Crosspoint Preview

Note: this is a draft…

 

Somewhere a rainbow,

Somewhere a song,

Somewhere a unicorn,

Never for long.

Somewhere a mountain,

Somewhere a star,

Somewhere a dream lives

Wherever they are.

— From Somewhere, by Annalise Phenix

[Parc Marceau, Paris, France — Kevin]

Kevin woke in a fragile moment of peace just as the sun was setting. The sky was arrayed in pink behind the overhanging greenery of the weeping willow. The air smelled of city and grass and water from the small pond. The sweetness was highlighted by a whiff of tobacco. His left arm was asleep from the weight of Dana’s head on his shoulder. He held her close for a moment more, getting his bearings. Amazing to think they’d both fallen asleep, but after the intensity of the link and the last few days, he was more surprised that he’d woken up. A deep breath felt good, even though his ribs ached.

He savored the link Dana had accepted, rested in the peace of knowing that she loved him as deeply as he loved her. This wasn’t just genetics, not just the culmination of Michalak’s genetic experiment. This was love, and Thomas was going to be furious.

What had woken him up? The unnatural silence? The way the birds had ceased singing? He remembered being wrapped in the scent of lilies just before he’d gone to sleep. That scent was gone. While Dana’s jasmine sense was still heady, there was something approaching, like the smell of lightning before it strikes. The distinctive click of a safety being released froze his blood.

He shook Dana lightly, and felt her tense as she read their surroundings.

“Hello, Kevin.” The familiar masculine voice was behind him, outside of his sight.

“Hey, George,” he answered with mock cheerfulness.

“Kinda stupid falling asleep in a public park.”

“Well, I’m not thinking straight yet, I guess. Got my bell rung on the last assignment, y’know?” He struggled to sit up, watching Dana swirl to a kneeling position, her hands in her lap, her eyes searching the surrounding brush. Two others, she pointed out, her voice all business as it echoed through their mental link.

“Why don’t you and the little witch get up nice and easy and we’ll take a walk,” George suggested.

“I’m not up to walking yet, I’ll have to get in the chair.” He’d gotten out of the wheelchair for the healing session with Dana. He’d been grateful for the emotional healing she offered, but right now, he wished his body was more functional.

“Just take it slow.”

He turned and leaned his weight on the chair.

“I’ll help you,” Dana said. His body was between her and their attackers. She helped him up. Their eyes met and he felt time become meaningless in the intensity of that link, leaving them both breathless. Her hand closed around the tiny gun she carried.

As one, he shoved the chair into George and she whipped up with her gun, dropping one attacker before he realized she was armed. Kevin launched over the chair and wrestled George for his gun. The other brute had dropped behind a tree, and Dana took the feeble cover of the willow’s trunk, scanning.

George kicked Kevin in the side and leveled the gun at Dana. “Drop it,” he ordered.

Breathing through a haze of pain, Kevin launched himself at the gun, deflecting the shot, even as the remaining attacker grabbed Dana from behind, ripping the tiny gun from her hand. She gasped as the man twisted her arm and Kevin raised his hands in surrender.

“Get in the chair, Kevin.”

He complied, staying alert for any opportunity.

“Now, we’re going to walk to the parking lot. Dana can push the wheelchair.”

“What is this about, George?” he asked.

“There are some people from Hailar who are very interested in how you two were able to get a signal out past their jamming devices. I offered to bring you to them, provided the price was right. Of course, I’ve a score to settle with Dana, so I wasn’t too greedy.”

He could sense Dana’s mind reaching out, and felt her sister, Marie, respond. Struggling to move the chair uphill, Dana slipped. She was going slowly, giving Marie time to meet them. As they got to the lot, Kevin made his long body as ungainly as possible, making stuffing him in the back of the waiting Mercedes a chore. George’s assistant climbed in beside him and they put Dana in the front. As the engine started, he felt Marie’s barked command. Down.

Kevin and Dana fell to the floor, a quick rattle of bullets shattering the glass around them.

He listened in the echoing silence as footsteps approached. Thomas opened his door, while Apollina helped Dana out of the front seat. Their eyes met in relief. Kevin retrieved Dana’s gun from the body next to him and returned it to her, moving carefully around the shattered glass and bits of brain matter. “Nice shot for a pop gun,” he offered.

“Missed one, though,” she countered.

He coughed before meeting Thomas’ level gaze. “Thanks for the rescue.”

Thomas turned to Apollina. “Take a team and clean up this mess. We’ll get these two back to the office.”

She nodded.

Dana was in shock at the ferocity of the rescue. She looked at him in confusion.

These traitors belonged to SciTech, he explained. No one just quits. It was time she realized just what she’d signed up for when she joined SciTech.

Dana paled and turned her attention to Marie, who was fussing over the bits of glass on Dana’s blouse and bustling her into another car.

Thomas held a hand out to help Kevin up. “Are you all right?”

He nodded. “I’m awake now.”

For a moment, he allowed his brother to probe his mind, let him sense the healing that Dana had accomplished. Then he shut Thomas out with the slam of his lead shields.

“Nice to have you back,” Thomas smiled.

Kevin got into the car, keeping a safe distance between himself and Dana, the connection between them a powerful reminder of the dangerous step they had taken. Thomas’ glare in the rear-view mirror made his feelings plain. The change had not gone unnoticed.