Enigma: Prologue to Live Wire (6 page)

BOOK: Enigma: Prologue to Live Wire
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“Don’t do this, Jordan.” She had to get away from him, she had to hold back the tears. “Don’t make this harder for me than it already is. Just leave.”

Over the years, that was all she had done, held back her emotions, held back her dreams, hell, she had held back her life on the hope, the dream, that something more than blood could fill her future.

But her time here was over. The Elite Ops was shutting down and the new team coming in didn’t need her. They had their own people, their own specialties. No one needed the daughter of a white slaver, a daughter that had been specially bred for the depraved sexual hungers of the man he had envisioned her going to.

She had no special training. She had no true education. She was an outcast, plain and simple. Unlike the other members of the team, there wasn’t a happily ever after waiting for her when she walked out the doors of the base.

There would be no family waiting on her. There were no friends she could find. She would have a new identity, but she had no idea what the hell to do with it.

She watched as he shrugged his shirt on and buttoned it with quick, angry movements. She couldn’t miss the anger, it glowed in his eyes, tightened in his body.

“I don’t want to lose contact with you.” He seemed to be forcing the words out.

He was placating her and she hated that.

She nodded slowly. “I’m sure we won’t. We have friends in common. Hell, you can always call, right?”

She doubted he would, despite the fact that he had approved the members of the team keeping the satellite phones they had been assigned, as well as the numbers.

As she stared back at him, the only thing she had left to go to began to formulate in her mind, to solidify. She had held back from the promise she had made to herself when she was younger. She had given up on the only thing that had kept her going until Jordan. And that was something she knew how to do. It was something she didn’t need Jordan to help her with, didn’t need him to be a part of.

She still had the fragment of a dream, the Elite Ops had at least given her the ability to walk away safe.

“Tehya.” The sound of his voice, the regret returning, was tearing her apart.

She didn’t want this. She should have never pushed him, she should have walked out of here and kept the dreams rather than the reality.

Touching him, being touched by him, feeling the first orgasm of her life that she hadn’t given herself, would destroy her now. Because she knew what it could be. She knew what she was losing, and it would haunt her every day of her life.

“I need some time.” She swallowed tightly.

“I can give you time.” He nodded slowly. “But not indefinitely, Tehya. The time will come when we’ll talk about this.”

No, it wouldn’t. When the transportation team arrived to haul away her belongings, she would already be gone. She couldn’t stay here, couldn’t bear to see him, even another moment. If she didn’t leave before morning came, then she would beg. And God knew she didn’t want to beg for a love he couldn’t give her.

“Of course we will.” She crossed her arms over her breasts and turned away from him as she moved to the open kitchen. “We’ll talk.”

They wouldn’t talk, because there was truly nothing for them to talk about.

“I’ll see you in the morning,” he stated.

And Tehya nodded. It was another lie. They wouldn’t talk in the morning, he wouldn’t see her in the morning, because she wouldn’t be here.

She didn’t hear him move, she felt him move. She felt him coming closer to her, tensed, knowing that the connection to him would be severed forever once she walked out of the base.

It was just over. There were no more chances to capture his heart.

She had failed. The most important dream she had ever had, and she had failed.

His hands settled on her shoulders, his hold implacable as he turned her until he could pull her against his chest.

“I should have stayed out of your bed,” he whispered as his lips brushed against her hair. “You’re important to me, Tehya.”

Her teeth clenched. She was going to lose it. Tears thickened in her throat, edged at her eyes. The agony racing through her was tearing her apart second by second until her heart felt like a ragged wound in her chest.

“It wouldn’t have changed anything,” she informed him, amazed that she could speak, that she could breathe through the pain. “Just go away, Jordan. I’ll have it all together in the morning and we’ll forget it ever happened.”

She would never forget it. She had thought that if she could force him to admit he wanted her, that she would have a chance at his heart. She had never imagined it would become one night only.

“Tehya.” The grimace that tightened his face broke her heart.

His expression said it all. Dealing with her emotions, dealing with the fact that she had expected more, seemed distasteful to him.

She should have been thankful he had allowed her on the team. She, the daughter of the enemy that had murdered his friend, that had been instrumental in nearly destroying his nephew. She might have killed Sorrel, but she still had his blood. She was still his daughter. And she should have known Jordan would have never been able to love someone so closely related to such an enemy.

“We’ll talk in the morning.” Her voice was thicker. She was so close to crying it was humiliating. In that moment, the emotions that raged through her were hated. She wished she could be hard, cold, that she could feel only that tinge of regret that she didn’t have the emotional capacity to care for anyone outside friendship.

She watched as his head turned, his jaw tightened. Then he gave a brief, hard nod before striding to the door.

