Priceless(Rylee Adamson #1)(18) by Shannon Mayer
In an attempt to take his mind, and better yet the mind between his legs, off her and to gain back some control, he flicked on the TV. And there he was in full living colour, a wanted man, armed and dangerous, charged with gunning down his own partner and possibly kidnapping one Rylee Adamson.
“Ah crap,” he muttered, turning the TV up slightly, the clear voice of the female news anchor making his ears buzz. All he could see was that as beautiful as she was, there was no comparison to his girl.
Everything around him froze. His girl?
Sweat beaded on his forehead as he tried desperately to make sense of what was happening to him. Bullets swerving, magic spells and werewolves? It sounded like a bad joke at a geek convention.
He lay back on the bed and closed his eyes. Adamson thought she had a cure for what ailed him. A part of him hoped she did. The other very vocal part wanted nothing to do with any sort of a cure. For the first time in his life, passion overruled his better senses and, though logically he knew it, surprisingly it wasn’t bothering him as much as it should have.
Eyes closed, he could see her clear as day, smiling up at him; he tasted her lips under his, watched those amazing eyes light up just for him.
“I am in so much trouble,” he said softly.
From the bathroom came an unexpected reply from Alex. “You’s in trouble.”
Yes, when even a werewolf could see you were sinking fast, it had to be bad.
Lugging three grocery bags back up to the room, I stumbled when the door opened for me.
O’Shea had his shirt un-buttoned and his hair was a mess. “Alex heard you coming.”
The werewolf had not listened to me and was even now sitting on the window seat staring out at the traffic below.
“Alex, stay away from the window.”
He slumped and slid to the floor in a comical move that left him half sitting, half resting against the chair. I bit back the smile as I took in his chagrined face.
I wasn’t surprised Alex alerted O’Shea.
“Come on, Agent. Let’s get you into the bath.” I held up the plastic bags and jiggled them. “Then we’ve got to get out of here. If you can find me that easy, the pack won’t be far behind if they’re tracking us, and close behind the pack may be those little lovelies who locked me in the cellar and killed your partner.”
I started the bath, the scent of wet dog lingering even with the bathroom fan on. Running the water on full hot, I poured six large containers of salt into the tiny tub. Looking over my shoulder, I considered the options. There weren’t any others. If we were going to break the spell on O’Shea, he was going to have to cram his overlarge frame into the standard-sized hotel bath. Tight fit was an understatement; it would be like jamming a werewolf into a Chihuahua’s winter sweater.
“Come on, in you go.” I gestured to the tub.
A smile quirked across O’Shea’s lips. Very slowly, he started to peel out of his clothes.
“Clothes on big man,” I said. “The spell hit those too, and since we don’t have spare clothes in your size, everything’s getting dunked. The only thing we have to be grateful for is that it seems to have some sort of delay on it; otherwise, the spell would’ve had you in its grip far sooner.”
His smile slipped, and I wondered at the thoughts whipping through that head of his without his usual control to keep things in line. I had a feeling he was going to be a mighty grouchy man when the spell was taken off him and he remembered how he’d been acting toward me.
I laughed out loud at the thought. “I mean it, all of you in there.” I pointed at the tub, which seemed to be shrinking by the moment with O’Shea standing there beside it.
With some difficulty, he squished into the nearly scalding water, a long hiss erupting out of him.
“Too hot?” I kept my face a mask of innocence.
“No, I like it.” Again his eyes roved over me. Buggers, maybe he really did have a thing for me. Nope, best not to go down that route; too dangerous by far.
“You need to soak for at least ten minutes, make sure you dunk your head. We’ll put your shoes in after.” I stepped out into the main room.
While I waited for O’Shea, I started to go through the list of mineshafts Kyle sent me. There were four, as Kyle said, and one was cemented, so that was a no go. Which left only three to consider. One of those three fell short of the two hundred feet by six inches. But if there was one thing I’d learned, it was if a Shaman said two hundred feet or better, they meant it in a very literal sense.
I stared at the last two mineshafts, my gut clenching as the details became clear. One was relatively new, only fifty or so years old, and there were ongoing happenings around it, including a still active mine with employees working there on shift 24/7.
The other was pretty much out in the middle of nowhere; the closest town and actual road was over sixty miles away from it. Not to mention—I flipped the page to make sure I was getting the facts right—it was closer to two hundred and fifty feet and was about to be capped as several people had fallen into it over the last few years. Kyle sent me a newspaper clipping on the last victim of the mineshaft fall. “The body was so badly mangled that the coroner repeatedly questioned the rescuers on the location of the body. He stated that it looked like some of the wounds had not been inflicted by the fall itself, but by some other source.”
