Home > Transcend (Transcend Duet #1)(2)

Transcend (Transcend Duet #1)(2)
Author: Jewel E. Ann

“My mom likes antiques. She used to watch this roadshow on public television. There’s such excitement—high hopes—for people who think they have a hidden gem. I felt like that hidden gem for most of my life. We waited, visiting one expert after another, going from one private school to another, waiting for someone to tell them my gift—my worth. I imagined that lottery-winning look on their faces.”

“What happened?”

I stare at his interlaced hands on his lap—the skin of a man who has never had an ounce of grease stuck in the wrinkles and crevices. Who knew manicured nails and the occasional steepled index fingers could be so enthralling? I find his command of the room both intimidating and comforting. Deep-set eyes almost silver in color match his graying hair that’s receded into a sharp widow’s peak. He reminds me of Liam Neeson. It makes me wonder if he has a “particular set of skills.”

Meeting his gaze, I smile. “At my final evaluation, five years ago, my parents were told I was a perfectly normal sixteen-year-old girl with above average test scores but nothing at that point that exceeded all of my other peers. I was smart, but not a genius. They recommended I take as many AP classes as I could, but there was no mention of skipping grades or even testing out of classes. However, I did have my first year’s worth of college credits by the time I graduated high school.”

Dr. Greyson glances at some papers in my traveling file. I’ve learned to travel with my file of test results and records of my academic achievements. “You scored a thirty-one on your ACT and graduated with a three-point-nine GPA. That’s really good. And you just graduated from college.”

I shrug. “I wasn’t valedictorian of my class. I didn’t receive a full-ride scholarship to any college. No write-up in any medical journals. No national television appearances. No lottery ticket. No hidden gem. But, yes, I did just graduate from college. That’s good, right? Not everyone has a college degree. I’m hoping to get a teaching job for this school year. Otherwise, I’ll substitute teach.”

“And now?”

“I do graphic design: websites, banners, book covers. That sort of stuff.”

“Do you like to design?”

No one has ever asked me that. It’s always been an assumption that I must like it because I do it. Since when did everyone love their job?

“Not particularly. But I’m good at it. It’s a job for now.”

We talk about random stuff—a getting-to-know-me session. By the time we finish, I agree to make another appointment. A first for me.

Turning from the receptionist’s desk and grabbing several chocolates from a ceramic bowl that looks like something a young child made in school, I see Nate. He’s aged quite a bit, but I’d recognize that wavy, ginger hair anywhere. I’ve always had a thing for guys with wavy hair, especially the ones who don’t fight it and just say “Fuck it.” Really, there’s nothing more appealing than unruly, fuck-it hair.

He’s filled out too. No longer a boy, but a man with broad shoulders and a strong jaw. And a thick layer of stubble. Testosterone looks good on him. I smile when he looks up with those unmistakable blue eyes.

“Hey, how are you?” I ask just as his gaze diverts to the ground, arms resting on his sturdy, jean-clad thighs, hands folded in front of him.

He glances back up with no recognition on his face. His eyes shift side to side before focusing on me again.


“Yeah?” he says in an uncertain tone.

“Wow, you’re all grown up.”

His eyes narrow. “You’ll have to excuse me, but how do we know each other?”

“You lived on Gable Street. Faded green house. You played hockey. That’s how you got that scar along your hairline. Remember? You and some other kids were playing on the pond, no helmets or protective gear.”

Nate’s hand moves to his head, tracing the scar hidden behind his wayward locks. “What is your name?” he asks, narrowing his eyes even more.

“Swayze Samuels.” How can he not know me? I know he likes pineapple and jalapeños on his pizza, extra butter on his popcorn at the movies, which is just soggy and gross, and he tells all of his friends that he likes video games, but secretly his passion is chess. Or … was. I still can’t get over how much he’s grown up.

He shakes his head. “Do you have older siblings?”

“No.” This is crazy. I know he’s an only child, so how does he not know the same thing about me? He’s a huge Chicago Bears fan which pisses his parents off because everyone who lives in Wisconsin should be loyal to their Packers.

