Read Trace's Temptation (RARE Series, #3) Online

Authors: Dawn Sullivan

Tags: #Paranormal Romance, #Romance, #Shifters, #Shifter Romance

Trace's Temptation (RARE Series, #3) (8 page)

BOOK: Trace's Temptation (RARE Series, #3)
11.28Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Releasing a tortured sob, Jade ran her hands over Trace’s head, then lightly down his sunken cheeks while placing small, gentle kisses on his dried, cracked lips.  “I’m here,” she told him as she nuzzled his neck, stiffening when her body came into contact with the thick chains surrounding him.  Leaning back, she turned to Jinx and growled, “Get them off.”

“Guard the stairs, Flame,” Jinx ordered, the commanding tone of his voice leaving no room for argument.  “No one gets down them, understood?”  Flame gave a quick nod and moved to the bottom of the stairs, her weapon drawn and ready.

Kneeling down next to them, Jinx quickly started to unwrap the heavy chain from Trace’s left arm.  “This is going to hurt like a bitch, man,” he murmured.  “Your cat is going to try and take over, but you have to fight through the pain and stop him.  He just wants to protect you, but he could hurt someone on accident.”

Trace groaned as Jinx got his left arm unwrapped and moved to work on his right arm.  Sweat beaded up on Trace’s forehead and a growl escaped when Jinx started removing the chain from his chest.  “Breathe through the pain, Trace,” Jinx snarled when Trace’s fangs punched through his gums and he let out a roar of agony.  “Block it out.”

“What’s going on,” Jade demanded, the fear evident in her voice. 

“The chains have been constricting him for months, Jade.  Now that I am removing them, the pain feels like it is crushing him.  But I have to get them off.  We can’t get him out of here like this.”  After finally unraveling the last of the chains, Jinx paused and placed a hand firmly on Trace’s shoulder.  “Look at me, Trace,” he commanded. 

Trace raised his head, his dark eyes flashing, and roared again.  He struggled to hold his body tightly in check, fighting his cat.  Jade gently stroked a hand down his arm trying to help calm him.  “Look at me,” Jinx demanded again forcefully.  When Trace’s eyes met his, Jinx grabbed hold of his shoulders and growled, “You will stand down.  You will get yourself under control.  I will not allow you to hurt Jade.”  Trace seemed to freeze at the mention of his mate.

As Jade watched, Trace fought valiantly for control.  With Jinx’s help, he finally won several long agonizing minutes later.  Sagging under the pain and exhaustion, Trace laid down on the hard floor, his head in Jade’s lap.  She gently continued to run her hands over his body, trying to soothe him with her touch.  Jade bent down to kiss Trace softly on his cheek, once again nuzzling his neck.  She cried softly as Trace shuddered, pain racing through his body.

“Trace,” Jade heard a tentative female voice call out weakly.  “Trace, where are you?” Jade lifted her head as she heard movement in one of the cells.  “Don’t hurt him, you bastards.  Don’t you hurt him anymore,” the voice cried out.

“Gypsy,” Jade whispered as Trace fought to sit up and respond.  Jinx leaned over and helped Jade pull Trace into a sitting position before standing and moving toward the woman.  She continued to yell and threaten them as she tried to pull herself up using the bars on her cage.  Jade’s heart went out to the woman that fought to help Trace.  Her tremendous courage, in spite of the situation, was amazing.  Just hours before Jade had been extremely jealous of Gypsy, but seeing her now, all she felt was empathy for her. 

Jinx stopped in front of Gypsy and lightly touched her hand that was closed tightly around the steel bar.  “Calm down, little one.  You are safe now.  No one will harm you again.  You are going home.”

Tears fell down Gypsy’s filthy cheeks as she watched Jinx, her face full of hope.  Her voice quivered as she asked, “Are you one of Trace’s teammates?”  Gently, Jinx shook his head.

“No, Jinx isn’t.  But I am,” Jade rushed to assure the woman as Gypsy started to scoot back in fear.  “My name is Jade, Gypsy.  And I want to thank you for helping my mate through this horrible ordeal.” 

“This is all happy and wonderful,” Flame interjected from her position by the stairs, “But I vote you grab the keys from the dead guy, unlock the prisoners, and we get the hell out of here.”

“Agreed,” Jinx said.  Moving swiftly, he unhooked the keys from the belt on one of the guards and after finding the right key, he unlocked Gypsy’s door.  Moving to the next cell, he unlocked it and threw the keys at the prisoner.  “Unlock the rest of the cells down here before you leave this room,” he ordered.  “You will not leave until that is done.”

