Hand shaky, Estap picked up the phone and dialed.


Jaxon didn’t try to stop him. He knew what was coming.

A moment later Estap gritted out, “You are to kill Agent Jaxon Tremain. Do you hear me? Cut his f**king throat!” He slammed the phone back in its cradle and smiled darkly. “Like her now, Agent? Next time you see her will be your last.”

“Afraid to take me yourself?”

Scowling, color returning, Estap slapped a finger against a black button at the corner of his desk. The doors opened, and the guards stepped inside. “Get him out of here. Don’t touch him, don’t even bruise him. His precious Le’Ace will do that for us.”

CHAPTER 22

Three days. Jaxon had been gone for three days. And after Estap’s call, that couldn’t be good. Could it?

Where is he? Le’Ace wondered for, what, the thousandth time?

Four hundred and ninety-seventh time, actually.

Oh, shut the hell up!

She hadn’t wanted to, but she’d stayed away from Nolan. Because Jaxon had asked her to. His friends were breathing down her neck—literally—and Nolan called her every day. Every day she put him off. The otherworlder was getting nervous, probably thinking she meant to betray him. She did, but still.

If he fled…Her hands curled into fists.

He won’t. Eden and Lucius were his new shadows, following his every move. Not that he left the apartment much. Visible, that is. Besides, Jaxon would return soon. Wouldn’t he?

Jaxon. Damn it. Where was he?

Four hundred and ninety-eight.

Her nails bit into the calloused skin on her palm. She’d assumed the phone call Jaxon had received all those days ago had come from his friends, so she hadn’t eavesdropped. She hadn’t wanted to hear what the little shits had to say about her. But all of his friends were here, with her.

She’d allowed them to lock her up in their safe house, thinking she could win them over. Not going to happen, she’d soon realized. Mia accused her “good behavior” of being faked to lower their guards.

I just want Jaxon.

His friends didn’t know where he was, either, and they enjoyed taunting her with the fact that they could track him but weren’t going to. He’d asked for privacy, and they trusted him.

Like her, they were giving him whatever he wanted.

Le’Ace wasn’t sure how much more worry she could withstand, however.

Mia, who had recovered supernaturally fast from her injuries, loved to stomp into this dreary cell and tell her that Jaxon was too good for her. Kyrin always hovered behind her, glaring at Le’Ace as if he wanted to kill her. Dallas loved to visit, too. He would look at her, never speaking but studying her, as if trying to work something out in his mind.

The other two agents, Eden and Lucius, brought her food but never stayed to chat. Devyn, the Targon king, brought her sexy lingerie that she refused to wear and always stayed to chat. He liked to talk about sex: his favorite positions, what a fantastic lover he was and would be if she’d just say yes.

Egotistical beast that he was, he always managed to amuse her.

Le’Ace sighed and fell back on her cot. A white ceiling glared down at her. She could have broken out of this room at any time. Disabled the ID pad, busted the walls, called Estap for backup. But she’d hadn’t. She continued to wait. And wait.

Jaxon, where are you?

Four hundred and ninety-nine.

Enough!

Estap, that bastard! For whatever reason, he now wanted her to kill Jaxon. Three days ago, he’d called, demanding her to oversee the agent’s assassination. She’d told the agents, and they’d accused her of lying to send them on a wild chase, entrapping them somehow.

Their distrust raked her nerves raw.

Very soon she was going to tire of staying here. She was going to leave, and they wouldn’t be able to stop her. At least, she tried to soothe her frustration by telling herself that. Where was Jaxon? Estap hadn’t followed up to check and see if she’d obeyed, and he hadn’t hurt her with the chip for not reporting her success. Odd. Why?

She’d always wondered what she’d do if ever ordered to slay someone she loved. Now she knew. Take any punishment, however severe, for disobeying. She would not, could not hurt Jaxon in any way. He’s my man.

She needed to warn him of the impending danger. Estap was not an easy enemy to have.

What if Estap had already eliminated him?

Before a panic attack could spring to life, Le’Ace—no, I’m Mishka—Mishka forced herself to calm. Jaxon was strong, courageous, and well able to take care of himself. He was smarter than Estap, a fighter to his very soul.

Jaxon would soon return. And then, yes then, she would make sure the senator met with an unfortunate “accident.” Maybe he’d slip into a wood chipper. Maybe he’d catch Nolan’s disease. Who knew? Death was so unpredictable.

“What are you smiling about?”

At the sound of Mia’s voice, Le’Ace stiffened. She rolled to her side, tucked her hands under her cheek, and stared over at her nemesis. Mia leaned against the door frame, casual in black leather and an invisible cloak of confidence. Her black hair was pulled back in a tight ponytail.

As always, Kyrin was in the hall, waiting behind her like a guardian angel. He was tall with white hair and beautiful violet eyes. He reminded her of Jaxon in a lot of ways. Quiet strength, banked power. Wholly seductive.

“Let me save you the trouble of telling me why you’re here,” Le’Ace said. “I’m not good enough for Jaxon. He deserves someone better. He’s changed since meeting me, and not for the better. Does that cover everything?”

The pretty agent’s nostrils flared. “I don’t know why I expected you to care that you’ve made him into something harder, more cynical.”

“You mean someone with a smart mouth who doesn’t let you walk all over him? Did you ever think that maybe Jaxon had never showed you the real him? That I helped free him?” The moment she spoke, Le—Mishka, I’m Mishka now, remember?—realized the truth of her words. She had helped him. Less and less he donned that falsely polite mask. Less and less he sought to hide the complex man he truly was. “Well?”

Mia’s lips pressed together in a mulish line.

“Can we at least try to get along?” she suggested. “For Jaxon’s sake?”

“No,” was the instant reply.

“Like it or not, I’m part of his life right now. And I’m not the woman you once knew.”

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