Born of Fire (Page 39)

Born of Fire (The League #2)(39)
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon

Lights danced around the fogged glass of the office’s door.

“They’re coming.” Syn pulled her away from the glass to keep their pursuers from seeing their shadows.

Once again her heart picked up its heavy staccato rhythm as they pressed themselves flat against the wall. Syn held her plastered there, his arm draped protectively across her br**sts. The door creaked open. Her breath caught in her throat as a personal-sized searchlight traveled across the room.

When the man entered, Syn grabbed the arm holding the light, then decked him. The blow had no effect on the tracker. Cursing, Syn shook his hand as if he’d broken it.

The tracker smiled evilly as he grabbed Syn by the throat and slammed him against the wall.

Without thinking, Shahara stepped around Syn and drove her knee into tracker’s groin as hard as she could. He let out a loud wail before doubling over. She brought her hands down on either side of his head, against his ears, for a nice percussion blow.

He fell to the floor where she groin-kicked him again, just for good measure.

Syn stood over the tracker. “Bet the next time a guy hits you in front of his girl you’ll fall down, won’t you?” He bent over and began searching him for something.

The tracker said nothing. He just lay on the ground moaning while holding himself.

Syn straightened and she saw the communicator he’d found. He set his blaster to stun and shot the tracker. He shook his head at her. “Damn, woman, you really do need to stop with those groin kicks. You make my c**k hurt just looking at him.”

“It was more effective than your punch.”

“I can’t argue with that.” He started down the hallway.

As he walked, she noticed the slight limp. “Are you hurt?”

“No,” he said in a low voice. “It’s sympathy pain for that tracker you downed.”

She rolled her eyes. “Yeah, well, I didn’t kick you.”

“Like I said before, your kicks have a way of staying with a man for a long time.”

“Quit being a baby and get us out of here.”

He grunted. “What do you need me for? I ought to turn you loose and let you kick them down.”

Voices crackled over the communicator in a language she couldn’t make out. “What are they saying?”

He held his hand up to silence her and listened.

Once the voices stopped, he turned to face her. “They’re cordoning off the block. They have two rovers on each side of the building and a group of local enforcers.” He rubbed his neck. “I don’t mind taking out a tracker or two, but I’d sure hate to kill a local.”

“Too bad they don’t have the same compunctions about us.”

He cocked his head. “I thought you weren’t bloodthirsty.”

“Let’s just say I’m getting sick of people coming after me all the time when . . .”

He stopped and faced her. “When what?”

She clamped her lips together. For the first time, she began to actually feel what he must have felt for years. Abandoned. Alone. Hunted for something he couldn’t change, for something he’d done out of necessity.

It was a nasty feeling, and one that had been rammed down his throat. Who was she to complain to him over these last few days?

How had he managed all this time to remain free?

It gave her a whole new respect for him and his abilities.

“How are we going to get past them?” she asked in order to change the subject.

“We’re going to get to the first floor and find a quiet place to hide.”

“Why?” “Just trust me.”

And with those three little words, she found herself trailing along behind him again.

When he finally found them a place he called “safe,” she began to wonder if the night would ever end. He stopped beside a row of old employee lockers.

She raked a doubtful stare over them. “You’re not thinking what I think you are . . .”

“We’ll fit.”

She wasn’t so convinced. Reaching out, she touched his hard stomach, then wished she hadn’t as a wave of misplaced and definitely mistimed desire hit her. “I don’t know, chubby. You’re not exactly small.”

The sound of feet kept him from responding as he opened one door with only a whisper of noise and wedged himself inside. When she headed for a different unit, he caught her arm and pulled her in on top of him.

She grimaced as he bumped her breast with his elbow and sent a sharp flash of pain through her. “I really wish you’d find us better places to hide.”

He said nothing.

Shahara let out an aggravated breath. How the two of them had wedged themselves into the thin metal locker to begin with, she couldn’t imagine. It would have probably been okay for one person, but for two, it was a little too tight. Every inch of her body was thrown against his and, as they waited, she began to feel part of him grow.

So he wasn’t quite as mad at her as he pretended. She smiled at the thought and realized that for once she didn’t mind a tight place.

Syn held his breath, trying his damnedest to ignore the soft mounds of her br**sts pressed intimately against his stomach. Her neck was just beneath his lips and that flesh was much more enticing than he wanted it to be. Not to mention her arms, on either side of him, made him long to have her actually hug him.

I am so f**ked up . . .

A painful ache set fire to the entire lower half of his anatomy. And for a moment, he didn’t care if he got caught so long as he had a taste of her first.

What the hell is wrong with me?

Personal safety and survival had always been his first instinct. But tonight, his instinct was to protect the very woman who threatened him most.

And as those soft, golden eyes looked up at him, he was lost. Her parted lips beckoned him and it was almost impossible to keep from kissing her.

Why couldn’t she see him for the man he was and not the past he’d been through? But he was old enough to know better. People betrayed, and sooner or later everyone screwed him over for themselves.

She would be no different.

Yet right now, looking at her trusting face, it was hard to resist doing something he knew would be suicide.

Shahara heard his breathing change and her own instantly followed. She moved her hands to his h*ps that were pressed intimately against hers. His entire body jerked. With a wicked smile, she couldn’t resist lowering her hand and cupping him. It was bold and she couldn’t believe she’d done it, but the look of heat on his face made it all worthwhile.

