Spider GameBy: Christine Feehan
She had no money, no food, no shelter. She had no idea how to interact with normal people. She didn’t know what normal actually was. She could kill. She’d been trained to kill, and she was good at it, but she had no idea how to fit in with people or interact with them. Even when eventually, driven by need, she carefully chose her targets to rob, choosing men who were violent and cruel, she couldn’t enter a store and purchase the items she needed because she didn’t know how. Just the thought of that terrified her.
The clothes she wore were stolen. She felt terrible about that. There were very few women her size in the area, at least that she’d seen. The clothes had belonged to a young teenage girl. The family didn’t have much, and that made it worse. She’d gone back a few weeks later and left money, but she didn’t know what the clothes were worth so she had no idea if she’d given them a fair exchange. Instead, just to be sure, she left money twice. She had two pairs of jeans and two camisoles. No sweater. No jacket. The shoes were too big and she’d stuffed paper in them to keep from hurting her feet when she walked.
Sometimes she stole food as well. She always left money when she did, but she didn’t like to steal and knew she couldn’t do it that often. So she went without several days a week. Now, the scent of Delmar’s burgers made her feel weaker than ever.
She took a deep breath and inhaled Trap. She’d been like a moth drawn to the inevitable flame, unable to stay away from him. She’d stayed close, going back to the old building where she’d been held prisoner, making a lair for herself down in the basement. He’d bought the building and workers had torn it apart, completely renovating it. She’d been forced to stay in the vents and outside until they would leave at night. She’d hated that, but still, she couldn’t leave him. And she had nowhere to go.
Something was between them, she just didn’t know what. Whatever it was, there was no escaping it. The thread between them was impossible to snap. She found herself sneaking past the guards at the Fontenot home in the middle of the night just so she could be in the same room with him. She had to be with him. She knew it was the same for him, but she’d remained deliberately elusive, terrified of what he would want from her.
She had the illusion, the fantasy of him as long as there was no real interaction. The moment, a week earlier, she’d entered the Huracan Club, her chosen hunting ground, she’d scented him. He was actively searching for her. She knew that the moment she became aware of his presence at the club. He wasn’t a man to frequent clubs. She was the reason he’d come. She’d stayed away until hunger drove her out of her safety zone and straight into the line of fire.
He hadn’t come alone either. He’d brought several of his friends. All were combat trained. She recognized the danger in them. Two of the three Fortunes brothers, Malichai and Mordichai. Their brother Ezekiel was most likely at home protecting Wyatt’s children. But Malichai and Mordichai presented enough of a threat.
She spotted Draden Freeman. He often ran mornings and evenings. He was a question mark to her. She’d studied all of them and wished she still had access to the laboratory’s computer, but when Trap had the building renovated, all computers had been removed and new ones installed. She’d tried them all, but the passcodes, so far, had been impossible to break.
Wyatt Fontenot was there, looking right at home, casual even, when there was nothing casual about him. He was a good man. She could tell that the moment she was anywhere near him, and she liked that he seemed to be protective of Trap.
The fifth man accompanying Trap to the bar was one of those ghosts she rarely saw, so she made certain, even though he stayed in the shadows, that she studied him. She didn’t have the best eyesight, probably a by-product of the spider DNA Whitney or Braden, whichever, gave her in a test tube. Still, she had skulked around the Fontenot home enough to know that he had arrived a month earlier and was part of their team.
They called him Gino. When he was still, he was impossible to spot, and twice she’d nearly run right into him. It was fortunate she often used trees to move in, and she’d clung to the trunk to prevent dropping right on his head. She didn’t know his last name, but she could see that he was a man without an ounce of fat, cool, nearly black eyes and wide shoulders. He looked just as dangerous as the rest of the team.
She was too weak to fight them all off if they made a move on her. She could only trust that Trap would know she would fight to the death to prevent them from putting her back in a cell. She had gone back to the building’s basement, although that was completely changed as well now, but that was of her own free will, not someone forcing her. She would never be forced again. Never.
Trap watched as Cayenne took a slow look around the room, noting the position of every member of his GhostWalker team. She made each and every one of them, and she made a show of it, letting them know. She turned back to Trap and raised her eyebrow before sauntering across the room to the bar. She had a great ass and it swayed invitingly as she moved with a silent, fluid grace to lean against the makeshift bar, right beside the two most belligerent men in the place. At once they split up, one moving to her other side so that she was wedged between them. She sent both a smile that jerked their heads up, and one inched a little closer to her as she reached for the peanuts.