Ocean Kills:Book One of Ocean Breeze(6)

By: Jade Hart

Pressure built behind my eyelids, warning that my power had ignited. I forced myself to breathe deep, to relax so the pressure diminished. It was a constant tightrope. Too much stress, too much sensory input or emotion and pop. Bye, bye. Why didn't I allow my power to whisk me away when the sirens first sounded? I could’ve avoided this whole fiasco.

Oh, that's right—I needed food. Rule number one of teleporting: no fuel, no port. Stupid rule.

“What will you have?” Officer Bliss asked, fanning open the menu.

I didn't need to read the selection to know. Japanese food was my favorite. Crossing my arms, I said, “I'll have teriyaki chicken with a side plate of mixed sashimi.” Glaring at the cop opposite, I slipped into seductress mode. “If that's alright with you, of course, Officer Bliss?”

Annoyance flared, followed by amusement in his eyes. “No acting. I can see right through it. And call me Callan.” A sun-highlighted eyebrow rose. “You like raw fish? Straight up?”

I couldn't tell if he was disgusted or happy. With his practiced blank expression he was unreadable. My lie-detecting abilities misfired on him.

“What's it to you?” Seriously, I wasn't a charity case to plump up or care for. As far as he knew, I was a broken girl, a street walker.

“Nothing. That's my favorite dish, too. Just thought it was interesting.”

The way he said interesting caught my attention. The sneaky man was reading me. The glint in his eye told me he wasn't a passive cop. This one was dangerous.

The waiter approached when Callan stuck his hand up. “We'll have two teriyaki chicken bowls and a large platter of assorted sashimi with two Coke Zeros.”

“Great choices.” The waiter smiled and took our menus, hustling away to place our order.

My eyes narrowed. I didn’t appreciate his attempts to understand me. The sooner dinner was over, the sooner I could disappear.

Awkward silence charged the air between us. My body was raw with nerves. Not good for controlling my power. Blowing chocolate bangs from my vision, I looked around the restaurant. Low-slung bolts of scarlet fabric draped from a central chandelier to the corners of the room. It was rich, inviting. Cozy.

Callan fiddled with his napkin—another tick against sitting still. “So, you're Australian?”

Now the questions would begin. My life was a secret, of course, but I could share up to the age of twelve. After that, I was off the grid. “No. I'm not Australian. Not originally. But you are. A true-blue Aussie mate.” I put on the accent for his benefit.

Callan studied me as if I was a bug under a microscope. His green eyes were a laser—unwavering. Unnerving. “If you aren't Aussie, where did you come from?”

I hated getting into this. It was a mouthful and a half. “Let's just say it's a long-winded topic.”

“I like long-winded. Shoot.”

I groaned, and ruffled my hair, very aware my boobs were on the cusp of popping out of my top.

Callan was suddenly very aware too. His jaw clenched, but he didn't look away.

A smile slinked over my mouth. “Like what you see?” I leaned forward, testing him, letting him get an eyeful. “Buying me dinner won't buy me, you know. I'm a lot more expensive. Priceless, even.” If he didn't understand that piece of information—that I was admitting to not being a hooker—then he was an idiot.

“You're not a prostitute, are you?” Ah, give the man a prize. He wasn't some blond surfer with salt water for brains.

I leaned back, grabbed a soya bean, and popped it in my mouth. “What makes you say that?”

“You don't have a used feeling about you. Your eyes aren't glassy with drugs, or vacant of emotion, and frankly, you scare me a little. No self-centered john would willingly pay you for anything. His cock would most likely end up chopped off.”

Our drinks arrived, and I choked on my sip. Had they found the bastard I sliced after all? Was this all a game? I scanned the restaurant for other cops. There was only one other couple in here at five in the morning, and they were lip-locked over their California roll. Safe. For now.

“Clever,” I muttered. “Are you going to tell on me?”

“What? That you aren't a prostitute? Why would I? That's excellent news. Much better for our streets that you aren't putting yourself in danger. And for you, of course. The riff-raff hanging in the Cross shouldn’t be messed with.”

Oh, I messed with them all right. I snorted, twirling the straw in my Coke. “Trust me. I'm never in danger.” Even if I was, I just teleported the hell out of there. No big deal.

“So, continue. Where are you from?” His voice was rich, deceptive. He oozed confidence, and something else. . . something vulnerable. It made me want to open up with the hope of getting him to open up.