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DARK GUARDIAN'S MATE (The Children Of The Gods Paranormal Romance Series Book 13), page 1

 

DARK GUARDIAN'S MATE (The Children Of The Gods Paranormal Romance Series Book 13)
 

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DARK GUARDIAN'S MATE (The Children Of The Gods Paranormal Romance Series Book 13)


  DARK GUARDIAN’S MATE

  I T LUCAS

  FOLLOW I. T. LUCAS ON AMAZON

  Contents

  CHAPTER 1: ANDREW

  CHAPTER 2: EVA

  CHAPTER 3: CAROL

  CHAPTER 4: ROBERT

  CHAPTER 5: ANDREW

  CHAPTER 6: BHATHIAN

  CHAPTER 7: EVA

  CHAPTER 8: JACKSON

  CHAPTER 9: TESSA

  CHAPTER 10: JACKSON

  CHAPTER 11: AMANDA

  CHAPTER 12: EVA

  CHAPTER 13: BHATHIAN

  CHAPTER 14: EVA

  CHAPTER 15: BHATHIAN

  CHAPTER 16: KIAN

  CHAPTER 17: BRUNDAR

  CHAPTER 18: ROBERT

  CHAPTER 19: AMANDA

  CHAPTER 20: LOSHAM

  CHAPTER 21: ANDREW

  CHAPTER 22: BHATHIAN

  CHAPTER 23: TESSA

  CHAPTER 24: JACKSON

  CHAPTER 25: BRUNDAR

  CHAPTER 26: TESSA

  CHAPTER 27: EVA

  CHAPTER 28: KIAN

  CHAPTER 29: AMANDA

  CHAPTER 30: SYSSI

  CHAPTER 31: RONI

  CHAPTER 32: EVA

  CHAPTER 33 BHATHIAN

  CHAPTER 34: EVA

  CHAPTER 35: SYSSI

  CHAPTER 36: EVA

  CHAPTER 37: TESSA

  CHAPTER 38: JACKSON

  CHAPTER 39: ANDREW

  CHAPTER 40: NATHALIE

  CHAPTER 41: CAROL

  CHAPTER 42: LOSHAM

  CHAPTER 43: EVA

  CHAPTER 44: BHATHIAN

  CHAPTER 45: TESSA

  CHAPTER 46: JACKSON

  CHAPTER 47: TESSA

  CHAPTER 48: SYSSI

  CHAPTER 49: KIAN

  CHAPTER 50: AMANDA

  CHAPTER 51: EVA

  CHAPTER 52: BHATHIAN

  CHAPTER 53: EVA

  CHAPTER 54: BHATHIAN

  CHAPTER 55: EVA

  CHAPTER 56: EVA

  CHAPTER 57: BRUNDAR

  SERIES READING ORDER

  OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES

  FOR EXCLUSIVE PEEKS

  Copyright

  CHAPTER 1: ANDREW

  Andrew closed the file he was working on, put it back inside the metal cabinet by his desk, locked it, and then logged out of his station. One could never be too careful—not even in a secure government facility that was wired to the max. For all he knew, there could be a double agent among them.

  Not paranoia.

  Reality.

  One had been caught in a similar facility on the East Coast.

  Security had been upped, which made his life difficult. In a way, he was a double agent himself. Not working against the U.S., he wouldn’t do that even for the clan. By law, though, using government resources and databases for the benefit of another entity was almost as bad and probably carried the same jail sentence.

  With a sigh, Andrew grabbed his gym bag off the floor and headed out. His days of training downstairs in the office gym were long gone, the place couldn’t hold a candle to the one in the keep, but with security being so tight it was the only place he and Roni could meet and talk without raising suspicion.

  At the end of a workday, the gym was at its busiest, but Roni had his own designated corner. As the only employee in the entire building who’d been assigned a private trainer, the boy genius could claim that spot for himself without anyone grumbling about it.

  Spotting the kid and his fitness trainer, Andrew smiled and waved before walking over. “Roni, Jerry, how are you guys doing?” He offered his hand to the trainer, a stocky dude with the patience of a saint. No one else could’ve tolerated Roni’s attitude day after day and kept on smiling.

