Megan Bradford was trapped in a nightmare. She’d had this particular nightmare so often it had lost its ability to terrify her. Or so she told herself.
Sadly, that did nothing to change the situation. She was the engineer of a runaway train. It was the dead of night, and she (plus all twenty-seven passenger cars filled with people) was about to go over a cliff. None of the controls that she touched, kicked, pushed, or hauled on changed a thing. The train was going over that cliff, and she was powerless to stop it.
It’s a dream, she told herself.
Despite her words, her heart was pounding and her hands were slick. The heat in the little engine room was suffocating, and sweat was dripping into her eyes, making them burn. She jammed her hands down on the controls, pounding on the big red stop button for all she was worth. It didn’t help. Truthfully, she doubted that trains even had a big red stop button, but that didn’t matter.
Then the dream changed. Suddenly someone stood beside her. A man in a mask and a cape.
She had the vague impression of a chiseled jaw and massive height. Wow, this man was tall.
“Help me!” she screamed.
He said something. She didn’t know what. She couldn’t hear over the roar of the engine. Then he abruptly grimaced and grabbed her hands.
She had enough time to notice that his fingers were long and his palms really broad. He easily engulfed her much smaller hand. Something was familiar about that. It dinged in her mind completely outside of the nightmare, but there was no time to think about it.
He grabbed her hands and half pushed, half threw her sideways to a different control. A joystick. A huge stick that thrust up from the floor.
“Turn!” he bellowed. Then he enveloped her in his massive arms and together they hauled sideways on the stick. Not stopping, just turning away from the cliff.
The wheels squealed, the controls seemed to buck before her eyes, but this man was strongHercules strongand she felt the shudder that went through the whole train at his efforts. Their efforts, she realized. She had to be part of this, too, or otherwise it wouldn’t work.
This isn’t going to work anyway, she told herself. This was a nightmare and it always ended the same way. But that little voice was far away. Her body was living the straining heat of pulling the joystick sideways. With a jolt, she discovered she was also aware of the erotic press of the man’s body. And she even felt the hot huff of his breath against her neck and his low grunt of effort.
“Not enough,” she cried. “We’re not enough!”