Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Finders Keepers: Tempted - Chapter Three

Continuation from July 21, 2011

Recap: In Chapter Two, Adam completes his mission after spotting Demonica in an Irish pub. Satisfied with a job well done, he heads home only to find himself dreaming of a blonde demon.

“Alpha! We’re home.”

Adam startled awake as the Blackhawk landed gracefully. He looked around and growled. This was definitely not where he wanted to be. The people greeting the chopper backed off at the echo of his displeasure. They were back in the middle of nowhere, a huge base hidden below an ancient castle. He jumped down and rose slowly, his body stiff from the flight.

“Getting old, Gray?” a familiar voice grated across his nerves.

Adam turned his head and stared the upstart down. “Scorpion, still playing lapdog?”

The blond, green eyed kid paced alongside him, a thorn refusing to be removed from his side. “The Council wants to know if the target was acquired.”

Adam stopped and thought a moment before starting again. “They’ll get my report shortly.”

“They’re a little impatient.”

He snorted, but kept walking. When was the Council not impatient? They hounded him day and night for results he no longer gave a damn about.

“I’m serious. They want an update now, Adam.”

He growled and rushed the guy, slamming him against the cold stone of the castle wall. “You do NOT get to call me by my name, Jason.” Scorpion growled back and broke free. “What’s a matter, kid? Want to play pack leader? Fight me for it?”

The upstart stood his ground with a cold stare. Adam would give him credit for bravado and nothing more. Jason lacked the chemistry to be a team leader. Even if he could beat Adam in a fight, his team would never follow him. Jason had been created for solo work, the Council’s clean-up crew, and everyone knew it.

Adam growled again. “They’ll have it when you stop interrupting me.” He snapped over his shoulder. “Remy, be ready to go in twenty!”

The command hung heavy with pack leader machismo – more for him to see the glint of jealousy in Scorpion’s green eyes than the need to snap Remy into place. He hoped Blake understood and didn’t hold it against him. He hated using his overriding DNA unless absolutely necessary.

Dismissing Scorpion, he slammed his hand on the entry plate and marched through the sliding doors. First off, he’d give a quick report and drop off his evidence. Then he’d slide through the infirmary to prove he was tip-top. Doc wasn’t someone to get by with a quick glance though. She’d check him top to bottom before approving his rest and relax time.

Seventeen minutes later, he tossed a bag into Blake’s Blackhawk and headed for Mission, Montana. His whole team had places there. It kept them close and safe, but also kept them grounded.

They were all part of the Council’s scientific experimentation. Each one of them had a history with the military, but they all possessed a little extra of the right genetic ‘stuff’. A couple of consent forms and needles later, here they were. The elite, the best, the demon fighting for hire tag team.

He growled and rubbed his eyes. It would feel good to shrug off the Council’s overbearing cloak for a few days. Once you stopped caring completely, they owned you. Lock, stock and barrel. Adam had made a promise to his people to find a way to get them free and that required still caring.

“You sure you ain’t staying, Remy?”

Blake shook his head. “Got some new toys to add to my baby here.”

“You worry me,” Adam laughed.

Soon enough, the chopper hovered over the roof of Adam’s apartment building. He dropped the distance to the blacktop easily, saluted Blake, and marched to the edge. Another short drop and he stood on the balcony leading into his bedroom.

He slid the door open a bit and sniffed the air to make sure no one waited to ambush him. Old habits die hard. He threw his bag on the bed and showered. Afterward, feeling like the apartment was too quiet he weaponed up, threw his coat on, and headed out.

Danny’s Pub was warm and inviting. A team mate ran the place and he knew he’d be safe. What he hadn’t expected was the blonde vision sitting at the bar chatting with Danny. He rubbed his eyes to make sure he wasn’t hallucinating and then again to make double sure.

“Adam, the usual?” Danny’s soft Irish lilt called out to him.

He nodded not trusting himself to speak. The blonde demon turned. Their eyes met and both jumped as recognition dawned.

“Well, son of a bitch,” he muttered softly before walking in to take a seat a couple of stools down from her.

Adam kept his gaze on the bar or his glass, but he could feel hers burning a hole through his head. Surprised, he realized he liked being her center of attention. He shrugged off his leather jacket, ignoring the fact his holsters showed. Danny’s had its own set of rules and those included the team being armed at all times. To distract himself, he studied Danny and easily picked out at least 3 handguns hidden under his jacket. If he hazarded a guess – one more gun in the left boot and a rifle behind the bar.