  The trainer clapped Andrew on the shoulder. “Living the dream, Andrew. Want to join us?”

  The guy was either the most optimistic, upbeat fellow Andrew had ever met or was high on something other than life.

  “Sure. I just need to change out of the monkey suit.”

  Roni put down the weights and sat up on the bench. Bracing his elbows on his knees and his chin on his fist, he looked up at Jerry. “I’m thirsty. Could you get me a drink?”

  The trainer rolled his eyes.

  Andrew slapped Roni’s back. “I’ll keep this dick company until you come back.”

  “Thank you.”

  “I need to talk to you,” Roni said as soon as Jerry was out of earshot.

  Andrew put his foot on Roni’s bench and pretended to re-tie his shoe, bending closer to Roni’s ear. “Sylvia. Tonight. Eleven.”

  Roni nodded and picked up the dumbbells off the floor. The kid’s troubled eyes betrayed the storm raging in his head. Something must’ve happened, but to say more was to take unnecessary risks. Until he saw Roni later that night, Andrew would have to be patient.

  As Andrew eased into the parking lot of the Starbucks that had become his and Sylvia’s meeting place, she was already there, waiting for him in her car. Meeting that way saved Sylvia from having to explain to her mother why Andrew, a married man, was picking her up and dropping her off in the middle of the night or early hours of the morning.

  “Thanks for doing this for us,” she said, buckling up.

  “You’re welcome. But I’m not doing it out of the goodness of my heart. Your boyfriend is giving me valuable services in exchange.”

  “I know. Still, I feel bad about keeping you away from Nathalie all night. She probably hates me.”

  Nathalie had had a few choice words to say on the subject, but the romantic in her couldn’t stay mad at him for helping out the young lovers. He’d promised to make it up to her.

  But how?

  What would make Nathalie happy?

  Another dinner date with just the two of them?

  It would be nice, but he wanted to be original—to surprise her with something he hadn’t done before. “I’m trying to figure out how to best make it up to Nathalie. Any ideas?”

  Sylvia shrugged. “Every woman is different. If it were me, I would want chocolates. But that’s me.”

  Nathalie loved chocolate as much as the next woman, but she wouldn’t be happy with just that.

  When they arrived at the office building, Sylvia performed her magic, momentarily disabling the cameras and whatever other electronic devices that were monitoring the parking garage, the hallways, and the stairwells.

  As usual, her freaky control over electronics worked beautifully, but regardless of how many times they’d pulled the same stunt, Andrew’s heart pounded against his ribs until Roni’s door closed safely behind them.

  One of these days they would get caught, and the shit would hit the fan.

  Not that he should lose any sleep over it. Worst-case scenario, Kian and his Guardians would have to bail his ass, thralling everyone concerned. The incident would get erased from memories and databases as if it had never happened. But the thing with anxiety was that it had little to do with logic. Andrew’s response was on the gut level, instinctive, a leftover from his human days.

  Roni wrapped his arms around Sylvia, pulling her to him and kissing her as if he hadn’t seen her for a year. When the girl responded in kind, Andrew looked away, searching for a place to disappear to and give them privacy.

  He ducked into the bathroom, used the toilet, and then spent the next ten minutes washing his hands. When his fingers started to prune, he got out, right as the young lovers were breaking apart after their marathon kiss.

  “I need to talk to you for a minute.” Roni turned to Andrew.
“It’s about the special project I was working on.” He glanced at Sylvia, then back at Andrew, indicating that he wasn’t sure he could talk in front of her.

  Andrew would’ve preferred not to, but there wasn’t much to be done about it. Even if Sylvia went into the bedroom and closed the door, she would still hear everything they were talking about. But Roni didn’t know that. He thought she was just an ordinary girl, and that Andrew was the genius who’d found a way to avoid detection by the monitoring equipment in the building.

  “It’s okay. You can talk in front of Sylvia. I’ll make sure she never tells anyone.” He winked at the girl.

  She rolled her eyes.

  Roni looked horrified. “How exactly would you do that?”

  “That’s between Sylvia and me.”

  “Seriously.”

  Andrew chuckled. “Come on, Roni, can’t you take a joke? As if I’m going to harm a single hair on her head.”

