Dark Enemy Captive
As the chopper began to descend, Andrew turned to the window and watched the bright helipad square on Kian's rooftop grow closer. There was a big letter A in its center that he hadn't noticed upon takeoff, and Andrew wondered what it stood for.
An A for Amanda? An A for awesome immortals?
Should be an F for fucking unbelievable…
The moment the craft touched down, Syssi rushed out from the cover of the vestibule onto the open rooftop—a gust of wind catching her long hair and blowing it around her head in a mad swirl. It looked like she was cold—the poor girl huddled inside her light jacket, tucking her chin and holding the collar against her cheeks.
That got her boyfriend moving fast.
With a muted curse, Kian threw the passenger's door open and jumped down. Ducking under the chopper's slowing blades, he ran out and wrapped his arms around Syssi.
It was good that the guy's wide back obscured what must've been a passionate kiss. As much as Andrew approved of Syssi's boyfriend, it didn't mean that he was okay with seeing his kid sister engaged in anything even remotely sexual.
It must have been pure hell for Kian to find Amanda as he had—spread out naked in post-orgasmic bliss. Lucky for Andrew, he'd gotten on the scene a couple of minutes later, missing the main act of her and the Doomer getting it on.
It seemed to be his thing lately. He'd also been spared Syssi's almost fatal transition, learning about it only after the fact.
Thank God, she'd pulled through.
It was better that he hadn't been there. He would've gone crazy from worry and would've attacked Kian—consequences be damned. Someone must be watching over him, shielding him from stuff he couldn't stomach.
Though before shit had gone down at the cabin, Andrew had seen enough through the Xaver imaging equipment. He'd gotten more than an eyeful while scanning the cabin's interior. Thank God for the electromagnetic radar's crappy, pixelated display.
Unfortunately, the picture hadn't been hazy enough…
Fuck, he'd better not go there if he wanted to keep his shit together.
Besides, it was none of his business. Amanda was a big girl and could do whatever she pleased with whomever she chose—even if it was a scumbag Doomer who didn't deserve to lick the crap off the bottom of her shoes.
Andrew had no claim on her—of any kind.
God, seeing her naked had been like an electric shock. It had scrambled his brain and had refocused it into a singular objective—making this spectacular woman his. But he would've preferred not to have shared the experience with a bunch of other guys. Thank you very much.
The immortals, he could’ve tolerated. After all, Kian was her brother and his bodyguards were her cousins. But not Rodney and Jake, Andrew's own buddies. After the many years they had served together, the two were like brothers to him, but that didn't mean he'd been okay with them drooling over Amanda.
His only consolation was that they would remember nothing of tonight. Including Amanda's perfect, nude body. Before heading out, they had agreed to let Kian erase the whole rescue mission from their memories upon their return.
Andrew sneaked a glance at Syssi and Kian, hoping they were done with the kissing. Damn. Not only were their mouths still fused together in a heated smooch, but Kian had lifted Syssi and was trying to carry her inside.
An argument ensued, and she pushed at his chest in a futile attempt to make him put her down. After some more back and forth, it seemed a compromise had been reached. Syssi stayed outside, and Kian wrapped himself around her like a human coat. Well, not really human, close enough, though.
Even when idling, the helicopter's engine was too loud to hear the particulars of their argument, but it had been easy to get the gist of it just by observing their body language. And it was obvious that Syssi had the big guy wrapped around her little finger.
Good, so Andrew wasn't the only one who was putty in her hands.
He'd learned a long time ago that his sweet kid sister's shy and demure demeanor was misleading. Syssi never backed down from what was important to her and somehow managed to bend even the toughest and the meanest to her will.
How did the saying go? The bigger they were, the harder they fell?
Andrew smiled, glad that the lovebirds were getting along so well.
Kian was a wise man if he'd already discovered the magic of the two most important words in a guy's vocabulary—yes, dear.
As soon as Amanda stepped down and took a few steps away from the helicopter, Syssi discarded the sheltering arms of her boyfriend and ran to hug her friend.
Evidently, that hug was exactly what Amanda needed, and long moments passed as the women stood in each other's arms.
It pained Andrew to see Amanda's shoulders heave as she cried in Syssi's embrace. The woman had abandoned her tough act at the first sign of loving compassion.
Kian was such a self-absorbed colossal jerk. Would it have killed him to give Amanda a hug?
When the heaving finally stopped, Amanda let go and swept a finger under her teary eyes. Casting a baleful glance at Kian, Syssi wrapped her arm around Amanda's waist and together they walked inside.
