Kiss of Snow Page 40

Hawke didn’t know whether he wanted to strangle Sienna for playing with her life that way or hold her tight, shield her from the world. Except of course, that was an impossibility—she was an X, her mind meant to be a weapon. “Will she obey your orders?” His wolf raked him with its claws, but even it knew the decision was the right one.

“Yes.” A pause as the ball of metal came to a gentle rest on Hawke’s desk. “Yours are the only ones she’s ever had trouble with.”

No fear, Hawke thought. Even after all she’d been through, Sienna had never been afraid to stand up to him. Good. “I want this planned down to the last minute—in and out as fast as possible.”

Judd gave a swift nod, his eyes holding an icy determination, an echo of the memories. “I’ll do the prep work today. I’d rather reserve my psychic energies, so we’ll fly out tomorrow morning into one of the larger cities. I can teleport us the rest of the distance after nightfall. Do you want in on the planning?”

“No.” Hawke knew his instincts when it came to Sienna would get in the way. “Keep me updated.”

“I’ll get Sienna now.”

“Judd.” When the lieutenant halted, Hawke walked over and dragged him into a rough embrace. Psy or not, he was a SnowDancer. “Thank you for getting her out.” For protecting her when Hawke hadn’t known she was out there, hurting.

Judd’s eyes were midnight when he pulled back. “She’s stronger than all of us.”

The words circled in Hawke’s mind long after Judd left, but they didn’t make his decision any easier to swallow. He was about to send a young woman, his woman, into a hot zone.

JUDD needed his mate with a ferocity bordering on insanity. All but dragging her from her workspace in the tech core of the den, he pulled her into their bedroom and pinned her to the wall. She gasped into his kiss but cooperated when he tore off her clothes, when he opened the front of his jeans and lifted her up by the thighs.

Too fast, too fast, his mind warned. Gritting his teeth, he tried to slow down.

The whisper was a soft, hot breath against his ear. “It’s okay, it’s okay. Come inside me.”

“Brenna.” Thrusting into the tight, wet heat of her in a single hard push, he shuddered.

Her nails dug into his back, her legs wrapped around his waist, and her mouth, it took his, holding him safe as he surrendered to the searing depth of his need for her.

Afterward, as they lay on the futon, he told her everything. “I wish I could protect her from this, but if we don’t give her an outlet, it’ll lead to a dangerous level of frustration.”

Brenna drew patterns on his chest with a fingertip. “We women are tougher than you men realize.” Propping herself up on one elbow beside him, she braced her cheek on her hand. “She doesn’t need that kind of protection anymore—you’re giving her what she needs; support to live her life.”

“I haven’t interfered, but this thing with Hawke . . . I don’t know if she’s ready.”

“Sweetheart, no woman’s ever going to be ready for Hawke.” It was the driest of statements as she leaned in to press an affectionate kiss to his jaw. “But from what I can see, she’s holding her own.”

Her words, her touch, it anchored him, settled him. “I need you,” he said to her, this woman who’d fought for her own right to live her life free of limits, “to build me some remote detonation devices.”

Amazing brown eyes shot with blue peering into his as she pressed her nose to his. “You always say the most romantic things.”

His laughter came from deep within, tangled with her own, as his mate cupped his cheek and took him with a tenderness that made him her slave.


FROM: Alice <[email protected] /* */ >

TO: Dad <[email protected] /* */ >

DATE: December 11th, 1973 at 11:23pm

SUBJECT: re: Silence

Dear Dad,

Yes, this idea of Silence disturbs me, too. It’s why I’ve been so leery of trusting the Psy archivist with my conclusions—there are certain worrisome undercurrents in the Psy population at the moment. But the good news is that one of my Es has agreed to do some “undercover” scouting for me, and you know I would trust an empath with anything. He says that what I posit should be easy to see. If he finds what I expect him to find, then I’ll have to figure out how to test the theory.

Going back to Silence—George is a telepath, as you know, and a more emotional man I have yet to meet. But even he says that sometimes he wishes the voices would be silent. My Xs are all in favor of it, and I can’t say I’m surprised.

Have you spoken of it with your Psy colleagues?



P.S. Don’t think I’ve forgotten your birthday. I have a surprise up my sleeve.

