When Hawke nodded, Indigo said, “Ten-minute break,” in a tone she hoped sounded practical and nothing else, “then we reconvene. I’ll hunt down Drew.”
That proved to be child’s play. He opened the door to his room with a towel wrapped around his waist, his hair wet. “Indy.” Blinking water from his eyes, he stepped back and angled his head. “Come in. I was just about to throw some clothes on.”
Heat uncurled in her abdomen—because no matter how pissed she was at him, Andrew Kincaid made her fingers itch to touch. Smooth, gleaming skin, toned muscle, and those eyes that never lost the edge of wickedness. “You’re needed in the main conference room, five minutes.”
Heading back inside when she remained on the doorstep, he disappeared behind the door. “What about?”
“Falcons.” Her mind insisted on providing her with all sorts of salacious images as she heard the soft rasp of the towel leaving his body to pool on the floor, the rougher sound of him pulling on jeans—“Don’t be late,” she bit out and swiveled on her heel.
Andrew’s fingers clenched convulsively on the T-shirt in his grasp. She was still mad; that much was clear. And no matter that keeping her angry was part of his ultimate strategy, he had the violent urge to tug her close and kiss the anger right off her lips.
Of course, he thought, in her current mood the only thing that would get him was a nicely eviscerated chest. “Charm,” he muttered under his breath. “Don’t forget that—it’s all about charm. Stick to the plan.”
Pulling on the T-shirt, he laced up his sneakers and made his way to the conference room. “Nice to see everyone hard at work,” he said when he walked in to find them playing virtual poker.
There were a slew of responses to that, some rude, some friendly, but the game was cleared away in under a minute, with Alexei declared the winner. After the golden-haired lieutenant took a mock bow, Andrew—viscerally aware of Indigo’s silent presence on Hawke’s other side—laid out his impressions of the falcon wing.
“Good, strong unit,” he said. “Well drilled and trained to work together. The ancestors of the core group formed the wing prior to the Territorial Wars, so they’ve been around several hundred years.”
“Why aren’t they bigger in numbers by now?” Judd asked from his position at the far end of the table.
Hawke was the one who answered. “Birds tend to keep their wings small. I think it has to do with ensuring enough open sky, though I’ve heard they stay in close contact with other wings across the country.”
“Hawke’s right,” Andrew said, even as his wolf picked out Indigo’s scent from all the other threads in the room and rolled around in it like a pup. “I asked Adam, their wing leader, about that. He says their flight paths often overlap, so it makes sense to keep things pleasant. But the end result is that while WindHaven might not be huge, we ally with them, we gain access to a network of wings across the country.”
Cooper raised an eyebrow. “Nothing to sneeze at. So long as they can handle us.” A blunt truth. “Otherwise, the dominance issues will make a mess of things.”
Hawke rocked back in his chair, linking his hands behind his head. “Having dealt with Adam, and Jacques, his second, I don’t think that’s going to be a problem.”
“So we’re going to start the ball rolling?” Indigo’s voice, slicing through Andrew’s concentration with the ease of a razor.
“I’ll talk to DarkRiver,” Hawke said, “see if they have any further information, but yeah, I think we should take advantage of the opportunity.”
Andrew listened as Indigo went through a couple of other matters before ending the meeting. Her words were crisp, her commands clear, and her intelligence as sharp as a blade—there was no way in hell she was going to make this easy for him.
His wolf sat up in anticipation—he’d never wanted easy. He’d always wanted Indigo. And tomorrow, he’d have her all to himself, far from the den and the hierarchy . . . and the rules that she used to keep her own explosive response to him under vicious control. But he knew. He’d tasted it.
And he was going to make Indy admit it—even if he had to sneak in under her defenses using every dirty trick in the book. This was war. Who the hell cared about playing fair?
Councilor Nikita Duncan met Councilor Anthony Kyriakus outside a small house situated on the heavily forested edges of Tahoe, having driven herself there in a bland gray sedan with tinted windows. “Was this where your daughter lived while she was in the Net?” she asked Anthony when he pushed open the door.
Anthony’s black hair, silvered at the temples, lifted a fraction in the forest breeze as he answered. “Yes.” He nodded at the door. “Please.”
“Thank you.” As she entered, she took in everything about the place. The room immediately to her right may once have functioned as a living area, but was now an office/meeting room with a small table featuring a built-in computer panel and four chairs. “Does the F ability make an appearance every generation?” The NightStar Group’s grip on the market for foreseers was all but airtight.
“There are sporadic skips, but overall, yes,” he said, as they took their seats opposite each other. “It is the same in your family, is it not?”
Nikita answered because it was no secret—the “flawed” E designation was the Duncan family’s genetic millstone. “It tends to skip a generation.” Not quite the truth, but close enough that it would pass. “You know why I contacted you.” And why she’d done it away from the dark skies of the PsyNet.