Six months after starting their hunt for a serial killer who is still at large, FBI agents Jerry Lee Parker and John Flynn are partners in every sense. But Jerry has serious doubts about their relationship and whether they would even be together if not for the way Flynn changed after touching a mysterious artifact in a museum.
Flynn hates the extraordinary power bestowed on him by the artifact and wants nothing more than to have a normal life again. Jerry fears that without the unusual connection they forged, Flynn will no longer want or need him. Chasing after a similar artifact takes them back to Flynn’s old stomping grounds in Washington D.C., where his newfound abilities uncover long-buried secrets, the kind people would kill to protect. But they aren’t the only ones looking for these powerful relics, and what they discover will threaten their relationship–and their lives.
Jerry returned his attention to the tableau unfolding in the aisle. Flynn was making his casually toward Jerry; he yawned, taking his time. 15-A hesitated; Jerry could see that he had stepped into the aisle, but was thinking of sitting back down again. Just then, the door to the toilet opened and the toddler came out into the aisle. Picking up on the air of tension, the child immediately started to wail.
15-A snapped like a wire stretched beyond its tensile strength. Whipping off his sunglasses, he reached into the pocket of his hoodie and pulled out a glass vial. Holding it up high over his head for everyone to see, he shouted, “Everybody stay where you are!”
People glanced up and turned around in their seats, startled and immediately alarmed. 15-A looked around sharply, making sure that no one was trying to rush him. Several people had started halfway up out of their seats to see what was going on; Jerry knew they were remembering United Flight 93.
15-a moved his hand in a broad semi-circle so that everyone could see the vial tucked in his palm. “I have sarin!” he announced. “If anyone moves, I break the vial. Someone make that child shut up!”
His last directive was aimed at the young mother. He shot her a wild-eyed glance as he snarled his demand; she fell to her knees and folded her child in her arms, trying to hush the cries.
Someone else on the plane screamed, which only agitated 15-A further. He whirled in the direction of the woman who had cried out. “Shut up!” He pointed the vial at her, his eyes bulging as he yelled. Flecks of spittle flew from his mouth.
“Everyone stay calm.” Flynn put out his hands in a placating manner, but whether it was intended for 15-A or the passengers, Jerry couldn’t tell. He could hear the stress in Flynn’s voice. Jerry could sense the flight attendant standing just behind his shoulder. Behind the two of them, someone was chanting, “Oh my God,” over and over again. The growing panic of the passengers was like the change in pressure before a summer storm. It radiated in the narrow space of the aircraft. There was another tension as well, the coiled muscles and grim determination of several people prepared to act. If Jerry could feel it, then it had to be suffocating Flynn.
Flynn! Focus on me!
He was too late. He saw Flynn press the heel of his hand against his eye, and knew that if he were close enough, he could have seen the uncontrollable tic developing there. Flynn stood rigidly, obviously trying to shield himself. He was one step away from a complete meltdown–like that first night when he’d touched the artifact, and Jerry had mistakenly tried to take him to the E.R.
Bio: Sarah Madison is a veterinarian with a big dog, an even bigger horse, too many cats, and a very patient boyfriend. She is a terrible cook, and concedes that her life would be easier if Purina made People Chow. She writes because it is cheaper than therapy.
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