He smiled, determined to make her do the same. “Because you’d be bloody awful at it.”
Kiarra looked at him a second before she smiled and ran her hand up his chest. The touch, combined with the look in her eyes and her sweet scent filling his nose, sent blood to his groin. He knew it was wrong to take advantage of her current vulnerability, but before he could tell Kiarra to go up to bed, she leaned in close and whispered in his ear, “Is that a challenge?”
Gio’s mobile phone rang and he pushed the accept button. “Yes.”
“I’ve confirmed her last known location, but we just missed her.”
The caller was a member of the retrieval team he’d sent after Kiarra, a hired man named Dominik. “Was she alone?”
“No, two people were with her, but only the man accompanied her out. I can bring in the other person if you want t
o question her about the first-born.”
“Go ahead. We’ll see what we can get out of her. Split up the work, and send the others out to question people on the street. The target is not far from Grassmarket.”
The line went dead. Gio looked back to the tracking program on his computer and kept an eye on Kiarra’s location.
He’d accepted his father’s mission and taken over Kiarra Melini’s retrieval operation. The previous person in charge, Ty Adams, had been reluctant to cede control, and had made his case for why he should stay in charge—Kiarra was Adams’ prized subject, and after handling her for years, he knew her quirks and fears better than anyone.
But all Adams had been ordered to do was write a detailed behavior profile and pass on the information to Gio.
Even without the report, Gio had arrived in Edinburgh and met with his team. During their first briefing, he’d learned that a prototype tracking chip had been placed under Kiarra’s skin a few months ago in case she ever escaped or was kidnapped. While the signal occasionally shorted out, probably due to being in a tunnel or some such place, it was working now.
He was still uncertain of how he felt about tracking down Kiarra. He’d been young when she’d gone off to the AMT, and while he’d seen Cam once or twice after their parents had died, the concept of having siblings was foreign to him. He considered James Sinclair’s house staff to be more family than either one of his sisters by blood.
But Kiarra was an escaped first-born and a risk to everything his father was trying to accomplish. If the general human population found out about elemental magic, his father and other prominent anti-Article I proponents predicted that humans would round up the Feiru and put them into special camps, not unlike what had happened in World War II.
At least until humans thought of a way to exploit them for their own gain.
No, Kiarra needed to go back to an AMT compound—at least until the nullification formula had a 99.9% success rate. After fifteen years inside the AMT, her life was in jeopardy as long as she remained on the outside. By tracking her down, Gio would help send her back to safety.
Her signal vanished from his computer screen and Gio jotted down her last known location.
The alcohol in Kiarra’s blood was making her bold. When Jaxton had told her that she’d be awful at seducing someone, she’d not only wanted an excuse to block out Ty and her past, but she’d felt the urge to prove him wrong. He had a problem with assuming he was always the wiser, always right.
Not this time.
Kiarra ran a hand up Jaxton’s chest and around his neck, resting her fingers at his nape. She leaned in to the heat of his body and whispered, “Is that a challenge?”
She heard his breath catch, and Kiarra smiled. For once, Jaxton had nothing to say.
This close to his neck, she could smell the uniquely male scent that was Jaxton. On impulse, she licked his earlobe. She liked the taste of his skin, but before she could do it again, Jaxton took hold of her shoulders and pulled her far enough away that she could see his face.
His eyes were half-lidded and dilated, and she shivered at the look. “Pet, if you know what’s good for you, you’ll walk away and go up to bed right this instant.”
She knew under normal circumstances, when she was not fired up from their argument or under the influence of alcohol, she probably would flee to the safety of her room, where she’d only be able to touch Jaxton in her dreams. But she was tired of fighting the responses of her body, tired of resisting him, tired of not making new memories to replace the old.
This was her chance to make an adult decision and take what she wanted.
She leaned into Jaxton’s body until her stomach pressed against his erection, and she smiled at the contact. Rather than feeling uneasy, the hardness made her lower belly clench tight in need. Her skin was on fire, making her clothes seem stifling.
She wanted to feel the warmth of Jaxton’s skin on hers as reassurance that this wasn’t a dream.