Read Into the Light (The Admiral's Elite Book 2) Online
Authors: HK Savage
Copyright 2013 HK Savage
Edited by Sara Johnson, Staccato Publishing
Cover Design by ParaGraphic Designs
The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living, dead, and undead is coincidental and not intended by the author.
First ebook edition: April 2013
Product of the USA
The first book we write we dedicate to our nearest and dearest, then we go on to dedicate different works to those who inspired the stories. But, in the end, it always comes back to the same people: those who love us even when we’re up all night writing because the spirit moves us and then put up with us when we’re crabby the next day because the spirit has left us.
I love you, my dear, and thank you for not insisting I keep a normal person’s hours or even my loose hold on sanity all of the time. I wouldn’t be me if not for you.
“Tell me, Captain, did you get what you needed?”
“I thought we were past that whole ‘Captain’ thing.” He captured a drop of sweat on the back of her shoulder and brought it to his mouth. A slow lick and it was gone.
” She shivered, feeling a stir in her stomach and lower despite her exhaustion from the last hour’s activities. Her voice was lower, husky. “Answer my question. Did you get what you came for?”
He chuckled. The vibration where their bodies touched sent another shiver down her spine. “I wouldn’t say I didn’t
all that.” His hand, back to tracing her curves, glided over the tiny silver scars that crisscrossed her body. Most humans would never see them they were so light. Michael’s wandering hand dipped below the sheet he’d pulled over her cooling body. “But that’s not actually why I came to see you.”
Becca craned her neck and leaned back, sliding off of Michael’s chest so she could see his pale face. Blue eyes met her hazel gaze and darkened as his hand reached the small of her back and her breath caught involuntarily. “You mean you were gone for three days and
wasn’t why you came to see me?” Her lover’s appetites were comparable to her own and Becca knew having him back in her bed was the first thing
wanted upon his return.
Michael’s other arm curved around her back and tightened to drag her, painfully slow, up his chest until her hair fell down onto his face. The hint of black stubble permanently frozen just under the surface of his cool skin failed to catch her sandy brown strands and, barely long enough, they slid down onto either side of his cheeks. “Well, I did want that and I’m not quite done yet.” That stray hand started to drift.
Becca sucked her lower lip in between her teeth. “I’m hearing a ‘but’ coming.” Not to be outdone, she sneaked a hand between them and grinned when he forgot to breath.
Michael took a breath to speak, even if he didn’t need it for any other physiological reasons, nor had he since 1944. “I was supposed to tell you that Admiral Black wanted to speak to you about something.”
The mention of their scary as hell leader was as effective as a cold shower. Becca brought both hands back up and propped herself up on Michael’s chest. “Do you have any idea what it’s about?”
His lips tightened and there was a quick flash of something on his face before he hid it. “No, he’s asked me not to say anything. He wants to fill you in himself.”
Becca knew from being inside of his head that, through some sort of metaphysical mystery, Captain Michael Rossi was connected to Admiral Black and unable to disobey him. Not like many people risked disobeying the admiral. Aside from being the most terrifying single being she’d ever met, Becca heard rumors from the others about some Homeland Security officer who’d started digging into Black’s history and turned up in a psych ward shortly afterward. Two months ago she’d found she was able to “jump” into other people’s heads and see what they saw, hear what they heard. Thus far she’d only been able to jump into Michael and their fellow unit member, Captain Ryan Hallbeck. Several secret experiments she’d conducted revealed that those were the only two she could manage jumps into for some unknown reason. She had no idea the hows or whys it worked or why it was only them. Michael had shared blood with her to save her life twice and they were having sex. Lots of it. But Ryan was a fellow member of their unit, nothing more than a friend. How she had managed a jump into him and not their other unit member, Gabrielle, or some random person on the street was still unknown.
She knew Michael wondered what she’d been privy to while in his head. Thus far they’d avoided talking about it other than her initial assurances that she’d only been able to use his senses. That was true, only she’d been able to pick up some other things too. Like the sensation that his head was in a vice when he’d tried to disobey Black’s orders to sacrifice Becca for the greater good. A sound tactical decision, it just wasn’t one to Michael’s liking. And Black had punished him. Somehow.
Dragging her thoughts back to present, she blinked and tried to look like she was thinking about her upcoming meeting with Black. “Huh, well, I guess I’m supposed to go downstairs, then?”
Blank and silent, Michael nodded slowly.
Her eyes lifted to the red numbers beside them and she sat up in a rush, the sheet pulling away to leave her exposed. Becca hardly noticed. “When were you going to tell me that? It’s almost three.”
