Shadowed Horizons by Shyla Wolff
Love should never be a choice between family and the man who’s claimed your heart.
A warrior’s life is the only one Kiera’s known since her psychic brethren adopted her from the streets as a child. Though she possesses equal preternatural ability and fighting skills, they will always see her as their youngest and in need of protection. According to their leader’s psychic vision, her twofold destiny includes saving a computer prodigy’s life and a mate who pulls her from death’s clutches. Carlin, an electronics genius, develops software/hardware which could destroy any government. Without malicious intent, he seeks to prove possibilities beyond his current reality. Bored with the aspects of his social life, he yearns for a family. When Kiera saves Carlin from the clutches of a psychic terrorist who stalks him for his program and skills, neither is prepared for the immediate connection formed. From the first skirmish, both their lives are caught up in a maelstrom of danger and desire. Kiera struggles to keep Carlin and his work from the terrorist who wants to destroy the U.S. while resisting the extraordinary attraction between them. Can Carlin convince her they were meant for each other and survive her warrior brethren?
Shadowed Horizons - Snippet
Carlin strode beside his bodyguard through the dimly lit parking garage fidgeting with his keys. “Adam, this does not make it to my top five favorite places to visit.”
A rat skittered across the floor in the shadows, and he imagined it turning a gimlet-eyed stare on its intruders. Filth, gas, and pizza from a nearby restaurant thickened the air, reminiscent of the alley apartment he occupied during college. Small pools of dingy light challenged macabre shadows for dominance—and lost. Clashing of the bleak rays and murky silhouettes added an ominous, prophetic feeling he couldn’t shake. Water stains mingled with the shadows to create fleeting two dimensional monsters. Carlin was not a fan of Rorschach. Crap, I haven’t been spooked like this in years.
Adam shrugged. “Sir, as your bodyguard, I admit this isn’t my idea of a secure location either, but it is the closest enclosed parking available to meet with your client. The open street leaves you too vulnerable. As much as you cherish your privacy, I’m surprised you agreed to help at all.”
“He’s a college buddy, needed help with a simple, high-tech security task. Seems twenty-first century technology left him in the dust.”
“Next time, why don’t you at least suggest meeting during the daytime?” Adam’s narrowed eyes and tilted head as if listening to a far-off sound—usually spelled trouble.
“Next time, remind me a proctologist’s exam would be more enjoyable, okay?” Sweat beaded his forehead despite the cool December breeze drifting over the graffiti-covered knee wall.
“Yeah, I’m feeling it too. Let’s get the hell out of here.”
Carlin’s skidding on a badly patched piece of concrete prompted his bodyguard to scan the area around them. Dirt and crumbles skittered, their audio report echoed off the walls.
"Watch your step, sir, we don’t need to broadcast our location." Adam murmured as he reached out to steady him.
“You know…” Carlin muttered, “Folks generally think of me as a good analytical and concrete thinker. Perhaps whatever higher power gifted me with intuitive abilities for logistics and computers decided on a mental tariff—common sense.”
"My sixth sense says trouble’s GPS has already locked on. Stay close.”
The gentle slide of Adam’s gun from its shoulder rig compelled Carlin to suck in the cool night air, searing his lungs.
“Sir, instincts are the best survival tool we have. They’re rarely wrong. Better safe than sorry.”
Sharp chirps split the silence, Carlin’s cell threw his heart rate into overdrive. Hair on his nape prickled as he fumbled in his pocket. With an all-thumbs equivalent, he extracted the nuisance and hit ignore.
Massive pillars supported the five-story concrete structure. Rounding one to his left, his foot stalled mid-step when Adam snatched him sideways. The colossal thug he almost plowed into blended into the shadows.
“Jesus!" The man personified hulkish features with abject malice in his gaze. The split-second observation brought Carlin a rush of adrenaline. "You're huge!" Brown hair pulled back in a ponytail swept his shoulder giving the look of a mob enforcer. A bulge of pitted, tanned skin separated a straight line of bushy eyebrows. Dark eyes appeared to hold a terrible knowledge and gave his hard stare a cold calculating look.
The brute’s gaze raked Carlin's body head to toe. Chipped yellow teeth appeared as his thin lips pulled back in a wide grin. "Time to meet your maker, prodigy." He mimicked Carlin's sidestep in a lightning-fast move and knocked Adam's gun from his right hand. Its ricocheting underneath a nearby Toyota produced multiple tin-like clinks.
Time seemed to fracture. Adam's left arm shoved Carlin to the side. His assailant took wily advantage in that flash of time. He watched his bodyguard go down hard from his attacker's leg sweep.
One blink and a dagger appeared in the thug's hand. Its arc and swift speed toward his belly made it little more than a glimmer in the weak light. His neurons couldn't fire fast enough to follow its passage. Two feet stood between Carlin and a trip to his maker, complements of this walking nightmare.