Read Kiss Across Time (Kiss Across Time Series) Online

Authors: Tracy Cooper-Posey

Tags: #Romance

Kiss Across Time (Kiss Across Time Series)

Kiss Across Time

 

by

Tracy Cooper-Posey

 

The
Kiss Across Time Series
Book I

 

About
Kiss Across Time

 

A single kiss can change more than one life…or two.

Taylor Yates is fired for insisting the 5
th
Century Arthurian poet, Inigo Domhnall, existed. When she hears Domhnall’s lyrics in a death metal song, she engineers a meeting with lead singer, Brody Gallagher. An unintended kiss sends them spinning back to the poet’s time, when Saxons were pillaging King Arthur’s Britain.
 

Brody’s all for kissing her again.
 
More, he wants her to kiss his friend and lover, Veris, to see what will happen.
 
When Veris’ kiss sends them back to the time of the Vikings neither man is willing to let Taylor simply walk out of their lives.

But Brody and Veris are more than lovers and sexual playmates, as Taylor learns when they investigate the kisses that send them across time.
 
The secrets they share have the power to completely alter her life.

Praise for
Kiss Across Time

 

[She] has created characters that are engaging, unpredictable, outrageously funny and down-right appealing to readers who will steal their hearts.
 
Shannon for
The Romance Studio

I think you’ll be as entertained and affected by the chemistry between the characters as I was. A fast-moving romance that spanned several lifetimes and included a paranormal aspect that was a fun and totally unexpected surprise.
 
Honeysuckle for
Whipped Cream Erotic Romance Reviews

This was a great story with wonderful and surprising plot twists. The chemistry between the three is tangible.
 
Stacey Krug for
Siren Book Reviews

Paranormal erotic romance doesn’t get any more creative than [this].
 
Chris for
Romance Junkies

Dedication

 

For Matthew.
 
Finally, one for you, my talented, droogie metalhead son.
Thank you for your guidance and education. It was fun. So was R.W.

Chapter One

 

And blood-dipped spears waved beyond thy doors

Foretelling thy doom to me this day of days.

I knew of thy love before thee spoke of it to me

Say not of what is in thy heart for it must not be spake.

—Inigo Domhnall, 5
th
Century A.D.

 

Taylor reread the letter written on crisp, perfectly folded university letterhead again, this time slowly, just in case she had misunderstood, while the sick feeling in her gut told her she had read it clearly the first time.

“I’m fired?” she whispered into the empty air of her tiny office space.
 
Saying it aloud didn’t make it any more understandable.
 
She looked at the signature block, bewildered.
 
Jeoffery H. Danforth II, Ph.D., M.H., B.A.

What the hell was Jeoff thinking?
 
She picked up the stiff white envelope the letter had been delivered in.
 
It had her name and her office number, and the university’s logo in the corner and that was all.
 
Fired by letter.
 
He didn’t even have the decency to tell her she was fired to her face?

Anger stirred, deep in her gut.
 
She had given her all to this faculty.
 
Seven years…and now her services were no longer required?
 
Just like that?
 
What sort of a piddling excuse was that, anyway?
 
Was that why they had delivered the news by letter?
 
So they wouldn’t have to explain why they were booting her out on her ass just before they were forced to offer her tenure?

Taylor sat back in her creaky chair and looked up at the sky she could see through the high window over her desk, thinking it through.
 
Was
that
why they had fired her?
 
She was up for tenure and they would have to work hard to justify not giving it to her this year.
 
The easy way around that would be to fire her, six weeks before the deadline.

The easy way…and the coward’s way.

Her anger swelled and heated, gripping at her throat and making her breath come harder and shorter.

Jeoffery Danforth the second was not going to get away with a gutless move like that.

Taylor looked up at the spine of her well-thumbed copy of Syrus in the original Latin, sitting on the shelf just below the window.
 

Pardon one offense, and you encourage the commission of many,”
she muttered, quoting him.
 
She got up and headed for the door, letter in hand, then came back and picked up the offensive envelope, too.
 
