Twice as Hot

Chapter One
Okay. Here's the lowdown. My name is Belle Jamison. I'm twenty-five, happy, engaged and smart depending on who - whom? - you're asking. (Sadly, my teddy bear of a dad is the only one who would pipe up with an affirmative She's brilliant! ) I'm a former coffee wench (plus former bus driver, used-car salesman, factory worker, maid and a thousand other menial jobs), now employed by the mysterious and shadowy government agency known as PSI: Paranormal Studies and Investigations.

Oh, and I happen to control the four elements with my emotions. (If you ask my ultra-hot fiance, Rome, he'll tell you that control is relative.) Anyway.

Before, I was an everyday, average, normal girl. Normal and wishing for more. I should have known better. Sometimes you actually get what you wish for, and the results are not what you expected. I'd wanted excitement. And yeah, I'd gotten it. But that excitement came with a death warrant.

See, a few months ago a crazy scientist secretly dropped a chemical into my grande mocha latte and that chemical...changed me. Belle Jamison, average no longer. Suddenly I could shoot fireballs from my eyes, freeze an entire room with a brush of my fingertips against a wall, cause a tempestuous rainstorm with my tears and start a level-five tornado with only a thought.

At first, I was upset. I mean, really. The ability to destroy the entire world and everyone in it is a huge burden to carry. But that burden also brought the sexy and insatiable Rome Masters into my life, so I don't begrudge it too much. Anymore. Plus, now that I have a little influence over my gift - yeah, that's a better word for it. Gift - people who piss me off "accidentally" get their eyebrows singed and that's pretty damn fun.

Sure, Rome once tried to kill me. Or, as he'd say, "neutralize" the threat I'd become, as I'd had yet to perfect my new powers. Sure, I later accidentally-on-purpose Tasered the hell out of him. But now we can't live without each other.

That might seem weird, but hey. Some people held hands to show their love; we drew blood. Or we would, if Rome was anywhere to be found.

"I swear, he has five seconds to call me or I'm going to torch his entire gun collection and use the melted metal to make a few necklaces. Maybe some earrings."

My best friend Sherridan looked up from the romance novel propped against her upraised legs. She lounged on the couch, a vision of curly blond hair, big blue eyes more often than not filled with sadness nowadays and curves that went on for miles. I wasn't jealous. Really. "He's called you, like, four times in the past week. And seriously, you should be embarrassed. I've never met anyone who has as much phone sex as you two."

My eyes narrowed on her. "How do you know about the phone sex?"

"Duh. I pick up the phone and listen."

I gaped at her.

Sherridan laughed. "Kidding, I was only kidding. But you should see your face. Hi-lar-ious! The problem is, you're, like, freakishly loud. Seriously, earplugs don't help. Cranking up my iPod to full blast doesn't work. Despite myself, I've been really impressed with your skills." Color flooded my cheeks. This was the problem with roommates. But better Sherridan and Tanner, my other BFF, lived here where Rome and I could protect them from scrims - supernatural criminals - wanting to hurt us by hurting our loved ones. "Never mind my incredible phone sex. Rome was supposed to call me again last night. He didn't. He hasn't. That's not