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Ellora's Cavemen: Tales from the Temple IV (4 page)

BOOK: Ellora's Cavemen: Tales from the Temple IV
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She’d seen this large steel door one other time when Mac had shown her the getaway route. She turned the lever doorknob and it clicked easily, then opened. With confidence she slipped through the door and into the lighted tunnel. Then she remembered she needed a weapon. She dashed back into the office and grabbed the heavier stapler off of Mac’s desk and hefted it in her left hand for weight. Bulky, but it would inflect sizable damage if needed.

Within seconds she stepped into a private tunnel about four feet wide and seven feet tall. She turned to the left, well aware it went to another secret panel that led to the outer hallway and freedom. She grinned. Wouldn’t Conall be surprised?

21

Denise A. Agnew

Chapter Three

Conall gritted his teeth until his jaw ached as he traversed down the hall. The thrill of the chase built inside him. He took the hunt seriously, and locking Evelyn in the office was necessary even if she would be pissed. He smiled. Desperate circumstances called for desperate measures. The little wench would have followed him into danger otherwise.

His gut clenched at the idea of Evelyn in harm’s way. He wished he possessed more time to explore his attraction to her. He imagined how she’d feel, her tight, snug body squeezing his cock.

Groaning, he pushed thoughts of fucking her to the back of his mind and scanned the area for a menace.

He peered into the dim emergency lighting. He prowled down another corridor, allowing his exceptional senses to track his prey. It wouldn’t be long now. His body felt light, springy, and ready for battle. The next screech made every hair on his body stand on end.

Hellfire and damnation.

Though he’d lived a long time, he’d never forget the scream of this particular threat.

Before he crossed an intersection of corridors, the blue-caped figure swooped down the hallway and hovered near the ceiling. Her long, dark hair flapped in an unseen and unfelt breeze.

Ah, hell.

How could anything so fucking beautiful be so deadly?

Her wail of abject sorrow came again from her open mouth as she hovered at the hallway junction. Her arms hung at her sides, her feet dangled. Her gaze, demon-dark and fierce, locked with his. The woman’s cape and hair continued to flutter, as did the drab brown dress hanging to her ankles. He took in her porcelain-fine features and sparkling smile. Oh, yes. Many a hunter such as himself had come in contact with this woman’s seductive allure. But he wouldn’t fall for her treacherous charm.

She started to drift toward him inch by inch. Despite her tentative progress, he knew she could move fast.

Suddenly she drowned the hallway in a shriek of grief. He winced.

“Back to the other dimension, my love,” he said. “This is no place for you.”

Before he could make a move, he heard a noise behind him and whirled.

“Holy cow!” Evelyn said.

22

Night Scream

She stood in the hallway brandishing a different stapler from the one she had earlier. This one looked bigger and more lethal. What the hell? Did she own a damned stapler collection?

He turned back toward the more deadly of the two women, but fired back at Evelyn, “Damn it to hell, I thought I locked you away for safekeeping?”

Evelyn couldn’t believe her eyes as she took in the bizarre apparition hovering in the hallway. She shivered in abject horror, caught between acceptance and total disbelief. More startling was the angelic face on the creature, a sweet, almost childlike prettiness.

Evelyn stayed riveted to the spot, clutching the stapler tightly.

“Who is that?” Evelyn asked. “
What
is that?”

He didn’t get a chance to explain. The floating woman burst into action.

And so did Conall.

Evelyn cringed as the woman screamed. The creature’s pristine features metamorphosed into a sneering countenance with blood-red eyes and a mouth filled to capacity with razor-sharp teeth.

“Oh, shit!” Evelyn held her stapler up, wishing she had a gun.

The flying woman and Conall collided midair. As they fell, tangling on the floor, the woman screamed and screamed. Seconds later, Conall flung the woman against the ceiling with tremendous force. He jumped to his feet just as the creature came crashing down in the spot where he’d just been. Conall stood over her, his hands clenched into fists and his breathing heavy.

The bizarre creature floated upward toward the ceiling again, but he didn’t stop her. Her long-fingered hands curled like claws as she glared at Conall and charged.

