Tempt Me Eternally(2)

By: Gena Showalter


God, she was on the job, yet she’d lost track of her thoughts. Mortifying. “Can you take nothing seriously?”

“Hello, have you met me? I take making out very seriously.”

All the men on the line snorted in their attempts to muffle their laughter. They might be wary of him, but they couldn’t help but enjoy his perverted sense of humor.

“Fuck you, Chuckles,” she said, trying not to reveal her amusement. Irreverent bastard.

“Excellent. We’re on the same page, because that’s exactly what I’m trying to do to you.”

Give herself to Devyn? Not in this lifetime, and not because he wasn’t attractive. If anything, he was too attractive. Hell, he was total screw-like-an-animal perfection. Tall, with dark hair, wide amber eyes, and skin that glittered like a jewel; there was no one else like him. There was a recipe for his smile, though: wicked desire dipped in acid, wrapped in steel and sprinkled with candy. The recipe for his laughter? Well, that was wicked desire tossed in the gutter, wrung out in a whorehouse, and slathered with scented body lotion. Women threw themselves at him constantly, and he ate it up like they were his own personal smorgasbord.

They probably were. Thank God she wasn’t in the market for a boyfriend. Or, rather, a lover, since that’s all someone as fickle as Devyn could ever amount to. Macy—the real Macy—had been dating a piece of scum Aleaha was still trying to lose and she didn’t have the time or patience to throw anyone else into the mix.

“Temper, temper,” Jaxon Tremain chided. He was one of two agents who hung out with the sexy otherworlder, and the resident smoother. There was something unnaturally calming about his presence, as if he could slink inside a person’s psyche and wash away her fears. “Would you kiss me with that mouth?”

“Funny,” she said dryly.

She could hear the others chortling and snorting with more surprised amusement. Someone said, “Soliciting kisses from women, Jaxon? Mishka will kill you for that.”

“If by kill you mean seduce, then yeah,” Jaxon replied. “You’re right.”

Mishka was Jaxon’s wife and a hired killer who possessed a robotic arm. Aleaha had only seen her once, but that had been enough to scare ten years off her life. Never had she seen eyes so cold or heard a voice so uncaring. Of course, the moment Mishka spied Jaxon, her entire demeanor had changed. So had Jaxon’s, for that matter. Usually he was as conservative as a priest. One glance at Mishka, though, and he’d morphed into gutter man.

Aleaha had marveled at the change in him, a change she was witnessing once again. Empathetic as he was, perhaps he was veering onto the perverted track now to get her mind off the bloody massacre sure to begin. Apparently, though, she didn’t need help today. She couldn’t concentrate worth a damn. What was wrong with her?

“Well,” Devyn said, drawing the spotlight back to him. As always. “Be a good lollipop and answer the man. Will you kiss him or not?”

“I could give you a list of all the things I’ll never do to you with my mouth,” she muttered. “How ’bout that?”

Devyn laughed, and, yep. It was wicked desire. “She reminds me of Mia when she talks like that. Tell us, Lolli, is that list for everyone or just Jaxon?”

“All right, team,” Mia Snow herself interjected before Aleaha could reply. “Save it. You know I only want you to stun these men. Do not burn them. I repeat, do not burn them. An open wound will bleed and that will spread their infection. And believe me, I will kill every single one of you myself if that happens.”

There was a moment of frightening silence. Infection. What a delightful reminder. Not only were the warriors coming here vicious, there was a possibility that they were bringing the plague with them.

“Good,” Mia continued. “I’ve got your attention. Solar flare approaching in ten.” She was inside a van about a mile away, watching the action on a night-vision monitor with a handful of backup agents. “Nine.”

Aleaha tensed. A few months ago, a big case had busted wide open and AIR had learned that otherworlders were traveling to Earth through interworld wormholes that initiated with solar flares. Then, a few weeks after that, another case had come to light. Members of a race of aliens known as the Schön had descended, their bodies carriers of a virus that passed to humans through their blood and ejaculate. This virus turned men and women into cannibals. Their queen—or living host of this sickness—was on her way here, due to arrive in the near future.