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Most of the proposed communication protocols for wireless sensor networks focus on the energy efficiency. However, it often brings poor latency performance. In this paper, we develop a novel cross-layer designed asynchronous protocol EEFF (Energy Efficient and Fast Forwarding) for wireless sensor networks regarding low latency and energy efficiency. EEFF improves low power listening approach and introduces dynamical routing selection to reduce the latency. We evaluate the performance of the EEFF protocol in a testbed of 16 MICAZ motes and perform larger scale experiments with NS-2. These experiments demonstrate that EEFF significantly improves the latency and energy performance compared with state-of-art asynchronous protocols, and it's especially suitable for large scale dense wireless sensor networks.