Blaze of Secrets (Asylums for Magical Threats 1) - Page 18

He raised an eyebrow. “You made a huge fuss about me training you and now you won’t cooperate? What’s going on?”

At length she said, “It’s not that I don’t want to train, but learning how to control my elemental fire is a waste of time.”

He resisted a sigh. “Spit it out already, Kiarra.”

Some of the fire returned to her eyes, but her voice wasn’t as defiant as before when she said, “I don’t have any elemental magic.”

“What are you talking about? You’re a first-born, aren’t you?”

Her cheeks flushed. “No, I just decided to take an extended holiday somewhere cheap and the AMT was my best option.”

“I don’t need your sarcasm, pet. Just answer the bloody question.”

Kiarra took a step toward him. “I am not your pet. And of course I’m a first-born. But just because I was born with the ability to control elemental fire doesn’t mean it can’t be taken away.”

Jaxton blinked. What the hell was she talking about? Tired of the run around, Jaxton took the last step between them and gently gripped her shoulders. “Explain yourself.”

She tried to push him away, but he had at least a hundred pounds on her. He gave her a little shake and growled, “Now.”

Her eyes burned with a mixture of emotions that Jaxton couldn’t decipher. But there was definitely anger. Fury, even. Yet at the same time, she looked about ready to cry.

As if sensing his thoughts, she snapped her eyelids closed, shutting him out. He gave her a gentle shake. “I let the information about your scars go, but I won’t let you out of my sight till you answer my question. What do you mean elemental magic can be taken away?”

A few more heartbeats passed before she opened her eyes, looking far more composed than a minute ago. She unclenched her jaw, never breaking her gaze. “I will tell you if you promise me a favor in the future.”

He resisted the urge to pin her up against the wall and intimidate the answer out of her; that would only scare her more. “Fine, I promise,” he managed to spit out, unsure if he’d see it through or not.

Her deep brown eyes searched his. “Swear on your brother’s life.”

Only years of training kept his temper in check. “I swear on Garrett’s life. Now you’d bloody well better tell me what you mean when you say can’t gather elemental magic anymore.”

When she finally spoke, her voice was barely audible. “Inside the F-block, they’re developing a formula that messes with our DNA and mutates it so that the ability to control elemental magic fades. It doesn’t work on everyone, but it worked on me. I haven’t been able to gather elemental fire in nearly two years.”

Kiarra waited for Jaxton to call her a liar, but he just stood there, gripping her arms in silence.

Her heartbeat thundered in her ears. Here she was, yet again, waiting for someone to decide her fate. If he handed her back to the AMT, or to another research facility, Kiarra wasn’t sure she could survive it.

For a brief time, she’d felt like a person again. Not a test subject, nor a lab rat; a person with feelings and opinions. She wanted the chance to do many of the things she’d spent her adult life reading about. She hated that the man in front of her would decide whether that future was possible or not.

Jaxton released her arms and gently lifted her bandaged left arm. He traced the edge of the bandage, the light touch nearly a tickle. “That’s why you were trying to kill yourself. You didn’t want to become patient zero.”

“Yes,” Kiarra breathed, surprised at how quickly he’d worked that out.

“Right.” Jaxton released her arm and took a step back. “When we’re done here, Darius will draw some blood.” He put a hand up to silence her. “No arguments. We need to know what they’re brewing inside the F-block, and quickly.”

Kiarra swallowed, afraid she’d start crying. He was going to use her as a lab rat, just like the others.

She turned and started walking toward the door, but Jaxton beat her too it, blocking the exit. What does he want now? “Get out of the way.”

“Not until we’re done with your lesson.”

She looked up at that. “You still want to train me?”

Jaxton nodded. “Especially now. You’re weak, physically, and if we’re to get you in any kind of fighting shape, it’s going to take a lot of hard work. You up to it, pet?”

She was speechless. Maybe this man was different.

He raised his arm, palm out toward her. “If you’re in, give me your hand.”

Tags: Jessie Donovan Asylums for Magical Threats Paranormal
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