Chevalier (Ondine Quartet #2.2)

Chevalier (Ondine Quartet #2.2) by Emma Raveling

Book: Chevalier (Ondine Quartet #2.2) by Emma Raveling Read Free Book Online
Authors: Emma Raveling
ONE

    The uptown express rattled like a giant metal beast on its last breath.
    My chest brushed against hers for the eighth time.
    "LeVeq. Stop it."
    "There are a lot of things I can do, sweet iris." The train jerked and my arm circled her waist. For balance, of course. "Controlling the New York City subway isn't one of them."
    Sharp pain flared up my leg as she ground her boot into my toes.
    "Loving couple," I reminded her.
    She glared. Instead of breaking our cover, the pissed off look blended in with the other New Yorkers.
    Perfect.
    Rush hour crowd pressed against us, a sea of chaotic humanity swaying with each jostle. She leaned against the closed doors, eyes darting around the car. One arm braced above her, other hand lingered on the small of her back.
    Heated pressure built low in my stomach and I imagined my hands running over those curves mere inches away. Shifting, I forced myself to run through multiplication tables instead.
    At Penn station, a wave of new passengers squeezed in, pushing us closer. Her smell enveloped me, that tantalizing combination of sunshine and the clean air after a spring storm.
    I lifted my eyes to the window and a stranger's reflection looked back. My Projection Virtue kept us unrecognizable out in public.  
    Shaggy, honey-brown hair framed serious brown eyes and a round, nondescript face. Worn jacket, jeans, and a plain sweater transformed me into just another broke grad student.
    Her caramel locks were now a wispy dirty blonde. I filled out some parts of her body - that really pissed her off - but left her eyes and voice untouched.
    I couldn't bear changing them.
    The biggest difference was in her aura. She needed Empath to fight and track. Unlike Nix magic, my Virtue couldn't block it.
    But I could create an illusion masking its strength.
    According to the Chief Gardinel of Rivelleu, the elemental community in Manhattan, her aura dimmed enough that she looked like an ordinary ondine. Not the sondaleur .
    With a deafening screech, we stopped at Times Square. It didn't seem possible, but the crush of people increased. I was now fully pressed up against her.
    Chest. Hip. Thigh.
    I started counting backward from a thousand.
    She tensed. "We got one."
    Finally. I needed to get some kind of action.
    "Where?"
    "North end of the car. Male, early thirties. Dark brown coat."
    Since our arrival four days ago, we'd scoured the city to locate an Aquidae. Spending the month here provided a perfect opportunity to infiltrate the local cell and investigate the Shadow.
    This was the first lead we found.
    Tilting my head forward, I pretended to whisper in her ear and surveyed him.
    Tall, six-one, six-two. Athletic, medium build. Black wool hat. Closely shorn head. Espresso-colored wool coat, suit and tie. Briefcase.
    He barely glanced up, completely absorbed in his cell phone. Even if he noticed her aura, he wouldn't do anything. Too many humans.
    Subway approached the Seventy-second Street station, but he showed no sign of exiting.
    A large number of people got off, creating a bit of breathing room. Remaining passengers shifted to more comfortable positions in the cleared car.
    I didn't.
    Doors clattered shut and the train jerked forward.
    She cleared her throat. "Move."
    "Not yet."
    "We're. Working."
    Was she gnashing her teeth?
    "Exactly," I murmured. "Don't attract attention, darling."
    Her hair brushed against my cheek. Sparks of heat ignited in my blood and there was that endless hunger again. The fascination whenever I was near her.
    I was suddenly aware of the creamy soft skin at the base of her throat. If I leaned forward, just a bit, I could taste its warmth…
    Another jerk as the train slowed. The Aquidae put away his phone and moved to the exit.
    Damn. I'd hoped for a few more minutes.
    Doors opened on to Ninety-sixth Street station. We waited a few seconds, then followed him up the stairs from the platform.
    She punched my arm. Someone behind me snickered.
    "What the hell was that for?"
    "For

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