Embrace the geek, save the world…
Socially awkward geneticist Quinn Strickland has willingly forgone the pleasures in life to reach her career objectives. Alone and approaching thirty, she uses her independence to mitigate any risk of a broken heart. Her strategy works until the day a handsome stranger bursts into her lab and her orderly plans shoot straight to Hades. He claims to be her personal divine protector, a powerful, ancient warrior sent to defend a prophetic time bomb existing within her own genetic code.
The Scion’s alpha-geek Wyck is offered the opportunity of his immortal lifetime as head of his own covert operation. He arrives at a Colorado lab expecting starched white coats and sterile surroundings—not a redheaded spitfire in charge of both his project and his libido. His skills have carried him from the battlefields of ancient England to the pits of Hell and he has no plans to be felled by one woman, regardless of her shag-worthy charms. Divine duty requires him to protect the apocalyptic Seal encrypted within Quinn’s DNA, but his heart has other ideas. When his personal feelings interfere with his age-old vendetta, he’s forced to decide between desire and retribution.
Wyck used his new keycard to enter a glass-lined walkway and caught sight of his reflection. Christ Almighty. He’d done a wicked job of turning his normal hipster persona into Orson Parrott—Super Brain Extraordinaire.
Attired in a scholarly turtleneck and khakis, he couldn’t have been further from his normal choice of T-shirt and jeans. Between his helmet hair and the tatty briefcase he carried, there was little sign of the tousled charmer who’d enticed a cute barista to bed during his last reconnaissance mission here a few months earlier.
Goodbye quick tumbles. Hello brainy celibate.
He passed from the atrium into another adjoining lobby and glanced at the office number scribbled across his palm in blue ballpoint ink. 5324. He pushed the button for the next arriving elevator, whistling while he waited.
He’d performed a teensy bit of cyber-fraud by uploading his own credentials and employee demographics into the Eugenicorp HR files and had picked out a nice cushy office with a window for himself in the process, close to his charge and close to the vending machines. The perfect location for scoping out both the lab’s secrets and his target.
Speaking of his target, the buttoned-down woman wasn’t one he looked forward to meeting. Aside from the fact she unwittingly hosted the ancient biblical third Seal from the book of Revelation—basically a ticking genetic time-bomb capable of unleashing famine—hidden deep within her genomes, she was also smarter than sin and as socially enticing as a good bout of bubonic plague.
No thank you.
A determined clack of heels echoed against the tile behind him, and he swiveled toward the noise, just in time to see a flash of bright red hair barge through the gathering crowd and into the elevator. People stepped back, some headed for the stairs, as if the woman now occupying the compartment might spontaneously combust at any moment.
He peeked around the edge of the door and spied a slim, tight-faced woman alone in the corner. Hello, Dr. Quinn Strickland. His target’s expression of supreme annoyance couldn’t stop his genuine smile of amusement.
So, there be dragons on this mission.
His bravery, honed under the command of William of Normandy, would serve him well.
With a bland expression, Wyck moved into the elevator and stood beside the bioengineering wunderkind who would be his ticket to the lab’s inner workings. For once, locating his quarry had been easy-peasey. At this rate, he’d have the project wrapped up and be lounging on a beach somewhere with a cool drink and a hot wench in no time.
The doors slid closed and they started their ascent.
Something kept bumping his arm and he glanced sideways to discover the source of irritation—his target’s fidgeting. Her agitation seemed to grow worse the higher they climbed. She withdrew farther into the corner, tugging at her lab coat and scratching her arm, her foot tapping an incessant thud against the floor.
More people entered on subsequent floors and Wyck squeezed closer to the distressed woman out of necessity. A faint scent of strawberries tickled his nose, and to his surprise, she pressed tighter against him.
As the bodies crushed closer, her face grew chalk white. Sweat beaded her forehead and upper lip, and Wyck kept an eye on her while avoiding having his own toes trampled.
The last thing he needed was another pathetic creature in need of rescue, but fate seemed to have other ideas. Dr. Strickland obviously she didn’t like crowds or small spaces, so why the bloody hell was she in the one place guaranteed to give her both?
He watched her from beneath his lashes and silently willed her to relax, assessing her condition with strategic precision. Eyes clamped shut, breath shallow, limbs shaking.
Yep. He’d been in enough warzones to recognize the makings of a panic attack when he saw one. Whatever her reasons for getting on the elevator, he couldn’t very well let the daft woman dissolve into seizures on his first day. His Scion brothers would never let him live that one down.
So when a large oaf stepped backward and almost pulverized the hyperventilating woman, Wyck jabbed the man hard in the butt with the corner of his briefcase. The guy whipped around to shoot Wyck an affronted scowl, but his expression changed fast when he had to crane his jowly neck a good foot to meet his accoster’s eyes.
Wyck quirked a brow and flashed his portly nemesis a cheeky fuck-you grin before refocusing his attention on the tiny, trembling mess at his side.
Despite the thick bun atop her head, Quinn Strickland barely crested his shoulder and her eyes remained hidden behind a pair of dark, horned-rimmed glasses. The mission details he’d received prior to arrival had listed her age as twenty-nine, though with her flawless complexion she could pass for much younger. He’d been impressed with her credentials, receiving her doctorate at such a young age. She must have studied nonstop to amass her skills.
And that usually equated to a social disaster.
He added another check beside Dr. Strickland in his best-to- avoid column, and the outlook on his mission dropped another few notches from Solidly Successful to Just Get The Damn Thing Done.
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