I’d like to introduce you to SAC Taylor Jones… the top dog of a special task force in the FBI. His team consists of psychics and if you ask just about any of them? They’ll tell you the same thing I would have said a few years ago… he’s a cold piece of work. And he’s not a hero.
Yep. That was my analysis. He’s the by-the-books type. Cold. As I said. Icy. Driven. Determined. I would (and have) even called him a jerk.
So why did I write a book about him?
Because I kept getting asked this troubling little question… Why is he like that?
Taylor first appeared in THE MISSING. The heroine in that book, Taige Branch, worked for Taylor. He was her boss. And let me tell you, he didn’t impress me.
A friend of mine asked me, When are you writing his book? That was barely a week after THE MISSING came out. I said, Um…never…! He’s a jerk! Actually, I used a stronger word. But you get the idea.
She responded back with: I KNOW! I need to know what made him that way!
I told her there wasn’t a story there. But I kept getting asked. And asked. And asked.
Then a few years after that, I was having lunch with a fellow writer, Rob Thurman, who’d read THE MISSING and she asked the same question…Are you writing his book?
Sigh…same answer… No! Why does everybody keep asking that? He’s such a jerk!
She just laughed. Well, we want to know why…
Why. That’s a terrible question to ask a writer, you know. Because it makes us think. And after being asked that, over…and over…I finally started thinking. Was there a reason he was so icy? So driven. So determined…
I thought about him. This is how the characters eventually start to talk to me, how I learn their story. I thought about him a lot. And eventually… he started to talk to me. He didn’t want to. He’s rather…closed off. But yes. Yes, there’s a reason he’s so driven. So determined.
And yes…it turns out there was a story there…and he wasn’t a bad hero, after all.
Here’s a snippet from the story that almost wasn’t…with my unexpected hero and the psychic who loves him.
“You’re not shielding. I can see it. Shield up or you’ll be a mess before I even get you to her room.” Taylor’s voice lowered when she tensed and tried to pull away.
“You don’t get to boss me around anymore, Jones.”
Dez tried once more to pull away, but this time he herded her into a narrow dip in the wall. A quick glance showed that it led to the chapel. She glared up at him. To her surprise, he was glaring back, his pale blue eyes glittering at her, and his normally emotionless face was anything but. “I’m not trying to boss you around, damn it. You’re walking around looking like you’ve got death dancing on your shoulders and you’re not doing anything to stop it. Should I just ignore it?”
“What does it matter to you?” Dez shouldn’t be looking at him. She told herself that, told herself to look away, to look anywhere but at him. She couldn’t, though. She couldn’t look away from his eyes. Swallowing, she rested her head against the wall and repeated, “What does it matter to you?”
A heavy breath rushed out of him, his shoulders rising and falling. His blue eyes, so fiery hot and so unlike the cool, icy professionalism she was used to seeing, bored into hers. “Just shield up, damn it.” Then he shoved off the wall and stalked away.
Immediately, Dez sagged a few inches and covered her face with her hands. Damn it. What in the hell . . . Damn it. Her knees were shaking. Her belly felt all tight and hot and jittery, and damned if she knew why.
You damn well do know—
No. She wasn’t thinking about that—
She took a deep breath and lowered her hands. Then she looked up and gasped when she realized Taylor had returned, silently. One hand came, curled over the back of her neck. “This is why it matters, damn it.” He hauled her against him and as his mouth crushed against hers, her brain clicked off, shut down . .