Rule breaker, p.4
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       Rule Breaker, p.4
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         Part #20 of Breeds series by Lora Leigh

  e was a master of casual demeanor. He fucking worked at it.

  “Orrin Martinez made another request to meet with you and Lawe. I’m advising you, as your friend, to make an appointment and get it over with.”

  As far as Rule was concerned, Orrin Martinez could go to hell. They had nothing to say to one another after the trouble the Martinez family had given them when they first arrived in New Mexico, especially Orrin’s son, the chief of the Navajo Nation, Ray Martinez.

  “Talk to Lawe.” He shrugged. “As far as I’m concerned, I have no family here other than Isabelle and Chelsea. The male members of the Martinez family are just too far over the prick line to suit me.”

  Jonas’s lips quirked. “Understandable, but not acceptable. Get it taken care of and get them off my back. Quickly.”

  With that, Jonas pulled up the computer once again, a signal that as far as he was concerned, the discussion was at an end.

  It was, because Rule wasn’t meeting with the old bastard or his family.

  Leaving the office, Rule closed the door behind him before striding down the hall and heading to his brother’s suite.

  Lawe’s mate, Diane, had found the information leading the Breeds to the capital of the Navajo Nation in their search for Honor Roberts and Fawn Corrigan. Perhaps she would have something on the Unknown as well.

  Something that would get Jonas off Gypsy’s back.

  At least he knew there wasn’t a chance of mating her. His animal instincts didn’t even twitch when she was around. Hell, in the nine years he’d been checking up on her, watching after her, he’d become fond of her, he admitted. But even once she’d matured, those mating instincts hadn’t appeared to even attempt to awaken.

  Just his dick.

  And in the past months, she affected that part of his body in a way that, for a few weeks, had made him wonder if he was going to have to run after all.

  In all the years he’d watched her, checked up on her, ensured that she was safe and as happy as possible, she’d never known he was there. He’d brushed up against her, moved silently into her apartment as she slept, and more than once he’d allowed himself to tempt the hunger he’d realized he was feeling for her after she began maturing into a woman.

  But he’d never gotten close to her in any way that would have allowed her to recognize him, or to come to know him until the past two months since the search for Gideon had led them to Window Rock.

  So far, he had reined in his impulse to take her as a lover and ignored the restless sexual awareness plaguing him.

  He should have taken advantage of the numerous offers for a one-night stand, given by both the human and Breed females. There were certain things a man learned about specific women quickly, though.

  What he’d learned about Miss Gypsy Rum was the fact that she refused to bed any man or Breed known to have a promiscuous lifestyle or one who had already slept with a female she knew.

  That had obviously narrowed the playing field for her.

  But, he had to admit, it was refreshing to know a woman who actually stuck to her own rules, no matter the obvious flaw in them.

  Rule was damned certain that she’d never had a lover, though.

  But she was going to have one soon.

  Women, their hearts, their luscious bodies, every aspect of them and every part of them that made them the amazingly complex creatures he so enjoyed, never failed to please him.

  Perhaps that was why she drew him.

  He knew the intelligence and the complexities behind the façade she presented. That mask of a shallow young woman was just that—a mask.

  He suspected that was why she had made the list of possible Unknown contacts. And now, he was going to have to find a way to get her off that list.

  To convince Jonas that she was just what she seemed to be. Even if he did know better.

  The hurt she carried behind her bright smile and sensual, flirty demeanor haunted her waking moments as well as her nightmares.

  He saw the woman who craved something she had no idea how to reach out for. A woman who imprisoned all her wild hunger behind a bottle of beer, a flirty smile and every party or good-time bar that could offer a spark of excitement instead of erotic heat.

  And what she never displayed, was the deception and games that came with being a spy.

  Not to mention the ability to sleep with whoever was needed to gain the information she sought.

  No, the spark she needed had nothing to do with being a spy for anyone, let alone some group that no one could even confirm existed.

  Rule had decided weeks before that he had her spark, and he intended to watch her burn once he set fire to her hunger. He’d just needed a reprieve from the investigations taking so much of his time first.

  And the assurance that the desire hardening the flesh between his thighs wasn’t Mating Heat.

  The wild, animalistic genetics that often felt like a caged lion inside him were completely unimpressed with her. That shadow creature inside him was too damned busy searching for the Coyotes it so loved to fight, because that was one of the rare times Rule allowed it to come out and play.

