Tangle of Need

By: Nalini Singh

But Sienna felt no shock. She knew every line and pore of that face, was intimately acquainted with the evil that lived within Ming LeBon.

I’ll burn him up and watch him die…

Her own words, as true today as when she’d spoken them to Hawke. Aware the two men on either side of Ming, their hands touching his shoulders, had to be teleporters, she considered how exactly to kill the man she hated beyond all others without injuring his guards. They had done her no harm, and she would not judge them when she herself had been forced to be Ming’s protégée.

“Sienna,” Ming said into the silence, his voice calm, in control, cold enough to burn. “I know you’re out there.”

No, she thought, he didn’t. He was simply taking a calculated risk that the mind he sensed was hers, having no doubt used satellite surveillance images to narrow down the range she might be present in tonight. From the lines of strain on the faces of his teleporters, this wasn’t the first spot they’d jumped to in their attempt to pinpoint her location.

Keeping her silence, she continued to work out the most efficient way to kill him.

“The world is changing,” he said, his military haircut exposing the narrow bones of his face. “While there was no room for an X of your toxic capacity in the previous one, there is now. The Psy will need a new ruling council after the dust settles, and you’re already considered a hero by many.”

Sienna would have laughed at his arrogance, but she had no laughter in her where Ming was concerned. Eyes narrowed, she lifted her hand and looked sideways to meet the gaze of the wolf who had shifted out of the shadows so she could see him. There was no censure in his gaze, only the approbation of a fellow predator.

Nodding, she turned … and set the cold fire free.

Ming teleported out the instant before the fire would’ve hit him, and it smashed into the tree opposite, turning it into ash between one breath and the next. “Bastard’s men were primed to ’port.” It must’ve been brutal, holding their minds on the brink of a teleport for that long.

Hawke shifted in sparks of light and color, the wolf transforming into a male who took her face in his hands and said, “You’ll get him next time.”

It was exactly what she needed to hear. “Yes, I will.”

Her mate wrapped her in his arms, the soft pelt of silver-gold that covered his chest a sensory pleasure as she held him tight.

“He actually thought I might go with him,” she said, the insult violent.

“If you had, it would’ve ended his problems.” Hawke’s voice was not entirely human. “Now, he has to find a way to kill you.”

Recalling her dark emotional response when she’d seen Hawke in danger on the battlefield, she stroked his back, his skin hot silk. “Ming,” she reminded him, “will have to get through you and the pack to get to me.”

“He’ll never succeed.” It was a growl.

“No, he won’t.” The wolves might not have psychic power, but as Henry Scott had learned, it wasn’t only the mind that mattered when it came to war.

Pushing away from him just a fraction, she stood on tiptoe to reach his mouth. “I didn’t get a kiss tonight.” He needed the contact and so did she—to wash Ming’s poisonous words from her mind, to remember she was so much more than he could ever imagine.

“I don’t know if you deserve a kiss,” her mate said, his chest rumbling under her spread palms. “Seeing as you ignored my order to get the hell away from Ming.”

Sliding her hands up over his shoulders when he bent to make it easier for her, she linked her fingers behind his neck. “Are you going to bite me very hard?” she teased, using words her young cousin, Marlee, had apparently once spoken.

“Smart-ass.” Moving his hands down to that ass, he slid them into the back pockets of her jeans.

Hard and dominant though he might be, she thought, surrendering to the hot, wet caress of a kiss he laid on her, her man had a vein of tenderness she was certain no one else, except perhaps the pups, ever saw.

“We have to continue the watch.” It was a rough murmur.

“I know,” she said, though all she wanted was to have him inside her, branding her, loving her. In the lazy, possessive mood he was in right now, he’d rock in so slow and easy, make her feel every thick inch. “I wish it was a few hours later.”

He reached up to pet and fondle one of her breasts with a proprietary hand, not helping to get her arousal under control. “Patience.” Releasing her aching flesh, he stepped away a couple of inches. “You know you like it slow.”

“No, that would be you.” Already keenly missing the wild heat of him pressed up against her, she watched as he shifted, the beauty of it stunning her anew. “I like it fast.”

The wolf huffed with laughter, and then they were running again, the night wind rippling through his fur and kissing her face. In spite of the enraging confrontation just past, Sienna had never felt so content.

Chapter 65

DISMISSING THE M-PSY he’d called to his quarters, an older female who knew the value of discretion, Ming walked to stand in front of the mirror. The flesh-colored thin-skin bandage the medic had placed on his chest hid the majority of the diagonal wound, but he could still see the blistered, red edges.