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Excerpted from MARKED
Release Date: 4/27/10
How long had she been out? And when had Theron come to her room?
Casey’s so-called hero lay on the bed. He’d rolled to his back, one hand at his side, the other fanned across his broad, bare chest. He wore only low-riding black pants that showcased his hard abs and the thin line of dark hair that drew her attention downward. Looking up and away from that temptation, she focused on his muscular arms. In the dim light she could just make out the markings across the backs of his hands and remembered the show he’d put on in Nick’s office.
She quickly turned back to the window. Um. Okay. Yeah. Remembering that whole spectacle didn’t settle her nerves any either.
“It’s a three-hundred-foot drop.”
Her heart rate kicked up at the velvet sound of his voice, but she didn’t look back. He might be a sex god she hadn’t been able to get out of her head since their night together back at her house, but he was also the man . . . Argonaut . . . whatever . . . who’d kidnapped her. She wanted answers. And she wanted them now. “Excuse me?”
The bed creaked behind her. “Out the window. Three hundred feet. At least. I already looked. If you’re searching for an escape route, that’s not it.”
She flicked a look over her shoulder. “If I wanted to leave, you couldn’t stop me.”
“Who told you such a lie?”
She glared at him. His eyebrows lifted in challenge.
Aggravated beyond belief, she finally dropped her arms and turned his way. “Why you pompous piece of—”
He chuckled as he swung his massive legs over the side of the bed. “I see we have both feet back on solid ground. Your rest did you good.”
Her mouth snapped shut.
“I can also see your little brain’s filled to the brim. Go ahead and ask me whatever you want.”
Her “little brain” was nearly at a breaking point. “Are you not bothered at all by the fact you kidnapped me and destroyed my store? Not to mention taking advantage of me that night at my house when I was only trying to help you?”
He let out a weary sigh. “I didn’t kidnap you, I rescued you. And if it makes you feel any better, I regret that your store was destroyed. The less the humans in your town know of the daemons and our war, the safer they’ll be. And for the record, I wasn’t the one taking advantage the other night. I seem to remember someone else making the first move.”
Her cheeks heated. But just as quickly her temper reared. “ ‘Anything I want,’ ” she mocked.
A sheepish one-sided grin pulled at his mouth. “You remember that, hm?”
“Of course I remember it,” she snapped. “In fact, it’s a lot clearer now than it was then. You tricked me.”
He leaned forward to brace his forearms on his knees. “It’s called élencho. And it’s more of a mind-bending technique than a trick. Though as you’ve proved, meli, it doesn’t work so well on half-breeds.”
She ignored that fact because it seemed to be true and because it put the blame of what had happened between them back on her. “You say that word, half-breed, like it’s dirty.”
“I don’t mean to.”
“Then watch how you say it. And for the record, I think they prefer to be called Misos.”
He looked up at her without responding. And the hint of regret in his eyes softened her.
Dammit, she wanted to stay mad at him. But when he gazed at her like that, all she could think about was the way he’d looked in the candlelight of her kitchen, the way he’d tasted and felt on her couch. The way she knew he could make her feel now if she crossed the floor right this minute.
“Is there something you want from me, meli?” he asked in a low voice.
Her eyes flicked up to his. And she saw her own desire mirrored in those pools of obsidian.
Sex as a distraction from all the crazy stuff happening had its advantages. But not with him. She’d learned her lesson where this hero was concerned.
“Not a single thing.”
He smiled then, as if he knew she was lying. “When you’re ready, just tell me.”