Frozen Desires (Asylums for Magical Threats 2) - Page 4

She leaned all of her weight onto the knee digging into his back, and she was finally rewarded with a grunt. “Start talking or my knee may slip and pin your balls to the ground.”

He gave an exaggerated sigh. “And to think, no one’s ever talked of your charming personality.” She moved her knee down an inch and Marco squirmed. “All right, all right, just don’t damage my jewels. I’m here because you’re in danger.”

She moved her knee a little farther, onto his firm left buttock. His tight muscles reminded her to not let his charm dissuade her; the man could be dangerous, even without his elemental water. “You’re aware of my tolerance for your theatrics. Do you really want to test how far you can go before I carry out my threat?”

Marco turned his head, his eye just catching hers. “Maybe I should so you’ll take my warning seriously.”

Cam tried not to frown. “So you’ve given up trying to sweet talk me with ‘my beauty’ this, ‘my beauty’ that?”

Marco’s tone was like steel. “You think you know me, Camilla, but you don’t. Not at all.”

She wasn’t sure how to respond. The man she’d been forced to put up with back in the States had been replaced by a version she didn’t recognize. His black hair was a little longer, and his skin a little darker from the sun, but the physical changes weren’t the cause of her unease. He’d not only managed to sneak up on her and her team, but he’d somehow tracked their location despite being in the middle of the jungle.

Until she figured out the extent of his abilities, she was going to keep a close eye on Marco Alvarez. After meeting him the first time, back in the States, she’d checked out his DEFEND file, but nothing remarkable had stood out. She shouldn’t be surprised; the public DEFEND files rarely contained all of a person’s secrets.

Cam’s file, for example, didn’t mention her past involvement with an anti-AMT fringe group.

Before she could ask her next question, Marco gave a one-sided grin, the serious mien gone. “If I’m going to be in this position for a while, could you move your knee to my other cheek, and work out the knot there?”

She pulled on his arms. “Stop with the games and tell me what happened to my team.”

He raised his eyebrows. “Let me go first.”

His temperament shifts were going to give her whiplash.

Most people underestimated her because she was a female soldier, and dismissed her position in DEFEND’s hierarchy as nothing more than a token rank. It was time for Marco to realize she was more than just bark.

She wrenched his shoulders back as far as she could before they would dislocate and said, “Try to pull a fast one on me, and I won’t be so gentle next time. Are we clear?”

“Ma’am, yes, ma’am.”

Wishing she had someone as straightforward as Jaxton Ward here in Marco’s place, she released his arms and stood back. But she wasn’t a fool, so she kept her claws extended as a precaution. “What happened to my team patrolling the area?”

Marco rotated his shoulders and nodded behind him. “Jacek’s over there, tucked up in a tree. And Zalika, well, let’s just say that she isn’t as resistant to my smiles and compliments as you are, beauty, and I convinced her to let me try to sneak up on you. She swore it was impossible, and that I couldn’t do it. Too bad I didn’t make a bet with her, or I’d have some extra fun time money right now.”

Cam narrowed her eyes, but managed to keep from making a snarky comment since Marco still had information she might need. “And the danger?”

He gave a half-shrug. “A man was tailing you in Merida.”

Dread gathered in the pit of her stomach. She didn’t want it to be him. “What did he look like?”

“A man with some sort of local indigenous descent, but not much taller than me. Sound familiar?”

She shook her head, her heart calming a little. Marco’s description could fit any number of people from her past, but the only person she wanted to avoid at all costs was taller, with different features. “What happened to him?”

“Well, first off, the ‘him’ in question turned out to be a shadow-shifter.” He raised an eyebrow. “Do you have any idea why first the female shadow-shifter back in the States, and now this man, could be following you?”

Shadow-shifters were rare, which made this all the more interesting—and dangerous. “No, but what happened to the shifter?”

Marco was good at reading people. He’d learned it at an early age out of necessity—his special first-born training as a teenager down in Colombia had required it.

So he wondered why Cam had seemed to relax upon hearing that the shadow-shifter back in Merida had been of Hispanic descent.

Part of him wanted to bargain, giving information about the shifter in exchange for the information Cam had received from the vendor back in Merida. Bu

t if he was going to work with her—and he was, whether she wanted his help or not—then he needed to start earning her trust.

He knew that charming her would only irritate her further, but he needed to keep up appearances to protect his fellow first-born trainees. Not even Jaxton Ward knew the extent of Marco’s skills.

Tags: Jessie Donovan Asylums for Magical Threats Paranormal
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