The Introduction: An unidentified man has something Tempest Storm needs to save her family. In this scene, she's just scaled a 12-story building, only to discover the identity of the anonymous owner. . . .
Marcus Greystone was just as she remembered him from last October -- tall, sleek, and dark. In a designer suit, he'd looked as if he'd been cut from stone, and just dangerous-looking enough to challenge her after a successful Santa Fe showing.
She'd been riding high, filled with praises, her bank account stuffed with sales, and enjoying champagne a little too much.
"Hello, Tempest. I've been waiting for you. I took the liberty of collecting your lines and grappling hook because you're not using them again tonight. Miss me?" He said in the deep, raspy, too-soft voice that reminded her of when he made love to her.
A storm of memories wrapped around Tempest: His body had been a hard and long and just as hungry for her if she'd been for him. He'd been perfect to top off her success at the showing, and -- and now he was here!
"Wait -- waiting for me?" she managed unevenly. In his bare feet and wearing only tight-jeans, Marcus look just as dangerous -- and determined, by the set of that hard jaw and those piercing, icy eyes.
Tempest's mind flicked back to when she first seen him up close. As an artist, she'd first noted the pewter shade of his eyes, the black iris surrounded by bronze flecks. She'd been warned about Marcus, that he was very selective in his affairs. She knew that he'd been divorced and didn't like marriage, and that he wasn't apt to get "caught." Mr. Marcus Greystone, heir and owner of Greystone Investments, had looked sexy, steel-hard, emotionally impenetrable, and the kind who wouldn't cling later. He was exactly what Tempest had wanted that night, and equal opponent in a clean, neatly ended match that wouldn't leave scars.
Marcus slowly walked toward her; she remembered that walk, graceful, determined, a predator on the hunt as he came toward her at the showing.
She'd met him in the same way -- on equal terms, and now he was here, watching her with those gray eyes. In Santa Fe, he'd seem cool and hard, but now he looked cold and furious. "What did you expect me to do, Ms. Storm? Chase all over the countryside hunting for you -- after you ran out?" he asked tightly.
Tempest forced to swallow down her dry throat and, despite the icy sense that she been trapped in caught in a trap, she managed a cool, "How nice to see you again, Marcus."
His brief smile was tight and cold, a predator who knew he had his prize in hand. "Yes. How nice. I found you immediately, you know -- just days after you ran off so rudely."
She hadn't just run away -- she'd flown, terrified. After only a few hours in his arms, she'd been certain that Marcus Greystone was the kind of man who would devour everything she was, and she couldn't let that happen again.
"You're not going to be sweet about this, are you?" Tempest managed as she backed up a step.
"A one-night stand with a woman who ran out on me? No, probably not. But then I just watched you risk your life to get here, and that's probably got me a little on edge."
"Take it easy, Tempest." He turned slowly and icy gray eyes stared down at her. He was so close that she could see the sun-bleached tips of his lashes and brows, the texture of his skin, his jaw darkened by the stubble yet beneath the skin.
A swift hot wave of sensual energy pulsed through her, startling her momentarily, but then she fought back the basic here and now: Marcus had designed a very careful trap, and he knew he had her.
Marcus steadied her face. "Interesting. You're steaming nicely and your eyes just turned gold.... Does the Blair Institute for Parapsychology ring a bell?"
The Blair Institute of Parapsychology. The name rippled cold and ugly within her, a living nightmare from twenty-two years ago spilled over her again. Hold this, Tempest. Tell me its history.... What about this?
At ten years old, she'd held the knife of a murderer, felt the evil of its deceased owners surging through her. She'd held the cooking pot of a frontier women, who mourned her family left in Ohio, and a baby who had died along the way. She held the toy truck of a boy who knew he wouldn't live long. The next layer had been his grief-stricken mother. And when Tempest could stand no more, she held her palms tightly together, until they returned her gloves -- and then the medical tests began, the electrodes measuring in her vital signs.
A triplet who missed her sisters, their terrified sensations reaching out to her, tangling and connecting with her own senses, Tempest had begun to fight....
Tempest looked at Marcus and coolly lied, "No, I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about. I've never heard of this Blair-thing."
His "Don't you?" was dangerously mild.
Tempest walked toward Marcus, her hands on her hips. "Okay, Marcus, you cold, calculating bastard. I'm tired of this. What do you really want? You've gone to too much trouble just for a little payback."
"You. You have something I want," he stated simply, as he pushed away from the doorway. "And I have something you want, so watch yourself when it comes to calling names. I'm very sensitive about that particular one."