When dying becomes an act of love.
It is four years since Taylor and Brody almost lost Veris during the First Crusade. Now they know how to control time jumps, they have settled into a very nearly perfect, nearly human life, raising their daughter Marit.
When Brody defies Queen Tira to protect Marit, the three of them jump back three days in time to collect evidence the queen set up Brody for a drug bust in retribution. The jump sends them back to Brody’s personal nightmare: Fifth century Constantinople.
While Brody survives as a flogged slave, Taylor masquerades as the wife of an aristocrat and searches for Brody to release him. They must wait for Veris to find them before jumping home and Taylor watches each brutal chariot race, wondering if this will be Brody’s last. Brody once died in the Hippodrome and he is human this time, too….
Warning: This story features two super hot alpha vampire heroes, multiple sex scenes, including anal sex, MM sexual play, and MMF sex. Do not read this book if frank sexual language and sex scenes offend you.
The time-space continuum was restored to order at the end of this book. Promise.
This is the third book in the Kiss Across Time Series
Book 1: Kiss Across Time
Book 2: Kiss Across Swords
Book 3: Kiss Across Chains
They were met halfway across the grey-painted concrete by a group of six law enforcement types. Three of them were uniformed cops. The other three wore suits, two of them badly. The third wore a suit that looked tailored and pristine. He walked right up to Brody, his eyes narrowed. “You must be Brody Gallagher,” he said. He didn’t push out his hand for a handshake, Taylor noted.
“I must be,” Brody agreed. There was a fine line between his brows. “And you must be…?”
“Lieutenant Brixton, Southwest Division.”
“They pulled you all the way out here for a theft?” Veris asked.
“Something like that,” Brixton said. He had pleasant looking eyes that gave away nothing. “Mr. Gallagher, we’re told that each of you in your band have your own lockers and beds on the coach. Is that correct?”
Brody glanced toward the coach again. Emerging from the far side, Taylor saw the other three members of his band walking in the middle of a cluster of uniformed cops and detectives.
“I’d like you to step aboard the coach and identify your locker for me,” Brixton told Brody.
Fear touched Taylor. “What department is yours, Lieutenant?” she asked. “You didn’t say.”
Brixton gave a tight smile. “No, I didn’t.” He stepped aside so that Brody could move forward. “If you don’t mind, Mr. Gallagher? It will just take a moment.”
“Which department?” Veris insisted.
“Vice,” Brixton said shortly.
Brody turned to face Brixton squarely. “What’s in the locker?” he demanded.
His abrupt movement made four of the cops travelling with Brixton jerk for their weapons, only to abort the movement.
Taylor’s breath hitched and hurried on.
Brixton dropped any pretense at pleasantness. His face hardened. “Your fellow band members have all confirmed the locker is yours, Mr. Gallagher. That’s enough for the judge. Your confirmation is a formality. As the locker is yours, you should know what is in it well enough.”
“Nothing that deserves this carnival,” Brody said flatly. Angrily.
Veris moved up to Brody’s side. “Brody, shut up. Now.”
Brixton pulled a notebook out of his inner jacket pocket and flipped it open. “We were expecting to find a certain amount of cocaine and cannabis in all the lockers and we did, in amounts usually considered for personal use. Your stash was something else entirely.”
“My stash?” Brody breathed, his tone choked.
“Brody, shut the fuck up,” Veris muttered, shaking his arm.
Brixton seemed almost happy as he looked down at his notepad and began to read. “Amphetamines, most of the social drugs, including Ecstasy, and the biggest bag of cocaine we’ve seen in a long time. Good quality stuff, too. Injectable, water-soluble high-grade cut. Then there’s the heroin. Pure white and uncut. A half-pound of the stuff, we figure. That right there will get you ten years at least, because that amount will be seen as possession with intent to distribute.”
Taylor stared at Brixton, astonished at the righteous fury in the man’s face. He was enjoying himself with this vicious taunting.
Brody was breathing hard, his hands fisted.
Veris leaned close to Brody’s ear. “Do not say a single word,” he murmured, his tone hard.
Brixton shut his notebook with a snap. “Of course, we’ll have all the official weights and measures properly listed on your arrest sheet for you,” he finished as he put the notebook away again.
“What has Brody ever done to you, Lieutenant, to deserve your malice?” Taylor asked.
Brixton sneered. “People like you, with your undeserved wealth and fame and your superior holier-than-thou attitudes…you think you live above the law, that you can get away with anything you want because of who you are. Well, you can’t.” He clicked his fingers. “Brody Gallagher, you’re under arrest for the possession of illegal substances, with intent to distribute. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?”
“This is bullshit,” Brody growled as two of the uniformed cops stepped forward.
“We’ll sort it out,” Veris promised.
“Do you understand your rights as they have been explained to you?” Brixton demanded as the cops shoved between Taylor and Veris and yanked Brody’s arms back.