  Roni nodded. Taking Sylvia by the hand, he led her to the couch. The two sat close to each other, the fingers of their hands entwined, their thighs touching.

  Cute.

  Andrew pulled a chair from behind the desk and put it down facing the couple. “I’m listening,” he said as he sat down.

  “First of all, this is yours.” Roni handed Andrew the flash drive. “I looked at the matches. There wasn’t a lot of them.” He ran a hand through his short hair. “I recognized one. The same face on three driver’s licenses. Different names, same woman. One from thirty-eight years ago, another one with a different name from five years after that. The third one, with yet another name, is from nine years ago.”

  “Who do you think it is?” Sylvia asked.

  “I don’t think. I know. That’s my grandmother. The first driver’s license is under her name. The other two are not.”

  The implications were astounding. Andrew saw the moment the realization dawned on Sylvia. Her eyes peeling wide, her hand flew to her heart, and she exclaimed, “Oh my God!”

  Roni cast her a bewildered sidelong glance.

  Sylvia recovered quickly. “I assumed something bad must have happened to her.”

  Roni nodded. “She died when my mother was twelve.”

  “How?”

  “She drowned.”

  That could’ve been a perfect cover-up for an immortal. With powerful arms and lungs that could go without air longer than those of a human, Roni’s grandmother could’ve fooled people into thinking she’d gone under, only to resurface somewhere down the shoreline where she’d stashed clothing and other necessities beforehand.

  Exchanging knowing looks with Andrew, Sylvia patted Roni’s knee. “That’s terrible. I’m so sorry.”

  He nodded and then turned to Andrew. “So, what does it mean? For whatever reason, my grandmother faked her own death, then twenty-five years later pulled a driver’s license under an assumed name, using an old picture?”

  Andrew rubbed the back of his neck. Should he tell the kid? Based on Roni’s incredible hacking talent and Sylvia’s reaction to him, Syssi had called it weeks ago, deducing that Roni was a Dormant. If his grandmother was an immortal, then the guesswork was over.

  Still, he needed to get Kian’s approval.

  Besides, even though Sylvia assured him Roni’s apartment was clean of listening devices, talking about immortals and Dormants in a government facility that was wired through and through wasn’t smart. There was always the remote chance that she was mistaken. If his illegal use of government databases for a private investigation was discovered, it would mean trouble for Andrew. If the immortals’ secret got out, it would mean an existential threat to the clan.

  “Let me take a look at it. It might be nothing. Just a doppelgänger. It happens.”

  Roni nodded. “Yeah, that must be it.”

  A few moments later, when the couple disappeared into Roni’s bedroom, Andrew stretched out on the couch and turned on the television. He had hours to kill until Sylvia was ready to go.

  A pity. He would’ve dragged William out of bed if necessary and had him look at the results.

  Discovering that Roni’s grandma was an immortal was big, but the implications of it were huge. It seemed that Eva wasn’t the only Dormant who’d been accidentally activated.

  CHAPTER 2: EVA

  So far so good.

  Two weeks had passed since Bhathian had moved into Eva’s house, and she was still okay with that. His arrival had been unobtrusive. It hadn’t affected Eva’s routine or that of her crew in any way. No big announcements had been made, and no new furniture had been delivered. One bag of clothes and another one of weapons was all Bhathian had brought with him.

  If things didn’t work out, his exit would be just as quiet as his arrival.

  On the one hand, it wasn’t a big vote of confidence in the success of their cohabitation, but on the other hand, Eva was grateful for Bhathian’s cautious approach. It hadn’t been an easy step for her, and perhaps that was the reason he’d been treading lightly.

  “When is Bhathian coming back?” Nick poked his head into the office.

  Eva looked up. “Why?”

  “I’m hungry. He said he’s bringing burritos today.”

  Shaking her head, she pulled out her phone. “I’ll check with him.”

  Bhathian was spoiling her and the kids rotten. Every day on his way back from the keep, he was stopping by one fast-food place or another and getting dinner for everyone.

  As she selected his contact from her favorites list, Eva chuckled. Her man had found a sure way to make everyone happy to see him come home.

  “Yes, love,” he answered immediately, the sounds of traffic hinting he was on his way.