Conall leapt into the air, his right foot coming up as he landed a kick right in the middle of the creature’s chest.

Evelyn watched in horrified fascination as the female sailed backward through the air for what seemed forever down the long hallway until she thudded against the back wall. The woman’s horrible cries escalated as she fell to the floor. Without hesitation, she hurdled back into the air, sailing down the hall at tremendous pace.

Again Conall moved so fast she couldn’t see him, his body a blur. The flying woman tumbled to the floor as she missed her target, then she blipped out of existence, nowhere to be seen.

Conall materialized, his face rimmed with sweat, his fists clenched at his sides. An icy sensation rolled through Evelyn starting from her stomach upward, like an artic blast from the depths of a frozen wasteland. While she feared the creature, she wondered where in Hades Conall had gotten his powers. His eyes burned yellow, their beautiful color obscured by the fire. She didn’t know whether to be scared of him or totally turned on by his stunning display of male muscles and supernatural fighting skill.

23

Denise A. Agnew

Stunned and breathing hard, Evelyn asked, “What
was
that thing?”

“A banshee.”

“You’re kidding.”

“No, I’m not kidding. We’ll talk about it when this is over. In the meantime, keep your eyes open—”

In a burst of speed, the being rematerialized between Conall and Evelyn and careened straight down the hall toward Evelyn. Evelyn didn’t have time to do more than gasp and take a few steps backwards.

The banshee hit Evelyn so hard the stapler almost flew out of her hands. Evelyn landed with a thud on her back, pain startling a grunt from her.

As the creature hovered over her, Evelyn let out a determined battle cry and swung.

“Take this, you bitch!”

With a dull thunk, the stapler clonked the banshee in the temple. The banshee’s eyes widened, then rolled up as she fell on her back with a sigh.

Conall stood over the banshee and uttered words in a language Evelyn had never heard before. The unconscious banshee started to dissolve.

“My God,” Evelyn said.

As if heralding the banshee’s last gasp, thunder rattled the complex. A few seconds later the banshee’s body evaporated like a wisp of smoke, as if she’d never existed.

Conall smiled at Evelyn. “Damned if that stapler didn’t flatten the bitch. It gave me enough time to use the incantation. She needed to be unconscious before it would work.”

Evelyn stared up at Conall. “What did you say to make her disappear?”

“It’s Irish Gaelic. A quick spell to send the banshee back to the realm where she came from.”

“Why on earth was the banshee even here?”

Conall sighed. “Apparently she became attached to an Irish agent who recently transferred here and then was killed in the line of duty. She’s been lamenting his death the last two weeks. Mac called me in to find a way to eliminate her.”

Incredulous, she shook her head. “She was in love with an agent?”

He winked. “Hey, the world is full of bloody weird love stories. I guess this was one of them.”

She laughed, then moaned when she realized she hurt all over.

Conall drew Evelyn up to her feet and into his arms. His arms tucked her close, his gaze searching for damage. “Are you hurt?”

“No,” she said between pants for breath. She trembled with adrenaline and leftover fear. “I’m super.”

24

Night Scream

He grinned, worry leaving his expression. “I’ll say you are. Maybe I was wrong about you not being agent material. All my powers and I couldn’t take the banshee down but you did it with a fucking stapler.”

She gave him a cheeky smile, a renewal of energy sparking inside her. She trembled with a mixture of relief and gratification, and she snuggled closer into his arms.

“Thanks. What do we do now?”

“Call Mac. He needs to come down here and see that we’ve kicked banshee ass.”

* * * * *

As Mac Tudor stared at Conall and her, Evelyn wondered if a tongue-lashing would follow the full report on the banshee’s demise.

Instead Mac smiled. “I thought I’d seen everything.” He stood with his hands on his hips as he paced his office, then stopped. “But I guess today I’ve learned something new.”

Evelyn added her grin. “So did I. Special Agent Tierney has highly unusual skills.”

Conall crossed his arms. “I’d say Evelyn deserves a letter of recommendation and commendation when the time comes for her to apply for the academy.”

“Me?” Evelyn almost squeaked the question. She swallowed hard.

