Mercenary Magic Page 39

The tendrils of their magic had intertwined into a lattice of tiny connections. Every single one of these connections began to tingle as Kai drank from her magic. His eyes, dilated from the magic influx, looked upward. When he spoke, his voice was distant.

“They’re moving along the waterfront. They have the Priming Bangles with them. I see large ferries crowded full of people…”

The band of magic connecting Sera to Kai snapped. His magic faded, leaving her cold and more than a little humiliated. Separated from the sensual caress of his magic, her head was finally clear enough to realize what a fool she’d made of herself. She’d teased him, tasted him, and wanted more. But she wasn’t one to let a little thing like complete and utter humiliation stand in the way of her doing her job.

“Where are they going?” she asked Kai.

“Alcatraz,” he said. “They’re going to Alcatraz.”

CHAPTER NINETEEN

Tanked Dragon

THEY ALL PILED into Kai’s car, and he zoomed out of the parking lot like his tail was on fire. Maybe he’d set it on fire himself. Sera snickered from the passenger seat. Kai turned his head to give her a stern look.

“Hey, watch the road!” she shouted, gesturing frantically.

Kai slipped in between two cars, cutting it so close that they’d probably need a new paint job. From the back seat, the commandos let out a round of manly chortles.

“I’m stuck in a car with a bunch of raving lunatics,” she muttered.

The comment only elicited more chortles. Kai shot them a hard glare, and they fell silent.

“There’s no need for concern,” he assured her.

“You drive like you’re replaying a high-speed chase scene from some action blockbuster movie.”

“I know precisely what I’m doing.”

“And you do this, Mr. Action, without keeping your eyes on the road.”

“You worry too much.”

“I worry too much?” she repeated in disbelief. “Well, I’m sorry if I’m not a big, bad, indestructible dragon who steps on people who annoy him.”

“He didn’t annoy me. He was a threat that had to be neutralized. If I hadn’t shifted into a dragon, that werewolf would have snapped your pretty hands right off.”

“He could have tried. And tasted my steel.”

“And you call me violent,” he said, glancing over at her.

“Eyes.”

Smirking, he returned his eyes to the road.

“There’s a really big difference between making someone go splat and using your sword to defend yourself against a direct assault,” she told him.

“Were those caterpillars launching a direct assault on you?”

“As a matter of fact, yes. I’ll have you know that those caterpillars have some pretty nasty spit. Like burning acid nasty. They were using it to terrorize the human and supernatural populations of the city. And when I asked them to stop, they got really unpleasant.”

“It must have been the sword with which you asked them to stop.”

Sera ignored the commandos’ snickering and replied cooly, “Let’s just try to get to the pier without hitting any of the other cars on the road.”

“I would never hit anyone.”

So said the man who stepped on people. He did look pretty horrified, though. Maybe he only used his powers against monsters.

“That would scratch the paint on my car,” he added. “I’d just summon some wind to nudge them aside instead.”

Or maybe he used his power whenever it was convenient for him.

“He’s just pulling your leg,” Dal called from the back seat.

Sera turned around to look at him. He wasn’t a small man by any measure. In fact, he was a big, beefy, muscle mass currently sitting with his knees nearly up to his chin, and the two men on either side of him weren’t any smaller. The three of them looked really uncomfortable squished into the backseat of the car, but when Kai had told them to sit there, they hadn’t even blinked.

“He pretends to be callous, but he’s actually very reasonable. And he’s always really careful not to damage anything,” said Callum.

“The roof of Acceleration Magic,” she reminded them. “Or should I say, what’s left of the roof of Acceleration Magic?”

“A minor miscalculation while shifting, I’m sure,” Tony said.

“That roof did look higher than it was,” agreed Dal.

“He only breaks something less than half the time he shifts into a dragon.”

“And aren’t dragons near-sighted?”

“No, far-sighted. They have to be able to see their prey from way up high so they can swoop down on it and carry it off for lunch.”

“Or barbecue it.”

“Yeah, that too.”

Kai shot them an irate look through the rearview mirror. “You three are not helping.”

“Hey, at least we didn’t mention the tank,” Callum said.

Tony shook his head. “Well, now you did.”

“What happened with the tank?” Sera asked. They were baiting her, and she knew it. But she found herself really curious.

“Oh, no. You don’t want to know about the tank,” said Tony.

Dal nodded in agreement. “You’re not ready to hear about the tank.”

“Cut the drama and just tell me, guys.”

Callum stole a cautious look at Kai, and when his boss didn’t forbid him from speaking about this tank or anything else, he dove right into the tale. “Did Kai ever tell you what he did in the German military?”

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