Home > Savor Me Slowly (Alien Huntress #3)(14)

Savor Me Slowly (Alien Huntress #3)(14)
Author: Gena Showalter

Another round of silence.

“She?” Mia finally asked. “Shit? Since when does Jaxon cuss?”

“Where’d you trace the call to?” Lucius asked, unconcerned by Mia’s irrelevant questions.

Dallas shrugged. “Signal was rerouted through New China and what remains of Singapore. Look, here’s what I’ve been able to discover so far.” He explained about the abduction, about the blue Delensean skin cells found at Jaxon’s house, and about the mysterious case Jaxon had been assigned a week before his disappearance.

“Jack didn’t give details about the case?” Mia asked.

“Only that Jaxon’s unique skills were needed.”

“Unique skills.” Mia tapped a nail on her chin. “So he had to interrogate someone.”

Dallas shrugged. “Or several someones.”

“And Jaxon didn’t talk about the case with either of you?” Eden asked.

“No,” they answered in unison.

Jaxon’s secretiveness was highly unusual. Since Jaxon and Dallas were close as brothers, they helped each other out; they had each other’s backs. So, to Dallas’s mind, there was only one reason Jaxon would have kept quiet: the knowledge would have put Dallas in danger.

“I did a little investigating on my own,” Dallas admitted. He’d broken into Jack’s office. “Have any of you heard of a race called the Schön?”

Lucius groaned. “Your man’s in trouble if that’s the case he’s working. Definitely explains his desire to keep agents away from captured female humans.”

“Why?” Mia straightened. “Who the hell are they and what are you talking about?”

“You want to explain or should I?” Lucius asked Eden as he massaged her neck.

“I will.” Expression grim, Eden swept her golden gaze over the room’s occupants. “I was raised on Earth, but I had a Rakan tutor who taught me about my planet, my people, and their history. According to him, Raka was a peace-loving planet ruled by one man. One of his rules was that aliens were not allowed to enter and citizens were not allowed to leave. That didn’t stop a few from trying, however.”

“Uh, do I really need the history lesson?” A sense of urgency was rushing through Dallas. Eden had answers. He wanted them, not tutoring.

Lucius’s black eyes narrowed on him. “You better watch your tone.”

“And yeah,” Eden told him. “You do.”

“Fine. Sorry.” He waved his hand through the air. “Continue.”

She settled against Lucius’s chest. “A few weeks ago, several Rakans crossed the wormhole from their planet to ours. This happened in New Dallas. They saw my picture on the news. Since I was at an alien rights gala and obviously integrated into society, they hunted me down, wanting to do the same. They told me of war and disease.”

Dallas’s stomach clenched. “And?”

“They asked for my help. The Schön had suddenly appeared on Raka, infected its women and some of its men with disease, and then left as suddenly as they’d appeared. There were few survivors.”

Great. “What kind of disease? What was their purpose?”

“The men couldn’t tell me much about the disease. They’d never been exposed to sickness before and had no way of handling it. No doctors, no hospitals, no medication. What they could tell me was that the Schön seemed to need their women. As the females died off, the Schön weakened.”

The otherworlders were here for survival, then. Dallas wondered why Jaxon would keep that from him. When it came to aliens, survival was the standard reason for their move here and better than the usual alternative: world domination.

Had to be something more. Something they were missing.

“I reported all of this to my boss,” Eden continued, “and was told to leave it alone and forget it. Speaking of bosses, who’s been in touch with yours? Who’s been feeding him information about the abducted agent’s rescue and recovery?”

“Senator Kevin Estap.”

She paled, golden skin bleaching to an ashen yellow.

“What?” Dallas demanded, straightening. “Do you know him?”

A nod. “He runs special operations. Dangerous missions no one else will take.”

“Jaxon might be in more danger than we thought,” Kyrin said, speaking up for the first time.

Lucius fingered one of his eyebrow piercings. “Was he hooked into the isotope tracking system before his abduction?”