Time for explanations.

* * * * *

 

Jeoff Danforth was the head of the history department and also on the board of the college and his office reflected his tenured and privileged position within the university hierarchy.
 
For a man just reaching forty, he was doing remarkably well professionally.
 
His private life was a shambles, for he had left two wrecked marriages in the wake of his stellar career and was supporting children from both of them.

He was the university’s golden boy despite his private disasters and ran the history department with a degree of efficiency that Taylor had admired until today.
 
She smiled stiffly at Betty, trying for a normal expression.
 
“Is he in?” she asked as she had countless times in the past and just as she normally did, she kept walking into Jeoff’s office.
 
She had that special access, after all.

But Betty rose to her feet.
 
“I’ll see if he’s in!” she almost cried.

Taylor glanced over her shoulder, startled.
 
“I can do that,” she replied and pushed the door to Jeoff’s office open all the way before Betty could round her desk.

Jeoff was talking on the phone, his chair swiveled all the way around so he could look out the vast lead-light windows as he spoke, taking in the heat-dazzled day, the tracts of well-watered grass and shade trees spread out below.
 
Students were walking, sitting or standing anywhere one looked.
 

The phone cord was stretched around the edges of his studded leather chair, straining.

“Jeoff,” Taylor said flatly.

He turned to look and Taylor felt a small sense of retribution when his jaw sagged.
 
She held up the letter and envelope and his eyes widened even more.

“Hey…um…I’m going to have to get back to you,” he said into the phone.
 
“Something has just come up…Sure.
 
Thank you.”
 
He swiveled the rest of the way around to face the desk properly and replaced the phone, all the while watching Taylor.

He was a handsome man…sort of.
 
Twenty years of earning a living purely by the use of intellect had made him a little soft around the edges.
 
He was only an inch or two taller than Taylor, who stood at five nine in her bare heels, and he had gained thirty or forty extra pounds that disguised what had once been a chiseled jaw and trim hips.
 

His hair was the same light brown as his eyes, and as soft and feathery as a baby’s.
  
He had the clear hazel eyes, sharp with intelligence, that had first caught her attention and he was sizing her up now.

“They sent it to you,” he said.

“It’s what one does with a letter.”
 
She dropped it on his desk.
 
“I’m fired, Jeoff?
 
I’m
fucking fired
?”
 
Suddenly her anger was there, huge and hot and uncontainable.
 
The injustice of this was pushing it out, aiming it at him like a cudgel.

He stood up.
 
“Now, before you get upset—”

“Too fucking late,” she snapped back.
 
“You might have thought of that before you decided to do this by proxy.”
 
She stabbed at the letter with her finger.
 
“I thought you had more class.”

He winced and held up a hand.
 
“I thought I’d asked Betty to give it to me.
 
I was going to tell you in person.
 
The letter is a formality.”

“Well, now that you’ve formally fired me, do you want to tell me why, beyond the fact that my services are no longer required?”

Caution flooded his face.
 
Jeoff spread his fingertips along the edge of his desk. “The university is going through some tough financial times.
 
We’re off loading a lot of senior staff in order to save overheads.
 
It’s not personal.”

“Bullshit.
 
Six weeks before I’m up for tenure and
right
after that argument about Doctor Ger—”
 
She halted mid-sentence, staring at him, adding it up in her head, pulling the facts together.
 
“That’s it, isn’t it?
 
That’s why I was put on the list of cuts.
 
I argue with you too much.”
  

At the same time she was totting up the possibilities and adding them together, the reminder of Dr. Gerhardsson’s visit sent a quick waterfall of memories through her mind of the evening of Gerhardsson’s appointment.
 
Snapshot images of the man’s incredibly blue eyes.
 
His blond hair.
 
His height.
 
Above all, the width and power of his shoulders under the perfectly-tailored and precisely-fitted suit and the way his presence had seemed to fill the room, making her mortally conscious of the fact that she was a woman.

