Ericka Scott

Tidings of Fear

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Lyrical Press • November 21, 2011
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TIDINGS OF FEAR

A psychic, a skeptic, and a serial killer…

Psychic Lia Morgan sees portents all around her. Although estranged from her family, she joins the search for her missing sister. A simple case gets complicated fast when she discovers her sister’s plethora of secrets includes a son.

Professor Jared Trimble’s world has no room for paranormal mumbo-jumbo. When asked to consult on a case involving a series of crossword puzzles, he’s conflicted. Is he a suspect, or an investigator?

While Lia uses her physic gift and follows signs, Jared uses his wits and experience. When the two collide, passions flare and the final clue brings them both into the bull’s-eye of a serial killer’s target.

Read an Excerpt

It was only a short walk to his car, but it seemed like a mile. Silence hung between them as palpable as a three-foot thick concrete wall. They might have been closer if they had been walking on opposite sides of the street. He wanted to ask about her, find out how she was doing, what she was doing. She wasn’t wearing a wedding ring. Did that mean she’d never married? Or had she married, had kids, divorced?

He ached with a need that had simmered for seven long years. Did she feel the same?

Jared opened the car door for Lia.

For one long moment, they stood staring into each other’s eyes. She lifted her face up to him, and before he thought, he kissed her. As his mouth pressed against hers, he felt a flicker of doubt. This was a really stupid move if she didn’t react. What would he do? Apologize? However, he didn’t have to worry about that for she did respond. Her lips moved against his, soft, pliant. The warm silken swipe of her tongue against the seam of his lips turned the sweet languid kiss into one that was wet, wild and carnal.

A rousing ring tone made them jump apart.

“Sorry,” Lia stepped away and fumbled in her purse. She glanced at the display for a second before raising the cell phone to her ear.

“Hello, Margaret?”

She listened, her brows furrowed. Then, she pressed her finger into her exposed ear. “Hello? I didn’t quite… Oh.” Lia pulled a face and then shrugged.

“Was that Margaret?”

“Yes, at least, I think so. The connection was garbled.”

Jared’s heart pounded erratically against his ribcage. He shifted his stance and tried to think about baseball and apple pie, hoping to still the raging lust that had settled behind the zipper of his pants.

Lia punched a few buttons on her cell then spoke. “Margaret?”

This time, even Jared had no trouble hearing the static that burst out of the tiny speaker.

“Ouch.” Lia snapped the cell phone shut. “Well, I think I’ll let her call me back.” Then she looked back up at Jared and his heart clutched.

“Ready?” Jared said, trying to keep his voice light.

The corners of Lia’s lips turned up in a slow, seductive smile and her eyebrows quirked, giving her the amused expression of a siren targeting her prey. “Oh, yeah.”

Her slow seductive response left nothing to the imagination. After she’d slid into her seat, Jared shut the door and then dashed around to the driver’s seat. As he drove, he fought back the erotic visions that threatened to distract him. It was only a few blocks to the hotel, and he needed to get there without driving up the curb or having a head-on collision with a bus.

Once the car was parked and the engine turned off, Jared took a deep breath. Lia opened her door and slid out. As her door closed behind her, he sat behind the wheel assailed by self doubt. What if she had changed her mind during the ride? What if…

A blast of cold air roused him from his reverie.

“You coming?” Lia asked.

Jared swung out of the car. “Not yet, but I plan to.”

She giggled in reply.

Like a sedate, married couple, they walked through the lobby. It seemed to take an eternity for the elevator car to arrive. The doors slid open and they stepped inside the small, functional box that would carry them up three floors to ecstasy.

“Do you remember when…?” Jared began.

“We had sex in the elevator of the Natural History building.” Lia finished.

“And how we nearly got caught by the Dean of students.”

“Oh, yeah. Those were the days.”

Time seemed to slow to a crawl, Jared watched the numbers ascend, sure they were never going to reach their destination. When the floor indicator sounded, he felt as if he took his first full breath since Lia had asked him back to her hotel.

It wasn’t until they were inside her room, until her lips were pressed against his, until her hands were busy tearing at his clothes, that he finally began to believe this was really happening.

After seven years of wanting and wondering, she was back. There were still more questions than there were answers, but part of him no longer cared. She was here, they were together, that’s what mattered.

The next few minutes were a blur. He remembered touching her face, caressing her cheek while his mouth devoured hers. He also remembered the look in her chocolate brown eyes that turned from soft need to a tempest of desire when he stroked his hand down to cup her breast.

Clothes flew in all directions, and then, finally, they were lying together on the bed, and he realized his fantasies had been nothing but a teasing foreplay for this very moment.