A Human Element Excerpt
Ben held Laura on the rocky beach and traced her face as her eyes remained closed. He put a finger to her throat and felt her heart racing. Fire poured off her, pulsing like heat waves shimmering on hot asphalt baking in a summer sun. He tried not to look at the swell of her breasts pushing up from the lavender lace that embraced her sweet points. And so he concentrated on her face, trying to make sense of what happened.
Ben hadn’t meant to come to the lake so early, but he had tossed and turned the night before. A monster chased him in his dreams. He couldn’t see his face though. Laura ran with him and he knew the monster would kill them both. He had to save her. But the thing that chased them grew closer and closer. Then he woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep. All he could think of was Laura. He felt as if his whole life had been leading up to meeting her. Like fate. He wished he had answers to all the questions he had about her, but he could wait if it meant he could spend more time with her. And so he came to the lake before the sun came up to take his mind off her. He had to find something in these woods to give him answers about his parents’ death, or peace at least. He intended to search every part of it. He had all the time in the world.
He had traced the shoreline and headed through the trees toward the fenced-in area when he heard crashing noises. He followed the noise and pushed through the brush to get to the lake. There stood Laura, waving like a wild conductor as sticks and rocks sailed through the air before her in a cloud of chaos. She was so beautiful, standing there like a goddess as her hair blew around her. Her body shone with sweat and her muscles rippled as she conducted the air. Once again, he was mesmerized. Who was this girl?
And now here he held her to him in stillness and peace. He wondered who she had been screaming to just before she fainted. He had so many questions to ask her. His troubles and past faded in the background as he tried to understand this woman he just met yesterday.
Her eyes fluttered and then opened to stare right at him.
“Ben.” She struggled to get up and he helped her. She swayed once and he gripped her arm to steady her. She stared at him and then looked at the piles of rock and wood strewn about from her violent show. “Oh my God.”
“You’re okay.” He held onto her arm.
She wouldn’t look at him and moved away, bending down to pick up her turtleneck trapped under rocks. She tugged it out and turning away from him, quickly pulled it over her head.
“What just happened here?”
“I did that. I can make things move.” Laura sat down on a flat boulder nearby.
“Yes, some call it psychokinesis.”
“You can really move objects with your mind? But how?”
“I don’t know how. I’ve been able to do it his since I was a child. That . . . and other things.”
Ben moved closer to her and stood over her. He looked at her turtleneck, remembering what she looked like with it off. She gazed up at him, her large eyes sad. She looked tired, but he had so many questions. He sat down on the boulder with her and took her hand. It was slim and pale next to his large, tan hand. She rubbed his thumb over and over in a smooth movement, staring off in the distance. He felt a jolt inside as her fingers moved over his.
“I’m listening,” Ben said softly. “If you want to tell me more.”
“I can heal people too.”
He touched her hair and turned her face toward him. “You’re amazing.”
“More like cursed.” Laura shivered from the cool breeze coming off the lake. Ben reached over and picked up her sweater that was twisted on the ground and put it around her shoulders.
“Perhaps cursed, but also amazing.”
“I saved my mother’s life once and my friend, Mr. B, but I couldn’t save my other friends.” Laura’s eyes welled with tears and one trickled down her cheek. She wiped it away. “They died in horrible ways all because of me.”
Ben squeezed her hand, not understanding, but knowing whatever she had been through in her past was worse than what he had been through. They were two tormented souls.
Laura looked into Ben’s eyes and tilted her head as if to make up her mind. “Why are you here?”
He wasn’t expecting that question and shrugged. “I don’t know anymore. I came here to find some answers. But now I met you and not by chance, I think.” He looked out over the lake. It was a perfect autumn day with the sun shining on the water and geese flying overhead. The kind of idyllic day ordinary couples had hikes and picnics on. This wasn’t such a day.
“I think we were meant to meet to help one another, don’t you?”
“I think so too. We may not know how yet, but I think we will soon.”
“Then, can I trust you?”
He looked at her for a long moment. “You can trust me, Laura.”
She stood up then and tied her sweater around her shoulders. She walked to the shoreline and turned back to look at Ben with her hands on her hips. “Then I have a lot to tell you.”
One by one, Laura Armstrong’s friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. The savage killer haunts her dreams, tormenting her with the promise that she is next.
Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite–her hometown. There, she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents’ death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a mad man, they unravel a frightening secret that binds them together. But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts Laura and Ben’s emotional relationship and Laura’s pure spirit to the test. With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his and she has two choices–redeem him or kill him.