She’d had the hardest time concentrating on the subject matter at first, until she had realized that he was genuinely interested in what she thought about Inigo Domhnall…that he really did think she might have serious reason to believe the man had existed.
 
Then the discussion had abruptly sucked her in deep and she had emerged, two hours later, her heart and mind reeling from one of the most thorough interviews she’d ever had.
 
She felt like her thesis and professional career had been filleted by an expert.

Gerhardsson had been polite and friendly when he’d left, shaking her hand warmly and thanking her for her time.
 
He’d given no promises about a follow-up, but she had been elated.
 
Someone believed her.
 
She’d known it in her bones, and the next morning she had sent an email to the members of the history board, telling them about her evening.

Jeoff cleared his throat and sat down.
 
“Academic debate is the backbone of intellectual progress.
 
I’d be the last one to resent a decent argument, but that Gerhardsson thing was the last straw.”

She licked her lips.
 
“Because he consulted with me about Inigo Domhnall?
 
Because finally
someone
other than me seemed to have heard about Domhnall?
 
That’s
why you’re firing me?”

Jeoff reached into a drawer next to him.
 
“Did you even check into Gerhardsson’s credentials before you wrote the report about his visit?”

“It wasn’t a report,” she protested.
 
“I sent an email to a few people.”

“The entire board of the history department and me,” he amended.
 
“You were boasting.”
 
He dumped a manila folder on the desk.
 
“Well, I looked into this Dr. Gerhardsson you were crowing about.
 
He’s never been near a history faculty in his life.”
 

She stared at the manila folder, her heart thudding unhappily.

Jeoff pushed it toward her, but she made no move to open it.
 
“I never said he had been,” she countered weakly.

“You implied he was in our field, and you know it.”

She couldn’t take her eyes away from the folder.
 

Jeoff tapped it.
 
“He’s a medical doctor,” he said.
 
“I’m not even sure where his practice is located.
 
I couldn’t find one.”

She flipped the folder open and scanned the printed biography inside.
 
“This says he’s a lecturing professor at UCLA and chair of the selection panel of the AMA…you’re really stretching it calling him a homeless M.D.”

“But he is
not
an historian.
 
That’s not a trivial fact and you conveniently left it out of your email when you reported to the board,” Jeoff said flatly.
 
“You embarrassed them.
 
You embarrassed
me
.”

“It wasn’t—” she began.

“You jumped the gun,” Jeoff continued.
 
“It was unprofessional and verges on unethical.
 
You’re lucky the board is content with just letting you go, quite frankly.”

Taylor just stared at him, astonished at the direction the conversation had abruptly taken.
 
“What the hell, Jeoff?” she said at last.
 

He had the grace to not be able to meet her eyes.
 
He looked away, his gaze dropping to his desktop briefly.
 
He made a fuss of closing the Gerhardsson folder.
 
“Face it, Taylor,” he said, his tone more gentle.
 
“Your thesis isn’t going anywhere.
 
In seven years, you’ve found no proof of anything at all.
 
All you’ve got is a handful of theories and a lot of research.”

“That you encouraged!” she protested.

He wasn’t looking at her directly.
 
That was what hurt the most.
 
He was guilty as shit and he knew it.
 
He had coaxed and urged her to follow her theories as far as she could take them.
 
Gerhardsson had been the closest to validation she had yet come – someone else on the planet that had heard of Domhnall that she hadn’t told first.

Now Jeoff was yanking the rug out from under her professionally, financially, and
very
personally.

“You son of a bitch,” she told him.

He didn’t look at her, but the corner of his eye twitched.
 
He’d heard her.

Taylor walked back to the office door, debating whether to slam it or not when she left.
 
Then she remembered one last piece of business and halted with her hand on the door handle and looked back over her shoulder.
 
“I have some things at your place,” she told him.
  
“I’ll be over tonight to pick them up.”

Jeoff finally met her eyes.
 
There was a touch of resignation in his soft brown ones.
 
Then it disappeared.
 
“I’ll pack them up and have them sent to you,” he told her.

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