Born of Fire (Page 5)

Born of Fire (The League #2)(5)
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon

Sighing, she looked around the room. She wasn’t just going to stand here waiting for him to come back and discover she was awake. There had to be a weapon somewhere in this giant mausoleum.

She headed to the kitchen.

Maybe you should look for him first . . .

No. Better to get a weapon. If he happened to be in one of the other rooms, she didn’t want him to know she was awake until she had some way to protect herself.

Gah, my head hurts.

It’s what you deserve for letting him get the drop on you and you’re lucky that’s all he did.

Very true.

Carefully, quietly, she opened cabinets and drawers seeking a knife, but instead, all she found were empty shelves. No cutlery at all—not even a rusty spoon.

Frowning, she opened the equally empty refrigerator. What did the man live on? Air?

Aggravated at not finding anything, she had to force herself not to slam the cabinet shut—in case he was in the other room. She crossed her arms over her chest and glanced at the counter. Again she saw a bottle of wine resting near the sink.

Not quite her weapon of choice, but in a pinch . . .

A determined smile curved her lips. It should serve to at least knock him senseless for a moment or two. That should be long enough to pull a weapon off his body.

She picked up the bottle and glanced at the blue and gold label. “Hmm, vintage.” Good year too. This bottle alone would probably make her fighter payments for six months. Such a shame to waste premium Gondarion grade on a worthless criminal.

Oh well.

Sliding her fingers around the cool, slick glass neck, she gripped the bottle and went hunting. With practiced, stalking strides, she inched toward the bedroom, then paused. The door to the bedroom slid upwards, which would give him ample time to pull a blaster on her and shoot her again.

Her head pounded even more, reminding her the last thing she needed was another sharp blast.

There had to be something else . . .

She smiled as she noticed the partially opened door of the bathroom . . . it might also swing open into the bedroom.

It was her best shot.

Changing course, she headed for it.

She tried to calm the pounding beat of her heart that sent even more sharp pulses of pain to her head and played havoc with her eyesight. Damn him for that particular misery. She gripped the bottle in her icy, clammy hands and slipped inside the bathroom.

It was empty.

Taking a deep breath to steady her nerves, she crept toward the door on the opposite side which also had a knob. So far, everything looked good.

As silently as she could, she pushed the door open, relieved the hinges didn’t creak.

She took a step into his room, then froze in shocked disbelief. She didn’t know what she’d expected, but it definitely wasn’t the sight greeting her.

On the opposite side of the room, Syn knelt on a red, embroidered prayer cloth, his head sedately bowed, his eyes reverently closed. His ebony hair, pulled back into a ponytail, hung just past his wide shoulders.

He wore a pair of black leather pants and a loose, black silk shirt, the cuffs rolled back from his wrists. She could see the tiniest bit of white bandage on the arm where she’d cut him earlier and a bit of scroll work from a tattoo it covered. His gloved hands rested on his knees, turned palm upwards, and before him lay an opened prayer book. The light glinted off two silver hoops in his left ear.

Even while he rested she could detect his aura of restrained lethal power. See the outline of steely muscles beneath the leather and silk, and for some unknown reason she wished she could hear the masculine, musical cadence of his voice while he whispered a prayer.

What are you? Insane?

He’s a felon.

She tightened her grip on the bottle. Pray? How could anyone with his brutal reputation be so hypocritical?

The thought sent anger pouring through her.

Her eyes focused on the blaster strapped to his left hip and a slow smile spread across her face. That was the ticket to freedom.

Without making a sound to alert him to her presence or intentions, she snuck across the room and reached for his weapon. His hand enclosed hers before she could snatch the blaster free.

He glared up at her with eyes that were . . .

Well . . .

As dark as sin.

And every bit as frigid and evil.

With a curse, Shahara raised the bottle to strike him.

Quicker than she could blink, he pulled the blaster free and held it under her chin. “I don’t like scars,” he gritted between his teeth in that deep baritone voice that sent a shiver down her spine. “And I really hate people who mess up my house. Put the bottle down, slowly, and take a step back.”

Shahara weighed her options as she felt the cold barrel of his blaster pressing against her jaw. The air around her sizzled with his anger and ferocity. Two things belied by blank, emotionless eyes that stared into hers.

She knew he would kill her without a second thought.

She swallowed the tight lump of fear in her throat. There had to be some way she could gain the advantage.

A sudden idea leapt into her mind—distraction.

Yeah, but she hated what that would entail since she only had one thing she could use.

I would rather be shot than come on to a convict.

If you don’t get that weapon out of his hand, you will be.

She forced herself not to show her anger or frustration. Like it or not, she only had one thing to rely on and if she didn’t get his blaster, she was at his mercy for however long he decided to keep her.

And no one knew where she was to even look for her.

The first rule of a Seax was to use whatever means you had at your disposal . . .

That cemented it. Curving her lips into a seductive smile, she slowly, suggestively slid the bottle down the front of her battlesuit and set it on the hardwood floor with a soft thud. She took a step back, giving him a warm, playful look.

He holstered his weapon and rose slowly to his feet.

Shahara tensed in uncertainty at his height. She barely reached mid-chest. And he had a way about him that dominated the room. A way about him that made him seem even more formidable.

He watched her like a deadly viper eyeing its prey—calculating, waiting. Ready to spring at a moment’s notice.

But then men were fools. Even dangerous ones. They lived their lives by their hormones and as long as she kept her wits about her, he would be easy prey to her tactics.

Her life and Tessa’s depended on her acting ability.

