“Kiana, you should get some sleep. The maps will still be there tomorrow.”
Kiana glanced up at the sound of Mateo’s voice through her cybernetic link. She could feel the worry he tried to hide seeping through the link. Rubbing the back of her neck for what seemed like the millionth time in the last five minutes, she finally answered, “Just a little longer, mi corazón
. I’m close to discovering what the hell is so important about this area to the Syndicate. I can feel
it.” She’d been leaning over some maps of the Pacific Ocean that she’d brought to their hale noho
--sleeping quarters--for hours now, trying to determine just what that significance was. And why the Hawaiian Islands in particular. She still couldn’t find the connection, but something kept niggling at her.
If she could only figure out what it was. Each time she thought she had the connection, it would skitter just out of reach. She sighed in frustration and refocused on her notebook. She’d written down every bit of information she could find about the Obsidian Syndicate. She reread her notes.
The Obsidian Syndicate had shown up about a century after multiple earthquakes had shaken the various islands around the Pacific Ocean in an area known as the Ring of Fire. From what she’d been able to find out, their leaders had first begun to infiltrate the governments of smaller nations, especially those with histories of violence toward outsiders or people who were different. Once they had established a foothold, they began climbing the ladder in each of those governments until they held some of the major offices.
Then they’d started allying themselves and taking on some of the bigger countries. The way they’d slowly spread across the globe reminded her of a board game called Risk that she’d seen played once in a vid clip in the encyclopedia archives. She continued to puzzle over the list, occasionally glancing over at the maps and making a notation of something that struck her. Damn it! What the hell are they after?
She didn’t realize she’d actually sent the question through the link until she felt Mateo’s hand on her shoulder. She looked up, angry at herself for not having sensed his approach. He was only able to sneak up on her when she was absorbed with something. Knowing that, though, didn’t make her happy that it had occurred.
He knelt in front of her, pulled the pad of paper she’d been writing on out of her hands, and set it on top of the maps. He moved closer, insinuating himself between her legs.
, you’re going to wear yourself out if you don’t stop and get some rest.” When she started to protest, he laid a finger over her lips. “You aren’t going to do the men and women who depend on you as their leader any good if you don’t take care of yourself.”
Kiana briefly closed her eyes and enjoyed the caress as his finger traced the curve of her mouth. “I know, Mateo, but I’m close to finding out what they want with Hawaii. I can feel it inside.” She searched for the words to describe the awareness she’d been experiencing for the past month. It was a restless energy swirling inside her. Tonight, the feeling was stronger than it had ever been before, but it was still just out of reach. Her eyes fluttered open at the touch of his lips on hers. He scattered kisses over her mouth and cheeks, nibbled his way to her ear.
“Then let me build something else inside you,” he whispered huskily. He bit gently on her neck, then trailed his lips along the column of her throat as he reached for the buttons of her shirt. “You know I can do it.”
His words slid into her mind and conjured up images of their bodies writhing in ecstasy. “Yes, you can...in such delicious ways too.”
She could feel not only the sensations her body was processing but what he was experiencing as well, thanks to their cybernetic link.
Cybernetics had been in use for several years now. When the government had noticed a pattern to the Obsidian Syndicate’s infiltration of the world’s top governments, the president had signed an order making it mandatory for all military personnel to receive the implants. Thus, all members of the Special Forces had been outfitted with the devices. The inventors hadn’t expected the emotional or physical links that developed between those who entered into a sexual relationship, however; a link allowed the couple to experience each other’s emotions as well as physical impressions. Most people didn’t leave the link open 24/7, the way she and Mateo did, but all of them had embraced the added layer it created and enhanced during sex. It was a heady experience, being able to understand what your lover felt when you touched him. The implants also inhibited any pregnancies and warned of any diseases early enough to have them treated before they caused any problems.
All thoughts of their cybernetic links and the added benefits they provided fled her mind when Mateo parted her shirt and pushed it off her shoulders. His hands traced a slow path down her arms. As he skimmed his lips over her collarbone, he pulled her arms behind her back. She moaned as the feeling of his mouth playing over her skin intertwined with the tingle she felt on her skin, creating an intoxication she couldn’t get enough of. She’d never get tired of being able to experience each of their emotions as though they were the same person. She wanted to run her hands over his taut skin, trace the lines of the twisted lightning bolts of his tattoo that stretched from just under his left ear down over his shoulder, where it ended in jagged lines on his bicep. It was one of her favorite places to touch him. She could almost feel the energy it engendered, even though it wasn’t real lightning. She frowned. Lately she thought she’d glimpsed it shimmering. Like now. She leaned closer. Yet when she looked at it up close, there was nothing out of the ordinary about it. Strange.
She pulled on her arms to get him to release them, the need to touch him building steadily inside her. With each lingering kiss...each nip of his teeth...each stroke of his tongue... A fresh wave of desire crashed through her, searing her senses. Her pussy ached to be touched, though she knew from experience he would take his time.