Andrew had a feeling the big guy was going to sleep in the proverbial doghouse tonight. Not that he didn't deserve it for treating Amanda like shit—regardless of the extenuating circumstances.
Judging by the murderous expression on Kian's face, he was well aware of his unfavored status, and Andrew was not going to let him mess with Rodney and Jake's memories until he had a chance to calm down.
The plan was to leave them with a memory of going on an unspecified, top-secret mission they'd agreed to be hypnotized to forget. It wasn't perfect, but the guys had to have a rational explanation or they'd think they were losing their freaking minds. As it was, it would have been hard enough to explain the missing day. Explaining the large sum of money magically showing up in their bank accounts would have been even more difficult.
But until he made sure Kian was up to the task, Andrew's buddies would keep Brundar and Anandur company and wait in the chopper for the gurney to transport the prisoner to the dungeon.
How cool was that they had a fucking dungeon down in their basement? Just to get a gander at that, he would've volunteered to escort the prisoner himself.
But he had to keep an eye on Kian while the guy did his thing with Jake and Rodney's memories, which might end up even more fascinating than the dungeon.
The basement could wait for some other time.
"Stay here. They may need your help," he told his friends on his way out, then headed toward Kian.
Rooted to the same spot where Syssi had left him, Kian looked like the statue of The Thinker—except for the sitting part.
"How are you doing, big guy?" Andrew took a furtive glance at Kian's face, checking for fangs and glowing eyes. But it seemed Kian was holding it together, as evidenced by the absence of what Andrew had learned were the telling signs of an immortal male ready for battle—or losing his cool.
"Not one of my better days, that's for sure. Though I feel like a complete ass for saying that. I should feel relieved, grateful…" Kian raked a frustrated hand through his hair.
"You need sleep, buddy. You're exhausted. Everything that seems bleak now will look better after a good night's rest. Trust me." Andrew gave Kian's shoulder a light squeeze. "Are you in any shape to take care of my guys' memories? Or should they crash somewhere around here for tonight, and you'll do it tomorrow?"
"No, I'm fine. The sooner it's done, the better."
"Where do you want to do it?"
"I promised them I'll take them home and erase today's events before they fall asleep. To minimize the damage to their brains it's best to do it as soon as possible, and falling asleep right after will make it even better for them."
"I'm sure they'll understand if we change it a bit; make it easier for you."
"I'm not in a habit of breaking promises."
"You are in no shape to go driving around town after not sleeping for how long? Two whole days? Or is it three?"
"I appreciate your concern, but it is going to go down exactly as I've promised them."
"Okay, but on one condition—I'm driving."
"You got yourself a deal."
Once again, Kian surprised him. As stubborn and as obnoxious as he was, the guy wasn't above admitting weaknesses or accepting help.
A few minutes later, the gurney arrived, accompanied by a pretty petite redhead.
"Andrew, this is Bridget, our in-house physician," Kian introduced her, "Bridget, this is Andrew, Syssi's brother."
Andrew offered his hand and she took it, placing her tiny palm in his large one and giving it a short though surprisingly strong squeeze. "Welcome to our world, Andrew." The wide smile spreading across her face was as welcoming as her words. "We'll be seeing a lot of each other soon, I hope."
At first, Andrew assumed that she was coming on to him and reflexively straightened his shoulders and pulled in his abs. But then it occurred to him that it was highly unlikely—there was nothing flirtatious or coy in her demeanor.
Oh, right, she was referring to the transition.
"We'll see. I'm not sure about it, yet."
"No rush, take your time." She gave him a little pat on the arm and turned to go check on the prisoner.
The doctor had to wait a couple of moments as Jake and Rodney helped the brothers transport the unconscious guy out of the helicopter's cabin and onto the gurney.
She checked his vitals before letting the brothers wheel him away, then ambled up to Andrew.
Damn, he might have gotten it right the first time.
Bridget didn't bother to conceal the up and down look over she gave him. "Come and see me before you make up your mind. I'll give you a thorough check up… to assess your general health. You'll want to know where you stand, health-wise, before deciding one way or another."
"Sure, will. Thank you."
This time, there was no doubt left in Andrew's mind that the pretty doctor wanted to get to know him better, and not strictly as a patient.
Hell, why not.
If things did not work out with Amanda, the petite redhead was an interesting alternative. Bridget was not bad at all. Quite fetching, indeed.
Andrew smirked. Either one was a definite step up from his usual. Not that he had been in the habit of dating bimbos, but a professor? A medical doctor?
He would've never considered even approaching one—out of his league.
But hey, this was before discovering he was a rare specimen, coveted by beautiful immortal females.
And as it turned out, he had a thing for doctors.
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