Still counting down until the release of Ruby Fever! 3 more Sundays! Next week will start the Catalina/Alessandro lovefest, but first here is some more Nevada and Connor. I have several favorite scenes in this book… when Mad Rogan takes on the first Madero brother and after beating the crap out of him, warns him to forget Nevada’s name. Of course, his family doesn’t. This leads to one of my other favorite scenes… when Leon discovers what his magic is in the hospital parking lot. I even thought of using the trial at the end when House Baylor becomes official. But, that argument and Rogan building those stairs to Nevada’s window won the day in the end.
Something knocked on my window.
Maybe it was a bat.
Knock. Knock. Knock.
I climbed out of the bed and walked to the window. A small grey rock tapped the glass from the outside. Knock-knock-knock.
I looked down. Rogan stood on the sidewalk.
Well. Think of the devil.
I pulled the latch up and opened the window. The rock streaked to the ground.
“I’m trying to sleep.”
“I said wait for me.”
“I did. I waited for an hour. Then I had to go home.”
“You’re mad at me.”
Thank you, Captain Obvious. “Why would I be mad at you? Is it because as soon as we had sex, you jumped out of our bed and rushed to see your ex-fiancee and was gone for almost two hours?”
I checked the clock by my bed. “One hour and twenty-two minutes.”
“There was a hysterical child on the other end of the line. When I got there, his sister woke up and started crying. Then Rynda cried.”
“Did you soothe them to sleep?”
He gritted his teeth. “I made sure they aren’t crying.”
“Great. Then the problem is resolved. I’m going back to bed.”
“I asked you to wait for me and you didn’t.”
“Why should I stay there, Rogan? You weren’t there. I have my own bed right here.”
“What exactly did you want me to do? Was I supposed to listen to her scream and tell her to fuck off because I would rather stay in bed with you?”
“So now I’m the bad guy?”
“Well, yes, a little bit. I went to do something nice and you got mad about it. You’re overreacting.”
Ooh, no he didn’t.
“Nevada, as a Head of House, there will be times I will have to get out of bed, no matter what we’re doing, and go take care of things.”
“Taking care of your ex-fiancee is House business?”
“I’ve known her since we were children.”
“She’s practically family.”
“And what am I?”
He realized he’d walked into it.
“As it happens, I’m also about to become a Head of House. You’re right, sometimes things do come up, and we have to leave and take care of them. I’m not just going to lay all sad in your bed waiting for when you decide that you’re done blotting another woman’s tears. I have profile requests to evaluate and kidnappings to solve.”
“What profile requests?” he growled. “Who?”
“Not you, if that’s what you’re asking. You didn’t check on our genetic compatibility.”
“Do you think if you snarl enough, I’ll tell you? You’re not that scary, Rogan, and I don’t respond well to intimidation. Maybe you should lather up some spit.”
“Who was it?’
He was like a dog with a bone. He wouldn’t let go of it until I told him., and it had very little to do with what I wanted to fight about. Fine. “House Tremaine and House Shaffer.”
“Did you say yes?”
“Not to Tremaine.”
“You said yes to Shaffer?”
He lapsed into silence. His face arranged itself into a cold mask. “You’re right. You are becoming the Head of your House. Might as well start planning now.”
Oh, for the love of… “They asked for basic profile to eliminate the possibility of familial relations, because they’re worried I might be a Shaffer love child.”
“They asked for it to ensure that there are no complications preventing a match,” he ground out. “That’s the first step.”
I leaned through the window and savored the words. “You’re overreacting.”
A door swung open somewhere and Catalina called out, “Mom says that you should either have sex or stop arguing, because it’s past midnight and all of us are trying to sleep. Figure yourselves out!”
The door slammed shut.
“That’s okay,” I hissed. “We’re finished talking. Just one question before I go: in your expert opinion as the Head of a House, when Rynda called you, was it a true emergency? Was it something that absolutely couldn’t be resolved without your presence, or was it another opportunity for her to make sure that you’re emotionally engaged to take care of her and her children if Brian doesn’t make it? And if it was a true emergency, why didn’t you ask me to come with you?”
I slammed the window shut. There. I got it out.
He stared at me through the window, turned, and strode across the street.
That’s right. Just walk away.
I threw myself on the bed. Well, that went well.
Something thudded outside.
I got up and went to the window. He stood in the middle of the street. A stream of pallets and huge tires flew past him, stacking themselves on the ground under me.
I just stared, mute.
The stack grew with ridiculous speed. He was building a ramp to my window.
I pulled the window open again. “Are you out of your mind?”
His face was grim. “No.”
“You’re expending a huge amount of magic doing this.”
His expression told me he didn’t care.
The flood of tires ended midway up; the pallets stopped too. He’d run out of building materials.
The door opened again. “Mom says-” my sister started.
A fire escape ladder tore itself off the building across the street on my left and wedged itself in the stack. Several cement bags landed on its base, anchoring it.
Catalina shut the door without another word.
He walked up the ramp, climbed the ladder to my window, and held his hand out to me.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
“I’m kidnapping you back to my lair. You’re sleeping in my bed tonight and all other nights.”
“Is that so?’
“And do I have any say in this?”
“You always have a say. If you say no, I’ll leave.”
He wore his Prime face, inscrutable and detached. But his eyes gave him away. He was barely in control and hanging on by the tips of his fingers.
We could either work through this mess or I could sit in my room and steam in my own hurt feelings. I grabbed a pair of sweatpants, pulled them on, stuck my feet into my slippers, and put my hand in his.”
Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
Hidden Legacy #3
Published July 25, 2017, by Avon