Judd’s eyes were midnight when he pulled back. “She’s stronger than all of us.”
The words circled in Hawke’s mind long after Judd left, but they didn’t make his decision any easier to swallow. He was about to send a young woman, his woman, into a hot zone.
JUDD needed his mate with a ferocity bordering on insanity. All but dragging her from her workspace in the tech core of the den, he pulled her into their bedroom and pinned her to the wall. She gasped into his kiss but cooperated when he tore off her clothes, when he opened the front of his jeans and lifted her up by the thighs.
Too fast, too fast, his mind warned. Gritting his teeth, he tried to slow down.
The whisper was a soft, hot breath against his ear. “It’s okay, it’s okay. Come inside me.”
“Brenna.” Thrusting into the tight, wet heat of her in a single hard push, he shuddered.
Her nails dug into his back, her legs wrapped around his waist, and her mouth, it took his, holding him safe as he surrendered to the searing depth of his need for her.
Afterward, as they lay on the futon, he told her everything. “I wish I could protect her from this, but if we don’t give her an outlet, it’ll lead to a dangerous level of frustration.”
Brenna drew patterns on his chest with a fingertip. “We women are tougher than you men realize.” Propping herself up on one elbow beside him, she braced her cheek on her hand. “She doesn’t need that kind of protection anymore—you’re giving her what she needs; support to live her life.”
“I haven’t interfered, but this thing with Hawke . . . I don’t know if she’s ready.”
“Sweetheart, no woman’s ever going to be ready for Hawke.” It was the driest of statements as she leaned in to press an affectionate kiss to his jaw. “But from what I can see, she’s holding her own.”
Her words, her touch, it anchored him, settled him. “I need you,” he said to her, this woman who’d fought for her own right to live her life free of limits, “to build me some remote detonation devices.”
Amazing brown eyes shot with blue peering into his as she pressed her nose to his. “You always say the most romantic things.”
His laughter came from deep within, tangled with her own, as his mate cupped his cheek and took him with a tenderness that made him her slave.
RECOVERED FROM COMPUTER 2(A) TAGS: PERSONAL CORRESPONDENCE, FATHER, E-PSY, ACTION REQUIRED BUT NOT COMPLETED4
FROM: Alice <[email protected]
TO: Dad <[email protected]
DATE: December 11th, 1973 at 11:23pm
SUBJECT: re: Silence
Yes, this idea of Silence disturbs me, too. It’s why I’ve been so leery of trusting the Psy archivist with my conclusions—there are certain worrisome undercurrents in the Psy population at the moment. But the good news is that one of my Es has agreed to do some “undercover” scouting for me, and you know I would trust an empath with anything. He says that what I posit should be easy to see. If he finds what I expect him to find, then I’ll have to figure out how to test the theory.
Going back to Silence—George is a telepath, as you know, and a more emotional man I have yet to meet. But even he says that sometimes he wishes the voices would be silent. My Xs are all in favor of it, and I can’t say I’m surprised.
Have you spoken of it with your Psy colleagues?
P.S. Don’t think I’ve forgotten your birthday. I have a surprise up my sleeve.
SIENNA SAT ON a quiet spot overlooking the lake several hours after nightfall. It had shocked her when Judd told her about the upcoming op—but not because she couldn’t do it. The exercise would be relatively free from danger given the strength of her shields and the fact that she could debilitate anyone who threatened her. Of course, contact was to be avoided at all costs, their objective being to get in and out without being detected.
Soft warmth covered her shoulders.
Startled, she turned to see Hawke. It was his jacket he’d put over her shoulders. “We didn’t get to play our game.” The part of her that had never had a chance to be a child was bitterly disappointed.
He sat down with one hand braced on the ground behind her, their bodies close enough that they touched hip to thigh . . . more. “It’ll keep.”
Unwilling to let it go at that, she held out a fist. “Ready?”
“You’re going to attempt to beat me up with that puny hand?” Complete disbelief. “Okay, I’ll pretend it hurts.”
She would not laugh. To do so would only feed his arrogance. “Try again.”
Frowning, he held out his own larger fist, smiled. “One, two, three!”
“Rock beats scissors.” It was impossible to restrain her smirk.
A very wolfish look. “Best of three.”
She held out a hand, called the countdown. Found her paper being cut by the scissors. Laughing at the playful way he pretended to chop at her, she made a fist again. “Last one.”
They moved their hands in unison.
Hawke grinned at the result. “Well, there are people who say we both have rocks in our heads, so I guess that’s apropos.”
“Speak for yourself.” But she curled her hand back inside his jacket, luxuriating in the dark masculinity of his scent. “Judd told me about South America.” A silent question hidden behind the statement.
“We need to discuss that.” No longer any humor in his voice. “I need to be certain you’re not only onboard with this, but capable of doing it.”