Aegis Series, Book One
“Come on, beautiful, naptime’s over. Wake up.”
The tapping on Eve’s cheek brought her around. She jolted.
“That’s it. Open those pretty amber eyes for me.”
Lifting her head, she tried to see through the haze. Confusion mixed with the grogginess. “Saw-Sawyer?”
“There’s my girl. Can’t have you sleeping on the job, now can we?”
What was Sawyer doing here? And where was here anyway? She looked around, narrowed her eyes, couldn’t see anything more than fuzzy shapes that seemed to bounce back and forth as if the world had been set on spin cycle.
“Over here, baby.” She followed the sound of his voice. “That’s it. Yeah, I think things are working well enough for us to get started now.”
Get started? Eve had no idea what he meant. Or what was going on. But a niggling thought in the back of her mind warned, Be careful.
Metal scraped the floor. Eve focused long enough to see Sawyer’s fuzzy shape pull a chair in front of her and sit. “We’ll start with something easy. Tell me your name.”
Her name? He knew her name. “What is this? What’s going—?”
“Your name, beautiful. And where you live.”
“No, not your CIA cover, sweetheart. Your real name.”
Eve’s mind spun, and before she thought better of it, she said, “Ev-Evelyn Wolfe. I live in . . .” Crap, where did she live? “Monterey. I live in Monterey.” That was right. On the beach. She had this great bungalow that overlooked the Pacific. It was small and had cost a fortune, but it was so worth it. “In California.”
“Good,” Sawyer said. “Very good. Now, how about who you work for?”
Why was he asking her these questions? Eve couldn’t seem to think straight. “I work for . . . the CIA. You know that.”
“Wrong.” Sawyer leaned forward. A snap echoed in the room, followed by a whisper of air across Eve’s skin and the soft clink of something hitting the floor. “Try again, Evie.”
Eve blinked twice, tried to clear her watery vision. Sawyer was sitting in front of her, and in his hand he held something silver. A knife? Eve tried to see through the fuzziness.
No, not a knife, a pair of scissors.
Scissors? What the hell would he need scissors for? He—
She looked down, and even though everything still seemed to be moving as if underwater, she noticed the top button of her blouse was missing. Her breasts all but spilling out of her once-white top.
Her gaze shot back to his face, and inch by inch, it came into view. Dark hair in need of a trim, several days’ worth of beard on his sculpted jaw, a thin scab across his forehead, and piercing, unfriendly, more-brown-than-green familiar hazel eyes. “Try again, Evie.”
She swallowed. Hard. Tried to make sense of what was happening. Couldn’t. Couldn’t seem to stop herself from talking either. “I . . . I work for the CIA. Counterintelligence. I’m—”
“Wrong.” Sawyer leaned forward again. Another snip. Another whisper of air across her stomach. Another clink as the button hit the cement floor. “I’m not interested in your lies.”
Eve’s stomach tightened. The venom in Sawyer’s words was new. And bone-chilling. She tried to move, to get away, but her hands were locked behind her. She tried to stand but couldn’t because her legs weren’t working. Too late she realized he’d tied her to a chair.
Panic pushed in, mixed with the drug still wreaking havoc on her brain to make things seem surreal. “Sawyer—”
“Okay.” Sawyer leaned back and rubbed a hand over his face. “Okay,” he said calmer. “Let’s try something else.”
Metal scraped the floor again. Eve held her breath as he stood and moved around behind her where she couldn’t see him. “What were you doing in Beirut?”
Beirut . . . The word mixed with fuzzy memories. Fuzzy, heated memories of the two of them locked tight together. In their apartment. In the shower. In that crappy car when she’d been sure no one could see them. “I . . . my job.”
“Yeah, I know that, beautiful.” He leaned close to her ear, his warm breath rushing over bare skin to send tingles down her spine. This close she could smell him. Musk and mint and man. She’d always loved the smell of him. “But you weren’t working for the CIA then.”
She had been, though. Synapses slowly started to fire, like links in a chain firming up when pulled tight. And oh man, he wasn’t going to believe her. But the truth . . . the truth was the only thing that seemed to be condensing in her mind. Where were the carefully orchestrated covers? Where were the lies she so often rattled off without a second thought? “I . . . I was working undercover.”
She nodded. “Yes.”
“Oh, Evie.” Snip. Whoosh. Clank. “I didn’t realize how eager you were to get naked.”