  Restless, driven to rid the world of the creatures that still gave their loyalty to the Genetics Council, his animal senses rarely even took notice of Gypsy unless he had the time to become aroused.

  And that made for a very happy Rule Breaker.

  And potentially, a very fucked Gypsy.

  CHAPTER 2

  ONE WEEK LATER

  Gypsy slipped into the underground entrance of the Navajo Covert Law Enforcement Offices and made her way tiredly through the steel-lined corridor leading to the elevator to the upper floors.

  She checked her watch. Five minutes to spare.

  She’d made it, but it hadn’t been easy. And it sure as hell hadn’t been a sure thing that she would make it back before nightfall to begin with.

  Stepping into the elevator, she punched the button, leaning against the side of the metal cubicle as she smothered a yawn and waited for that little ping that indicated the ride was coming to an end. Which meant her week was coming to an end soon as well, and hopefully, at least one good night’s sleep.

  Straightening from the wall as the doors slid open, Gypsy stilled, her eyes narrowing at the sight of the man she’d come to see.

  Dressed in dun-colored tactical pants and a matching T-shirt, he could have been hot as hell, if he didn’t work at being an asshole so often. Light brown hair, brown eyes and a well-tanned complexion made him a real hit with all the other ladies he knew, though.

  She must be weird, because she simply hadn’t ever been interested.

  “Hell, I usually have to track you down when I return,” she drawled, standing straight and moving from the elevator as he glared at her.

  What the hell had she done anyway?

  “How long have you been back?” Cullen Maverick, commander of the agency, demanded, his tone dark, the snap in it irritating.

  Damn, he must have already taken his prick pills for the day.

  “How long does it take to get from the underground garage to here?” Mockery was usually the best and most effective weapon against his grumpiness. “Try chilling out a sec, Maverick.”

  “Then you’ve not been back long enough to realize there’s a damned Breed APB out on your ass, right?”

  She did freeze this time. She didn’t just pause.

  Coming to a hard stop, she pivoted and just stared at Cullen, certain she must have misunderstood what he said.

  “There’s a what?” she asked carefully, praying she wasn’t giving away that panicked where-can-I-hide feeling beginning to shoot through her.

  “You heard me,” he snapped. “An unofficial Breed APB put out on you by Commander Rule Breaker. What the fuck is going on?”

  “Unofficial?” She snorted at that one. Well, that happened just about every other day after she pissed one of them off. Or unless the director’s baby wanted more “moo-cake.” “When it becomes o
fficial, let me know.”

  Turning on her heel, she began tracking to his office, knowing damned good and well he wasn’t going to take possession of what she had anywhere else.

  Cullen wasn’t fond of the security cameras picking up every move he made or the information exchanged between him and his men. Or his contacts, such as Gypsy.

  Besides, her cover of irritating Cullen just for the hell of it had already been established and followed for years. Unless she was actually seen handing something over, then she’d be screwed. And so would he be. For a minute anyway.

  His office door was locked, as usual.

  Paranoid prick, she thought, respecting the hell out of him for being as suspicious as he was.

  The snick of the lock being deactivated followed his hand moving into his pants pocket. Wrapping her hand around the knob again, she stepped inside the office and waited for the door to close behind him.

  Once the room was secure, she removed the small case holding the nano-nit she’d collected from the spa in Broken Butte, New Mexico. She’d put it in place more than a month ago, in the manager’s office where the majority of the information would go through.

  Full audio and video.

  The tiny bit of robo-electronics was incredible.

  “Here you go.” Smothering a yawn, she handed the small plastic case over to him. “Mission accomplished and all that.”

  He took the case—ultra thin, an inch square perhaps—and flipped it to his desk, still glaring at her.

  Uh-oh.

  Gypsy stared at the case, then back to Cullen as her lips thinned in irritation.

  “I’m not in the mood for this shit,” she informed him warily. “I don’t know what your problem is . . .”

  “If you’re sleeping with that Breed, then kindly inform me now,” he snapped, his arms going over his broad chest, his brown eyes snapping with ire. “Because he’s making my life highly uncomfortable, Gypsy. Highly.” The last word was a low, furious sound directed between his clenched teeth.

  She almost flinched.

  “What the hell has he done?” Her eyes went wide, disbelief and confusion smacking her brain as the depth of Cullen’s anger finally registered. “For God’s sake, Cullen, since when am I responsible for what some crazed Breed does?”

  “Are you sleeping with him?” he bit out again. “So help me, Gypsy, if this is because of a damned lover’s spat—”

  “I’m not sleeping with him!” she informed him, outraged. “God, I’ve barely spoken to him.”