Licking her suddenly dry lips, she had a terrible urge to reach up and take his hood off and kiss him until he begged for mercy.

Just when she thought she’d give in to her impulse, she heard approaching footsteps.

His entire body went rigid as he pulled her hand away from him.

Shahara held her breath.

“See anything?” It was a woman with a deep contralto.

“No,” an older man replied. “Just the same old broken-down stuff. Nothing on the scanner, either.”

“I don’t know why they’re bothering with the first floor. No one but an idiot would try and hide down here. I bet they’re up on the top trying to find some way to get past the rovers.”

“I bet we find them up on the tenth floor.”

“Half a week’s pay?”

“You’re on.”

Shahara saw him touch his ear. Vik must have been talking to him, but Syn didn’t respond.

Once the pair left, he eased open the door. “Stay here,” he whispered before closing her in.

Was he leaving her for them to find?

Don’t be stupid. The two of you have come too far for him to leave you now.

Still, she couldn’t quite stifle the voice that kept telling her he was taking his chances and leaving her there to face the Rits alone.

Maybe it was just her guilty conscience nagging her.

Suddenly the door flew open. Shahara struck out with one fist.

“Relax,” Syn hissed as he ducked her blow. “It’s just me.” He shoved a uniform into her hands. “Change as fast as you can.”

She held the red enforcer’s uniform against her chest and scowled at him. “What did you do?”

“Just hurry.”

With no thought to modesty, she obeyed. While she pulled her new clothes on, she couldn’t resist a quick look to see Syn’s bare skin. The full curve of his nak*d hip and bare derriere.

It was then that she made a startling discovery. Syn never wore underwear.

Hmmm . . . She’d have to tuck that tidbit away for later . . .

He looked up and caught her gaze with his eyes. “Would you quit wasting time? Get dressed.”

Syn snapped his uniform together while he tried to blot out the image of Shahara in her bra and tiny, tiny panties he desperately wanted to pull off with his teeth. His body ached with the memory of her squeezed up against him.

Or better yet, nak*d in his bed.

What was wrong with him? They were about to be gutted and all he could think about was sex.

He was definitely losing his mind.

But then, if not for her, he’d be in custody right now.

Part of him wished that he were. He really didn’t feel like going through this anymore. Every survival impulse he’d ever had had died in his flat.

Who do I bother fighting?

He’d kept so few things from his past. So few were worth keeping. Goddamn those bastards for finding his escape pack. It was pathetic, really, that everything he valued in his life fit in such a small space, but it had.

And now it was all gone.

Every piece. There was nothing left of the tattered remains of his past. Not one tiny memento. There was nothing to ever say that he’d even existed.

So why bother?

One look at Shahara and he knew why. She had people who depended on her. She still wanted to live. He’d dragged her here and he would see her to safety.

One way or another.

“You ready?”

Shahara nodded. She smiled as she realized his uniform didn’t quite fit. “What if someone sees you?” She pulled at the extra fabric hanging over his stomach.

“They won’t be paying attention to us. They’re looking for someone out of uniform.”

Not sure if she bought his argument, she folded up her clothes. “What are we doing with our gear?”

“Tuck your clothes into the pack and hold it down to your side and to the back.”

She frowned. “Won’t they see it?”

“Not if we’re lucky.”

“You have a lot of faith in luck, don’t you?”

“Not at all. She’s a vicious bitch who seldom knocks on my door.” His voice was frigid. “I have a lot of faith in people’s inability to see what’s right before their noses. Now come on.”

As she followed him out of their room, she thought about his words. He was right. All these years, people had searched for him and he’d been living in the middle of a major city, running a major company. It said a lot about being able to hide in plain sight.

He was simply amazing.

Syn kept a tight grip on his pack as he led her through the hallways that were crawling with armed enforcers and trackers who scoured the area for them.

Vik was already outside the building. “It’s scary out here, boss. They’re hot for your ass in the worst sort of way.”

He would have responded, but didn’t dare in case they were using a scanner to ID his voice. They’d been relatively safe inside the metal lockers that shielded them, but now that they were out in the open, it was a new set of rules.

“Hey! I think we found them.”

A group of enforcers ran past them, to whatever someone had thought they found. Two trackers dressed in brown ran past with a third one coming up with a slow, deadly swagger.

There was something about the last one that stood out, and it wasn’t because he was dressed all in black with spiked vambraces and custom blasters. He, like Syn, was alert to things the others missed. This wasn’t some run-of-the-mill tracker or low-IQ enforcer.

He was a predator.

Syn tipped his head down as the tracker went past. But his attention was so focused on the one he needed to be wary of, that he missed the next one who slammed into him.

Shit . . .

The tracker stopped and eyed him intently. Recognition registered.

Syn dropped his pack and punched him hard.

“They’re here,” the tracker snarled into his link as he returned the blow.

Syn cursed as they became the focal point of every person there. “Run,” he shouted to Shahara.

To his shock, she didn’t. She pulled out her blaster and shot the tracker.

Targeting lasers danced all around them as the trackers and enforcers swung on them. Syn ducked the fire, slung his pack over his shoulder, and pushed her forward as he pulled out a smoke bomb and threw it.

Shahara repeated the gesture, tossing hers in the opposite direction. Shots flared all over, some narrowly missing them.

Acting on pure instinct, she grabbed Syn’s arm and pulled him toward an alcove.

Syn followed her, then realized they were completely trapped. Cursing, he looked at her and saw the fear deep in her eyes.