  “How soon are you going to get here?”

  “Why? Do you miss me?”

  “Nick does. He can’t wait… for his burrito.”

  “Tell him I’m almost there.”

  Bhathian hadn’t chuckled or snorted like she’d expected him to.

  Could her teasing have offended him?

  “I can’t wait either. For you; not the burrito.”

  This time he laughed. “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” He ended the call.

  “Well?” Nick tapped his foot.

  She kept forgetting her crew didn’t have her immortal hearing. Yet. “He’ll be here in a few minutes.”

  Nick turned on his heel and strode out. “I’ll open the door for him.”

  A rush of footsteps down the stairs meant that Sharon had spotted Bhathian’s car. “He’s here!” she shouted.

  Eva wondered if the girl had beaten Nick to the door. “Aren’t you joining the welcoming committee?” She cast Tessa an amused glance.

  “I’ll set the table.” Tessa pushed up to her feet and headed for the kitchen.

  Smiling, Eva reclined in her office chair. The hunter was coming back home to feed his grateful family. No one could navigate the dangerous jungles of the fast food industry as well as her man.

  She’d better get off her butt and join the celebration.

  In the kitchen, Tessa was almost done setting the table when her coworkers rushed in, plastic bags full of takeout in their hands, with the smirking Bhathian sauntering sinuously behind them.

  For a big, muscular man, he moved with surprising grace and fluidity. Almost like a dancer, or rather a big, predatory cat.

  Disregarding the bunch of hungry hyenas, he walked up to Eva and crushed her against his chest. “Give me those lush lips of yours, woman.”

  Obligingly, Eva lifted her head. He took her mouth in a hungry kiss, his tongue seeking entrance, his roaming hands turning her boneless.

  Shifting his attention to her ear, Bhathian nipped at the soft fleshy part, sending pulses of desire coursing through her breasts and straight down to her core. “Do you mind skipping dinner?” he whispered.

  Eva stifled a moan. “I don’t. But I don’t want to look at their snickering faces either.” She pointed her chin at the kids.

  He kissed her again. “Later.”<
br />
  “Definitely.”

  God, she was starving, and not for a burrito. It was a strange and unexpected phenomenon. The more sex she had with Bhathian, and it had been a lot since he’d moved in, the more she craved it.

  It was starting to affect her work. Who wanted to read reports and devise strategies when such pleasure awaited her? The only evenings she’d worked this week had been the ones Bhathian had been teaching a late class at the keep.

  Which reminded her. “When are you going to teach me those self-defense moves we’ve talked about?” She meant thralling, but Bhathian’s deep frown meant that he’d either forgotten or was bad at reading clues.

  “Could you teach me too?” Tessa butted in. “I was thinking about enrolling in our neighbor’s Krav Maga class, but I would much rather train with you.”

  Bhathian rubbed a hand over his square jaw. “I don’t think it’s a good idea. I’m used to training strong men.”

  Not really, but the immortals in his self-defense classes, even the most sedentary males and females, were as strong as or stronger than the average human male. Tessa was too small and too fragile.

  “Oh.” Deflated, Tessa bit into her burrito.

  “I’ll go with you to check out Karen’s class,” Sharon offered.

  “Sure,” Tessa mumbled around a mouthful.

  Eva ate several tortilla chips dipped in guacamole and took a few bites from the burrito before rubbing her tummy. “I’m full. Are you about done, Bhathian?”

  He dropped the burrito he’d been eating onto the plate and pushed up to his feet. “I am. For now.” He turned to the gang. “Write the names on the wrappers before putting the leftovers in the fridge. I want to eat mine later.”

  Nick saluted. “Sure thing, boss. Thanks for feeding us.”

  “You’re welcome.” Bhathian took Eva’s hand. “Come. I’ll show you those moves.”

  Sharon chuckled, Nick snickered, and Tessa sighed.

  Eva shrugged. She’d tried to be circumspect about taking Bhathian to bed, but if it didn’t work, she could live with that. Shyness was not an affliction she suffered from.

  Upstairs, Bhathian closed the door behind him and pulled her into his arms. “So, what moves are we talking about?” He nuzzled her neck.

 
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