Elemental: Earth

Free Elemental: Earth by L.E. Washington

Book: Elemental: Earth by L.E. Washington Read Free Book Online
Authors: L.E. Washington
her voice.
    “Yeah. That dumbass is actually here. Texted me and then showed up in the bathroom. Told him that usually the women’s bathroom was dick-free, but seeing as how he didn’t have one but rather was one, I figured we could make an exception. I know he wanted to say something back to me about where he wanted to put his, but instead he just leered at me with that hungry rat look that he gets in his eyes. I swear, I can’t believe that he’s really keeping us safe sometimes. He doesn’t even keep himself safe. I’m sick of answering to him. An ape would be a better handler.” Tessa had never worked with a handler as risky and as chauvinistic as she felt Zinsser was. She didn’t feel like she could completely trust him. In fact, she felt safer with Gavin than with Zinsser. She believed in Gavin, but she couldn’t believe in Zinsser. She felt the need to get out of there and wondered if there was any way that they could sneak out without attracting the attention of Zinsser. Maybe I tell the boys that I was bothered by this weasely man and I just want us to get home without his noticing that we are leaving. I wonder if they’d go for that and help create a smokescreen.
    This wasn’t the first time Tessa found herself thinking of going rogue. She didn’t need to check in with Zinsser with every move. She knew her job and how to do it well. She hated even looking at that weasel, and the way he spoke to her as if she were filth yet unable to keep his eyes from greedily drinking her in each time she had to meet with him face to face. She felt cheap and dirty around him. Not to mention he shot down most of her plans. He put no faith in her to lead this team, and his protection was more like danger. He took unnecessary risks.
    Back at the bar, Dallas and Gavin had a chance to compare some notes.
    “So, what do you think,” Gavin asked.
    “Oh, you’re trying to play match-maker?”
    “I didn’t mean it like that,” Gavin replied. “What I meant was ‘what is your read on the girls?’ Did you get any insight or personal information? Do you get the idea that something is amiss? Tessa seems to be vexed this evening.”
    “I didn’t notice. I mean, she can drink me under the table, but that doesn’t mean she’s bothered by anything. I do know this-- Melissa’s ex-military, I’m sure,” Reed replied. “Her appearance says so-- hair all one length, just long enough to pull back into a pony-tail or bun. Her abs are better than Giles’. There are only a few ways women get that fit. During volleyball, I heard her call Dara a ‘bleu’, typical military speak for ‘newbie’, someone who isn’t adept at the ropes yet. And, she has a strong distaste for Dara, typical of GI Janes’ attitudes towards the Homecoming Queens. Stereotype? Yes, but true.”
    “All of that from a few hours of observation,” Gavin commented. “You never cease to amaze me.”
    “It’s not hard. I just pay attention.”
    The brothers stopped talking and watched the girls’ partners glide them across the dance floor under black lights and strobes.
    “Speaking of paying attention,” Dallas began, “what’s going on with you and Tessa? I can feel the energy between you two from over here even.”
    Gavin was a little sheepish. He didn’t like admitting his weaknesses, especially to his younger brothers whom he was supposed to protect. He really hated admitting this weakness-- a dame. “I don’t know what you mean,” he muttered.
    “Oh come on, dude.” Dallas slid over to the bar stool closer to his brother. “I never cease to amaze you, but if it is about you, I obviously make up silliness.”
    Gavin knew he had a point. “It’s not that. It’s just that I can’t seem to break this weird connection she has to me. It’s actually more like a magnetic power. I don’t want to trust her, but there’s so much that says I can.”
    “I get it,” Reed agreed. “I feel the same thing with Gillian. Nothing I’ve ever

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