As the severely injured man managed to crawl out of the cell and move to the next one, Jinx went back to Gypsy and gently lifted her into his arms.  “Can you walk?” he asked as he glanced over to see Trace had made it to his feet with Jade’s help.  Meeting Jinx’s eyes, Trace growled, “Let’s go.”

“What about Sari?” Gypsy whispered as she laid her head tiredly against Jinx’s shoulder.  “We have to get Sari.”

“Already being taken care of,” Jinx responded as they headed up the stairs, Flame taking the lead.

Chapter 9

ngel and Nico swiftly cleared room after room on the second floor.  There was no sign of Sari on the first floor, and so far none on the second floor either.  “Shit,” Nico yelled as they heard the sound of a helicopter on the roof.  As Angel opened the door to what looked like the master bedroom, they quickly cleared the room together before running to the doors by the balcony. 
Do you have eyes on the target?
Angel demanded as she peeked through the curtains covering the large windows. 
Do not let him get on the chopper.  I repeat, do not let him get on that damn chopper.  You take him out!

On it boss,
was Rikki’s quiet response right before she took one shot, quickly followed by another. 
Two down.  I don’t have a shot on the third.

Got him,
Storm said as she took out the third man. 
All men on the roof are down.

Hearing a soft whimper, Angel swung around in the direction of the noise and quickly closed the distance to the closed bathroom door.  Knocking softly she called out, “Sari.  Sari, honey, my name is Angel.  Trace and Gypsy sent me to get you out of here.”  Angel frowned as she heard the soft whimper again, but no other response. 

Slowly Angel opened the door, afraid of what she would find on the other side.  Hiding in the bathtub, a large kitchen knife in one hand, was a young, terrified girl.  She was naked and shaking so hard Angel was worried she might accidentally cut herself. 
Stay back, Nico,
she whispered as she cautiously moved toward the child. 
There is no danger in here.  Just a scared child.  Find me some clothes for her, quickly. 

Kneeling down on the floor in front of the tub, Angel smiled gently at the girl.  “You are Sari, right?” she asked even though she knew this was Gypsy’s sister.  “You’re going to be okay, Sweetheart.  I promise.  I’m here to take you home.”

Sari shook her head sadly, her beautiful dark brown eyes filling with tears.  “I don’t have a home anymore,” she whispered in a tortured voice.  “That asshole took it from me.  He took everything from me.”

“Not everything,” Angel responded as she reached out and gently removed the sharp knife from Sari’s fingers.  “You still have Gypsy.”

Eyes widening, Sari rasped, “Gypsy’s still alive?”  Grasping the side of the tub, she moved to her knees and then painfully pulled herself up until she was standing, leaning back against the wall.  There were bruises covering the majority of Sari’s body and Angel was worried she might have internal damage the way she was moving. 

Helping Sari step out of the bathtub on her trembling legs, Angel promised her, “Gypsy is very much alive, Sari.  My team is getting her as we speak.”

“Philip told me she was dead,” Sari whispered raggedly.  “He told me he killed her because I wouldn’t cooperate.  But I did everything he said.  I tried to be good.  I really did.”

I have clothes, boss,
Nico said, his voice full of barely controlled rage. 
I’m going to leave them on the floor outside the door and go wait in the hallway so I don’t scare her any more than she already is.

As soon as she knew Nico was gone, Angel turned and opened the door to the bathroom.  Reaching down, she grabbed Sari’s clothes and quickly shut the door again.  “Here are some clothes, Sari.  Hurry and get dressed so we can get out of here.”

“Don’t leave me,” Sari burst out as Angel went to open the door again.  Rushing forward, Sari grabbed her stomach crying out in pain.  “Please,” she begged on a sob, “please, don’t leave me.”

“I won’t go anywhere,” Angel promised as she shut the door and leaned up against it, crossing her arms over her chest.  Waiting for Sari to get ready, Angel frowned and gently entered her mind to try and figure out why she was in so much pain. 

Angel tightly grasped her arms and smothered a growl when she was swamped with pain, sadness and despair.  From the faint impressions she got, it seemed as if Sari had somehow pissed Perez off recently and he’d repeatedly beaten her, throwing her on the floor and kicking her in the stomach over and over.  When he was done, he left her to fend for herself.  She was alone, in excruciating pain, and scared to death.  Angel was going to kill the bastard slowly, if he wasn’t already dead.