Interesting they didn’t actually mention what the other source of wounds might be.
Alex let out a fart and rolled over, his tongue lolling out in a toothy grin.
I opened the window with a grimace and, as I turned back to the bed, a soggy, grumpy agent stormed out of the bathroom.
“My clothes are ruined,” he snarled.
“Ooh, now that was the O’Shea I’d been missing,” I said, shrugged and continued. “Better that than having you strip tease for me and putting the clothes in after.”
His face slowly turned red and the veins running up the side of his neck pulsed, but he said nothing.
I smirked and enjoyed the momentary silence. It didn’t last long.
“You said you’d explain everything,” he said, his eyes hard and flinty. He was not a happy agent.
Alex jumped up and looked out the window as I started to give O’Shea the rundown. Witches, Daywalkers, werewolves, and Ogres. Just to start. He dried his hair with a towel, which gave it a very, very sexy rumpled look.
Sexy? Who said that? I caught the turn of my thoughts before they could get me into trouble. Damn, but it was sexy. His hair was still damp, and the moisture caught the little bit of light coming through the window. He leaned back and ran one hand through his hair, his bicep flexing under the wet cloth of his shirt. I scrambled back, blinking. Maybe I’d got some of the spell on me? Like when he’d me pinned up against the wall in the elevator, or thrown me over his shoulder. I was only “mostly” immune to magic. Some of it could stick. Damn, this was not the time to have my immunity fail me.
Problem was, being a supernatural myself, when I did get some sort of spell on me, I was way more susceptible to it than others. Almost like an allergy. What made O’Shea horny was about to send me over the deep end of whoredom. I was about to make Milly look like the Virgin Mary. Crap. I tried to sidle past him to the bathroom, but all I could think about was how I’d kissed him the other day, the sharp tang of mint on his tongue, how his body felt holding me against the wall.
“This is bad,” I whispered, my hand reaching for his hair as I struggled to make it to the bathroom without pouncing on him.
“What’s your issue now?” He grumped at me, the deep bass of his voice giving me chills in a not unpleasant way, his dark eyes glaring at me. Never in all the years he’d tried to pin Berget’s death on me had I thought him attractive. Of course, I’d hated him with a passion, and it would have been impossible for me to see past that.
I clenched my jaw, pulled my fingers back and ran the last few steps into the bathroom, slamming the door behind me. My body shook with the need to feel him against me, skin on skin. I let out a low groan and sat on the edge of the tub, relishing the unfamiliar sensations rippling through me. A sex life was just not something I’d engaged in. Too dangerous to get close to people, not to mention messy as hell. But this, as much as it was a spell, was in its own way, safe.
Striping down, I could imagine his hands roving my body as he undressed me, kissing his way down to my navel, and then dipping lower. Again, I let out a groan; let my fingers caress the skin of my belly and imagined it was his lips.
“Adamson,” the door creaked open. “Are you hurt?”
“Oh, f**k me,” I whispered, meaning it whole-heartedly. I was half-naked and he was coming in, his body filling up the space in the tiny bathroom. I gripped the edge of the tub, my shirt on the floor, bra undone and pants unzipped. His breath caught; I heard it a split second before I lifted my eyes to his.
Tension filled the small room and he shut the door behind him. “Put your clothes on.” There was a definite crack in that voice.
I stood and stepped toward him. “What are you going to do if I don’t? Handcuff me?”
I looked up at him now, brazen with the spell working fast and hard on me, wishing he’d do the same. Even knowing it was a spell, my brain screaming at me that I didn’t even like O’Shea, never mind want to bed him, I couldn’t seem to stop.
Running one finger up the damp shirt clinging to his ribs, I said, “Is that what you’re going to do? Handcuff me?”
“The same spell has you, doesn’t it?”
I shrugged and smiled up at him, running my tongue over my lips. “Maybe.”
He swallowed hard. “Into the tub.”
“Only if you come with me.” I leaned forward. Just a little closer and I could almost taste that minty flavour of his mouth. A shiver rippled the length of my body as the heat between us spiked, my skin prickling with anticipation. “Touch me, please.” I wanted his hands on me so badly I didn’t care if I begged.
Putting his hands on my shoulders, he started to set me back toward the bath, his mouth a tight line. A smile curved my lips into what I knew was a sultry twist, one I’d seen Milly turn many a man’s head with.