Elemental: Earth (Alt)
Gavin and his brothers had clashed with government agents many times since their escape from ‘the hatch’, but Tessa and her posse were a challenge they welcomed.
Rescued by the very man she’d been sent to seduce and capture, Tessa wasn’t certain she was safer with Gavin—who could do some seriously scary things—than she had been with the rebels—especially when she discovers Gavin wasn’t fooled by their dangerous game to start with.
Word Count: 42,758
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Available formats: PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)
© Cover Art by Mariah LaMott, September 2013
New Concepts Publishing
Lake Park, GA 31636
This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author's imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.
Reed and Dallas burst into Gavin’s quiet reverie with their brother Giles giving all the details of his encounter with the ‘Amazonian beauty’ a few nights before. Gavin hadn’t been able to shake the image of her, and for that very reason, he’d decided against trying to find her on the beach like he promised. It had been two days already since the encounter, and he was feeling torn with desire to see her again and the cautiousness that had become a driving force in his life. He was always careful. He was always questioning. he’d to protect them from the nightmares of their past.
“And there’s two more girls?” Dallas asked eagerly. “How perfect is that?”
Exactly, Gavin thought. How ‘perfect’ is that? A little too perfect. It’s got to be a set-up.
“This is shady,” Reed said. Sometimes Gavin wondered if he could read his thoughts. Reed’s intuition between the brothers was keen, sharper than the others’. He couldn’t always do it, but relatively often, Reed seemed to read his brothers’ minds.
“What do you mean?” Dallas asked, still the more naïve of the brothers.
“Four girls just happen to be vacationing in this town, just happen to be American, and just happen to connect with two of us already. It’s planned. It’s too contrived,” Reed remarked.
Giles sidled his way in between Reed and Dallas, placing his arm around Dallas’ shoulder and steering him away from Reed. “Little brother, don’t listen to pessimism. Who even cares if it is contrived? These are absolutely gorgeous women. And it is wonderful that they just happen to fall in our laps like this.” Here Giles nudged Dallas, hoping he would get the double entendre. “Why would we reject the gifts of the gods and not enjoy this little bit of nectar and ambrosia?”
Dallas smiled, but he looked from brother to brother. He always felt pulled between Reed and Giles. The twins were at odds with each other about half of the time, and Dallas found himself trying to be peacemaker, but at times that also felt like he was a prize to be won.
“Listen,” Gavin said finally. Dallas, Giles, and Reed automatically turned serious. Gavin had always been more father-figure than brother. His wisdom had saved them all countless times, and though he could be brooding and too serious at times, the three brothers agreed that his counsel had gotten them all this far. “I’m not too sure who they really are, but I’m sure that they’re not what they appear to be. I would bet that the Hatch sent them. I don’t like the situation at all, and Reed’s right. These girls are good. They pulled Giles and me in quickly. We’ve got to cut these ties. I don’t trust them.”
Giles was not happy about the conversation. “Hey, now, I’m not stupid. You’re probably right that they’re plants, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the companionship of these women and still be careful. Don’t you think it’s going to look more suspicious that we just suddenly have nothing to do with them? That will tip them off. Who knows what is already happening? It’s been two days even though you promised to find her the day after Lupe’s. This has given them too much time. If we stay involved, we control the situation, right?”
“You’re so selfish,” Reed answered. “You’re willing to do anything, including putting us all at risk, just to satisfy your desires. There are plenty of girls who will do whatever you want or need that are not connected to the goons who have tormented us and only want our abilities. Do you really think you can control the situation with this girl when she’s only doing what she’s assigned to do?”
“Look, I know you’re scarred from Grimm, but you have got to get over that, Bro,” Giles began.
Reed’s usually bright eyes narrowed, and outside, the sun was suddenly enveloped by a dark cloud that thundered in response. “I told you never to mention her name. Ever.”
“Giles, just shut up,” Dallas said softly. “It’s alright, Reed. You know he’s just pushing your buttons.”
“I don’t care what he does. Let him have his little fling and get taken back to the Hatch. It would serve him right,” Reed said.
“Alright, everyone just calm down,” Gavin rumbled. “We stick together. You all know that. The two of you really need to get over this childishness. It’s been decades, and it’s tiresome.” Reed and Giles wouldn’t look Gavin in the eye, almost like little boys being scolded. They both resented these moments when Gavin made them seem so juvenile and inferior. “Giles has a really good point,” Dallas offered, “about controlling the situation.”
“Yeah, he does,” Gavin agreed. “I hadn’t thought about that. I just can’t seem to get my head around the situation. It’s. . . weird. I’ve never been so. . . uncomfortable. I can’t get a great read on the girls. None of my warning signs are visible with Tessa, and I’m pretty sure she’s the ring leader. The only one I can clearly understand is Dara, yet she seems to be the least connected to this group somehow.”
“Well, I say let’s meet up with these lovely ladies.” Dallas tried to lighten the mood. “It’s not fair to let Gavin and Giles have all the fun when there is enough to go around.” Reed sighed. “I’m game for trying to control the circumstances. I think it will be best for us to try and steer this into the way we want it to go. I also think we’ll be able to get as much information from them as they think they will get from us.”
“I hear what you’re saying,” Gavin conceded. “I think they have a lot of information on us already, though. I told Tessa I would bring you all to meet up with the girls on the beach a few days ago. Maybe we try today, take some lunch or something. But look, I want all of us to be careful. And Giles, don’t get too involved physically yet. We need to keep ourselves focused and on top of things.”
“Oh, I was planning on being on top of things,” Giles grinned. “Are you telling me not to use one of my greatest gifts to possibly get information?” Sometimes Gavin just wanted to relax, laugh at the cockiness and security of his brother, but he’d already cast himself in this role--caregiver, protector, the stable one. “Yes. I’m telling you-- no sex. That goes for you two, as well.”