Series: Second Sight #1
By: Heather Topham Wood
Publication Date: April 27, 2012
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Two years ago, 21-year-old Kate Edwards became deathly ill and slipped into a coma. While unconscious, she crept into the mind of a missing boy and awoke with the knowledge of his location. Friends and family were skeptical and wary of her new ability to see into the minds of others. Their fears prompted Kate to keep her psychic powers a secret. Feeling alienated, she dropped out of college and spent most of her days holed up at her mother's home.
Now another child has been abducted. Police detective Jared Corbett seeks out Kate for her help in solving the case. Reluctantly, Kate agrees and they must work together to bring 8-year-old Cori Preston home to her family. Although attracted to one another, Jared has a girlfriend with ties to the abduction case and Kate is sarcastic and guarded since her coma. With visions she can't control and an uncontrollable attraction to the detective, she wonders if she can leave the past behind and finally stop hiding from the world. Otherwise, Cori may be lost forever.
Heather Topham Wood
They drove for approximately five minutes before pulling into a park. It was one of the larger parks in town and covered over three hundred acres. It had two separate playground facilities, a large pond, tennis courts and dozens of trails. Kate gave him a questioning look.
"There’s a brown paper bag in the backseat, could you grab it?" Jared requested.
"Why? Did you take me to a drug deal?" she asked sarcastically reaching for the bag.
Ignoring her sarcasm, he began to walk away. Obediently, she followed him while carrying the bag. He stopped at the edge of the pond a few yards away and held his hand out. Dutifully, she handed over the bag while sending him her best confounded look.
Reaching in, he removed a large chunk of bread. He broke off a piece and threw it into the water. A nearby group of ducks grew excited and began to glide over to the water where it had fallen. A cacophony of excited quacks filled the air.
"You took me to feed the ducks?" she asked incredulously. Before he could answer, she persisted. "You know that it’s like totally illegal, right? I think there is even a sign warning of a huge fine if you’re caught. Since you’re a cop, doesn’t this set a bad example?"
"Shhh, you’re scaring the ducks away," he said and handed her a piece of stale bread.
"It’s also against the laws of nature. Feeding them affects how they migrate and also can pollute the water. You should be ashamed of yourself," she admonished.
"You’re ruining the Zen feeling of feeding the ducks," he said.
She rolled her eyes and launched a few small pieces into the pond. She smiled as one of the ducks caught a piece in its bill.
His gray eyes gave her a sideways glance as he continued, "Whenever I feel stressed I come here, I guess it makes me feel like a kid again."
"And you brought me here because…" Kate prompted.
"I don’t know, you seem upset, thought communing with nature might help," he said and gave an exaggerated shrug. "You can talk to me if something is bothering you."
She blew out a long breath. "Thanks for the offer." She stopped and turned to him. "You don’t have to be nice to me. It’s not a requirement or anything for me to help with Cori."
"Are you always like this?"
"Always like what?"
"You’re defensive and combative. You seem to have a hard time trusting people," he explained.
"And what? I’m supposed to trust you?" she scoffed. She snatched the bag from his hand. Continuing to throw bread, she noticed the number of ducks coming over to them multiplied. "I don’t think I’ve trusted anyone completely since I became sick," she admitted warily.
He nodded and sensed she didn’t want to elaborate on her trust issues. "You never told me why you were so sick. The paper said you had an infection?"
Kate shifted uncomfortably. "It was actually meningitis. The doctors guessed living in the college dorms was one of the reasons I got sick. You know, close quarters and all that. It happened sort of suddenly and I didn’t even feel very ill at first. Next thing I know, I’m in a hospital and a week of my life is gone."
"Do you remember anything else from when you were unconscious? Besides the vision of Matt?" he probed.
"What, like a white light? An angel in a meadow meeting me?" Kate shook her head. "No, the rest is pretty much a blank. I kind of wish something like that did happen. Maybe I received some sort of explanation on why I see these images and I can’t remember." Talking about when she almost died was difficult and it provoked her to change the subject quickly. "What’s with the casual attire? No work today?"
"I worked for a couple of hours this morning, ran some errands and got the car info I gave you at the library."
"You look good in normal clothes, generally your work outfits look like JCPenney rejects," she cracked. He was about to reply when something over her shoulder caught his eye.
Kate clumsily leaped forward when a large honking sound came from behind her. She turned around and faced two large geese waddling straight towards her. Their eyes fixated on the bag in her hands and they came at her like they were out for blood. Kate shrieked and began a mad dash as they quickly made a beeline after her. They continued to chase her until she dropped the bag and took shelter in a nearby gazebo. With viciousness, the geese tore at the bag and devoured the contents inside. As she tried to calm her breathing, she looked around for Jared. He was bowled over in laughter.
He made his way towards her. "That was classic," he laughed and mimicked her wild hand gestures. "I wish I could of videoed it, I would have gotten at least a million hits on YouTube."
"Ha-ha, very funny," she drawled and socked his arm as he took a seat next to her on the bench in the gazebo. After catching her breath, she gave him a sideways glance. "Sorry about my strangeness, I did have a vision last night that bothered me."
He opened his mouth to interject, but Kate held up her hand to stop him. "It didn’t have anything to do with Cori and I really don’t want to talk about it."
"Kate, I know you find it hard to believe, but I do want to be your friend. If these visions are bothering you, it might not hurt to talk about it."
"I’m good, honestly. Anyway, it’s not like this is my first rodeo," she said with a shrug.
She wrapped her arms across the front of her body and ran her hands up and down her arms. Her tank top and shorts didn’t conceal the goose pimples that erupted over her arms and legs. The sky was beginning to cloud over and the wind was steadily picking up. Kate didn’t know if the chill came from her past memories or the abrupt change in the weather.
"You mean seeing Matt Spencer? Or the other letters you received? What were those cases like?" he questioned while she tried to not focus on the feel of his leg against her. It was hard not to pay attention to the heat emanating from him against her bare leg.
Sitting in the gazebo suddenly made the conversation very intimate. It was making her feel sort of breathless and erasing her feelings of resentment towards him. She could not understand why she couldn’t just turn off this disastrous attraction.
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