Jaxton looked down at Kiarra, curled up against his chest, and realized he was in trouble.
When Kiarra had refused to tell him what had caused her distress, he’d wanted to shake it out of her. She should be able to tell him anything, and it didn’t sit well with him that she hadn’t.
Couple that with his possessiveness in the pub and the kiss they’d just shared, which had set his blood on fire in a way no kiss had before, and Jaxton couldn’t d
eny it—he not only wanted her, he cared for her.
Jaxton entered his room and laid Kiarra on his bed. After tucking her under the covers, he brushed the hair from her forehead. She looked so young and innocent when she was asleep. The innocence on her face matched her childlike interest in the world. He remembered her eyes from when they’d first arrived in Edinburgh this morning and wished he could look at the world in the same open amazement.
Maybe he needed Kiarra’s influence. Jaxton was skeptical of just about everything.
If she was a Fire Talent, she would need protection until she could control her powers and combine it with the other three Talents. Once word got out about her elemental abilities, others would be drawn to her then, especially those with latent abilities. But he was, and would always be, her first protector. He would be the one to decide who was qualified and loyal enough to make up her personal guard.
Until then, he was going to continue to train her, take care of her, and help her heal.
He pulled up a chair, took off his shoes, and propped his feet on the bed. Tomorrow, after training with Kiarra in the morning, they’d start looking for Sinclair’s hangouts and acquaintances. Kiarra needed to feel more included, and Jaxton needed to learn to trust her.
He adjusted his still semi-hard cock and hoped he could control himself around her. Unlike with most women, one taste of Kiarra wasn’t nearly enough. But the last thing he wanted to do was scare her by making a move before she was ready.
Especially since the memories that had made her freeze tonight might still haunt her in the morning. No matter what state she was in, he would do everything in his power to coax out the real Kiarra. She was still his trainee, and as much as he wanted to rip off her clothes and pound into her wet heat, he needed to make sure she stayed alive. That meant duty above his own desires.
Of course, if she ever showed that she was ready and willing, he wouldn’t back down until she was naked in his arms.
Not only did Millie have a pounding headache, she could only wiggle her arms and legs a few inches.
She was strapped to a hospital bed.
She’d regained consciousness a few minutes ago and was trying to patch together exactly what had happened. This wasn’t the first scrape she’d had, and it wouldn’t be her last. The key was to keep a cool head and not fall prey to emotion.
Once Jaxton had escorted Kiarra out of The Last Drop, Millie had stayed behind, socializing with people in the pub while she waited for her target. She’d also tried to find out why Dominik and Petra Brandt had suddenly appeared. The fraternal twins were honest-to-goodness mercenaries and had caused Millie a problem or two in the past.
From what she’d heard, Dominik and Petra focused mostly on “acquisitions,” which was just another word for kidnapping. That knowledge had set off warning bells in Millie’s head since Kiarra was a runaway first-born. The Brandt twins had never worked for the AMT before, but Millie hadn’t been willing to chance Kiarra’s safety.
After Jaxton had left with Kiarra, Millie had kept up a cheery, boisterous façade, working the room to find out all she could. At some point, while waiting for her target, she’d ended up at a table with a trio of Americans. The last thing she remembered was having a lager with the Yanks, and since Millie could usually drink people under the table, it meant that someone must’ve slipped something into her drink when she wasn’t looking.
Knowing what she did of Petra Brandt, Millie would bet money that the German had found a way to drug her. She’d underestimated Petra’s skills and wouldn’t be making that mistake again.
More concerned with learning from her mistakes than dwelling on them, Millie switched gears and looked around the room she was in. It was filled with medical equipment, but the setup was unlike any of the NHS hospital rooms Millie had seen in Britain. Noticing the two-way observation glass, Millie reckoned that it was a research facility.
Or it could be an information extraction room.
She focused on the straps around her arms and legs, moving to see how much give they had. The straps were only cloth, but after moving her legs around some more, Millie could tell they’d confiscated the knife strapped to her inner thigh.
While inconvenient, being weaponless was not the worst thing in the world. She might be able to convince her captors that they needed her help. Or construct a situation that would require them to undo her straps. Either way, she needed to meet said captors before she could come up with a plan.
She heard a door open on the far side of the room before bright light flooded in from the outside, silhouetting a male figure. The man walked inside and shut the door, careful to keep his face obscured by the shadows in the room. When he spoke, his words echoed, telling her that the room wasn’t that large.
“You’re going to tell your brother that you are alive and well, but nothing else. No details of this location, about me, or anything you found out last night at the pub.”
She noted his accent was from the South of England, yet a little off, and tucked that tidbit of information away. “Who are you?’
The man shifted, but she still couldn’t see his head. “That doesn’t matter. Do you understand the instructions I gave you? And more importantly, will you follow them?”
“I heard you, but…” Millie’s voice died in her throat. She wanted to ask why she should follow them, but the compulsion to answer him in the affirmative made her uneasy.
“Good. And no secret messages either. Do you understand?”