  Hell, she couldn’t sleep with anyone. It was killing her.

  What Breaker did was catch her gaze across a room, he wasn’t picky which one, and she swore he was mentally fucking her at those times.

  Taking her.

  Pushing into her.

  He made all her little feminine parts just perk right up and start prepping for the invasion.

  Damned feminine parts.

  “Then what the fuck is his problem?” Turning, he stalked to his chair, throwing himself into it as he continued to glare at her. “The man has been in every bar, nightclub and dive, legal and otherwise, and actually managed to crash too many fucking parties looking for your ass for the past week. Get him off the radar, Gypsy.”

  Get him off the radar?

  She stared at him, wide eyed. “What does he want? God, Cullen, we’ve barely spoken. He flirts a little. His buddy, that damned Vanderale heir they’ve let run amok, pays more attention to me than Breaker does.”

  “I don’t fucking care what he wants,” he informed her furiously. “Get your ass out there tonight, Gypsy, and by God give it to him, or find a way to make him stop wanting it. Either way, get him off the fucking radar before someone decides to find out why one little party girl is so MIA that even the Breeds can’t find her.”

  She stifled a groan.

  The Commander was hot as hell. He did things to her libido that should be outlawed. That didn’t mean she had time for this. No matter how eager certain other parties were for her to establish a closer, though nonsexual, relationship with him.

  This was just uncalled for, though. She was tired. She wanted to sleep.

  “Cullen . . .”

  “Don’t Cullen me.” As he jackknifed in his seat, his glare took on a whole new meaning as pure fury glittered in his eyes and deepened his voice. “Get it done. Tonight. Or kiss this little side job of yours good-bye. You’ll definitely be relegated to the damned phones, on midnight shift, for the next year if it’s not taken care of. Now.”

  Fuck.

  She really wanted to sleep tonight.

  But she really, really liked her little side job too, dammit.

  “Fine, tonight,” she muttered, wondering what the hell had happened to her little world while she was gone. “But I don’t see how any of this is my damned fault. I didn’t do anything.”

  “You’re not five,” he pointed out sarcastically.

  “Then stop reminding me of what it felt like to be blamed when I didn’t do it,” she informed him pointedly. “I was hoping to sleep tonight.”

  “Sleep after you get that damned Breed off your ass.”

  “I didn’t invite him to get on it, Cullen,” she protested, heading to the door.

  “You did something,” he grumbled. “Whatever you did, fix it. Reject him, kiss him, fuck him, I don’t give a shit and don’t want to know about it. But make him go away.”

  She slammed the door on the last order.

  Dammit, she really wanted to sleep.

  ...

  Sometimes, it just didn’t pay a man or a Breed to make a decision, Rule decided as he lounged against the bar at yet another honky-tonk on the list of known clubs Gypsy often found herself at.

  Knowing he’d finally caught up with her hadn’t helped his mood, or his irritation. She’d eluded him for a week and he was growing tired of waiting for her to get her ass back to town.

  Rule was beginning to think he was going to have to actually chase her down if he was ever going to see her again.

  A week between sightings was too damned long a wait, especially once he’d made up his mind to have her.

  After going without the sight of her the past week, he was as antsy as an addict needing a fix and wondering if he should worry about that reaction.

  And that just pissed him off.

  Maybe he just had an addictive personality, he thought as he watched her and several of her friends stroll purposely onto the dance floor.

  She was preparing to dance, and God bless her heart but she could turn grown men into slavering animals hungry to fuck whenever she danced.

  The smell of their lust never failed to cause him to glower at any male unlucky enough to catch his gaze.

  Maybe he was just too damned used to finding her whenever he wanted to.

  Hell, he’d watched her practically grow up.

  He couldn’t count the times he’d slipped to Window Rock in the past nine years to check on the broken, traumatized child who had fought so valiantly against those Coyotes so long ago.

  And he had to say, she’d grown into a hell of a woman.

  She was wary and secretive, and the effects of the night her brother died were often apparent in her too-serious gaze.

  But she’d turned into a hell of a beauty.

  And he was a sucker for a woman in black leather too.

  Miss Gypsy Rum McQuade had adopted a penchant for black leather just after her eighteenth birthday.

  And she’d been driving him crazy just as long too.

  Watching the dainty form, leather boots over her knees, short black leather skirt clinging to her hips and luscious ass, a black leather vest that flashed her bronzed belly and the upper curves of her full breasts, he couldn’t help but grin.

