The Time Key/Tagline: Would you risk your own life travelling through a wormhole if it meant you might be able to save the one you love?
Jazlyn Martin is a bright young scientist who is assisting Macrocosm in sending a spacecraft to a traversable wormhole located on the far side of the moon. Helping her is renowned physicist Jackson Hale, a man she finds irresistible both mentally and physically. They are assisting another man who has recently lost his wife and unborn child in a plane crash. They hope to help him travel back to the past in hopes of saving his family by preventing them from getting on that ill-fated plane before it crashes. Will the unravelling of history that this intervention causes to the fabric of the universe irreparably destroy Jazlyn’s and Jackson’s chance at happiness?
The rush to arrive at the lab in a semi-presentable state and on time had taken all of Jazlyn Martin’s patience. She’d even had her roommate Ashley help her with her hair, giving her soft waves instead of her usual messy bun or braid, and then applying a little make-up to reduce the pallor from always being cooped up in the lab. She knew she looked good, Ashley was a wiz at that sort of thing, but the time involved was such an annoying nuisance. Surely someone could invent a dry-cleaning device that you could step through and be fresh and clean in five to ten seconds? Didn’t she see something like that in that movie set in the future with Bruce Willis, yes—The Fifth Element. She had loved movies growing up and had watched many of them curled up long side her grandma who just kept knitting away at a gentle, rhythmic pace for hours on end. She still thought of being near someone knitting as comfort for the soul. Maybe when she was old and gray she’d find the time. But judging from her life to date, that was light years away for her.
Joining her fellow scientists in the main meeting room that was more like an old style gymnasium found in most high schools, she was surprised to see members from all of Macrocosm’s three labs present. That was a first. Normally all three groups were kept well apart, secrecy being their modus operandi. She perked up. There was going to be a big announcement then. God, I hope this doesn’t mean lay-offs? Calling them all together was unprecedented. Hold on she told the jumpy character perched on her shoulder it could be something good.
“Good morning, darlin’. How are you this fine morning?” Jackson Hale asked in his southern sexy tone as he strolled over to join her holding a cup of coffee from Starbucks, his voice that low pitch drawl that resonated so effectively inside her. Thunderstruck. Yes, it looked like today’s reaction to his presence was the same as yesterday’s when she met him for the first time. Her heart rate had increased and her insides quivered. Great! Now she felt like a star struck schoolgirl instead of the consummate professional she hoped to always be seen as.
An explosion had rocked the facility last night and she had run into his lab to see if anyone needed rescuing. No one had been hurt which had been a vast relief. It had turned out an experiment had gone astray in another part of the building, but she had the extreme pleasure of meeting the legendary and far-too-hot physicist Jackson Hale. She still felt on high alert, an uncomfortable feeling after he had featured in her dreams during the night. He was such an expert lover in her imagination that her body broke out in a fine sheen of perspiration as she remembered his firm insistent hands that had been everywhere, making her flesh throb with desire. She got wet all over again, making her mortified and turned on in equal parts.
Wrenching her mind away from the image of Jackson in her bed, she noticed he had the common sense not to drink the caustic brew offered under the guise of coffee in the tarnished urn at the back of the hall. He looked spectacular even in the harsh florescent lighting. Spruced up and presentable like everyone else present. We may not get all social conventions right but at least we know when to clean up. She breathed deeply of his exotic fragrance that tantalized her with its undertones of soap and manly musk, discovering her mistake instantly. She swallowed hard, finding the female in her reacting in unaccustomed ways. Since when had she completely lost it?
The problem was he was the real deal. An extraordinary genius of a scientist and a virile hunk of a man with his wide shoulders and lean hips that his pants hung off of just right. He must work out she decided, nature could not be that kind. His dark unruly hair fell over his broad forehead and she had a sudden urge to push it back. It looked like it would be silky to the touch and she wanted to test the theory. Not to mention how damned handsome he looked. She had realized last night that he did not know the affect he had on females. The memory of her three AM orgasm featuring him in the leading role made her tingle all over again. She pulled herself back to the present with difficulty and answered his inquiry.
“Good, thanks, and you?” She gave a nod to his cup that matched hers. “I see you know better than to drink the vile stuff they pass off as coffee here.”
“Yeah, well, my stomach is not made of Ti-22,” he quipped back, his eyes alight with good humor.
Oh my, he was also witty. She inwardly sighed, dreaming of having such a man in her life. Yeah, like you have the time or could interest a man like Jackson Hale.
“So, any idea of what this is all about?” she asked and gestured toward the stage where the main characters of the play were milling about.
“No more than anyone else present,” he replied, and then raised his expressive brows towards the crew, his voice barely suppressing laughter. “Nice to see how efficiently they’ve set things up considering the high paid help in this room.”
She literally choked on her coffee. Everyone knew scientists were notoriously poorly paid. Proletarian, that best described their pay grade, she thought ruefully. She’d loved big words since she’d taught herself to read before preschool from a primer found by the side of the road. She’d dusted it off and dragged her treasure home, holding her grandma’s hand tightly all the way. It was one of the fondest memories of her short childhood. Before she understood that her birth had meant the death of her mother.
“Well at least the extra work makes up for the great pay,” she said straight faced. This time she made him laugh and it made her feel good, like they were in league together. But it drew her mind to how much work there was to be done and never enough time to do it the way she wanted. Nights were better and why she opted so often to work them as well. At least with no one there, she felt the illusion of time control which was basically not worrying about the time.
The notoriously poor quality speaker system squeaked one last ear-splitting time. Everyone turned expectantly to the stage and all the scientists and lab assistants quieted down. With Jackson standing by her side keeping her all too keenly aware of his fine male presence, she intently watched the small group sit down. She recognized all except the one man standing who had the microphone clutched in his hands.
“Fellow scientists,” the man said and paused. She studied him, curious about his un-kept appearance and eyes that burned with a fanatic’s intensity. “You must be wondering why I’ve asked to speak to you this morning. I’m here to tell you that I have discovered the exact location of a traversable wormhole that allows time travel back to the past.”