As soon as Sari was ready, Angel opened the door and motioned for her to follow.  Softly she whispered, “My teammate, Nico, is waiting outside.  He will not hurt you, Sari.  You can trust him.  We will get you out of here.”

When Sari stopped suddenly and moaned again clutching her stomach, Angel turned and caught her just before she fell to the ground. 
Nico, get in here,
she ordered. 
I need your help.

Angel put Sari in Nico’s arms when he stepped in the room and they swiftly left heading down the hall. 
Are you clear?
She asked Jade as they took the stairs leading down to the back entryway.

I need help with Trace,
Jade responded. 
He’s having trouble walking and Jinx is carrying Gypsy. 

Phoenix, if you are done playing with your toys, get your ass in here and get our boy,
Angel ordered as they reached the back door. 

Swinging around, gun raised, she waited patiently after hearing footsteps in the next room. 
It’s just us,
Flame said as she led the way to where Angel waited. Jinx was right behind her carrying a small, frail, filthy woman who had lost consciousness.  Angel gulped as she saw Jade helping Trace make his way painfully down the hall.  He was so thin and gaunt and was obviously in a lot of pain.  His feet shuffled slowly along the carpet, his arm around Jade’s shoulder.  His head hung low as if he didn’t have the strength to hold it up and his shoulders slumped.  She was really going to kill that fucking bastard, Perez.  No one messed with her family.  No one.  Turning, Angel ran back up the stairs to the second floor entering the first bedroom.  Pulling a blanket off the bed, she quickly returned to Trace and wrapped his naked, shivering form in the warm material.

I’m here, boss,
Phoenix said as the back door opened and he slipped through. One look at Trace and Phoenix was in the room lifting him into his arms. “I can walk dammit,” Trace insisted sluggishly, pushing weakly against Phoenix. 

“Yeah, well I can run and this place is set to blow soon,” Phoenix replied with a grimace.  “How about we get these women the hell out of here?”  Not able to argue against that logic, Trace gave in sullenly. 

Guards are all down, Angel,
Rikki said. 
Jaxson has the gates open and is waiting out front in a truck.

They exited quickly out the back and made their way to the front, sticking to the side of the mansion just in case there were any guards they’d missed.  Seeing the truck with Jaxson at the wheel, Angel raced forward and jumped in the truck bed, the others following.  After helping them in, Angel sat down and pulled a terrified Sari into her arms.  Jaxson sped through the gates, stopping to let Ryker get in front with him while Storm and Rikki hopped in back.  They held on tight as Jaxson raced through the jungle on the rough dirt road to get to their plane.

“Did you get him?” Angel asked Rikki as Sari snuggled into her side, her eyes never leaving Gypsy.  “Was he on that helicopter?”

“No,” Rikki shook her head.  “It wasn’t Perez.”

“He isn’t here,” Sari told them, as a tear slipped down her cheek.  She clutched her stomach and cried out as they hit another pothole.  Angel tugged her closer and ran a comforting hand down Sari’s long, dark hair.

“He wasn’t here?”  Angel asked.  Damn, she’d hoped the prick was already dead.  “Where the hell is he?”

“He left yesterday,” Sari whispered.  “He never tells me where he is going.  All I heard him say was he had a lead on someone named Sophia.  I don’t know who that is, though.”

Well, shit, Angel thought.  He was going after Trace’s mother.  They were going to have to get to her first.  Trace had been through too much.  Angel refused to let him lose his mother and sister, too.  First they were going to have to get home and regroup.  They would get their wounded to Doc Josie to be taken care of.  Then RARE would do what they did best.  They’d get to Trace’s family, retrieve them, and bring them home.  Angel was done messing with Philip Perez.  Once Sophia and Starr were safe, RARE was going hunting.

Chapter 10

hankfully, Nico had some strong pain medicine on the plane that helped ease Trace’s discomfort enough so he could finally fall into a deep, healing sleep.  As much as Jade wanted to talk with him and assure herself he was okay, she was content with holding him against her on the floor in the back of the plane and vowing to never let him go.  Rubbing her cheek on the top of his head where it rested on her chest, she closed her eyes and savored the feel of him in her arms.  It was going to take a long time to recover from everything his body had been put through, but the important thing was that he was safe and with her now.   

I’m leaving as soon as the plane lands,
Jinx said softly into her mind.  Jade stiffened and raised her head to look at her brother sitting in a seat in the back of the plane.  He stared straight ahead, and even though he didn’t move his head, she knew he was aware of everything that happened on the plane. 
I have to get back before the General gets suspicious.

BOOK: Trace's Temptation (RARE Series, #3)
11.28Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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