“We will discuss this in the morning,” he informed her, then opened the door and left the suite.

And then the tears fell.

The sob that tore from her shocked her. Her knees weakened to the point that she nearly went to the floor as her hands pressed tight and hard into the clenching muscles of her stomach.

The emotional pain hurt worse than a bullet.

She could feel the ragged, gaping hole in her chest where her heart had once been, and the agony of it was a horrible realization.

She hadn’t thought it would hurt this bad.

She hadn’t imagined it would be this hard to face.

Moving back to the bedroom she quickly dressed in jeans, T-shirt, boots. A leather jacket was thrown over the duffel bag she had packed in the closet. A smaller backpack sat next to it.

The moving team had the address and instructions in handling her belongings, they would be stored for the time being, because she had no place to go.

All she knew was that there was no way she could face Jordan when morning came. That the ragged pain in her chest would only turn to anger, and she didn’t want the love to turn to hatred.

There was nothing left to do but to leave before she was forced to face him again. Before she could push him again, before she could plead with him to love her, beg him to tell her why he didn’t.

Before she broke down and a lifetime of pain and grief overwhelmed her.

How silly of her to believe he could love her when no one else ever had.


Jordan knew Tehya was gone the second he entered her suite. There was such a sense of emptiness, of abandonment, that it was unmistakable. The effect it had on him was undeniable.

She was gone.

His chest tightened with a ragged pain that had his teeth clenching, his fingers fisting. The need to hit something tore through him, nearly overwhelming his control.

A violent, bitter curse escaped his lips before he could cut off the sound.

Breathing out a weary sigh he shoved his hands in his pockets and moved through the large set of rooms anyway. Just to be certain.

If she had taken anything with her, it wasn’t much. Perhaps a few changes of clothes, he thought as he checked the closet, only to see stacked boxes within them marked ‘clothes’. It was the same thing he found through the rest of the suite. Boxes neatly packed, closed and taped. Tehya’s life reduced to less than a quarter of the moving van arriving to relocate her.

He found himself swallowing tightly, his throat oddly blocked at the proof of how little Tehya had amassed over the years. Unlike the other agents, she had no secondary home, no family to go back to, no other house to store her belongings. She’d had nothing but the Elite Ops.

And now, she had no one.

A hard grimace crossed his face before he could control it, a result of the hard ache that clenched his chest. Fuck, he missed her already. Her laughter, her shy smiles, her almost innocent sensuality and affection for him.

He should have never taken her.

Turning, he strode from the suite and headed for the garage area, wondering which vehicle she had taken.

Standing in front of the empty slot where his favorite had sat, he almost grinned. She had taken the black Viper over many of the more expensive performance vehicles stored there. His favorite. The one he had driven more often and had claimed over the years.

Had she taken the Viper because it was the only part of him she could leave with?

She had taken much more with her than she guessed. Already he could feel the empty ache, the dark, brutal core of unrequited need throbbing in his soul.

But she was alive, he told himself as that ache threatened to roll over to grief. She wasn’t in his life, but she had a chance to have a life. A chance to live rather than hide from the past that had haunted her.

That didn’t stop that ragged hole in his heart from bleeding though, and damn if he had expected that. He’d expected regret, hell, he’d known he would miss her. But the ache radiating in his chest wasn’t just regret. He didn’t just miss her.

His nostrils flared as he breathed in hard and turned sharply from the parking area to stride back to his own suite.

He had let her go, holding onto her wasn’t an option. Whatever he was feeling would eventually go away, he assured himself. She had been a part of his life for too long, tempting him, trying to draw closer to him, wiggling her way inside him despite his defenses.

And it fucking hurt to lose her.

But he had lost before. Friends, lovers, co-workers. The violence that surrounded the life he lived had taken them from him.

He contented himself with the fact that Tehya was alive, she was breathing, and one day she would love someone. She would laugh with them, sleep with them. She would have a life, she had never had the chance to have one before.

He had made certain she would have that chance now.

And it was too late to turn back now.

This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations, and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.


Copyright © 2010 by Lora Leigh

Cover photograph of man © Shirley Green

All rights reserved.

For information address St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.

ISBN: 978-1-4299-1813-8

What will happen when Tehya and Jordan come face-to-face again?

Read the rest of the story in


On Sale March 1, 2011

St. Martin’s Paperbacks

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Lora Leigh
can often be found daydreaming and plotting and planning with the varied characters that fill her imagination when she isn’t planning her flower gardens, watching the horses romp outside her home, or spending time with the family and pets she fills her life with. Writing is her passion, her peace, and her lifeline. She hopes you enjoy the stories, and that you visit her website
often for updates and news on characters and upcoming books.

BOOK: Enigma: Prologue to Live Wire
12.04Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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