“Do I know your parents?”

“Nate Hunt, how can you not remember me, we …” I tuck my shoulder-length hair behind my ears and sigh. “We …”

He’s my captive audience; even the older lady sitting two chairs to his right, pretending to read a magazine, gives me a curious glance. This is ridiculous. It’s clearly been years; he has a few wrinkles by his eyes to prove it, but … I know him.

“How old are you?” he asks, breaking my stuttering that’s doing little to formulate words that explain how I know him.


“Well, I got this scar when I was fourteen. That was twenty-two years ago. You must know someone who knew me when I was a child.”

I return a single nod, not really agreeing with anything.

“Um … my parents … Travis and Krista Samuels? My dad passed away a year ago.” I don’t remember ever talking about Nate with them, but we must have.

“The names are familiar.” Nate nods slowly, lips pursed to the side. “But I’m not completely placing them. Then again, I’ve been a bit off lately.” He nods to the door to Dr. Greyson’s office. “Obviously, if I’m here, something must be off, right?” He chuckles, but more pain than humor radiates from it.

I know him, as in really know him, not a simple we met or someone I know spoke of him. It’s more. Skin crawling, chills causing the hair on my neck to stand erect type of more.

“Good to see you.” I leave him with a stiff smile and skitter out before he has a chance to say, “Wish I could say the feeling is mutual,” because he has no clue who I am.


What if it’s a brain tumor? I think about this more than I should. However, it might explain a lot of the unique, brilliant, advanced, inconsistent, often times meaningless thoughts that go through my head.

“Nate Hunt,” I chant his name, pulling out of the parking lot, heading back to my apartment.

It’s déjà vu in overdrive. Vivid thoughts and memories reside in my head, clear and detailed. Dreams leave gaps and push past the realm of reality. These aren’t recollections of dreams. I know Nate Hunt.

After a shower and a burnt grilled cheese, thanks to Nate consuming my mind, I text my mom to let her know I won’t be able to have dinner with her tonight—our Thursday night tradition. On my way down to my car, my phone rings.

“Job interview, Mom. I’m not ditching you for anything better.”

“Swayze, I’m not calling to guilt you. Just wanted to make sure you’re feeling okay. Clearly you are, so tell me about the interview. Is this a job-job or just a temporary job until fall?”

“Not sure yet.” I put her on Bluetooth as I pull my black Elantra away from the curb. “It’s a nanny job, evenings and some weekends. I’ll let you know.”

“Is it here in Madison?”

“Yes, just a few minutes from my place.”

“How was your session?” Conversation whiplash.


“Fine is good?” She knows me too well.

I sigh. “Fine is a second session booked.”

“I’m so glad to hear that.”

Why? I’m not the one who still cries at the mention of my father’s name. If I weren’t recognizing seemingly complete strangers and recollecting things about them that happened before I was born, then I’d say I’m perfectly normal.

“Has Dr. Bunz suggested you sell the house yet?” Howard Bunz. It hurts my brain to even think about his name. I never even made it to a first session with him for reasons that are obvious.

“No. You’re not a doctor, Swayze. I don’t know why you’re so adamant about me selling the house. Dr. B hasn’t mentioned it, and I don’t think he will.”

“Dr. B, huh?”

She clicks her tongue. “That’s what all of his patients call him.”

“I can’t imagine why.” I grin as I pull onto the street, my navigation talking over my mom.

“Stop it. You and your obsession with names. Even if you don’t think you have issues over losing your father, your name thing alone is enough of a reason to see a psychiatrist.”

Eyes flitting between my rearview and side mirrors, I parallel park between two much more expensive vehicles on the street. This is a really nice neighborhood. I’m shocked to see any cars on the street at all.

“And by ‘name thing’ you mean my astute observations into the quirks of humanity? The need for people to be unique at all costs? The obsession with trend-setting?”

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
» This Man series
» One Night series
Most Popular
» Transcend (Transcend Duet #1)
» Naked Love
» Look the Part
» A Place Without You
» Pricked
» Soul in Darkness
» The Light We Lost
» More Than Words