Hunting Shadows

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Chapter 24

There was no sign of her on the iceberg and she didn’t respond when he called her name. Shaking the water off his coat, he leaped up the higher parts of the iceberg hoping to find a glimpse of her. Eryn’s cell vibrated on the table. You ok? The text from JB read and Jayson slammed his fist into the table, cracking it completely in half. The equipment crackled as it slid and crashed into each other.

Her head broke the surface of the water, gasping, she gulped air into her freezing lungs. Her entire body felt like lead as she paddled slowly toward the iceberg. Everything was numb from her fingertips to her bones. Breathing was difficult and she wanted to sleep. Jayson hauled her close, un-mindful of the shadow that watched the scene unfold. She coughed violently and spewed water until she was dry heaving. The cold arctic air bit into her skin, freezing in droplets on her lashes.

“I can’t believe how reckless you are! You could have died!”

She made a dismissive noise in the back of her throat and waved her hand away.

“If I were human and mortal, most likely; but I’m technically neither now, in case you haven’t noticed.”

“You’re lucky you didn’t die of hypothermia! You still have limits no matter how extraordinary you are!”

“Again, if I were human I would be dead a hundred times over. However, I’m not. And who are you to tell me what my limitations are?”

Matching him glare for glare. He snarled and she returned her gaze to the blizzard that was now pounding at the outside of his arctic cabin.

Once they had gotten off the iceberg, he immediately brought them to his arctic cabin and ran her a hot shower. Now they were sitting in the living room watching a fire and drinking hot chocolate. Jayson’s arctic cabin was nestled into a rock ledge that had formed over the course of hundreds of years. It was virtually impregnable and undetectable due to the location and the fact that it was in such a remote part of the world.

“Do you consciously take incredibly stupid risks that put your life in danger?”

“No… but the missions are dangerous in and of themselves.”

“Yes; but are you trying to get yourself killed?”

“God, you sound like JB; I’m not fragile, I don’t need protecting, and I’m not trying to kill myself.”

She snarled back at him, her eyes flashing yellow green and her canines extending. She wasn’t afraid of her animal side anymore; more like she was in better control of it. They stood nose to nose; each fiercely stubborn in their own way.

Fire blazed in his one good eye meanwhile his computerized eye just looked remote and dangerous. Like storm clouds gathering on the horizon; it made his expression no less frightening.

If she had been mortal and completely human, she would probably have been running for her life; as it was she merely glared at him.

“My life is my own. I don’t need you or anyone else to protect me, not from people, not from myself.”

He growled low and spun away from her; seething. The woman was incorrigibly stubborn. He stomped away to the training room downstairs hidden below the rest of the cabin. The wind and snow howled outside.

The wind reverberated through the ice cracking and shattering as the storm howled and raged outside. It had been a long half hour according to the clock above the mantel and still Jayson hadn’t returned.

She felt bad for quarrelling with him, but she didn’t like being told she needed protecting or that she was being stupidly reckless.

She could hear the repetitive hits of his fists against the punching bag. She had to admit, there was a part of her that really liked watching the fury roll off him while he beat the shit out of a punching bag.

A hand around his waist paused his motions mid-punch and he glanced back at the shorter girl who fired his temper and his lust. Her short spikey hair and strong will, glowing eyes and a fierce stubbornness; who was now trailing light teasing kisses along his bare shoulders.

Turning around in her arms he bent his head and captured her lips. She melted against him as his strong arms enveloped her. Picking her up, he brought her to the more comfortable training mat in the far corner. His hands roamed over her body, cupping and kneading her breasts while he plundered her mouth. She moaned in pleasure against his mouth as she ran her hands over his back, dragging her nails against his skin.

He shuddered as his adrenaline rose and spears of pleasure spiked through his veins. Bringing his knee up between her legs, he could already feel the moisture pooling there.

“I’m sorry for fighting with you. You’re right I shouldn’t be so reckless.”

She mumbled through kisses and pleasure. He slipped his hands lower until he was stroking her, grinning as he elicited more sounds of pleasure from her. She squirmed under his masterful touch and she screamed his name when he dipped his head down to lick and suckle her. An hour and a half later they finished in the shower and were making coffee. The storm had blown itself out sometime during the night.

“I’m sorry for over reacting as well. It wasn’t right.”

“Fine, so now that we have almost all the pieces what’s the plan of action?”

“You just don’t give up, do you? Right now, the plan is to go home, rest up for a few days, gather the boys and then go to war again.”

“It’s amazing how caustic you can be when you explain things so simply.”

He chuckled flipping the bacon in the pan over. She was still sitting on the counter watching him in her bathrobe. The smell of bacon frying was making her mouth salivate, and panther in her raised its sleepy, satiated head in response.

“No, but seriously what is the plan?”

“We’ll head home, regroup and get the last piece of jewelry off Ace. You know this is probably going to start a war between the Blades and the Armies of the Night, again don’t you?”

“Unless he doesn’t know it’s gone…”

“What are you talking about?”

“What if we made a replica of it?”

“A replica of a vampire made weapon? How do you propose we do that? The materials alone were not found on earth…”

“No, I mean what if we made a look-a-like of the ring, slipped it off his finger and replaced it with the look-a-like, and then get out of there before he even knew what was going on.”

Jayson sighed deeply and plated the bacon, taking a long drink of his coffee before answering.

“The plan has merit, I’ll admit that… but at the same time it would be a suicide mission for the person who attempted it. I’m not willing to risk the lives of my men just to get the final piece of the vampire weapon. In case you hadn’t forgotten, once all the pieces are together it’ll form a weapon that will obliterate life; Human and vampire alike.”

“So, what you’re saying is that it’s better to leave the ring with Ace, and not start a war.”

“That’s exactly what I’m saying.”

“Alright then; we’ll look for something else instead.”

“You don’t quit, do you?”

“Nope, always onto the next adventure.”

She grinned, a hint of crazed, manic excitement in her eyes.

Katrina waited patiently outside while they packed everything up and loaded it into the helicopter. For a few days things were good between them, the sex was amazing and training was going better than expected. But in the weeks following coming home she noticed certain things, Jayson seemed more on edge than usual and more often, he would lock himself away in his study saying he had to find out about something.

She knew a war was coming between the Blades and the Armies of the Night, but at the same time, she thought he would at least include her in the plans.

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