Spirit Page 80

He liked that sound. A lot.

He ran his finger under the lace, tracing along the front of her body. She stretched under him, and he bent to run his mouth over her stomach, breathing in the scent of her.

Her hands were in his hair. “You’re killing me,” she whispered.

“In a good way?”


That made him pause. His hand went still on her stomach, and he rose up to look down at her. “I owe you a full truth, too.”

She dragged a finger down the center of his chest in a way that made his breath shudder and his eyes fall closed.

“Maybe you can tell me later,” she said.

He caught her wrist and smiled ruefully. “At school—when I kissed you in the parking lot—”

“I remember.”

“I told you I’d know exactly what to do if you jumped me.”

“Evidenced by what you’re doing right now, you mean?” That made him blush, which made her laugh.

But then she sobered. “I won’t tease. What’s your deep, dark truth?”

This was harder to tell her than anything else had been. It probably would have been easier if they weren’t both half-naked. He wished he could stop blushing for god’s sake. “I’ve never—ah—”

“Hunter Garrity.”


“Are you trying to tell me you’re a virgin?”

If her voice had carried any amount of mockery, he would have denied it. But it didn’t, and he didn’t.

“Yes,” he said.

“I figured.”


She didn’t smile. Her cheeks appeared extra pink in the firelight now. “No—I meant . . . I am, too.”

“You are?”

She nodded.

He couldn’t stop staring at her. “But . . . you’re so . . . so—”

“If you say slutty, I am going to punch you in the crotch again.”

“Confident!” he said. “I was going to say confident.”

“Look, just because I like what I look like doesn’t mean I sleep around.”

Now he couldn’t tell if he was offending her or if she was just yanking his chain. “No one said you were sleeping around.”

“Ah, I seem to recall a little comment about my inability to say no.”

Okay, maybe he had said that. He put his cheek against hers and whispered into her ear. “I apologize. Forgive me?”

Her fingers raked through his hair again, and she shifted closer to him, pulling the blanket higher to block out the stars. “Not yet. You’ll just have to make it up to me.”

And Hunter realized that maybe a little distraction wasn’t out of line after all.

Hunter awoke at dawn and found himself alone in the blankets. The fire was banked, the water far down the beach at low tide.

No Kate.

He sat straight up. His heart went from zero to sixty.

But then he breathed. She was in the jeep, wearing the spare jeans and bright pink T-shirt Bill had brought, fiddling with her cell phone.

Hunter rubbed a hand over his face, wishing he had access to a bar of soap and a razor. He made do with a swig of water from one of the bottles, pulled his jeans on under the blanket, and headed over to the car in bare feet.

Whatever had changed overnight had him wanting to pull her into his arms and keep her safe forever.

Especially when she looked up at him and blushed.

“Hey,” he said gently. He bent down to kiss her on the neck.

“Hey.” She leaned into him. He let her.

“What are you doing?”

“My phone was dead. I plugged into your charger. Is that okay?”

“Sure.” He could see she had the browser open. “Anything interesting?”

“I was looking for tunnels.” She glanced up. “Did you know there are two highway tunnels that lead into Baltimore?”

He took the phone and looked at the map. “Highway tunnels?”

“Well, they go under the harbor.”

Hunter thought about that but couldn’t make it line up in his head. “She’s a Fire Elemental. What’s she going to do, start a fire in the tunnel?”

“What if she had a Water Elemental working with her? Or an Earth?”

Hunter thought about it. “Collapsing a highway tunnel would definitely draw a lot of attention.” Then he shook his head. “They’re kids. They don’t have that kind of power yet.”

“But she’s looking for a reaction. They’re afraid. They’re—”

Casper growled.

Hunter whipped his head up. The dog was staring at the woods.

Kate was completely still, but he could practically hear her heartbeat. Or maybe that was his own. The house was dark and still; the trees quiet except for the slight breeze.

Casper was still on high alert.

Hunter took her hand. “Come on.”

She unplugged the phone and followed him. He brushed sand from his feet and yanked shoes on, not bothering to tie the laces. The gun slipped into his waistband. He pulled an olive-green shirt over his head as they walked toward the opposite tree line. Casper bolted into the woods, and Hunter didn’t dare raise his voice to call him back. His dog could take care of himself.

He didn’t have to tell Kate to be quiet. She was simply a shadow at his side, alert and prepared.

A branch snapped somewhere off in the woods, and her back pressed against a tree.

His did, too. They’d gone in opposite directions and now stood ten feet apart, staring at each other.

Prev Next
Romance | Vampires | Fantasy | Billionaire | Werewolves | Zombies