He’d made his decision regarding her fate. Skylar felt it in the rasp of his tongue against her neck, in the erection that grazed her bottom. Rape, then death, condemned as his would-be assassin.
Before she’d landed in this alternate world, she’d been ready to die. Now every moment she had left was priceless. She’d fight Rand Jamison with the last particle of energy she had, if she had to. But her strength was limited, her arm injured from her tumble through the void.
Using her brains would give her time. Time to plan an escape. Time to find a way out of the nightmare she’d landed in. “I swear,” she said. “I don’t know who Cutler is. Your exploits never mentioned him by name.” She gulped. “I can prove it.”
“Can you?” he whispered against her neck.
Chills ran up her spine, and she swallowed hard, trying to keep her fear at bay. “My backpack. The bag. It has my favorite book in it. Crossing Oceans, Crossing Swords: The True Adventures of Captain Rand Edward Jamison.”
Behind her, she felt his body tense. He had to believe her. He had to check the bag. He just had to! She straightened as much as she could, tied to the bedpost. “Captain Jamison.” She turned her head to look him directly in the eyes. “I can’t explain how I got here, but I believe I’ve traveled through time. In my time, you are a man of action, heroics, and legend. In my time, you’ve been dead nearly three hundred years.”
He took a small step back and shook his head. “Not only does Cutler send a woman to do his dirty deeds, he sends a resident of Bedlam.”
“Please,” she begged. “Look in the bag. You’ll see I’m telling the truth.”
Jamison moved closer to the bag, and the air behind her cooled. Skylar shivered at the sudden chill. She should be glad he had left her alone, had stopped what he was doing with his tongue, had removed his hands from her over reactive body.
Instead, with brows furrowed, she tried to figure out why Jamison affected her. Sure, he held her life in his hands, but her life was ending anyway. In this life or time or wherever she was, the dashing pirate she’d read about stunk, had a serious attitude problem, and had some sort of paranoia about a man named Cutler.
There was a time she’d had capture fantasies with Rand Jamison as the star. Fantasies of being lured into sex with the seductive swashbuckler, playing the outraged virginal miss, and then succumbing to his charms led to some creative uses of her toys. But the man in this room? This wasn’t the man she’d dreamt of.
Yet she’d seen something in him too when he first pulled her from behind the curtain. A glimpse of something as yet undefined. He’d been her hero through countless nights and pages. Maybe she just wanted to give the benefit of her faith in the heroic man she’d worshiped in literature to the man standing across the bed from her. If only the man before her could truly be the same one she’d come to love and admire and lust after, the one in her book.
She watched, wide-eyed, as he hefted the bag from the floor and tossed it onto the bed. For a brief moment, their gazes met. Skylar could only imagine Jamison saw her terror. If the contents of the bag didn’t convince him she came from another time, what could she do?
Carefully, he examined the bag. “Where is the closure?”
At his furrowed brows, she continued. “There is a metal tab. Pull it away from the end, and the bag will come open.”
He did as she instructed. With a satisfied grunt, he finished spreading open the bag. He pulled out the tequila bottle, the book, and the gun. He picked up the pistol, caressed the sleek silver barrel. “What have you here?”
Skylar swallowed, her tongue thick in her mouth. Goosebumps broke out on her arms and legs. Could he understand her reasoning for having a gun in her possession? “My gun,” she managed. Her heart beat wildly. What did he think? What would he do with it?
“Now what would you be doing with this odd-looking pistol?” He stared at her, shuffling the weapon from one hand to the other.
No, she decided, he wouldn’t understand using a gun as a solution to end the incredible pain she’d been told to expect. A man like him endured torture, deprivation, the elements without quitting, without giving up, without being tempted to leave this world by his own hands.
Rand continued, oblivious to her silence. “Small and light, as well. A perfect weapon for assassination.” Spinning, he pointed at the windows and pulled the trigger.