“I’m going to make a sandwich,” Evie said, pressing a few buttons on a small black remote. In front of her, one section of the wall opened, revealing a fully stocked fridge. “You want one?”
He masked his bafflement with a muffled “That’d be great, thanks.”
“Brilliant. I’ll leave out the bread and peanut butter so you can make yourself one.”
Now, that was more like the Evie he knew and . . . liked. He rubbed two fingers over his mouth to hide a smile. “Have you always been such a ballbuster, baby bear?”
She shook her fist in his direction. “Stop calling me by those ludicrous names. And, yeah, I guess I have been. But then, I’ve had to be.” She dug a knife from a drawer hidden in the island. “Otherwise Mum would have broken me.”
She had never willingly offered information about her past, and he found himself leaning toward her, as eager to hear more as he usually was to make a kill. “Tell me about her.”
As she put two sandwiches together, she said, “She could have been a general in the army. Everything had to be a certain way. Her way. And then it had to meet her exacting standards. Meaning nothing was ever good enough.”
Little Evie, under a military-like regime. He frowned, not liking the image. Had she ever gotten to act her age and play?
“I’m not sure what Michael ever saw in her, to be honest.”
Adorable, the way she added an -er to the word saw. “Does she look like you?”
“Yes. I’ve been called her carbon copy, actually.”
Well, there you go. Michael hadn’t been able to help himself. “No good times?”
“Not until Claire came along.”
Happiness coasted over him, followed by sorrow. Both emotions sprang from her. Clearly Claire’s death destroyed her, and she was still dealing with the pain.
Breaking my heart. “What’s your favorite memory of your sister?”
She thought for a moment, then smiled. “Claire made me watch romantic comedies, romantic tragedies, romantic . . . everything,” Evie said, and her smile faded. “I used to tease her about the horrors of heartfelt emotion, only I called it heartfelt crap, and she used to say I was fooling no one, that I already had that crap in my blood, and then we’d laugh about the word ‘crap.’ ”
Blue suddenly wished he’d never allowed dislike of Evie to keep him away four years ago. It would have been fun to watch her and Claire together. The fire-breathing dragon and the shy princess somehow finding a way to happily coexist.
“I had siblings, too,” he admitted. “I was only four years old when they died, but they’ll always have a place in my heart.” He remembered how, before his brothers and sisters died, each placed a hand on his chest. Warmth had then spread throughout his entire body.
He hadn’t understood at the time, but Cade, Caell, Cameron, Caymile, and Candice had bequeathed their powers to him. They were the reason he survived the sickness they did not. They were the reason he was as strong as he was.
And he would never get the chance to thank them.
For a moment Evie was still and quiet. Then she walked over and, expression carefully blank, handed him a sandwich. “Here.” She sat at the edge of the desk, not caring when she pushed supplies to the floor.
They ate in silence, and for that he was grateful. The more she spoke, the more he liked her.
And he shouldn’t like her while she was nearby . . . affecting him. Bad things happened. Proof: already he was tense and aching. Ready for sex. Hard, pounding sex. Dirty sex. The kind neither one of them would ever be able to forget.
What did she prefer? To be touched gently? Or firmly?
Did she like to be licked? Or bit? Or both?
How did she feel about oral?
He wanted her mouth on his shaft, her dark hair spilling over his thighs.
The power began to writhe inside him, and both the chair and desk wobbled before lifting into the air. Her eyes—those dark, rich eyes—widened. She’d removed the contacts, and he wanted to howl with gratitude.
He didn’t care that her hair was currently blond and not his preference for her. He could still wrap the strands around his hand and fist. He could guide her into the rhythm he wanted her to set. Afterward he could strip her and return the favor.
He flattened his hands on her thighs. Big hands. Delicate thighs. She sucked in a breath . . . but didn’t push him away.
“Push me away,” he said. The heat of her skin was so intense, he could feel the burn of her through her jeans.
A muffled buzz stopped her.
Frowning, she pulled her cell from the purse still draped across her middle and read the screen. Shock curled from her, slithering around him and tightening like a noose.
“What’s wrong?” His desire instantly cooled. The desk and chair settled on the floor.
Her gaze met his. “I think . . . I think my father just texted me.”
U KNOW WHERE SUNBEAM
That was the extent of the coded text, and yet the shock lifted and Evie knew. Her father was responsible.
Sunbeam was his nickname for her. And she did indeed know where. About a mile out from Lake Michigan. Michael had planned for something like this—one of them being chased, needing a secluded place to stay—and had told her where to go if ever he contacted her.
She and Blue left the safe house and stole another car. They drove to the dock, doubling back a few times to make sure they weren’t being followed. Then, with the rerouting of a few wires, the “spare parts” her father kept in multiple slips drew together like magnets and metal to create a small boat.
After pulling on protective bodysuits, she and Blue climbed inside the craft. This was going to be fun. Not. The bacteria in the lake constantly mutated. With Blue’s Arcadian blood, he was probably resistant. But even though her immunizations were up to date, she could sicken.
Finally, they were speeding along.
“Don’t get your hopes up.” Blue had to yell to be heard over the roar of the engine. “This could be a trap.”
“It’s not,” she yelled back. Strands of hair slapped at her cheeks and filled her mouth as she valiantly tried to grab them and hold them at her nape.
He cast her a grim look. And it wasn’t fair. The sun was in the process of setting, providing a majestic pink and purple backdrop, making him more beautiful than ever. “I hope you’re right.”
She drew in a breath and promptly coughed. The air was thick with the scents of rot and mold.