Read an Excerpt
Candace Jermaine sat up with a sigh. She took off her glasses and rubbed the bridge of her nose before taking the time to actually set the offending things down on the pearl-grey Formica countertop. Her glasses lay in the newly clean spot. When she’d sat down earlier, there had been a huge stack of papers sitting there that she had needed to review and double-check. Rolling her head on her neck, she groaned when she saw the time. "I’ve been sitting here for five hours?" Candace used her foot to push her chair across the cool floor to where her drink was, picked it up and took a healthy swallow. Lukewarm, but still refreshing. She shifted in her chair and closed her eyes against the brilliance of the fluorescent bulbs that filled the otherwise silent room with their incessant buzzing. Candace knew she didn’t have to do all the work in the lab on her own, but she was overly picky. "But damn if it isn’t hard and time-consuming to double-check the spelling on each taxonomic classification." Candace Jermaine worked at New Mexico’s Palaeontology Centre in Taos. She loved her job, regardless of how tedious logging data on extinct animals could be, making sure they were all spelt correctly and updating new information that came in. She was good at her job and found extinct animals fascinating. When they had lived. Where they had lived. How and when they had died out. Looking at samples under a high- powered microscope to see the curve of the hair, the exact shape of the tooth—any number of things. "Okay. I’m done. I need food and air." Opening her eyes, she heaved a sigh as she climbed out of her comfortable chair. "Ohh." She moaned as her lower body tingled and she felt blood flow freely as the circulation returned to her veins. "Well, that hurt." Candace shook her head at her actions. Like she could spring up after sitting near-motionless for five hours. It didn’t take long before everything was stored in the proper place and the lab was spotless. Candace picked up her car keys and grabbed her purse, then hit the switch that stopped the hum of the lights. She walked out of the door, pulling it shut behind her. The dry desert air that greeted her was stagnant. Still, the view before her eyes was amazing. There was nothing like looking out at the mountains—they were so beautiful. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains could engage all of her time if she let them. She felt the cry more than she heard it. If not for the feelings it evoked within her, she would have claimed it was nothing but her overactive imagination and hunger feeding a delusion. No air moved, but she could see the flocks of birds taking to the sky like the hounds of hell were after them. Within her own body she could still feel the powerful rumble that seemed more like a roar than a cry. It moved through her system, touching all her synapses like she was standing out on the tarmac while an MD-11 airliner landed next to her. No matter how astounding the effect was, it lasted maybe a millisecond. But it was long enough to awaken something deep within her. Something that, until that moment, Candace had never known she possessed.