December 15th, 2004
Trace’s Psychic

Goddamn, he had it bad. And if he wasn’t careful, every cop at the table was going to see it. That was the major drawback with hanging out with other detectives-observation was second nature to all of them.

It didn’t take any great detective skills to see that Aislinn was going to need some smooth handling. Trace winced as a fresh batch of erotic images flashed through his mind.

Christ. If he didn’t get her out of here soon, he was going to disgrace himself.

He was used to women opening the conversation, asking about his cases and cuddling up close to let him know they were available. He couldn’t even remember the last time he’d had to get a woman talking. If anything, he usually had the opposite problem-shutting them up.

Trace cleared his throat while his brain cells scrambled around for something to say that wouldn’t come across as an interrogation or manage to scare her off. But before he could think of something smooth, something that wouldn’t tip the other guys off to just how hungry he was for Aislinn, a slow song started playing and people wandered out to the dance floor. Aislinn’s eyes followed them. Sadness flickered across her face briefly and Trace’s heart did a little dive thinking maybe she’d just gotten out of a relationship.

Fuck. What was wrong with him tonight? She was here, which meant she was available. Period. And if she was trying to get over heartbreak, then he was her man…

Storm said, “Hey, isn’t that one of your father’s songs?”

Aislinn half smiled. “Yes. One of his last ones.”

Conner turned his attention from the delectable Tiffany. “Jessie Wolfe was your father?”

The name was vaguely familiar, but Trace couldn’t place it. His tastes ran more to country. The ballad playing reminded him of old Jethro Tull stuff.

Aislinn leaned toward Conner and something tightened in Trace’s gut at the way her eyes darkened as her attention focused on the other man. “Not many people remember him,” she said.

Conner grinned. “He was amazing. I have all five of his CDs. Play ’em at least once a month when I need inspiration.”

Miguel groaned. “I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Musical talent is a genetic thing and you were born without.”

The soft smile that Aislinn directed at Conner was like a kick in the gut to Trace. “What instrument do you play?” she asked.

The big cop actually flushed, but then he surprised the hell out of Trace by giving Aislinn a straight answer. “I do a little bit on the electric guitar, but mainly the flute, like your father.”

Aislinn said, “There was a sixth CD. It was never released.”

“Can I get a copy of it?” Conner asked, leaning so close to her that it was all Trace could do to keep himself from jerking them apart.


“Great. I’ll come by and get it.”

Uncertainty flickered across Aislinn’s face, but she nodded and something snapped inside of Trace at that thought of Conner going by Aislinn’s place. He stood up abruptly and put his hand on her arm, pulling her from the chair. “Let’s dance.”

Dylan snickered while Miguel had the nerve to laugh out loud. Both reactions rolled over Trace, barely noticed. Now that he was touching Aislinn, he was having trouble thinking at all. He wasn’t sure he was going to make it through the slow dance with her body pressed to his, but there was no way in hell that he wasn’t going to use it as an excuse to rub against her.


Yeah. That’s what he needed all right. Maybe one dance would be enough of an intro and he could haul her out to the car and do her there, or better yet, on the beach. It wasn’t his usual style, but desperate times require desperate means. His house was half an hour away and he’d be damned if he was going to go looking for a hotel room. She’d be way too skittish for that.

He pulled her onto the dance floor and into his arms, making sure that every possible inch of their bodies touched. They both tensed as soon as his erection was pressed against her soft abdomen. Trace tightened his grip around her and tried to keep from groaning at the exquisite sensation. Christ, this was incredible. He must have gone without too long. It had never been this intense before.

Trace closed his eyes and buried his face in her hair. The smell of her was just as intoxicating as the feel of her. As he stroked her back, she relaxed into him. “Yeah, feel what you do to me,” he whispered as he nuzzled her ear. She lifted her face and masculine satisfaction whipped through him at her passion-drugged expression. She’d go with him all right, and she’d be responsive when he rode her. He pulled her up against him even tighter and brought his lips down so that they hovered just above hers.

Aislinn’s heart fluttered wildly in her chest. Her body felt as though it belonged to someone else tonight-to him. It had from the moment she’d felt his gaze on her.

He was human and yet he beguiled her. Among her mother’s people such a reaction usually meant that a couple was destined to bond. Her heart opened and hope rushed in like a giant hand that might just as easily crush her as stroke her.

She knew that here among her father’s people things were different in ways that she didn’t always understand. But even knowing that, Aislinn knew that she wouldn’t be able to deny him. He called to her in a way that she couldn’t refuse.

A low growl sounded in Trace’s throat before he closed the distance and touched his lips to hers. She whimpered against his mouth and pressed more tightly against him. When his tongue pushed its way into her mouth and tangled with hers, she wanted to cry from the intimacy of it.

While she’d lived with her mother, no one had ever cuddled or held her, not even in friendship. She’d been an outcast for so many years, separated by her impure blood. It had left her vulnerable and cautious. That caution had followed her when she was cast from Elven-space.

Until now, she had not wanted to risk herself with any of the men she’d met. Trace’s nearness, his warmth and heated embrace were a battering ram against her fragile defenses. Aislinn moved her tongue against his, following his lead as her body prepared itself for him.

The music faded into a fast song. Trace kept her close for several long seconds before ending the kiss and guiding her from the dance floor and out of the building.