Dallas and Mia looked at each other, then the paid killer. “What’s that?” he asked.

Eden and Lucius shared a look, too. “They really keep you guys in the dark about some things, don’t they?” the male agent muttered.

Mia threw her arms in the air. “Just tell us, for God’s sake.”

Amusement sparkled in Lucius’s dark eyes. “You and Eden should mud wrestle.”

Eden slapped his arm. “Someone would have injected a glowing red liquid into Jaxon’s bloodstream, and you would have been able to monitor his whereabouts for a few months, pinning his location every minute of every day. Since neither of you know what I’m talking about, I think it’s safe to say he wasn’t injected.”

“Listen,” Lucius interjected. “If Senator Estap is involved, your friend has been in contact with Mishka Le’Ace. She is Estap’s right hand.”

“Well, that explains the she.” Mia uttered a stream of curses. “Le’Ace. Damn. Jaxon’s in big trouble.”

Eden’s attention whipped to Mia. “You know her?”

Fury skirted over Mia’s pretty features. “Yeah. She was my instructor once, and we’ve taught at the same A.I.R. training camp.” There was so much hate in Mia’s tone, Dallas felt sorry for the woman. Mia’s enemies always died painfully. “You?”

Golden hair swayed as Eden nodded. “Oh, yeah. Bitch shot me in the leg.”

“Then that bitch is going down,” Lucius muttered, and Eden’s golden lips lifted in a slow, satisfied smile.

Dallas thought of the brunette in his vision. “What does this Le’Ace look like? A rockin’ brunette who likes to cut and shoot things?”

“She’s a blonde,” Mia said at the same time Eden said, “She’s a redhead.”

“Obviously she changes her appearance,” he replied dryly. But he’d bet his savings Le’Ace was the woman he’d seen. With the Estap connection, Dallas doubted it could be anyone else.

“Obviously.” Eden cuddled against her man’s side. “Your brunette. Does she have tattoos up her spine that cover surgical scars?”

“I don’t know. I only got the barest glimpse of her face and it was perfection.”

One of Eden’s seemingly delicate shoulders lifted in a shrug. “That sounds like her.”

Wait. A niggling thought struck Dallas. “How old is this woman? If she was Mia’s instructor when Mia was a teenager, she’d have to be pushing, what? Forties? Fifties?”

“Yeah, but age doesn’t matter. She doesn’t age physically,” Eden said.

His brow wrinkled in confusion. Everyone aged. Well, Kyrin didn’t. Damn. “Is she alien?”

“No. I don’t think. I can’t explain what she is. Science was never my thing.”

“Why’d she shoot you?” Dallas asked.

“Don’t know that, either. We were on a mission. One of many that we’d been paired together for. We were on the same team with the same objective.” Eden frowned. “Don’t ask for details because I can’t give them. Anyway, we were successful. On the drive back to headquarters, she pulled over, shot me, and left me to die.”

Lucius’s arms banded around the Rakan’s waist and squeezed tightly. He kissed her temple, even ruffled her hair. While his actions were gentle, Dallas could see the lethal gleam in his dark eyes. Yeah, the Le’Ace woman was going to suffer for her past sins.

“She’s hard-core,” Mia said.

Eden gave another nod. “She’ll kill anyone. Age, race, gender, nothing matters. Nothing bothers her.”

Great. Most likely, Jaxon was with the little viper. “Either of you happen to have her address?” Dallas asked.

“Do you have a map of the city?” Eden asked, rather than answer him.

“Course.” Dallas pushed to his feet, strode out of the living room, and into his office. Not much of a trek considering how small his apartment was. After he found the holocam, he strode back into the living room. He placed the small black box in the center of the coffee table and pressed the series of buttons required.

A large blue glowing triangle crystallized above it, multicolored lights pulsing within. Red lines indicated streets, while tiny black balls indicated houses and buildings. They had only to tap a certain place on the seemingly liquefied screen to highlight and magnify it.

Everyone crouched around the table.

