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Heather Killough-Walden
listening. Her eyes scanned the tree line, skating right over him. The gold in their lovely depths
flashed brightly.
So beautiful, he thought.
& you re there!
Victor blinked, his eyes widening. She was better at this than he d thought.
& can hear you& Black&
When his initial shock subsided, his lips parted in a predatory smile. She was a quick study.
He was, again, impressed.
Where are you!
The demand was nearly shouted into his mind.
He moved with speed that matched her own and, suddenly, he was standing beside her and
bending to whisper in her ear.  The first round is nearly over, Victoria. Do you admit defeat?
She whirled around and narrowed her golden gaze. He saw her next move coming before she
made it and was able to counter before she could wave her hand and send his invisible body
flying into a tree trunk, which would have undoubtedly caused his invisibility to falter.
He had moved out of range, but still close enough to rush forward and grab her if she tried to
run again.
He watched her closely, noting the frustration in her lovely features. She realized that he d
moved when she most likely felt an emptiness at the end of her mental rope. She lowered her
hand and tried to quiet her breathing. She peered through the darkness surrounding her.
Her long, golden hair was wavier than usual because of the sea air. It caused ringlets to
frame her beautiful face and the ends of her long, thick locks curled preciously at the small of her
back. Her skin glowed, pore-less and peach, her cheeks flushed with fear and adrenaline and the
exercise she d just had.
- 125 -
The Game
Her lips were parted and he could see her straight, white teeth where they rested behind the
plump, pink pillow of her bottom lip. He wanted to kiss that lip. To bite down gently and then
deepen the kiss, forcing her to open to him. Open&
Victoria gasped and whirled around again, this time coming to face him properly. She
searched the area directly around him with a fierce tenacity and Victor realized his mistake. He
hadn t meant to lose control of his thoughts that way. He d let it slip and it had met her mind with
a sense of direction. Which she d latched onto with adept skill.
 Show yourself, she commanded.
 Very well. He let his invisibility drop. There was no point to it now, anyway.
Victoria s eyes seemed to widen when they fell on his now visible form. He watched her
gaze slide to his hair and then to his shoulders and then to his eyes and he could swear that she
blushed then.
She tore her gaze away and the blush deepened and a semblance of hope leaped to life within
Black.
She wanted him. It was undeniable.
And, if she wanted him half as badly as he wanted her, then there was definitely hope.
 Are you going to come willingly, Victoria, or shall we have it out here and now? He asked
her, intimating that he d won  and in the first round of their Game, no less.
 I think we ll have it out here and now, came a voice from behind them. They both turned
to look just as Max rushed forward from whatever darkness he d been hiding in and swung his
sword toward Victor s head.
* * * *
There was a moment of horrible awareness for Victoria, when she feared that Max might be
successful in his attack  and then realized that she feared Max might be successful.
- 126 -
Heather Killough-Walden
And then some old brain instinct within her took over. Self preservation kicked in and she
turned around to run once more.
Within seconds, she was crashing through the underbrush of the dense forest in front of her
and racing deeper and deeper into the woods with every pounding step she took and every
drumming of her heart.
After what seemed like hours, but was most likely mere minutes, she came to a stop. There
was no sound from the forest around her. There was only the heavy hitching of her quick, tired
breathing. She had no idea how she d managed to make it so deep into the forest without falling.
Or smacking into something horrible.
She only knew that she was here now. Lost and alone. And that Max was back on the shore,
fighting with Victor Black.
He didn t stand a chance.
- 127 -
The Game
Chapter Eleven
There was no time to duck; the sword s heavy, razor-sharp blade was going to split his skull
wide open.
So, Victor created time. He d never had to do it that this before and he d never been forced
to do so in order to save his own skin. It was a sobering moment in perpetuity and one that
instantly chilled him to an even colder degree than normal.
But he managed it.
His efforts afforded him an extra precious second and a half to dodge to the side before
Blood s sword finished its downward arc. The flashing blade sliced with ease through the black
leather of Victor s jacket and onward into the thick muscle of his bicep before he could
completely roll away.
Victor hissed and bared his teeth, hitting the ground to kick up sand and dust and then come
up with his booted feet beneath him. He could feel his eyes glowing now; it was like a pressure
and a heat and everything came into sharp focus. It happened when he was angry. Or in pain. Or
when he dreamed about Victoria Red.
But his eyes weren t the only ones glowing.
Maxwell Blood stood across from him, a towering, hard-built form in black with a pale,
angry visage and blue eyes that had taken on the bright and eerie appearance of ancient, ocean-
top ice.
Black was a new color for the Red captain. Maxwell Blood was, in effect, dressed in
precisely the same manner as Black. Victor took in the change and filed it away, focusing on his
opponent s stance and the deadly weapon in his strong grip.
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Heather Killough-Walden
It was time to do away with that strength. With a concentrated effort, Victor shoved a bit of
his power at the captain and imagined it leaching the vigor from his muscles.
He waited to see the signs of his attack on the captain s face. But instead of the grimace or
deepening glare he d expected  Blood smiled. [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]