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Empath [A Gifted story] [MultiFormat]
eBook by Bonnie Dee

eBook Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance
eBook Description: How to trust him--when she can't even trust herself.... A Gifted story. Jordan Langley thought he could deal with his empathic "gift"--until a traumatic event drove him into seclusion. As a hermit, he can avoid a world that tears his own emotions to shreds. But now a friend needs his help to reach an autistic boy who witnessed a murder. Detective Lauren Sadler specializes in blocking her emotions so she can do her job. She can't deny Jordan's ability to reach the troubled boy, but she hadn't counted on how his touch affects her. In the midst of the investigation, Jordan and Lauren break their own rules, sharing a night of passion that shatters all their barriers. Jordan is intrigued by the vulnerability and self-doubt he senses underneath Lauren's tough exterior. But Lauren isn't sure if she's ready to yield to the power of the most intimate exchange she has ever known. Even if it's the only way to catch a killer. Warning, this title contains the following: explicit sex using graphic terms. Mind sex--you'll have to read to find out what that is.

eBook Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd., Published: 2008, 2008
Fictionwise Release Date: June 2009

16 Reader Ratings:
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They both turned. The woman walking down the hall toward them was beautiful. Her brown hair was pulled into a casual ponytail, but clear hazel eyes in a perfectly oval face gave her the aspect of a Renaissance painting of a saint. Her angelic features contrasted with the grim set of her mouth and tight jaw.

Avenging angel, Jordan thought.

She tucked loose strands of hair behind her ear and held out her hand, one raised eyebrow expressing her curiosity about Jordan. "I'm Detective Lauren Sadler."

"Jordan Langley. I'm an old friend of the family." Jordan couldn't refuse to take her hand. During the few seconds of contact, he felt a potent mix of feelings pour from her: tension, frustration, suspicion, uncertainty and an unexpected spike of sexual arousal. By the time he withdrew his hand, he knew Lauren Sadler was awash in self-doubt and conflicting emotions waged war within her.

Frowning, she rubbed her fingers against her palm and turned to Danny. "I've finished questioning Celia if you want to take her and Mike to your house. I can't get anything out of him in his present condition."

"My nephew wouldn't be easy to question on his best day, but he can communicate in his own way." Danny's tone was brusque. "Jordan's here to help."

"Are you a psychologist, Mr. Langley?" Her keen eyes narrowed slightly, assessing him.

"Not exactly. I'm just..." Jordan trailed off, unable to come up with a single good reason to explain his presence.

"Look, you can ask about his credentials later. For now, I just want to get Mike calmed down, and if Jordan can do it..."

Sadler glanced back and forth between them. "All right."

Danny led the way into his nephew's room.

Jordan took a deep breath, bracing himself for an onslaught of traumatic emotions.

* * * *

Chapter Two

Who the hell was this guy?

Lauren followed behind Stipe and his tall friend, her eyes drawn to the breadth of Langley's shoulders and the shock of shiny black hair that straggled messily over his collar.

More importantly, why was she about to let him talk to her witness? She'd made no headway with the boy over the past few hours. His own mother couldn't get him to stop rocking and muttering numbers. This guy, Jordan Langley, had already admitted he wasn't a psychologist, so what business did he have here, what connection to the McKenzie family, and could that connection make him a suspect?

Last, but not least, why was she checking out his ass? She was in the middle of a murder investigation, her one witness incapable of speech. This was no time to be staring at long legs and narrow hips in loose blue jeans.

Lauren turned her attention to Mrs. McKenzie and her son. Celia sat cross-legged on the floor, near but not touching the boy. He was staring at the floor, only the top of his sandy blond hair and a slice of his profile visible. He was small for a ten-year-old. Or at least Lauren thought so. She didn't know that much about kids. Mike's shoulders were hunched and he rocked slightly back and forth, exactly as he'd been when she'd left to talk to Warren, the head of the forensics team.

Stipe squatted beside his sister, resting a hand on her back. "Jordan's here."

Celia glanced up at Langley. "It's been a long time." From her expression, she was as perplexed as Lauren about why he was there.

For that matter, Langley himself seemed uncertain. He swallowed and clenched his hands lightly at his sides. He gazed at Mike, who continued muttering equations and making calculations with his rapidly moving fingers. Celia had explained this mental exercise was his touchstone, his method of achieving calm in the midst of chaos. How did Jordan Langley intend to reach through the protective shield of numbers and contact the boy?

Langley was one of those loose-limbed, gangly men who appeared to be uncomfortable in his own body. He lowered himself to the floor near Mike, folding his long legs awkwardly. A few moments passed before he extended a tentative hand and touched the boy's bare forearm.

Lauren waited for Mike to jerk away. He hadn't accepted anyone's touch, not even his mother's, batting at her hands when she tried to console him, but now he went perfectly still. The rocking stopped. The murmured numbers stopped. Time seemed to stop. The room became so silent Lauren could hear quiet breaths hitching in and out of the boy's chest.

Langley's long, angular face was pale beneath the shock of dark hair that fell across his forehead. His eyes were partially closed and a frown drew his thick brows together. His mouth was grim and his jaw flexed. Tension radiated from his body.

What the hell is going on here? Lauren's gaze darted to Detective Stipe, whose gaze was riveted on the pair, and to Celia McKenzie. The woman's eyes widened as she witnessed the transformation in her son.

The boy's fingers, ticking off patterns only he understood, slowed and stilled. His unfocused stare sharpened and he turned to look at Langley, as if the man were the only other person in the room.

The silent communication passing between them made Lauren's skin prickle. She neither believed in nor dismissed the idea of psychic powers, but it was clear something beyond the realm of normal was happening.

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