Opening her mouth, Shahara licked her lips and scanned his body with a hungry look that would make a prostitute proud. “We could negotiate this,” she whispered, her voice heavy with feigned desire as she gazed meaningfully at the bulge in his pants, then to the bed.

Syn stared at her in disbelief, his senses whirling at the real-life version of his fantasy. All too well, he remembered Caillen’s stories about his notorious sister, as well as the rumors that circulated about her fierceness.

If he knew anything, it was that Shahara Dagan didn’t practice bedroom politics.

She began unbraiding her hair. His arguments scattering, Syn watched her separate the thick, heavy, mahogany tresses. Every inch of his body burned for her as he imagined her long, graceful fingers caressing his flesh with the same tenderness she used to stroke her hair.

She climbed onto his bed.

Oh yeah, baby . . .

Resting on her knees, she arched her back and ran her hands through the soft, tangled hair that tumbled around her, framing her face to perfection.

Did she have any idea what such a pose did to a man?

His throat suddenly dry, he burned. He took a step toward her, then stopped.

It was a trick.

Granted he’d had more than his share of women come on to him unexpectedly, but he wasn’t dumb or conceited enough to believe for a single instant that he could inspire Seax Shahara Dagan to forget her duty.

Unlike most fools, he’d never fall for such an obvious trick. But far be it from him to tell her that.

He smiled wickedly, wondering how far she’d go with her ruse. This was one show he planned to savor.

Leaning her head back to expose the graceful column of her throat, she tossed her hair over her shoulders before trailing her hands slowly over her thighs and br**sts.

She hesitated at the fasteners of her battlesuit.

Would she dare?

She did. Feeling as if he were being tortured, he followed the path of her hands as she lowered the opening of her suit to reveal the black lace of her undergarments. And the luscious swell of her br**sts.

“Well?” Her husky voice drove him almost beyond his limit as he imagined sliding one hand inside that suit and cupping her.

She leaned forward, her br**sts barely remaining inside the black lace barrier as she wiggled her way-too-attractive hips. “Would you like to join me?”

Yes . . .

If it were any other woman, he wouldn’t hesitate at the invitation.

Hell, he could barely refuse her now.

But then he was used to disappointment.

It was time she learned what happened to little seaxes who played deadly games. Crossing the floor in three strides, he reached out for her.

Just as he almost touched her, she struck out like lightning. With a resounding curse, she fastened the front of her battlesuit and sprang from the bed.

Syn ducked her roundhouse kick and moved to a safe distance. “Don’t try this crap with me,” he growled, his lust instantly dying as his will to survive took over. “I’m a street fighter and you will get hurt.”

“So am I and so will you.” Rushing toward him, she punched at his throat. He caught her wrist in his hand and pulled her up against him. Her breath left her in a startled gasp as she collided with the solid wall of muscle. Her heart thundered in her ears and fear scaled her throat.

His steely hands closed around her arms. “Let go of me!” She stomped on his instep, twisting free of his hold.

Syn cursed, moving away from the wild byrollo. What kind of shoes did she have on? They sliced like knives even through his heavy boots.

Her eyes narrowed at him in hatred. Quicker than he could react, she dove for the bottle and rose with it.

“Put it down.” He kept his voice level. “If I draw my blaster one more time, I will kill you.”

She lifted the bottle higher. “Open the front door,” she demanded in a strident tone that told him just how desperate she was.

Only too well, he understood her panic and fear. He didn’t like being cornered either. “I’m not going to hurt you. Put the bottle down and just talk to me.”

Shahara curled her lip in disgust. Did he really think she was stupid enough to release her only weapon? Especially after his threat? “Go to hell.”

He smiled, flashing a single dimple in his left cheek. She licked her dry lips, afraid of what the smile signified.

“Okay, keep the bottle. Just talk to me like two rational people and maybe we can find a solution to this problem. Deal?”

She tightened her grip on the bottle, wanting to toss it at his arrogant head. “I don’t make deals with convicted ra**sts and murderers, I take them to justice.”

His smile vanished. “I have never raped or murdered anyone. And I damn sure haven’t been convicted of it.” The other charges were a different matter that he wasn’t about to bring up to her.

“That’s not what the contract on your life says.”

His jaw tensed. “I didn’t rape or murder Kiara Zamir.”

“Tell it to the Overseer.”

Syn stifled his curse. Was there not one person in the f**king universe who could believe the truth when he spoke it? This wasn’t going the way he wanted it to. Kiara’s father wouldn’t listen to reason any more than this headstrong tracer.

As for the court system . . . yeah, given his father’s reputation, he didn’t stand a chance. He’d be convicted and executed based on his name alone.

If she turned him over to the Gourish government, he’d be gutted long before Kiara’s father realized his daughter was still alive. And if Zamir had already found out she was alive and sleeping with Nykyrian, then there was no telling what her father would do to him for the part he’d played in their affair.

He’d been the one who signed the contract for Kiara’s protection . . . That made him fully responsible for her welfare.

And if the Ritadarions ever got their hands on him . . . Well their reaction was something best left to horror movies.

“Fine.” He held his hand away from his blaster, hoping to calm her. “Keep the damn bottle. It won’t protect you anyway.”

That apparently was the wrong thing to say.

Before Syn could react, she ran at him catching him in the stomach. His breath left him with a loud oof as he lost his balance and the two of them tumbled to the floor. She tried to hit him with the bottle.

He caught her wrist. “Stop fighting me.” He pried the bottle from her hand.

She didn’t respond verbally. Instead, she raked her fingernails down the side of his neck, burning a path into his skin.

Anger darkened his vision and, for a moment, all he could think about was killing the woman on top of him. He was tired of her drawing blood every time she got within reach.