“All right. Here, here, and here,” Eden said, tapping as she spoke. “Senator Estap uses all three locations in this city as safe houses. There’s probably more, but those are the only ones I’ve visited personally.”

“An apartment downtown, a compound on the outskirts, and a flat stretch of land in the middle of nowhere?” Mia asked skeptically.

Eden snorted. “Believe me, the land isn’t flat and it’s in the middle of more security than you’ve ever encountered. It’s a laboratory.”

“Guess we’re splitting up, then.” Dallas rubbed his temples, the dull ache from earlier returning. And growing.

“Think Jaxon is being kept under lock and key because he’s infected?” Eden asked thoughtfully.

Could be, and the idea scared him shitless. “Did you say only infected women died on Raka?”

“You wish. Some of the men did, too.”

Lucius shook his head. “Remember, baby. Only a few men actually died from the disease. Most died because the infected women ate them.”

Mia’s jaw dropped. “Ate them? As in, had them for a meal?”

“That’s right.” Eden clapped her hands as the memory slid into place. “The girls became cannibals and the men became food.”

Just got better and better. “That little gem would have been nice to know earlier.” He closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose, trying without success to ward off that ever-intensifying ache.

“Are you all right?” Kyrin asked him, his tone concerned.

“I’m fine.”

“You look pale,” Mia observed.

“I’m fine. Just worried about Jaxon.”

There was a pause. Dallas doubted they believed him. He sounded weak, even to his own ears.

Kyrin was suddenly at his side, gripping his shoulder as he toppled over, unable to stop himself. Dizziness washed through him, a river that flowed from his mind to his feet, and only Kyrin’s hold kept him upright.

“May I speak to you privately?” Kyrin asked him.

“No.” Come on. Be a man. He planted his heels into the stone floor and pushed until he found purchase. “Let’s gear up and go get our boy.”

Another pause.

“Dallas, you will escort me to the kitchen and we will chat privately.”

The command slithered through his mind, and Dallas’s feet were moving before he could stop them, obeying of their own accord. Like falling, he couldn’t stop himself; all he knew was that the ache in his head eased with every step.

Fury took its place.

When they reached the kitchen, Dallas whirled on the otherworlder. “What the hell was that about?”

Unrepentant, Kyrin shrugged. “You have my blood. Therefore, I am your blood master.”

Hell, no. He opened his mouth to snap a reply, but Mia stormed into the kitchen, doors waving behind her. Dallas pressed his lips together. Like he wanted a witness to this master-slave shit.

Kyrin faced her, expression resigned. “Mia.”

“The word leave escapes your mouth and we’ll throw down.” She hopped onto the counter and glared over at them. “Pretend I’m not here if it makes you feel any better.”

“Women,” Kyrin muttered, turning back to Dallas.

Fine. Mia wanted to watch, he’d let her watch. “You are not my goddamn master, a**hole. You were given human blood to save your life. Does that mean you have a blood master?”

“Some of my blood remained in my body when I was drained. As my blood is dominant, my blood soon overshadowed the human.”

“Whatever. But you do not control me. Understand?”

For several minutes, Kyrin remained silent. His violet eyes—eyes the exact color Dallas’s had changed to—glowed. “Drop to your knees.”

Dallas was on his knees in the next instant. He scowled, fury sweeping through him anew. He tried to stand, but couldn’t force his body into action. His muscles were completely fossilized.

One of Kyrin’s dark brows rose. “Believe me?”

“Yes,” he gritted out, the admission abhorrent.

“Stand.”

Dallas stood, his fist already inching backward, flying forward. His knuckles slammed into Kyrin’s nose, breaking the cartilage on contact. Even as the alien’s head whipped to the side, blood spraying, Mia was shoving Dallas to the ground and pinning his upper body with her knees.

“Do not hurt him,” she growled. “The Arcadian is mine.”

Kyrin’s nose snapped back into place. Blood dried, evaporated, leaving no trace of the injury. “I only wanted to tell you that I know you are confused. If you have any questions about your transformation, I’m here to help you.”

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