That grip tightened again but this time he started rubbing his first two fingers against her neck in a soft little rhythm. The action was almost erotic. Or maybe that was just the effect he was having on her. She could feel his gentle stroking all the way to the pulsing point between her legs. Maybe she had mental issues that this man was turning her on.He leaned closer, skimming his mouth against her jawline and she froze. Just completely, utterly froze. Are you meeting Tasev? he whispered.She’d told herself to be prepared for this question, to keep her reaction under wraps, but he came to his own conclusion if his savage curse was anything to go by. Damn it, Wesley was going to be pissed at her, but Levi had been right. She had operational latitude right now and she needed to keep Levi close. They needed to know what he knew and what he was planning. Trying to shut him out now, when he was at the party specifically to meet the German, would be stupid. Levi had stayed off their radar for two years because he was good. Of course Wesley hadn’t exactly sent out a worldwide manhunt for him either. About a year ago he’d decided to more or less let him go.Now . . . I met with the German earlier tonight. He squeezed me in before some of his other meetings.Levi snorted, his gaze dipping to her lips once more, that hungry look in place again. It was so raw and in her face it was hard to ignore that kind of desire and what it was doing to her. I can understand why.Even though Levi didn’t ask she decided to use the latitude she had and bring him in on this. They had similar goals. She needed to bring Tasev down and rescue a very important scientist—if he was even the man who’d sent out an emergency message to Meghan/Wesley—but that didn’t mean she couldn’t let Levi have Tasev once she’d gotten what she needed. I’m meeting with Tasev tomorrow night.At her words every muscle in Levi’s lean, fit body stilled.Before he could respond, she continued, I’ll make you a deal. You can come with me to the meeting—if we can work out an agreeable plan—but you don’t kill him until I get what I want. I have less than a week. Can you live with that time line? She was allowed to bring one person with her to the meeting so it would be Levi—if he could be a professional and if Wesley went for it. And of course, if Tasev did. They had a lot to discuss before she was on board one hundred percent, but bringing along a seasoned agent—former agent—like Levi could be beneficial.Levi watched her carefully again, his gaze roaming over her face, as if he was trying to see into her mind. You’re not lying. Why are you doing this?Because if I try to shut you out you’ll cause me more problems than I want to deal with. And I don’t want to kill you.Those dark eyes narrowed a fraction with just a hint of amusement—as if he knew she couldn’t take him on physically. And?
Katie Reus
The hit-woman opened the door. No dead body on the floor. Thank God.I heard an unearthly roar and then Jordan charged Liz from where she’d been hiding beside the door. She tackled her to the floor and stabbed her through the wrist with a small switchblade. The hit-woman shrieked and let go of the gun, allowing Jordan precious seconds to bat it across the room. She landed a couple hard punches to the assassin’s nose, bloodying it, before the other woman got the upper hand.She grabbed a handful of Jordan’s ponytail and slammed her head into the edge of the coffee table. Jordan cried out, but didn’t let go of the knife. She withdrew it and held it against the assassin’s throat, shouting, Move again and I’ll kill you, puta!Liz panted madly, but stayed put. Jordan glanced up at me. You okay?Alive, I said through a grimace. Not okay.Good enough. She returned her gaze to the woman pinned beneath her and glared. The police are on their way. And not the nice, human police. Angels. Get any ideas about trying to kill me again and you won’t even get to deal with them.I’ve been in jail before, Liz said, attempting to recapture her former arrogance. I’ll get over it.Jordan leaned down a few inches, lowering her voice. Really? How’d you like to return without your tongue?Liz’s eyes went wide, as did mine. You wouldn’t dare.You shot my best friend. Multiple times. Lex talionis.You can’t kill me. You’re not a policewoman. You’re just a girl.No. I’m a Seer. You and the rest of your friends had better learn the difference between a sheep and a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Until then…She lifted her fist and punched Liz hard in the temple. The assassin went out like a light. Vaya con dios, bitch.
Kyoko M.
What’s Albert going to do? a boy named Jim demanded. Where’s Albert?Albert stepped from an inconspicuous position off to one side. He mounted the steps, moving carefully still, not entirely well even now.He carefully chose a position equidistant between Caine and Sam.What should we do, Albert? a voice asked plaintively.Albert didn’t look out at the crowd except for a quick glance up, like he was just making sure he was pointed in the right direction. He spoke in a quiet, reasonable monotone. Kids edged closer to hear.I’m a businessman.True. Toto.My job is organizing kids to work, taking the things they harvest or catch and redistributing them through a market.And getting the best stuff for yourself, someone yelled to general laughter.Yes, Albert acknowledged. I reward myself for the work I do.This blunt admission left the crowd nonplussed.Caine has promised that if I stay here he won’t interfere. But I don’t trust Caine.No, he doesn’t, Toto agreed.I do trust Sam. But . . .And now you could hear a pin drop.But . . . Sam is a weak leader. He kept his eyes down. Sam is the best fighter ever. He’s defended us many times. And he’s the best at figuring out how to survive. But Sam— Albert now turned to him—You are too humble. Too willing to step aside. When Astrid and the council sidelined you, you put up with it. I was part of that myself. But you let us push you aside and the council turned out to be useless.Sam stood stock-still, stone-faced.Let’s face it, you’re not really the reason things are better here, I am, Albert said. You’re way, way braver than me, Sam. And if it’s a battle, you rule. But you can’t organize or plan ahead and you won’t just put your foot down and make things happen.Sam nodded slightly. It was hard to hear. But far harder was seeing the way the crowd was nodding, agreeing. It was the truth. The fact was he’d let the council run things, stepped aside and then sat around feeling sorry for himself. He’d jumped at the chance to go off on an adventure and he hadn’t been here to save the town when they needed it.So, Albert concluded, I’m keeping my things here, in Perdido Beach. But there will be free trading of stuff between Perdido Beach and the lake. And Lana has to be allowed to move freely.Caine bristled at that. He didn’t like Albert laying down conditions.Albert wasn’t intimidated. I feed these kids, he said to Caine. I do it my way.Caine hesitated, then made a tight little bow of the head.I want you to say it, Albert said with a nod toward Toto.Sam saw panic in Caine’s eyes. If he lied now the jig would be up for him. Toto would call him out, Albert would support Sam and the kids would follow Albert’s lead.Sam wondered if Caine was just starting to realize what Sam had known for some time: if anyone was king, it was neither Sam nor Caine, it was Albert.
Michael Grant