Nowhere to Run by Camille Taylor
Ivy Mercer raised her hands, palms facing out. Sweat rolled down her back, plastering her shirt to her skin. The acrid scent of smoke from the burning village seared her throat and filled her lungs.
The muzzle of a rifle followed the militant’s head as he bent it toward the ground. She didn’t need to speak the language to understand his direction.
Sinking to her knees, Ivy kept her gaze on the man pointing the gun at her head. Her heart pounded. Her knotted stomach somersaulted as she forced in thick, dry breaths, each harder than the last. The oppressive heat was as suffocating as being trapped inside a house on fire.
Ivy bit her lip to keep from crying out as one of her arms was wrenched behind her back, then the other, and they were secured firmly together at the wrists. Tears burned her eyes, but she blinked them back, determined not to give her captors any satisfaction.
Ivy had a feeling this was one situation she wouldn’t be able to get herself out of.
Tate waved his gun before her eyes. A bright spark raced along the muzzle as the moonlight caught the steel.
Ivy swallowed at her suddenly dry throat.
“Please, my father would disown me if I couldn’t shoot a tick off an elephant’s ass.” Her palms became slippery. “But I-I don’t think I could kill anyone.”
Tate shrugged off his backpack and dropped it beside her. “It’s either you or them, Poison Ivy.”
Heat suffused her cheeks. “I told you never to call me that.”
He grinned, like the reckless, fun-loving boy he had been. But he was no longer a boy. A fact she was trying hard to ignore.
“Good, you’re angry. Stay that way.”
“You can count on it.”
He nodded. “Stay here. Shoot anything that comes too close. Except me. I’ll be real pissed if you shoot me.”
She caught the sleeve of his shirt, the fabric thick beneath her fingers. “Wait, where are you going?”
“We need to thin the herd if we plan to get out of here. Watch my six.”
Her gaze dropped to his ass, which filled out his dark pants magnificently. She drew in a deep breath, almost choking, having forgotten to breathe.
Ivy tracked Tate as he moved through the dusty cloud kicked up by the hoard of men charging toward them. Gunshots reverberated through the night and rang in her ears.
She blew out her breath, her arms trembling. Tate stepped around the body, towering over her as he drew near.
“When I said watch my six, I meant from a distance. But thank you.”
Ivy opened her mouth to reply, but Tate dragged her closer, his lips swooping down to ravish hers. His tongue rasped against her own, short-circuiting her synapses and liquefying her muscles. A soft fluttering began in her stomach, light and sweet. Ivy clutched at his arms, allowing him to devour her. Her heart thumped and she moaned into his mouth.
Tate’s hold tightened. His hand roamed her back before settling on her nape, holding her head still as he drank from her. Desire swirled around, igniting quickly. With one last plunge, Tate drew back and sucked in a deep breath.
Ivy wet her lips, feeling his possession. Stepping away, she stumbled, snagging Tate’s arm at the last second to steady herself. He caught her and held her close. Ivy sagged into him. His arm, a steel band around her back, held her upright.
Ivy fought to drag air into her lungs. That kiss had damn near robbed her of breath.