Harry crossed the street. No one crossed after him, but whoever was after him was closer now.
He could feel it.
That cold stab of dread, sixth sense, gut feeling. Like icy fingers down his skin.
And if someone was after Harry, it wasn’t good. He was the hunter, never the hunted. If he was the mark . . .
Christ. He was the mark.
Harry ducked past two women, slipping through a narrow utility alley, and he ran. He was being chased now, silent and fast. At the end of the alley, he turned left and went through an open door, up a set of stairs to the roof, his heart hammering.
He ran along the roofline, exposed but faster than on the street. He heard footsteps chasing behind him but didn’t dare turn around, and as the muted whirr of a bullet pinged past his head, he jumped.
He knew the sound of that gun. It was a SIG Pro 9mm with a suppressor.
French special forces, standard issue.
He landed on a first-floor balcony, using his momentum to leap again, this time to the ground. Pain shot through his ankle but he kept moving, down another alley, and through an open door and into a darkened hall.
Hands grabbed him, spun him and pinned his back against the wall as the door closed behind him. In half a disorienting second, Harry pulled his gun to his assailant’s head at the same time he realised he had a pistol pressed against his.
Eyes flashed in the dark, familiar and close. A man’s body pressed him hard to the wall, their chests heaving. A hand covered his mouth.
Harry didn’t dare breathe, his finger on the trigger, still aimed at the man’s head. The cold press of metal against Harry’s temple told him to wait.
The sound of feet outside came running. The crackle of a radio, a French voice just outside the door. “I’ve lost him.” The footsteps faded, and only after a long moment did the man move his hand from Harry’s mouth.
Harry could see then who it was.
Asher fucking Garin.
Adrenaline exploded through Harry’s veins and he started, pushing his pistol harder into Asher’s temple. Asher gnashed his teeth. Anger and defiance flashed in his eyes. “Keep quiet or you’ll kill us both,” Asher hissed, barely a whisper.
His words didn’t make sense.
Asher had saved him?
Harry crossed the street. No one crossed after him, but whoever was after him was closer now.
Charli is everything Damian ever wanted.
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Shon is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She used her degree in English Literature for eight years to teach English all around the world. She has recently returned home to the States and now she spends all her time reading or writing down her wildest daydreams.
The sweat on his back began to cool, so he rolled over, taking Delaney with him. She drew lazy circles over his chest then sat up when her searching foot discovered his jeans around his knees. “I guess I should be flattered, huh?” Her laughter ended abruptly when her eyes strayed to his boots. “Seriously, Irish? This is a brand new duvet and you’re trashing it.”
He chuckled. “That sounded suspiciously like something a girlfriend—or a bonded talisman—would say. Like maybe you think we’re sharing things.”
“Don’t get ahead of yourself,” she huffed. “I didn’t see a washer or dryer in here, and I’d rather not sleep under dirty covers.”
With a gentle tug, he coaxed her back down beside him. “I didn’t leave a mess. Promise.”
He couldn’t help the grin that spread across his lips at the way she glared up at him from beneath her brows. “But as I recall from my training, warriors and talismans are supposed to share.”
Beneath his fingertips where he smoothed them down and up her arm, she tensed. “We have several things to work out before we have a conversation about sharing.”
His head flopped back on the mattress, and he stared up at the ceiling. Until he figured out which way his patroness wanted him to jump, Delaney wasn’t going to trust him. And he wanted her to trust him, needed her to trust him. How the hell had she sneaked so far under his skin so fast? Yet if Anu demanded he manifest as a rogue, he had no doubt Delaney would abandon him. Her sense of honor and the guilt she shared with her family over her uncle’s choices would leave her no option. He hugged her closer. No matter what, he was committed to this woman. He wasn’t going to lose her.
The rooftop lounge was abuzz with the typical Friday night crowd. The twenty-five and up establishment was mellow and made up of three stories. Two indoor levels and one outdoor space on the roof.
Which is where Damian currently found himself—in a chair reclined and watching Charli dance with her best friend as he sipped a glass of whiskey.
The ladies had pre-gamed at her apartment so they were both already buzzed by the time they arrived. The evidence was all in Charli’s movements on the dancefloor.
The woman exuded sex appeal just by existing. That much was a fact. But tonight, her usual aloof air had been traded in for the languid smile resting on her lips and the sensual sway that took over her full hips as she danced along to the neo-soul beat. If Devyn hadn’t been her dance partner, he would have been jealous.
Hell, he was still a little jealous.