“You,” Mac said. “You managed to outwit a banshee with a stapler. That’s something no one has ever thought of before.” Mac looked at his watch. “It’s late. I think we should all go home. I’ll see you later.”

After Mac left them, Conall took her arm and headed past Mac’s office down another hallway.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“We need to talk somewhere very private.”

“About what?”

“About what we started in this office earlier this evening. About what is happening between us.”

She wanted to deny it. She wanted to embrace it. While she fought her confusion, she followed along in his wake.

“By the way,” she asked. “How did you lock me in the office earlier?”

“I used my mind to mess with the lock. It’s something I learned to do years ago, including the nifty trick I used to knock you out earlier.”

She sniffed. “Nifty. Right.”

He already understood how she’d escaped Mac’s office; she’d told him after they’d made contact with security and called Mac. In the ensuing hour and a half she’d learned much about the intriguing agent, except how he’d whirled through the air at mind-25

Denise A. Agnew

bending speeds and appeared and disappeared in the hallway with lightning-blurring intensity.

Before she could say anything, he guided her into the small employee lounge and closed the door. With a glance at the lock, it clicked into place.

“You’re just full of surprises,” she said.

“There’s more where that came from,” he said huskily.

Then he reached behind her and unclipped her hair with one swift and efficient movement. He put the hairclip in his pocket.

“What—” she started.

“Your hair was coming out anyway.” His gaze admired her. “It’s beautiful. Don’t you ever wear it down?”

“Of course. Mostly on the weekends.”

His attention traveled over her body with no apologies, clear sexual interest etched into his handsome face. “What do you wear on weekends?”

Perplexed, she shrugged. “Whatever I want.”

“How about at night?”

“At night?”

“To bed.”

“It’s none of your business.”

“I’d
love
to find out.”

She rose to the challenge, liking the game. “Okay, if you must know—I sleep naked.”

“Oh, God,” he whispered. He slipped his hand into her hair at the back of her neck.

“I’d like to see that.”

Desire flared inside her at his gentle touch and blazing attention. “This isn’t professional behavior.”

“No, it isn’t.”

“What we’re doing could be misinterpreted if someone walks in.”

“What do you think we’re doing?”

“You’re flirting.”

He chuckled. “And you’re not?”

She paused, caught off guard. “What’ll happen if we get caught?”

He smiled, his grin like a hungry wolf, a man unleashed from civilization. “Oh, yeah, that sounds kinky. What would I have to do to get there?”

Obviously Conall meant drop-dead business. The man liked risks. Danger.

Oh, boy.

More
shoulds
flew toward Evelyn. She
should
back away. She
should
slap him. She
should

26

Night Scream

As she took a deep breath of his musky scent, her senses went into overload. Before she could amass more mental objections, he kissed her.

Yeah.

She heard the deep, masculine tone in the word as it slipped through her mind.

She pushed away from his kiss. “You can read my mind. What are you?”

He frowned, but his eyes twinkled with genuine amusement. He clasped her hand closer to his chest, capturing her fingers under his. “It’s not in my code of ethics to make love to a woman without her knowing my biggest secret.”

“I’ve heard rumors about agents with special abilities. And your eyes are so…so different.”

He took her hand from his chest and brought it to his lips. He kissed her fingers.

“I’m a vampire.”

Her eyes widened, but if she expected to feel frightened, she didn’t. “You’re pulling my leg, right? Vampires do not exist.”

Conall grinned. “I was born in 1732 and made into a vampire on my thirtieth birthday by a female vampire who wanted to share an immortal life with me. I’m forever thirty.”

“So you’re telling me the golden eyes and the mind reading are because you’re the undead.”

“In a matter of speaking. But baby, I’m far from dead.”

Evelyn couldn’t equate this hot-blooded, gorgeous man standing in front of her with someone who sucked the life out of humans. “But— But—”

“Spit it out, honey,” he said softly. “What do you want to know?”

“But you kill people by sucking blood?” She heard her voice going higher.

“No. I’ve never turned mortals into vampires. I couldn’t do that. And I never harm anyone but the bad guys.”

“So why aren’t you with this vampiress who turned you into an immortal?”

BOOK: Ellora's Cavemen: Tales from the Temple IV
4.63Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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