He couldn’t take not knowing anymore and pushed his thoughts at Danny. “The new girl, demon.... details?”

They didn’t use the skill much, not trusting it entirely, and keep the messages short. Anything long required too much concentration and usually ended with a headache to make Jamieson jealous. He sipped his whiskey and waited.

Danny brought over another drink and sat the cocktail napkin down with a flourish. Adam arched a brow until he pulled the drink closer. Lifting the glass revealed a covert message on the napkin, in code no less. Danny – always a perfectionist and a showman.

He sat his empty glass on it and sipped at the new one, reading the message in bursts through the bottom of the crystal. They’d used the code for years and he broke it easily. Like second nature, his brain processed the words to normal English.

Definitely demon, new to area, single, attractive, guessing recent breakup, threat unknown, risk unknown, weapons unknown.

More unknowns than a man like Adam could tolerate. Now he needed to decide how to question her – soft and charming or hard and cold?

Adam sat and contemplated his drink. Neither of them made the first move but he could feel her assessing glances. It bothered him, seeing her in both places. He suspected the Council had tried to sabotage his last mission. Were they tracking him? Was this beautiful demon his downfall? He wouldn’t put it past the Council to use a demon to do their dirty work.

Best to feel her out for now. He slid over a seat and put on his best charming smile. Surprise registered on her face. She hadn’t expected him to make a move then. Adam played it cool, not knowing what he was up against or why. He fought the return of the strange urge to pull her against him that had first cropped up in Ireland. Seeing the lovely vision of his dream sitting in his own backyard disarmed him.

“Hello again, I’m Adam. What brings you to Mission?” he asked quietly.

She smiled and winked at him. “Just some fun. I needed a little rest and relaxation.”

He leaned back a little. “Well, I can understand that.”

She slid closer. “What brings you here?”

Adam smirked. “I guess you could say I just landed here.” He noticed a change in the air and shot a glance out of the corner of his eye. He recognized one of the locals leaving the pub and relaxed. His companion noticed the shift in his line of sight and spared a look at the brunette before turning back.

“Just landed here, huh?” her voice dripped with sexy sarcasm.

Adam grinned back. “You could say I parachuted in. It seemed like a nice place to stay when I’m not working.” He noticed her look at the door and couldn’t resist. “Serena, owns the new art gallery in town. Never married, no kids, but she does have a cat and lives with her sister.” He sipped his beer and smiled. “Not much I don’t know around here.”

She laughed softly and sipped her own drink. “Clearly. Good intel gatherer, parachuting. Military?” she winked at him. “Love a man in uniform.”

He smiled but worry crept down his spine. Most people didn’t jump straight to the military connection, even more reason to pull her in and find out what she knew. “Beautiful and smart, I like it. Military but no uniforms and no history either.”

She moved closer, her knees bumping his as she did. “Damn, something about a uniform just does it for me.” She shifted back again and fixed him with a saucy grin, “Too bad you don’t wear one.”

Hearing the door to the pub close and knowing the place was empty, he made his move. Adam sprang up and pinned her against the solid bar, disarming her quickly. “Nice knives,” he leaned in close. “Let’s drop the sweet act, Honey. Tell me who you are and who sent you. You won’t be the one to kill me.”

Her tongue snaked out to run across his lower lip. “Monica, and the only thing I want from you is in your pants.” He relaxed slightly, giving her room to breathe. She met his eyes and smirked, “The only man I want dead isn’t brave enough to face me. You... are not him.”

Something raced across his skin and Adam shifted his hips as the erection started. The delicious sex and cinnamon smell of her skin this close up only served to aggravate him more. “They teach you to be seductive too? Why did they send you?”

“Sexy is in my nature, handsome.” She stared up and studied him for a moment. “No one sent me. I’m here to relax, deal with a few of my own issues, and drink beer. What the hell is your problem? Maybe I should ask who sent you?”

Adam opened his senses, all of them. He discretely sniffed the air, but all he got was arousal and anger with arousal coming out the winner. Her heart rate wasn’t jumpy and no other signs of lying appeared. He pulled away a little and handed back her weapons.

“No one sent me either. Sorry, I can’t be too careful these days.”

Come back on August 21st, 2011 for Chapter Four of Finders Keepers: Tempted.

If you missed any of our previous posts and would like to catch up, you can purchase the Digital Digest Volume I anthology as an ebook for only $.99.

Copyright © 2011 Danielle Gavan and Jennifer Feuerstein

Danielle Gavan
Urban Fantasy and Erotic Romance Author

All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. No portion of this work may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.

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