Chapter 28

SIENNA SAT ON a quiet spot overlooking the lake several hours after nightfall. It had shocked her when Judd told her about the upcoming op—but not because she couldn’t do it. The exercise would be relatively free from danger given the strength of her shields and the fact that she could debilitate anyone who threatened her. Of course, contact was to be avoided at all costs, their objective being to get in and out without being detected.

Soft warmth covered her shoulders.

Startled, she turned to see Hawke. It was his jacket he’d put over her shoulders. “We didn’t get to play our game.” The part of her that had never had a chance to be a child was bitterly disappointed.

He sat down with one hand braced on the ground behind her, their bodies close enough that they touched hip to thigh . . . more. “It’ll keep.”

Unwilling to let it go at that, she held out a fist. “Ready?”

“You’re going to attempt to beat me up with that puny hand?” Complete disbelief. “Okay, I’ll pretend it hurts.”

She would not laugh. To do so would only feed his arrogance. “Try again.”

Frowning, he held out his own larger fist, smiled. “One, two, three!”

“Rock beats scissors.” It was impossible to restrain her smirk.

A very wolfish look. “Best of three.”

She held out a hand, called the countdown. Found her paper being cut by the scissors. Laughing at the playful way he pretended to chop at her, she made a fist again. “Last one.”

They moved their hands in unison.

Hawke grinned at the result. “Well, there are people who say we both have rocks in our heads, so I guess that’s apropos.”

“Speak for yourself.” But she curled her hand back inside his jacket, luxuriating in the dark masculinity of his scent. “Judd told me about South America.” A silent question hidden behind the statement.

“We need to discuss that.” No longer any humor in his voice. “I need to be certain you’re not only onboard with this, but capable of doing it.”

The words pricked her pride. Once, she might’ve snapped at him, but she was no longer that impetuous girl, hiding her mental fragmentation behind a mask of rebellion. Instead, she considered things from his point of view: a young, untried soldier going into an operation that required the utmost subtlety. If she’d been in charge, she’d have asked the same questions. “Yes, to both,” she said. “Judd didn’t know until I told him this afternoon, but I did an op very similar to this in a training situation.”

He stroked his hand up her back to curve around her nape, hot and strong, a shock to her system. “How old were you?”

“Fifteen,” she said over the wild rush of sensation. “Ming gave me a very simple brief—to get in and out of one of his installations. To pass, I had to set a number of charges in different locations and escape undetected.” When Hawke remained silent, she asked, “Don’t you want to know if I succeeded?”

He moved his thumb on her skin. “You wouldn’t have remained Ming’s protégée if you hadn’t.”

“Yes.” Goose bumps on her flesh that had nothing to do with the temperature. “But I did make one error—I escaped even Ming’s detection.”

Rising without warning, Hawke took a seat behind her, pulling her into the circle of his arms, the bracket of his thighs. “Okay?” An intimate question against the sensitive curve of her ear.

“Yes.” Except for the fact her heart was about to beat right out of her chest.

“The student showed up the teacher,” he said, returning to their discussion of Ming. “That’s when you knew you didn’t have much time left.”

Unable to resist, she curled one of her hands around the corded strength of his forearm, playing her fingers over the vein that ran so strong under the heat of his skin. “The rehab order came only a few months later. All orders are officially from the entire Council, but the Councilors act as individuals most of the time. Ming’s signature was on ours. If he ever finds out I’m alive, he’ll do everything he can to get rid of me.”

“I don’t know.” Muscle and tendon flexed under her touch as he tugged her closer. “According to our intel, Ming has taken a couple of hits in the past few months. He might decide he’s better off with you by his side.”

“I’d kill him,” Sienna said with cold precision. “The instant I had him in my sights, I’d burn him up and watch him die. And I’d make it slow, so he’d hurt for a long time.”

Hawke didn’t tell her that wasn’t a good thought, that revenge would eat her alive. Instead, he nuzzled at her neck, and said, “I’d rather you focus your energy on helping the pack.”

She angled her head to the side in shameless invitation, her hand moving up to close over his bicep. “I’d do anything for SnowDancer.” For you.

“Tell me about your designation.” Kisses along the line of her throat.

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