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.He stared down at her, caught for a moment in the depths of her incredible sapphire eyes.They gleamed.Little pinpoints of brilliant light seemed to fill the dark color, like stars on a blue velvet background.Incredible."Thank you." He finally forced the words past his lips."For the coffee and the bread."She swallowed tightly.The scent of her wrapped around him—a nervous, uncertain smell of arousal that had his chest filling with a sudden, animalistic growl.He throttled the sound firmly, clenching his teeth as he backed away from her."You're welcome." She cleared her throat after the words came out with a husky, sexy tone of nervousness.Dammit, he didn't have time for such complications.He had a job to do.One that didn't include a woman he knew would run screaming from him if she had any idea of who and what he was.She had wrapped the loaves and set them out on the counter by the door for him.He jerked his boots on quickly and picked up the bread, opening the door before turning back to her."If you need any help." He shrugged fatalistically."If there's anything I can do for you…" He let the words trail off.What could he do for her besides complicate her life and make her regret ever meeting him? There was little."Just stay away from my yard with your gadgets." Her eyes flowed with humor."At least until you learn how to use them." The woman evidently had no respect for a man's pride.A grin lilted his lips."I promise."He turned and left the house, regretfully, hating it.There was a warmth within the walls of her home that didn't exist within his own, and it left him feeling unaccountably saddened to leave.What was it about her, about her house, that his suddenly seemed so lacking?He shook his head, pushed his free hand into his jeans pocket, and made his way across her neatly trimmed backyard to his own less-than-pristine lawn.And his less-than-content life.Chapter ThreeA cold winter rain fell, not quite ice, but close enough to chill Tarek's flesh as he stood in the shadows of his porch late that night.He wasn't certain what had awakened him.But something had.He had come instantly alert, his senses rioting, the tiny, almost imperceptible hairs raising along his body as he slid from the bed and dressed quietly.Now he stood within the concealing darkness, staring around the backyard, his eyes probing the night as his unique vision aided him in seeing through the moonless night.In his hand he carried a powerful ultralight submachine pistol.It rested at the side of his leg as his opposite thigh held the weight of the lethal knife tucked securely in the scabbard he had strapped there.The hairs along the back of his neck prickled, warning him that he wasn't alone in the darkness.His eyes scanned his yard and then turned to Lyra's.Her upstairs lights were on; every few minutes he could see her pace past her bedroom window.She needed heavier curtains.Something hardened in his chest, became heavy at the thought that whatever stalked the darkness could be a threat to her.His jaw tightened as he lifted his head, drawing in the scents surrounding him, and quickly, automatically separating them.Something was out there; he knew it, and he should be able to smell it.It made no sense that the answers he sought weren't on the air around him.He could smell the scent of Lyra's brothers.They had shown up that evening, carrying bread when they left.Damn their hides.He had considered mugging them for one insane minute.He could smell the lumber they brought, sitting in her backyard, and the smell of charcoal on the air from the steaks they had grilled for dinner.But there was no scent of an intruder.He flexed his shoulders, knowing the rain could be distilling the smell, knowing he was going to have to venture into it and hating the thought.He moved silently from the porch, careful to stay in the shadow of the small trees he had taken the time to have planted before he moved in.Most were firs of some type, evergreens that never lost their concealing foliage.They were spaced at just the right distance to provide the concealment he needed as he made his way along the perimeters of his property.There.He stopped at the far corner, lifting his head to breathe in roughly, feeling the rain against his face, the ice forming in the sodden length of his hair.But there was the scent he was searching for, and it was on Lyra's property.He turned his head, and his eyes narrowed, searching for movement that wasn't there, yet the scent of it was nearly overpowering [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]