She moaned when he teased her nipple, nuzzling it through the lacy fabric covering it. “Please, Mateo.”
The feverish craving that rushed through her blood was so intense, she had to send the plea through their link as she was unable to formulate her thoughts into words. She suddenly gasped, realizing that the heat was the restless energy she’d been feeling of late. Not now.
The energy reached toward Mateo as though it yearned to touch him.
The coolness of the night air whispered over the sensitive peak of her breast when he pulled her bra down. She arched up as he closed his mouth over her nipple and drew on it like a man starved. Sharp waves of pleasure raced along her nerve endings.
Desperate to touch him, Kiana pushed more electricity from her internal battery pack to her strength chip as she attempted to get him to loosen his grip.
Mateo raised his head, a wicked, sexy grin curving his moist lips. “Your cybernetic implants enhance your strength, mi corazón, but you forget that Ash ordered everyone to get upgrades installed this afternoon.” He leaned down and nipped her ear. “See what happens when you’re too preoccupied to keep up-to-date on your equipment?” He held her arms by her sides and began working his way down her body, dragging his tongue over her sweat-slicked skin.
Kiana let out a half groan, half cry as the restless energy flared again in her blood and sent a powerful current through her implants. She pushed against his hold and broke it. Then, in one fluid motion, she stood and shoved him back onto the pallet that served as their bed. She straddled his hips.
For a few moments, they both stared at each other in shock.
She shouldn’t have been able to overpower him so easily without the upgrade. Right. She’d think about that later. Right now, she needed him. She shifted her position and brought her dripping pussy into contact with his hard cock. Her eyes zeroed in on where his tattoo began just below his ear. She licked her lips hungrily. Now that she had him at her mercy, she could do what she’d been dying to do since he’d taken possession of her lips.
She leaned down and kissed him, plunging her tongue deep inside, relishing the taste of mangos lingering on his tongue from dinner. She moaned low in her throat as she imagined trailing some of the sweet, sticky juice down his chest and along the length of his shaft so she could lick it off. Desire sizzled through her body as the image flashed in her mind. Shifting her position, Kiana silently cursed that she didn’t have anything to tie his hands with.
An image of subduing Mateo with ropes coalesced in her mind, and another surge of power shot through her just as he broke her hold on his wrists. She felt rope slide beneath her palms, securing him. Kiana trailed her tongue along the line of his jaw, relishing the subtle scrape of his five-o’clock shadow. So caught up was she in her erotic fantasy, she didn’t realize what had just happened.
* * * *
Mateo lay still for several moments beneath Kiana, shocked. What the hell had just happened? She shouldn’t have been able to throw him off her so easily without the upgrade to her cybernetics.
She leaned in and captured his lips, thrusting her tongue deep as she pinned his wrists to the bed.
A warm breeze wafted through the thatched walls of their sleeping quarters, bringing with it the scent of ripe mangos and plumeria blossoms. An image of her squeezing a mango and leaving a trail of its sweet, sticky juice down his chest and over his cock sent lust racing through him. “You’re killing me here, Kiana.”
She placed a lingering kiss on his ear. “What’s the matter, Mateo? Don’t like it when I turn the tables?” She gave a husky laugh and pressed kisses to his lightning-bolt tattoo. A tiny jolt of power leaped from under his skin with each brush of her lips.
“You started it, mi amante
. I’m just going to be the one to finish it.”
Mateo jerked his hands, testing the strength of her hold, and grinned. He’d been right. She hadn’t gone to Ash for her upgrades. No doubt she’d been too busy staring at that fucking map again. His smile faded quickly when he felt rope twist around his wrists.
Where the hell had she gotten rope? Glancing up, he didn’t see anything around his wrists. Yet something held him completely restrained. Closing his eyes, he focused his sensors and scanned her cybernetics to see if there was something wrong with her system.
Nothing. In fact, he felt the lingering traces of-- Kiana bit into his shoulder, then licked the lightning bolt that twisted down his bicep.
A shock of energy trembled through their link, stimulating the restlessness he’d been experiencing the past few weeks. Something he’d been reluctant to share with her. Why, he wasn’t sure. Bullshit! You know exactly why you don’t want to share it with Kiana
. Mateo paused when he heard Remi’s voice in his mind. He hadn’t thought about his friend since he’d left Spain. Why would he be hearing his voice now? He groaned when Kiana’s lips closed over his nipple, completely forgetting what he was searching for. She drew on it hard, catching the taut bud between her teeth and biting down.
He arched his back as a sharp pleasure-pain tore through his body. “You know you’re going to pay for that, mi querida
,” he managed to growl through their link.
Kiana released his nipple, a wicked smile curving her lips. “You’ll have to wait until I’m done with you, Mateo. And I won’t be done for quite some time.” She licked along the ridges of his stomach. “Not even close.”