  He might have been drooling a little, and damn he hoped Dane Vanderale hadn’t caught him.

  But hell, that woman was built to tempt, seduce and deliver, all in one package.

  Rule decided he was the Breed t
o collect on it too.

  He was damned sure tired of all that lush, pretty body going unclaimed by him.

  Jaw clenching, his cock throbbing, he watched as she moved.

  Lifting her arms and moving her hips, her legs shifting gracefully in four-inch heels, her expression becoming exotic, erotic. Sexy enough to make a Breed have to force himself not to pant.

  Long, long straight hair, so dark it was almost black and framing a dusky face so delicate he couldn’t stop the hard-on straining the black mission pants he wore. Graceful and witchy, sensual and burning with a hidden fire, she made him want to burn with her, burn in her.

  Fluid and graceful, hips and shoulders swaying, jade green eyes gleamed teasingly, long thick lashes at half-mast. Those eyes glittered with wicked promise—and cool distance.

  A distance she’d used against him more than once in the past two months since Jonas had brought his investigation to Window Rock.

  Tonight, she was just flat avoiding him, and her explanation for her disappearance was causing more than a few raised brows since she’d arrived less than an hour ago.

  According to her, she had been at a spa in Broken Butte, New Mexico.

  The local sheriff who had mated Jonas’s sister, and a deputy, the sheriff’s cousin who had mated another Breed, had checked into the story and reported back to Rule, mere minutes ago, that Gypsy had never been to that spa in Broken Butte. They knew, because it was no more than a front for the Bureau of Breed Affairs and every customer that came through its doors was completely vetted.

  But who said she came in as a customer?

  Rule refrained from shaking his head in frustrated disgust.

  Gypsy was going to have to be more careful if she intended to keep doing these little odd jobs for one of her bosses, Cullen Maverick.

  She was going to end up getting her ass burned at this rate. And if her ass got blistered, then his would be fried.

  That thought and any other fled his brain, though, as her eyes met his and locked for heated seconds, and he swore the hunger that raged inside her began to burn him hotter.

  Amid a floor filled with seductive, graceful women, sexual invitation gleaming in their eyes—eyes without the distance, without the reserve that shimmered in the very air around her, she stood apart with inexplicable awareness.

  She gave herself to the music and that was all she was giving herself to, her gaze seemed to warn.

  She didn’t give herself to the men who attempted to draw her to them. She didn’t give herself to the women who would have rubbed against her in sensual abandon. Nor did she give herself to the drunkenness or the drugs that flowed so freely.

  She might be as secretive as hell, but purity flowed from her, even as he felt the dark, rich desire trapped within her—like a living flame.

  She burned inside.

  Rule swore he could see the flame burning there in the center of her eyes. Not the same flame easily glimpsed in a Breed’s or animal’s eyes in a certain light. This was a flame barely contained, burning from the center of the soul, trapped, aching to be released.

  A woman aching to be touched.

  “See what I see?” Dane Vanderale, the legitimate hybrid son to the first Leo and Rule’s biggest headache, drawled through the comm link, the South African accent mocking. “She’s avoiding you, Breaker.”

  “I see her,” Rule stated into the mic that curled from the communications link set in his ear. “Find out where she’s been yet?”

  “She says the spa, but your sources say she wasn’t there,” Dane reminded him.

  “Dammit, Dane, that’s not what I want to hear,” Rule growled.

  Dane chuckled, the low, knowing sound grating on Rule’s nerves.

  “Best watch the hormones, old friend. What’s that first rule? Run, don’t walk, stumble or hesitate. Run hell for leather at first sign of Mating Heat? What else would you call such infatuation for one woman? If I didn’t know better, I’d think she was your drug.”

  The accented drawl of amusement had Rule’s teeth gritting in irritation.

  “I think I’d know by now,” he grunted.

  He’d been close enough to her in the past years that her scent was as familiar to him as his own. And it had never changed since it had shifted from girl to woman the year she turned eighteen.

  “So that’s why you just keep watching the hell out of each other, huh?” Dane chuckled. “Tell me there, fraidy cat, when are you going to get up the nerve to tell the pretty girl hello tonight instead of stalking her like some perv as you have the past weeks?”

  He’d told her hello several times in the past weeks. She’d pretended to ignore him as often as possible, though he was well aware she knew exactly where he was every second that he was in her vicinity.

  She was damned wary ar
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