The Wild Adventure of Jasper Renn
Page 5

 Kady Cross

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Jasper looked at her. She was staring at his chest. His naked chest. Could she see his heart pounding beneath his skin? “But you want me.” His voice was low. “My help, I mean.” He’d never thought himself particularly skilled at flirting, but with Cat it seemed to come naturally.
She swallowed. Slowly, her gaze rose up his chest, his neck, his jaw, and then finally met his. “Yes. I want your help. I don’t like it, but I do.”
Why did he get the feeling she was talking about more than his “help”?
God, she was so pretty. Fierce. He had no right to be thinking about her like this, to wonder what she’d do if he put his arms around her. He remembered the feeling of her skin against his. But she’d be going back to New York, and he would stay in London. She’d go back to crime and he’d go on with Griffin’s bunch. The two of them couldn’t be more different.
Tarnation, but he wanted to kiss her.
“Can we go now?” she asked, gesturing to the open window she must have climbed through.
“I need to let someone know I’m going out, and put some clothes on, ’less you’d prefer I go out like this.” He spread his arms.
Her gaze traveled along the length of him once more. “I’m not keen on attracting attention. That pretty face will get us noticed more than enough.”
“You think I’m pretty?”
She arched a brow, a wry expression on her face. “Like you don’t already know it. I’ve seen you use your looks to make so many girls do what you want. Charm and a pretty face, that’s what you are.”
Now, that sounded like an insult, and it stung. “You must really be worried about Sparrow to come to me.”
“I am.”
“You hate me that much, Cat?”
Her eyes burned with intensity, her vertical pupils wide in the dim light. “I wish I could hate you. I’d be so much happier if I hated you.”
Jasper’s breath hitched a little. If she didn’t hate him... No, there was no future for them. “I wish you hated me, too.”
And then he kissed her.
Chapter Three
Oh, lord.
Cat’s hands came up to grab Jasper by the hair and push him away. Instead, her fingers tangled in his damp curls and pulled him closer. His arms went around her, holding her tight as he kissed her. She kissed him back.
He infuriated her. Could hurt her like no other. He also kissed like a dream and felt like heaven. And he smelled so very, very good—like pie. She didn’t even want to think about how good he looked half-naked. Was he more muscular than the last time she’d seen him? He looked more rugged and less pretty. He was the most gorgeous thing she’d ever seen, and one of the best people she’d ever known. There weren’t many she’d talk about favorably, but she would about Jasper, even though he’d broken her heart.
He had to feel something for her, because fellas kissed girls they liked differently—either as if they were made of china, or as if he was dying of thirst and she was a cool mountain spring.
Obviously, Jas didn’t think she was fragile.
What was she doing? Her sister was missing and she was digging the fingers of one hand into Jasper’s scalp while her other hand explored his bare shoulder and back. She wanted to rub her face in the crook of his neck and breathe him in.
And Sparrow was out there all alone.
It took all of Cat’s strength to push him away. How stupid was she? She was not going to risk her heart again, especially not at her sister’s expense, but she had no sense when it came to Jasper Renn.
“Get dressed,” she told him. “I’ll wait for you outside.” She slipped out the window and down the side of the house the way she had come up, her claws digging into the stone as she descended. The cool night air was just what she needed to return to sanity. The nerve of him, standing there looking so gorgeous and knowing it! He ought to be ashamed of himself—but really, when a man looked that good, he had to know it, or he was a simpleton.
Above her she heard the window shut. Was he not going to—
“All right, let’s go.”
Cat jumped. She couldn’t help it. One second she’d seen him at the window and before she could finish her thought he was right in front of her. She’d forgotten how fast he was, but it seemed as though maybe he’d gotten even faster.
Jasper grinned. “Nerves frayed, are they, kitten?”
“No.” She scowled. “Call me by that awful name again and I’ll slice you open from belly to throat.”
“You’d have to catch me first.” He turned and walked away, leaving her no choice but to hurry after him. He was not in charge of this search—she was. He was not allowed to make her feel as though he was the boss. Some of it came from pride, but some from her parents. Regardless of their love for each other, her mother had distrusted white folks in general, which made sense, given her family history, and her father had mistrusted everyone who wasn’t Irish. That left Cat with the assurance that she could trust only herself, and possibly Sparrow.
Although it seemed she’d been misguided in that respect. Her sister had just up and left without even a goodbye. Sparrow had been angry at her, and maybe with good reason, but that was no reason to just...abandon her sister.
She was at Jasper’s side when they entered the stables. There was a low level of lighting in there—just enough that most regular folk could barely see to get around. Cat could see everything quite clearly, so when she spotted the velocycles in their bays, she immediately felt a spark of adventure.