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If you can't stand the heat, get out of Hell's Kitchen!

Coming December 1, 2o11 from Sourcebooks

Damn it. He wouldn’t let up. Then again, that was probably part of his tactical experience. “What’s next, waterboarding?”

“I do not condone the use of torture.” A flash sparked in his eyes. “I have more productive ways of obtaining the truth.”

She bet he did. The temperature in the office rose another fifty degrees—at least that’s what it felt like. She didn’t like the way he made her feel. She sucked in a gulp of air. Who was she kidding? The naughty part of her loved it. Down, naughty girl. Not now!

She snapped back to reality. “Doesn’t surprise me.”

“How so?”

“You’re not a small guy, for one. And that glare could melt an iceberg. And the stern expression—well it’s stronger than the ones my grandmother showed me when I misbehaved.”

“Niceties do not get you far in my position.” He reached down to grab a huge duffle bag and stood. With an unceremonious thud, he dropped the bag on the desk. With a quick yank of the zipper, he spread the bag open. Grabbing a Glock, he slid in a magazine and stuffed it in the holster on his hip. Snapping the holster in place, he grabbed another magazine and shoved it into a pouch on his waist. Another snap, another weapon—this time a dagger. Unsheathing it from the ruby-and-sapphire-bedecked scabbard, he twisted the weapon in his grip, and the silver-etched blade flashed. She’d never seen anything so beautiful in her life. Vines were carved from hilt to tip and rosebuds had been etched into the shiny silver. Rubies and sapphires spiraled around the hilt.

Not an ordinary weapon for a mercenary. Then again he wasn’t any mercenary. He was a demon. And he wasn’t any ordinary demon. He was a built like a brick shithouse—luckily he didn’t smell like one. And, heav­ens, his face was strong and angled. Not unattractive—if you were into the Delta Force type. Or was that Demon Force? And from the way her hormones flared, she was becoming that type. Not good! Hormones and hollanda­ise did not mix—at all.

“Admiring the blade, are you?”

Among other things. It was safe to assume he couldn’t read thoughts—thank goodness—because her thoughts would make even a eunuch blush.

“It’s not the type of weapon I’d expect from someone in camouflage.”

“It was given to me by my mentor.” His dark eyes glinted, and something similar to remorse passed over his face. He strapped the scabbard to his belt and slammed the dagger in. Without another word, he hoisted the duffle over his shoulder. “A few centuries back.”

Well, if that wasn’t a conversation stopper, she didn’t know what was. And he obviously wanted to keep his distance, which was—much to her recently active hormones’ chagrin—fine by her.

“All right, already. I know you’re old, dude. No need to keep beating that in.”

“I was not.”

“So you say.” She tucked a stray curl behind her ear. “But if you plan on wearing those weapons into the mall, security will be on you like white on rice.”

“Normal humans shouldn’t be able to see my weapons.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means you need to realize—no matter how hard you try to hide it—you are not normal.”