Zavir is a guardian. He"s the best the Krinar has. His assigned vocation is to uncover the Resistance movements popping up around the earth, and eliminate them. New information about a fast-growing Resistance camp sends him to Costa Rica, home of the largest Krinar Center. His informant is a human girl. She wants to make a deal"her traitorous family"s lives in exchange for information"but Zavir doesn"t make deals, and he takes no prisoners. When the time comes to wipe out the secret organization, his pretty, innocent little mole will learn the truth. She made a deal with the devil, and the price is something far more tantalizing than information.Books by Author:Charmaine Pauls Books
The jungle resonated with sounds of night creatures, sounds Liv never heard on the footpath in the shady light of day. She ducked as a giant ghost bat swooped low, the large span of its wing brushing her hair. Shivering, she hugged herself and trudged forward, keeping her gaze on the path for snakes. A moving shadow on a tree trunk caught her eye. A tarantula scurried over the bark. She barely missed head butting the cocoon suspended on silky strings that stretched between two branches. Glowing silver in the moonlight, the semi-transparent cocoon vibrated, sending a ripple through the web. Something struggled inside, something bulky and black. She refused to think of its content.
This was for Erik and Karl.
If her brothers discovered her gone, they"d be furious. She didn"t even want to think what Hans would do to her, but there was no other way. She had to meet the Krinar, and the village on the outskirts of the jungle was the only public place within walking distance. Even if Anita said she could trust him, she wasn"t going to risk being alone with an alien who"d single-handedly wiped out armies of Resistance fighters.
Steeling herself, she continued on her journey, the hair on her arms rising with every crack of a branch and hoot of an owl. She was used to the flat, open expanses of the Kalahari Desert. Sand she could handle. Reptiles and hairy jungle insects not so much. Soon, the soles of her hiking boots were caked with mud, losing traction and making her slip on the moss-covered rocks. Humidity dampened her clothes. The long-sleeved shirt didn"t do much to protect her against the mosquitos, either. They were nothing short of vampires, stinging through the lightweight fabric.
When distant lights became visible through the dense vegetation, she exhaled in relief and picked up her pace. She"d chosen the bar. Except for a few houses and a grocery store, there was no place else. Standing on the step of the open door, she surveyed the space. Men in dirty vests threw daggers at a target drawn on the wooden wall. A rowdy group downed shooters at the counter. A man with oily hair and a shiny face looked up. Maybe the bar wasn"t such a good idea. How could she have known" She"d never been on this side of the jungle. It was too late. They"d already spotted her. If she fled, it would be like turning one"s back on a lion"an open invitation to attack. False bravery was her best defense.
Lifting her chin, she walked inside and took her time to decide on the best spot. Two chairs in a corner were vacant. She was about to take one when the man with the oily hair sauntered over.
"Hello, sweetness," he said with a Spanish accent.
"I"m not your sweetness."
He grinned. "You will be."
Without warning, his hand shot out, gripping her braid. He gave a pluck, jerking her closer.
She winced at the sting on her scalp. "Let go."
He chuckled. "Or""
"Or you become a eunuch," a deep voice said from the door.
The whole bar"s attention turned toward the sound.
A giant, as muscled as he was tall, stood in the doorway. His face was sculptured in angular lines, his jaw square, and his nose straight. A neatly trimmed beard drew attention to those lines, making his face seem harder. His dark hair was cropped close to his skull in the military style her brothers favored. Red welts on his upper arms marred the even tone of his bronze skin. The wounds looked fresh. As his slate-gray eyes landed on the foul-smelling man"s hand where it was fisted in her hair, they flashed with a spark too otherworldly to be human. There was no mistaking the physical perfection and unusual size. He was a Krinar. The bar had gone silent. The man next to her was frozen to the spot.
The K stepped over the threshold. With a wide stance, he took in the room much as she"d done upon her arrival. He appeared docile, but experience had taught her that men with a calm demeanor were often the most dangerous. His attire was in the lighter colors the Ks in Lenkarda favored. Khaki pants molded over powerful thighs, and a beige, sleeveless T-shirt stretched over his broad chest. Every hard contour of his muscles was visible under the fabric.
Her mouth went dry. Did she do the right thing" The K was a killing machine, a Resistance hunter, and she was with the Resistance. He was lion. She was prey. The only thing that guaranteed her safety was the information she could provide. He wasn"t going to rip her limbs off before he"d gotten intel. Was he"
The man who held her uttered a surprised curse and looked at his crotch. She followed his gaze. The flip knife in her hand indented his jean-covered testicles. With the K throwing her off-balance, she hadn"t realized how much pressure she was applying.