“Daddy!” Taylor heard, muffled, from the limousine. There was a pounding on the windows.
“Oh, god,” Brody moaned. “She can see me.”
The cuffs were ratcheted onto his wrists with a loud, horrible sound of metal against metal. Brody drew in a sharp, harsh breath, his gaze focusing inward. “Veris…” he breathed.
Veris gripped his shoulder, his expression alarmed. “Stay focused.”
Taylor glanced from one to the other man, her heart hammering. There was something happening to Brody that she didn’t understand, that Veris knew and she didn’t. After so many years, there was something they had failed to share with her and it was threatening Brody now.
The uniforms were dragging Brody toward a marked sedan. Another one opened the back door. The inside of the door had no handles and was lined with wire caging. There was more caging between the front seat and the back. The back window was also caged in. The back seat was slashed and stained. So was the floor.
One of the cops with his hand on Brody’s arm used his other hand to push down on the back of Brody’s head to make him duck as they tried to fold him into the back of the car.
Taylor drew in a shuddering breath.
Abruptly Brody threw himself backwards, out of the grip of the cops. He pushed on the side of the sedan with his boot and shoved harder, giving himself impetus. “I’m not going into that.” He was breathing raggedly. Hyperventilating.
Brody, who had faced down Saracens, Fatamids, French, Germans and more across a dozen wars and even more battles, looked like he was having a full-on panic attack.
“Oh yes, you are,” Brixton declared and waved.
Three more police surrounded him. Brody stood half-a-head higher than most of them, but they had numbers on their side. They hustled him with sheer body-weight toward the car.
Veris cupped his face in his hands briefly, then pushed his hands through his hair. Taylor saw that his hands were trembling, but other than those telling signs, he looked utterly unmoved. He shifted on his feet, a subtle movement that put him close to the nose of the sedan, a strategic position from where he could help Brody if he had to. But for years Brody and Veris had chosen to move inside the rules of human society. Veris could not act now unless he broke with that decision.
Brody was staring at the inside of the police cruiser, his black eyes wild and glittering with an emotion Taylor had never seen in them before. Fear.
The cops got him within two feet of the cruiser before Brody reacted again. He reared back with a roar, the back of his head connecting squarely with the nose of the detective who had a grip on Brody’s neck. The detective squealed and fell backwards, blood streaming from his broken nose, temporarily blinded by pain.
Brody wrenched himself sideways, pulling himself out of the grip of the man on his right. He kicked him in the stomach, sending him staggering back five or six tottering steps, past where Veris stood at the hood of the cruiser, to turn and drop to his knees, his hands to his stomach, noisily trying to breathe.
The third cop was staggering backwards as Brody had unexpectedly rammed into him with his lunge sideways. Brody turned and kept moving into him, until the cop tripped over and fell onto his back. His head rapped painfully onto the concrete. Brody landed on his chest with one knee, driving the wind out of him.
Then Brody stood and wrenched at the cuffs on his wrists, twisting them and pulling them apart with his arms. A normal human wouldn’t be able to break them, but Brody wasn’t normal, or human. He growled deep in his throat, straining at the twisted chains. They gave with a low shriek of stressed metal and gave way.
Brody turned his head, questing, looking for escape. His hair had escaped the band he normally wore it pulled back in and now it spilled over his shoulders and back in long black wavy locks, completing the wild, angry man impression.
Taylor kept still. She didn’t know if the beast in Brody was loose or not. She didn’t know what was happening. For the first time in eight years, she didn’t know Brody at all and she was touched by fear.
“Now,” Brixton yelled.
Guns fired. But not normal guns. Taylor saw red darts shoot towards Brody. But they had wires attached to them. She realized her perceptions had been stepped up. Events were moving very fast, but she was processing them fast enough to see them happen almost in slow motion.
The Taser darts, four of them – Four! her mind whispered in shocked wonder – hit Brody in the chest and abdomen, burying through his tee-shirt, deep into his flesh. He jerked, but didn’t start shaking like she had imagined Taser victims might. He looked down at the darts, his brows rushing together.
“Right,” he declared. He reached for the darts and plucked them out, two at a time and tossed them away. Then he rushed at Brixton, his bloody hands out.
“Brody, no!” Veris yelled.
Taylor’s voice wouldn’t work. The fear had her by the throat.
Brixton’s eyes widened.
But the fact that Brody was going for Brixton protected him. The cops wouldn’t try to shoot him because they feared they might get Brixton.
Instead, they simply piled themselves on top of Brody. It took nine of them and three night sticks wielded with fierce determination before Brody was subdued. The only way they subdued him was to render him unconscious.
But Taylor stopped watching long before they reached that point. She rushed to Veris and deliberately turned her face into his chest.
There was no comfort to be found in Veris’ arms for he trembled as badly as Taylor did.
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