The Beautiful Ashes Page 57

I leaned forward and aimed. His body curved, following the movement, and feeling his hips line up with mine almost made me drop the rope.


His breath seared the back of my neck, making gooseflesh spring up. When his jaw brushed my cheek as he adjusted to look at the target, I almost rubbed against him like a cat. The feel of him was more than exciting. It was the stuff obsessions were made of.


I let go when I felt his fingers lift, and the slingshot snapped forward with a crack. The rock didn\ hit the beer bottle, but it hit the branch it was on, bouncing off after leaving a gash in the wood.

’’Yes!’’ I shouted, so happy I spun around and hugged Adrian.

His arms tightened until it was hard to breathe, but all at once, I didn\ care about breathing. I hadn\ hugged him with ulterior motives, yet my whole body seemed to come alive in his embrace. I reared back, suddenly desperate to see him. The ridges and hollows that made up his high cheekbones, full mouth, dark gold brows and straight nose were arresting enough, but it was his eyes that had me transfixed. Molten silver gripped sapphire in the same unbreakable hold Adrian had me in, and the blatant need displayed there made things low in my body clench.

’’You can\ keep teasing me this way.’’ His voice was so guttural, it was almost animalistic. ’’I\m not the good guy, Ivy. I\m the bad one who\ll take everything and then leave.’’

My mouth felt dry, but that wasn\ why I licked my lips.

’’You\ e wrong,’’ I breathed. ’’Maybe you were once, but you\ e not anymore. Otherwise, you\d have already done it.’’

’’Do you two mind?’’ a disgusted voice muttered behind us. ’’I know that\s Ivy, but I\m still going to have nightmares about you dry-humping a Hound, Adrian.’’

The mental image caught me off guard, and I burst out laughing. We\d hardly been doing that, though the mere sight of Adrian hugging a Hound would be highly disturbing.

Adrian released me, but his smoldering gaze promised that this wasn\ over. I couldn\ agree more, though for different reasons. Now wasn\ the time, however. We had an audience, and we\d already traumatized Costa enough.

Adrian must\ve thought so, too. He strode over to Costa, twisting the top off one of the beer bottles he\d brought for target practice.

’’This\ll help wash away the memory.’’

Costa took it, muttering something in Greek that had Adrian snorting as if in agreement. I turned my attention back to the target, taking out another stone from the duffel bag.

Now that I knew I could operate the slingshot, I just had to learn how to do it better.

Chapter twenty-nine

Several hours later, I flopped back against the couch, letting the remote control slide from my fingers. The cabin we\d been staying in boasted a wood-burning fireplace, but the cable channel lineup sucked.

For the fifth time in the past thirty minutes, I glanced at Costa\s suitcase. Tonight was our last night in this cozy, remote hideout, and Costa, ever prepared, had already packed. He even had his suitcase by the door, leaving out just the items he\d need to get ready in the morning.

I hadn\ meant to spy on him while he packed. I\d been flipping through channels, and his room happened to be to the left of the TV set. His door also happened to be cracked, and it just so happened that I saw what he slipped into his suitcase before he hauled it to the door and left with Adrian to get dinner. See? Total accident.

Besides, I reminded myself as I gave into temptation and slinked over to Costa\s suitcase, he hadn\ told me I wasn\ allowed to use his laptop. He just hadn\ mentioned it, much like I intended not to mention taking advantage of the cabin\s Wi-Fi connection. Okay, if I got caught, the guys wouldn\ be happy, but yesterday, Costa had eaten my bag of Fritos without asking permission and I didn\ flip out. Why? Because friends shared. Everyone knew that.

I unzipped his suitcase and felt around through the pile of clothes until I came across something hard and flat. Then I slid the laptop out as gingerly as if it were booby-trapped with alarms. Once it was free, I almost ran to the desk where the cabin owners had the Wi-Fi information. As I turned the computer on, I found myself holding my breath. When the screen lit up and I saw that I didn\ need a password, I let out a whoop. No security? It was like Costa wanted me to use it!

I did follow Adrian\s warning not to log in to any of my accounts or contact any of my friends. I desperately wished I could message my roommate to tell her I was okay, but minions could still be scoping out Delia or my other friends. Instead, I Googled ’’Beth and Thomas Jenkins’’ to see if my parents\ funeral had still taken place, even though I hadn\ been there to attend. Not being able to officially say goodbye to them had been tearing at my heart for weeks, but I hoped they\d had a proper burial, at least

I froze over a headline that had my name along with three words I\d never expected to see: Wanted For Murder. With trembling fingers, I clicked the article beneath.

’’...Ivy Jenkins, daughter of recently deceased Beth and Thomas Jenkins, has still not been found. Jenkins fled the town of Bennington after murdering Lionel Kroger, the detective assigned to her sister\s case. Jenkins has a history of abnormal psychosis and should be considered armed and dangerous....’’

I heard a car pull up, but I couldn\ stop reading. The article went on to detail how I was also a ’’person of interest’’ in Jasmine\s disappearance. Worse, it implied that the brakes on my parents\ car might have been tampered with, and noted that I was the only other person with access to their vehicle.

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