We are thrilled to share with you an exclusive extract from Slave to Sensation. This extract was chosen by Nalini Singh herself as part of our 10th Anniversary celebrations. We adore the Psy-Changeling series and hope you enjoy your introduction to this incredible world.
Dive into a world torn apart by a powerful race with phenomenal powers of the mind—and none of the heart…
In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of “rehabilitation”— the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was….
Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy co-existence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion—and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities—or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation…
Two hours later, Sascha closed the door to her apartment and did a mental sweep of the premises. Nothing. Located in the same building as their offices, the apartment had excellent security, but she’d used her skills at shielding to ring the rooms with another level of protection. It took a lot of her meager psychic strength but she needed to feel safe somewhere.
Satisfied that the apartment hadn’t been breached, she systematically checked every one of her inner locks against the vastness of the PsyNet. Functioning. No one could get into her mind without her knowing about it.
Only then did she allow herself to collapse into a heap on the ice-blue carpet, the cool color making her shiver. “Computer. Raise temperature five degrees.”
“Complying.” The voice was without inflection but that was to be expected. It was nothing more than the mechanical response of the powerful computer that ran this building. The houses she’d be building with Lucas Hunter would have no such computer systems.
Her breath came out in a gasp as she allowed her mind to cascade with all the emotions she’d had to bury during the meeting.
Unclipping the barrette at the end of her plait, she shoved her hands into the unfurling curls before tugging off her jacket and throwing it aside. Her breasts ached, straining against the cups of her bra. She wanted nothing more than to strip herself naked and rub up against something hot, hard and male.
A whimper escaped her throat as she closed her eyes and rocked back and forth, trying to control the images pounding at her. This shouldn’t be happening. No matter how far out of control she’d gone before, it had never been this bad, this sexual. The second she admitted it, the avalanche seemed to slow and she found enough strength to push her way out of the clawing grip of hunger.
Getting up off the floor, she walked to the kitchenette and poured herself a glass of water. As she swallowed, she caught her reflection in the ornamental mirror that hung beside her built-in cooler. It had been a gift from a changeling advisor on another project and she’d kept it despite her mother’s raised brow. Her excuse had been that she was trying to understand the other race. In truth, she’d just liked the wildly colorful frame.
However, right now she wished she hadn’t held onto it. It showed too clearly what she didn’t want to see. The tangle of darkness that was her hair spoke of raw passion and desire, things no Psy should know about. Her face was flushed as if with fever, her cheeks streaked red and her eyes…Lord have mercy, her eyes were pure midnight.
She put down the glass and pushed back her hair, searching. But she hadn’t made a mistake. There was no light in the darkness. This was only supposed to happen when a Psy was expending a large amount of psychic power.
It had never happened to her.
Her eyes might’ve marked her as a cardinal but her powers were humiliatingly weak. So weak that she still hadn’t been co-opted into the ranks of those who worked directly for the Council.
Her lack of any real psychic power had mystified the instructors who’d trained her. Everyone had always said that there was incredible raw potential inside her mind but that it had never manifested.
She shook her head. No. She hadn’t expended any psychic energy so it had to have been something else which had caused the darkness, something other Psy didn’t know about because they didn’t feel. Her eyes drifted to the communication console set into the wall beside the kitchenette. One thing was clear—she couldn’t go out looking like this. Anyone who saw her would have her sent in for rehabilitation in a heartbeat.
Fear gripped her, raw and tight.
As long as she was on the outside, she might one day figure out a way to escape, a way to cut her link to the PsyNet without throwing her body into paralysis and death. Or she might even discover a way to fix the flaw that marked her. But the second she was admitted into the Center, her world would become darkness. Endless, silent darkness.