“That’s over an hour. Are you worried about what you’re going to wear? Maybe the commute?” He folded his long fingers over his flat stomach, covering the top of the trail of dark hair leading down below the dark sheet. “There’s a lot we could do in an hour and still have you ready in time.” His voice sounded sleepy, impossible for the undead but incredibly sexy sounding regardless.
Becca had to drag her eyes and mind back north of the cotton divide. “Well, no, I just don’t want to go showing up in front of Black looking like I’ve just been rolling around with a co-worker.” She still wasn’t convinced Black was a hundred percent okay with “inter office” relationships, even though everyone
sleeping with someone. Fellow unit members Ryan and Gabrielle had been doing it too, but they certainly didn’t flaunt it. The only times Becca saw them touching openly was when they were on a mission and out of the admiral’s sight.
A pale shoulder rose and fell. “Honestly, it isn’t like he doesn’t eventually find out everything anyway.”
The defeated undertone caught Becca’s attention and she frowned. “Did something happen while you were gone?”
There was only a second’s hesitation. “No, nothing you need to worry about.”
Her eyes dipped again to a freshly healed scar along Michael’s ribcage. With his supernatural healing ability that could have easily been yesterday instead of the month it would take a human to heal to that point. One thing was certain, it wasn’t there when he left. His arm shifted and it was hidden. “If you say so.”
Gone was the easy familiarity that had grown between them in the last few weeks of their budding relationship, replaced, once again, by the giant pink elephant that had just walked into the room: Michael’s mysterious tie to Black and whatever it was he’d been hiding from her since that last big mission when she’d almost died. Michael didn’t like talking about it and no one else knew what all he’d done other than give her an unusual amount of his blood to heal her from what should have been fatal burns encompassing most of her body. Getting the little information she had only left more questions, as did her inheritance of more than a small amount of his hypersensitive senses and inhuman strength.
That had been two months ago and she hadn’t seen any signs of those side effects fading. According to everything she’d been learning about the supernatural world in the two months since, she should have been back to normal. Or at least as normal as she ever got; second sight, prescient visions, danger warnings, whatever you wanted to call what she had and why Black found her a useful addition to his special unit of monster fighters. It had occurred to her that Black might have some answers for her, but she figured if Michael was trying to keep her away from the admiral then she would respect that and refrain from asking. For now. Eventually, she had to get some answers or forever wonder how close she was to being what he was. Half of her expected to wake up one morning with fangs and blood lust.
She shivered but didn’t make a move to get up. “I should start getting ready.” Questions or no, it felt good to be lying in bed with him.
“Yeah, me too. He’s asked me to be there.” He tapped a finger on his stomach.
Another look at the digital display and five minutes passed. Finally, when it was clear neither would be adding anything new to the conversation, Michael slid out of the bed and grabbed his black boxer briefs off the floor. Zipping up his pair of the black cargo pants they all wore, he walked toward the door, slowing and grabbing his black t-shirt off the end of the bed on his way. “I’ll see you down there.”
Becca offered him a tight smile, which he returned before slipping out the door and shutting it quietly behind himself.
“K,” she said softly after he’d gone, wondering if he heard her through the ancient wooden door. Kind of hoping he would.
With ten minutes to spare, Becca hit the bottom of the twisting stone steps that led from the cold, formal estate above to the state-of-the-art command center in the basement. The lack of lighting in the open space didn’t obstruct Becca’s vision anymore. With a self-conscious blush, she thought of the duration of their session upstairs and realized that in addition to her senses, her endurance had been enhanced by Michael’s blood donation. If no one else had figured out the unusual extent of her enhancements, they would soon. Would they worry about her ability to handle it? She didn’t need them to question her ability to do her job and handle the stress; being human already handicapped her somewhat. Maybe they would think it was a good thing, her being more like them, she considered with an unusual surge of optimism. Or not, reality followed on the heels of the cold slap of air as she passed into the room where they awaited her.
Her hands smoothed any possible stray hairs back into her ponytail then down the front of the black jacket she wore over her black fatigues. The others were all either too hot blooded or beyond the point of caring about the cold temperatures in the house to bother with the added layer, but not Becca. She still thought it was too cold in here to believe that outside the front doors lay the baking California desert, only a short drive from San Diego.
“Rebecca.” Admiral Black’s cold voice ended her mental wandering with the subtlety of a straitjacket. Quiet and drawn out, his summoning left her with all the revulsion of a slimy swim through the sewer system.