Shadow Born (Shadows of Salem #1)(10)

by Jasmine Walt, Rebecca Hamilton

There was a jangle of keys, and I turned my head back to the door just in time to see it open. My heart stopped as Tremaine stepped into the room, along with the guard who’d manhandled me earlier as well as a second one. The two hulking men flanked him, and though they were a good foot taller, there was something about the aura radiating off Tremaine’s tall, muscular frame that told me he was the most dangerous of the three.

A moment later, as he stepped into the light and I got my first real look at his face, my heart stuttered back to life.

If God and Satan got together on a sunny day to create something, I imagine they would have come up with something similar to the savage perfection that was Lord Tremaine’s face. My gaze traveled across high, broad cheekbones that looked as though they could slice steel, down the length of a straight, Roman nose, and paused at cruel, sensual lips that were pressed into a straight line. His triangular jaw was strong, his skin tanned and glowing ever so slightly in the lamplight.

He was, in a word, otherworldly, but it was his eyes that captured my attention most. They were a brilliant green, the color of new leaves, and though they appeared human at a glance, there was something more ancient and alien about them than even the arctic stares of his security guards. Those eyes, framed by thick black lashes, widened as green fire sprang to life inside them.

“It’s you again!” he growled, his Scottish burr growing thick with anger. I stumbled back instinctively as he took an angry step toward me.

“Me again?” I dug my heels into the ground to keep myself from scurrying away from Tremaine’s menacing presence. Sure, he might be scary enough to send the monsters beneath my bed running for cover, but that didn’t mean I had to let him see it.

“What the hell are you talking about?” I pressed.

“Dinnae give me that,” he snarled, his Italian leather dress shoes clicking across the concrete as he closed the distance between us. “I’d recognize yer silver hair and witchy eyes from ten thousand leagues away. I dinnae know why ye’ve come back again, but I wilna let ye sink your meddling claws into my affairs anymore.”

“Dude.” It took a lot of effort for me to keep my voice even—Tremaine was less than a foot away, and the anger radiating from his big body was so palpable I swore it was singeing the tip of my nose. “I don’t know what you’ve been smoking, but I’ve never laid eyes on you in my life. Believe me, I would know if I’d run across someone like you before.”

Heat suffused my cheeks at that little slip, and I straightened as best I could with my hands still zip-tied behind my back.

Some of the anger left Tremaine’s eyes, and his green glare grew cold, calculating. “Yer telling the truth, or at least you believe yerself to be.” His gaze raked me up and down, sending a tremor through my spine, and his eyes lingered at the detective’s shield winking at my belt. “A cop now, are ya?” he asked, disbelief ringing in his voice.

“Yes, I am,” I said tightly. “And with the way your man over there manhandled me and took my gun, I’m well within my rights to charge him for assaulting an officer.” I glared at the guard in question, but if he was the least bit intimidated by my threat, he didn’t let it show.

“I know all of the police in this town,” Tremaine murmured, his eyes still studying me as though I were a particularly vexing puzzle. “I would know if you’d been hiding under my nose as a member of the force.”

“I’m a new transfer,” I snapped, scowling. Not exactly the truth, but he didn’t need to know that. “Not that I need to explain myself to you. Now why don’t you untie me and give me my damned gun back? I came in here after a suspect, but if you don’t let me loose now, I sure as hell will come back here with a task force and a warrant to scour this place top to bottom. I’m sure we’ll be able to find something dirty enough to get your panties in a twist.”

Tremaine laughed. “The police dinnae scare me.” He scoffed. The sparkle of amusement in his eye sent a flush through my body, and I gritted my teeth against his asinine response. “But while we’re on the subject, who’s yer suspect? I cannae imagine it’s me, or ye would have said so already, aye? Yet, that’s the logical conclusion since ye were eavesdropping outside my door.”

“That’s none of your damn business.”

“It is if yer in my club,” Tremaine said, his voice softly menacing.

I was going in circles here. “Fine, then. Remy Vox,” I snapped. “My partner and I are looking into an alleged drug-dealing operation he’s got on the side. Now I gave you something. Tell me something.”

Tremaine’s eyes narrowed, and he turned away. I watched as he spoke quietly to one of the guards, and though I strained my ears to catch what they were saying, I couldn’t hear a single word. Dammit. Why couldn’t I have been born with super-hearing?

“Yes, sir,” the guard said. “I’ll take care of it.”

“Good.” Tremaine straightened. “Take care of her, too.”

He turned and headed toward the exit.

“Wait…what?” I cried as fear ballooned in my chest. “You can’t kill me. I’m a fucking police officer!”

Tremaine didn’t even bother to glance my way, and as the guard who’d originally brought me here closed in on me, I lost sight of Tremaine’s retreating back. Cursing, I tried to fight against the guard as he grabbed my shoulder and wrists, but it was impossible with my hands tied behind my back. Besides, if the kick I’d given him earlier was any indication, I doubt that I’d be able to make a dent in him with brute force. I wondered if either of my guns would work on any of these guys.

“Your boss is gonna land your ass in jail,” I warned. “You would be better served to let me go and return my firearm.”

No response.

I growled as the guard dragged me down the stairs and past the dancing and drinking patrons. A few of them glanced my way as we passed, but for the most part, we were largely ignored. Was this a fairly normal sight for them? Ugh. That thought didn’t make me feel at all better.

“You’re gonna end up with a whole police force snooping around here, and you can’t disappear them all,” I tried again. “Don’t take the fall for this one. Jail isn’t a pretty place, even for a tough guy like you.”