Vance ordered you to do…don’t even think about it”
Buzz-cut took a step closer, his every move shadowed by his buddy Fugly. “Just what do you think a little thing like you could do?” Buzz-cut laughed.
Juliet pulled hard on the raw power woven through the earth and air. The surge prickled over her skin, crawling over her body like a million ants. Another beat of her heart and an electric buzz raced through her bloodstream making her lightheaded. Building energy this fast was a dangerous thing. It took a great deal of concentration to keep the swelling magic from going wild. Plus the body simply wasn’t built to withstand that much power forced into it. Much like an overloaded circuit board one uncontrolled surge and everything around a ten yard radius fried including the magic user.
She would have to use this energy fast before it burned her out, as it stood now the physic backlash was going to be a doozy so she needed to take out both of them before that happened.
“Come and get it, boys,” she gritted out, thrusting her hands out in front of her which pulsed with a blue light.
“What the fuck?” Buzz-cut demanded, an edge of unease sharpened his tone.
“You wanted a piece of me, well you got it,” Juliet snapped, the pulsing light surrounding her hands flared white, the air crackled with static. Without warning the energy shot from her hands in two streams, homing in on her two would be attackers.
It hit them in the chest with a hissing crack, throwing them against the door with such force the frame cracked and the walls shook. Both men slumped to the floor in a boneless heap unconscious, the sharp tang of ozone filled the room as the energy she summoned reverted back to the elements of earth and air.
“Damn, woman, that was unexpected.” The deep accented voice slid over her exposed nerves, heightening her awareness of the man who suddenly appeared so close to her. Colin.
“They didn’t give me much choice now did they?” Juliet snapped tersely, doing her damnedest to keep the world from tilting and the contents of her stomach from coming up.
“Aye, that they didn’t,” he agreed with a pensive look. His intense regard kicked her pulse up a notch, clenching her hands into tight fists fighting against the irrational urge to stroke a hand over his strong jaw.
“You’re a bit pale perhaps you should sit for a wee bit?”
“A little help would have been nice,” she groused.
“And if there was a need for intervening I would have. You seemed to handle them quite well by yourself. You’re a powerful little thing, I’ve never seen the like and I’ve seen quite a bit in my life.”
Juliet tilted her head and grimaced against the throbbing pain taking up residence in her skull.
Even the slightest movement felt like a hatchet cleaving into her skull. To her horror her knees wobbled, threatening to buckle under her. The backlash she dreaded engulfed her. Colin’s voice came from far off, his words made no sense as her vision fractured into black cracks threatening to pull her into the dark abyss.
Dimly she felt herself being lifted, heard Colin’s deep voice mumble something she thought was a curse. He felt so good, his body hard and warm. She laid her cheek against his chest hearing the beat of his heart and let herself fall into the blackness.
* * * *
Colin swore, scooping her into his arms as her knees buckled beneath her. Now what the hell was he to do with her? He couldn’t leave her here. Not with Vance’s goons sprawled by her front door. They may be out cold, but for how long? The fact that Vance would go to such lengths to get his hands on her only strengthened his certainty that Juliet Boyd was important.
He cradled her light form to his chest, her cheek nuzzled against his chest. The faint rose scent of her hair reached his heightened senses and he drew a deep breath. Her eyes closed, dark lashes fanning over her pale cheeks.
By all the saints, she was beautiful.
A momentary surge of protectiveness coursed through him and was ruthlessly squashed. There was no room in his life for a woman. Not that he was a saint by any stretch of the imagination. He had taken many to his bed, pleasured and been pleasured in turn. At the end of the night he left them all without a backward glance. Relationships were a foreign concept to him and he fully intended to keep it that way.
His mind went back unbidden to his first reincarnation and the only woman he’d ever loved.
Ciara with her ebony hair and flashing blue eyes, so full of life and the promise of a home, children and growing old together.
Instead, all was torn from him. Love...hope…happiness… nothing but ashes. His countless incarnations spent in endless searching for the only one who could fill the ever present void where his heart should be. But Ciara never reincarnated and after the countless centuries he accepted the fact she never would be.
And now this… chit dares to awaken emotions best kept buried?
No, the very idea filled him with guilt, as if he cheapened Ciara’s memory. Juliet was not Ciara. He would have known if she was.
He refused to think of it any longer, would bury it deep. He was simply attracted to her the way any man would be to a beautiful woman, nothing more.
If that’s the case, why not ease yourself on her and be done with it?
The voice in his head taunted him. Aye, he liked the thought of that. Once he had her under him, screwing her senseless these unacceptable feelings would disperse. The voice in his head laughed derisively, Just keep telling yourself that, boyo.