Damian kept his eyes trained on her until the women separated, with Devyn headed to the bar and Charli strutting towards him. Despite her intoxicated state, she seemed to float over to him effortlessly balancing on her sky-high heels.
Her lips were calling out to him. That rare smile he loved so much grew in size the closer she got to him and so did the bulge in his pants.
He shifted in his seat to hide the evidence of his erection before she reached him.
As soon as she got to him, he was consumed with the subtle sweetness of her scent and the softness of her curves pressed up against him. There wasn’t an inch of space left between them as Charli fell onto the couch, encroaching on his personal space and making him the happiest man in the place.
“Hi.” She grinned at him, sneakily prying his forgotten drink from his hand. He watched with an amused smile as she helped herself to the rest of it.
Rivetted, Damian took it all in staring into those eyes that were identical in color to the drink she’d just finished.
All he felt was insane relief that he’d driven them here tonight and she wouldn’t have to get in an Uber like this. He couldn’t stop the frown that contorted his face as he thought about what would have happened if he hadn’t shown up at her door tonight.
He also selfishly considered the thought of another man getting this energy from her if he wasn’t here. And that fucked with him. Heavily.
Charli reached out and touched his eyebrow, her finger working over the spot to try and smooth out the furrow there. He hadn’t realized he was frowning. “You don’t look happy.”
Burning under her touch, Damian licked his lips and slid her a smile.
“I’m happy, sweetheart.” More than you could know, he left unsaid.
Charli studied him momentarily. She was silent as she reached up and grazed his shoulder, trailing her soft hand down his arm until she reached his hand.
Damian thought he was going to combust on the spot.
What the hell was she doing to him? And why didn’t he want it to stop?
The deeper his emotions grew for her, the deeper he wanted them to go. If it meant he’d end up drowning, then so be it.
“Dance with me,” she invited just as the first notes for Lloyd’s “All I Need” filled the air.
Time fell away from him as they danced. Damian didn’t know if the song was on a loop or if he was tripping but it felt like it stretched on forever.
The lyrics seeped through every ounce of his being, and momentarily suspended his ability to be anything other than a lovesick fool. A fool for Charlotte Kennedy.
So when Charli turned in his arms and wrapped her arms around his neck as they rocked to the beat, he felt actual torture from the friction of her nipples rubbing up against his shirtfront.
Consumed with the essence of her, he silently applauded himself for randomly showing up on her doorstep that night. She was both the calm and the storm. The exact balm he needed to decompress from the stressful day and the frenzied typhoon that would be his undoing.
Without trying, she had completely transformed his mood and restored his desire to move forward with the project. He couldn’t stop when he had this woman on his side.
Suddenly, he knew what he needed to do.
Damian didn’t know if it was delusion or some secret spell she had cast on him but he didn’t hesitate when he pressed his cheek against hers and whispered in her ear.
“Come to Haiti with me.”Read More
“There’s a distress call.” Odium notified his leader and the rest of the team. “It originates from a ship approaching the border.”
Based on its shape, it was a freighter. He shared its location on the main viewscreen. The two vessels following it were shaped like warships.
If the situation was hostile, and there was a 97.1256 percent probability the situation was unfriendly, everyone on board the freighter was in danger, was at risk of being blown out of space.
The beings required assistance…as he had once needed, and they were calling for help, not caring where that help came from.
Odium wanted to provide that aid.
But that wasn’t his decision. He waited for his leader’s orders.
“Play the communication.” She requested more information.
He complied with her command.
“If anyone out there can hear us, we need help. Desperately.” The most-alluring voice he’d ever heard in his long, death-filled life filled the bridge.
His circuits surged with energy. His body hardened. All his systems came online.
“Mine.” He punctuated that declaration with a long, low growl.
The being requesting help was his female, was the one soul in the universe he was destined to find, to claim, to spend forever safeguarding.
“Ours.” His leader whispered that word, acknowledging the connection. She had the ability to determine a cyborg’s genetic match based on their voice.
The unknown female was his. He had zero doubt about that.
“I have a freighter filled with evacuees from Praecipua Trois.” Odium’s female spoke quickly.
The panic in her husky tones pulled at his heart. He folded his fingers into tight fists. Every nanocybotic, every cell in his half-mechanical, half-organic form screamed to go to her, protect her.
“The Humanoid Alliance sent warships after us.” Each word she uttered escalated his sense of urgency. “Our guns are useless. Our shields are insufficient. We can’t shake them.”
“She is mine.” And she was in danger. “I have to save her.”