that, from my experience, but there was always a first time. “Um, where are you going?”
“We’ve got a tail.” He delivered the unwelcome news with a disconcerting calm.
Since my ribs wouldn’t let me twist around to check out his claim, I peered into the side mirror, which warned me objects were closer than they appeared. Which meant the bright, eye-searing headlights quickly taking up mirror real estate would be kissing our bumper pretty damn quick. My hands reached out and curled into the armrest and console. “Tag…”
“I see him.” It was my only warning as the SUV jerked forward. Tearing my stunned gaze away from the mirror, I caught the grim line of Tag’s jaw as the headlights behind us raced to close the distance. He flicked his gaze between the road ahead and the threat behind us. “Damn it.” He yanked the wheel, zipping past a taxi with inches to spare, into the middle lane. As soon as he was clear, he hit the gas and all I could do was dig my nails into the leather interior and hold one. The lights behind us fell back. Unable to bear the suspense, I finally managed to shift in my seat so I could look behind us.
The lights weren’t gone, but there was asphalt between the two of us. “He’s dropping behind.”
“Not for long. He’s going to try to get alongside us.”
And sure enough, as if waiting for Tag’s prediction, the headlights switched over to the left lane, dodging traffic. “He’s coming,” I pointed out, on the off chance Tag missed the crazy driver racing up on his left.
“Turn around,” he snapped, just as he jerked to the right and slipped past the brake lights of the van trundling along in front of us.
Since his abrupt movements yanked me around and set off a constant chorus of complaints from my ribs, I did as I was told, stifling the string of profanities trembling on my tongue. As my heart began to keep pace with the SUV, some inane part of my brain decided to chime in that perhaps it wasn’t necessary to break a sweat to do my cardio. A car chase seemed to work well. I wanted to ask Tag where he thought he was going, who the hell was behind us, and, more importantly, what the hell? Since he was busy playing a very lethal game of frogger at the time, I snuck a glance at the speedometer, seventy miles per hour and climbing, I kept my mouth shut, unwilling to distract him. My grip shifted from the armrest and seat to the chicken handle above the door, as Tag took a corner on two wheels. My breath stopped as the SUV tipped precariously before rocking back to level. Closing my eyes might have helped, but then I wouldn’t see the end coming. And some morbid fascination didn’t like that idea. So open they stayed, bouncing from Tag, to the road in front of us, then to the headlights coming up quick behind us.
“Can you get any details on the bastard?” Tag growled, his focus solely on maneuvering the SUV down an access road running parallel to the freeway.
“Dark blue or black, four-door sedan.” As we raced under streetlights, I picked up what I could as we passed from one pool of light to the next.
“Can’t see one.” My answer came out short since I was struggling not to snap at him about unreasonable requests, like trying to see a damn license plate at night while racing down a half-deserted street.
“Can you see how many are in there?” he pushed.
Sucking in a breath and bracing one hand against his backrest, I tried to see as we bumped along. One breath, two, then, “Just one, I think.”
His hand came up and grabbed my wrist, pulling me back forward, then went back to the wheel. “Hang on.”
It was the only warning I got. Tag jerked hard on the wheel. The SUV did a sickening spin, and the rear wheels scrambled for traction. I braced against the dashboard, while my stomach twisted with the spin. Tag straightened the wheel and the SUV plowed over rough ground, bouncing violently. The jostling hurt, making me suck in a hard breath and close my eyes as a wave of pain echoed through me. Then the wheels found pavement, grabbed, and the SUV surged forward once more. Prying my eyes open, I realized Tag now had us on a freeway on-ramp.
He cut across three lanes until he hit the carpool lane, then gunned it. Here’s hoping the police were busy elsewhere because I didn’t think Tag would pull over for anyone. Using my trusty mirror, I tried to scan the road behind us. “Where is he?”
“Four cars back on the right.”
A semi switched lanes and disturbingly familiar headlights glared into focus. My stomach clenched. Our tail was determined, really determined, and that could not mean anything good.