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“Deadly,” he said, narrowing his beautiful green eyes on her.

“Look, buddy,” she said, getting pretty pissed herself as she reached out and pressed her hands against his warm bare hard chest, forcing herself to ignore just how good it felt to touch him, and tried to shove him away.

When she couldn’t budge him she tried again.

His glare turned confused as he looked down at her hands. “What are you doing?”

“Shoving your psycho ass away from me!” she said, shoving him again.

He frowned down at her hands. “You should have been able to knock me on my ass,” he mumbled, sounding confused.

“And when I take those kickboxing lessons I will!” she snapped, giving up on her efforts to shove him away and dropped her hands back into her lap.

He looked up at her, studying her so intensely that she fought against the urge to squirm. Finally he shook his head in disbelief. “There’s no way you should have made it to twenty-seven without triggering your abilities,” he said quietly.

She rolled her eyes. “I have abilities, just not ass kicking abilities or believe me you’d pay for all those times you grabbed my ass.”

For the first time since he’d turned into super jerk he smiled, a genuine pleased smile that did funny things to her stomach. “Can’t stop thinking about that, can you?”

“Yeah, out of everything that’s happened to me your touching my ass has made the biggest impression,” she said dryly, only slightly lying. The way she was reacting to his presence and touch was actually one of her biggest concerns.

“Tell me something, Munchkin,” he said, gently flicking his finger on the tip of her nose to get her attention, “was this morning the first time you’ve been attacked?”

“First off, don’t call me Munchkin,” she said. “Secondly, you must be kidding. I grew up in New York where getting mugged was a rite of passage,” she continued, ignoring the way that little muscle started to tick away angrily again.

“And what did you do when you were mugged?” he asked, leaning back slightly so he could look at her as she answered.

She shrugged. “Gave him my wallet and got into the fetal position. What else?”

“You dropped to the ground in a fetal position?” he nearly choked out.

“Of course. I always drop to the ground if there’s no possible way that I can run away,” she explained, wondering not for the first time why the man was so damn obsessed with her fighting skills.

“You run away?” he repeated back slowly as if she’d spoken in a foreign language.

“Each and every time,” she said, knowing it would probably piss him off and unable to stop herself from doing it.

“Haven’t you ever tried to fight back?” he demanded.

“Of course I have, but I usually end up hurting myself in the process,” she said, holding her poor battered hand up pointedly, earning another glare from him.

“Although, there was that time I took self-defense lessons at the gym that I was able to make my instructor cry,” she said, wondering why she was actually enjoying screwing with him.

He looked pleased at her announcement. That is until she added, “But I really couldn’t blame him since I hadn’t meant to shut the door on his finger.”

In an instant he was back to glowering and she decided to ignore him and take a moment to look around at her surroundings for the first time since she hadn’t really had the chance to do so when she first arrived or when she was hanging outside the window like an idiot.

She took in the huge two story white house, attached garage, big driveway, beautiful yard, apple trees and large inground pool and frowned when she spotted the thick woods surrounding the property on every side.

Why couldn’t they have lived in a city? If she escaped, and she would, she was going to be lost for days in the woods before someone found her or an animal mauled her.

“You should know how to fight,” Chris said, sounding pissed again.

Oh goody, angry Chris was back again, she thought dryly.

“Yeah, I’ll get right on that,” she said absently as she watched Ephraim storm out of the house, carrying a large black duffle bag over his shoulder and heading their way.

“Let’s go,” he snapped, looking wound up and ready to kill something as he passed them to toss the bag in the back.

Just great. She had two pissed off men to deal with.

Lucky her, she mused as Chris threw her over his shoulder and proceeded to palm her ass again as he shoved her, this time successfully, into the back of the vehicle.

She righted herself just as he slammed the door shut and watched him walk around the front of the car as he pulled on a black tee shirt. Her eyes darted between the door handle and the woods almost twenty feet away from the car. If she could somehow manage to open the door and make a run for it before they noticed she could”Forget it. You’ll never make it,” Ephraim said and she started to play innocent, but decided not to waste her energy.

Instead she slumped back in her seat and tried not to freak out when they started driving away from all signs of civilization. Her eyes darted back to the dashboard clock and she tried not to worry too much when she realized a whole half hour had passed since the last time she spotted a house or any sign of civilization.

When Ephraim suddenly turned onto a bumpy dirt road, Isabella forced herself to face the obvious.

They were going to kill her.

She studied her surroundings, knowing if she managed to escape she would have to find her way back to the road. Unfortunately she couldn’t make out much from the darkening night unless she looked ahead at the dirt path that could hardly be called a road since it was illuminated by the vehicle’s headlights.

Since following the dirt road wasn’t the smart choice she was going to have to run and hide and wait until tomorrow morning when she could see and hope it didn’t take too long to stumble across civilization.

“Are you sure they’re there?” Ephraim asked Chris.

“Yeah,” Chris said, looking down at a sleek black phone that caught Isabella’s attention twenty minutes ago. It was deceptively plain, but she’d caught the graphics on the phone’s screen when Chris opened it and fell in love. Even when facing imminent death she was a geek to the end.

“Jackson over in Davenport sent an alert that they were moving this way and since we already know what they’re after I have a pretty good idea on how they’re going to try entering the town.”

Town? Isabella’s ears perked up at the word. If they were driving towards a town then there was definitely hope. Maybe she’d run across someone who could help her.

“You don’t think they’ll go up the river and cut over on the north side?” Ephraim asked, still sounding pissed.

Whatever happened in that house obviously had the man on edge and she hoped distracted.

“No,” Chris said, returning the phone to his pocket. “It’s too crowded and besides that’s normally where we’d set up a patrol so they’re going to try and go through the backdoor where they can stay out of sight.”

“Good point,” Ephraim said. “Did you have the men Eric left cover that area just in case?”

Chris nodded as he pulled a gun out of the glove compartment and checked the chamber, making Isabella even more nervous.