Flight is a spin-off from the Hunt&Cam4Ever series. The first half of Flight is book 5 of that series with the sex taken out. I had a hell of a time finding some sort of excerpt, being so used to implying hot sex or romance or danger. At this point, I’m wondering if it’ll take another year to finish. I decided to find some damned thing to post so at least a few people would expect something from me. Like me. BTW – not the actual cover. Always make like 27 before I find what I want.
BACK PUSHED AGAINST the closed door, arms crossed over his knees, Asher cocked his head up at Cam. “Why’s there only one chair in here?”
Cam leaned back in the one chair, an ankle resting on the opposite knee. “I haven’t decided if I want people parking themselves in my office.”
“I should go?”
“No. You should tell me what you want to do.”
Asher’s face scrunched up, determined. “Not lie, that’s what I want to do. Not be something somebody has to hide.”
Cam moved from his chair to the floor next to the boy. “You know, her mom might change her mind.”
“How? Els isn’t even allowed to say my name. Her mother thinks I’m—”
Asher shook his head slowly. “I don’t even know.”
“Maybe she just thinks Elspeth isn’t old enough for a boyfriend.”
He shook his head. “She knew. Els told her about me. It was when she saw the cards. I had them on the table. It wasn’t a reading or anything, she was just curious about what they meant.”
“And her mom walked in and freaked out?” Cam wondered if she was of a fundamentalist religious bent to have such a strong reaction to a tarot lay out.
Asher’s head dropped. “I can only see her if we sneak around.”
“My mother tried to keep me away from Hunter at the beginning.”
“Did she come around?” Hope replaced misery for a few seconds.
“She … adjusted, let’s say. Accepted the inevitable.” Asher’s face sagged. “The point, though, is that it’s her problem. There’s nothing in the world wrong with Hunter, and there’s nothing wrong with you, either.”
Asher’s head came up and his gaze sharpened. “How could anybody think there’s something wrong with Hunt? Why didn’t she like him?”
Cam grinned. “She thinks he’s too old for me, I guess. And I think him being a cop, carrying a gun, it scares her. But she doesn’t really know him. … I dunno, for you I think the ball’s in Elspeth’s court. If you won’t sneak around, and I respect that a lot, she’s the one who has to make it work with her mom.”
Asher cocked his head. “Did you ever sneak around?”
Cam turned red and stood up. “It’s different with guys.”
Asher jumped to his feet. “No. See? Now you just sound like some adult.”
“I am some adult.”
“Bullshit. How’s it different?”
Cam sighed and perched on the edge of his desk. “Okay, look. Guys can crush on each other, but — it’s more about the sex. Mostly about that. But the parents are usually straight and think it’s their duty to keep all kids virgins. So there’s a level of dishonesty. Maybe there shouldn’t be but …” He had no idea how to explain.
“You just want somebody touching you who isn’t you?” Asher seemed suddenly older than Cam, who blushed. “It’s not that different. I want to touch her and kiss her while we’re being together and talking.”
“But girls want you to love them first.”
Asher turned a bit pink, himself. “I want her to love me.” The boy looked away. “Then she’d want to touch me.” It was almost a whisper.
Cam felt himself break a little inside for Asher Gamble, who, at not-quite-fifteen, had seen so much violence and so little of everyday life. He slid an arm across Asher’s shoulder and felt the slight, strong body lean into his side. “A girl will definitely love you and want you. Not sure when, but one will. Give it time.”
Three brief raps on the door and Carson Sanchez poked his head in. “You better come out here.”
Asher and Carson went into the bullpen. Cam made sure he had his cell and followed.
Asher was frozen with his mouth open just outside the door. All three men were on their feet, staring at a woman who spotted Cam and fixed on him.
“You’re Camden Snow?” She spoke in a husky contralto.
Cam moved Asher a step to the right and walked over to her, hand outstretched.
“And you’re Doctor Masaki.” They shook, her hand firm and strong. “Would you like some coffee before we go into my office?”
Fumie Masaki looked around at the men and back at Cam. “This an all-boys outfit, so far?”
Masaki was close to six feet, taller in the high-heeled black boots she wore. While her eyes had a distinct Asian cast, her stature, curly black hair, amber eyes and face shape bespoke a mixed ancestry. Mixed with what Cam had no idea. But she wore form-fitting emerald green and the artist in Cam appreciated the curved symmetry of her body and exotic perfection of her features.
She also oozed Alpha female.
Cam knew he needed to claim the high ground. “This is an all-extremely-competent ‘outfit’ so far. And I intend to keep it that way. Other factors are irrelevant.”
The authority in his voice caused Carson to shift his focus from the woman to his boss. Thurgood ducked his head to hide a smile.
Wandering around the office, Masaki ducked into the session room. She came out and found the library alcove. “I was told you’re continuing Anne Tussey’s work,” she said from inside the alcove. “Figuring out the way what she called ‘anomalous communication’ works. Do I have it right?”
Cam ignored her, unwilling to follow her into the alcove or be interrogated from a distance. Masaki emerged and faced Cam, arms crossed. “Well?”
“Not concerned with social niceties at all?”
“An irrelevant factor, according to you. And I don’t have time for irrelevancies. Neither do you.”
“Do you want everyone to know the answers or not?”
He was beginning to think the power struggle obstructed his own agenda — finding someone to do the work. Hunter would have allowed her as much control as she wanted to get whatever result he wanted.
“That’s a big part of what the Foundation is about,” he answered. “And why you were invited here. What does it have to do with not having much time?”
Regardless of what Hunter would do, Cam would not work with someone who refused to meet him halfway. This question she’d have to answer.
“I’m 31 years old, Mr. Snow. It took 40 years to find the Higgs boson. I need to get to work.”
“Wait a second.” Carson stepped forward. “You think it’s going to take 40 years to figure out how psychism works?”
Surprised, she looked at Cam. “Didn’t Shields tell you?”
“Tell me what?”
“I already know how it works. But it might take me 40 years to prove it.”
I’m shooting for Christmas.