The vipers nest, p.1
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       The Viper's Nest, p.1
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         Part #4 of Kit Davenport series by Tate James
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The Viper's Nest


  The Viper’s Nest

  Kit Davenport Book 4

  Tate James

  Copyright © 2017 Katrina Fischer

  Cover design © 2017 Covers by Combs

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or used in any manner without the express written permission of the author except for the use of brief quotations in a book review. If you have obtained this book via piracy, or suspect it has been duplicated illegally, please do the right thing. Advise the author and purchase your own copy. No one likes a pirate, unless he’s Jack Sparrow.

  This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

  Acknowledgments

  Thanks to my darling husband for finally coming around to the idea of his wife as an author. Your support now means the world to me when others have dropped theirs. And to our chubby cheeked ball of giggles, Alaric… you’re hilarious kid. Keep being awesome.

  To Goldfish and the ASS. Thanks for making me write words in order to actually finish books!

  Thank you—as always—to Becca, Penguino, Hot Property and KK for reading as I wrote and helping me when I got stuck. Sometimes all I need is your emojied response to keep going.

  Finally, my editors Heather and Jax. Seriously… don’t leave me. I’m not joking. You’re mine for life now! *evil laugh*

  For the Fox Hole.

  You keep me motivated every day, Foxies!

  Contents

  Acknowledgments

  Prologue

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Epilogue

  Untitled

  About the Author

  Also by Tate James

  Also by Tate James

  SPIRITED

  Spirited - Chapter One

  Prologue

  Sitting around the kitchen table with my guys, I smiled to myself. It had been such a perfect day. No one was fighting, and more importantly, no one had tried to kidnap or kill me. So, win!

  “What are you thinking about, Kitty Kat?” Caleb whispered, taking my hand where it lay on the table between us and smoothing his thumbs over my skin. “You look really content right now.”

  “I am,” I replied, not feeling the need to elaborate any further. Around the table, each of my guardians met my gaze, returning all my warm feelings through our bonds. I'd never been so happy in my life as I was in that moment.

  “Are you glad we did it?” Cole asked me, tilting his head to the side. His granite eyes held mine, but they were no longer shadowed with the worry and anger, fear and violence. He was just... open.

  My smile spread wider. “So much so. I feel”—I sucked in a deep breath through my nose, exploring the incredible feeling of my six completed bonds—“whole. Like this is how I was always meant to be. Are you? Glad?”

  A moment’s uncertainty rushed through me, but faded quickly when all six dianoch smiled and nodded their affirmations.

  “Good,” I sighed. “I was so worried for so long about what would happen when we were all finally bonded, and now...”

  “Now you can't believe we didn't do it sooner?” River finished for me with a quirk of his eyebrow. His golden eyes flashed with a light from within, and I craved seeing his true power once more. “I get that, love. Believe me.”

  “Here, have another cookie,” Wesley offered, pushing the plate of freshly baked clove-and-coffee cookies across the table to me. They were my favorite, the coffee flavor not at all masked by chocolate like in so many coffee-cookie recipes.

  Taking one, I dunked it in my coffee before taking a bite of the soggy, coffee-flavored treat. Delicious.

  “So what's next?” Vali pondered aloud, his ankle brushing mine beneath the table and staying there. “World domination?”

  Austin snorted a laugh. “Gods help us all if it is. Can you imagine Christina in charge of the world?” His words were softened by the easy smile on his face and the cheeky wink he threw my way.

  “Maybe we could take a holiday?” Caleb suggested, still caressing my hand with his fingers while I nibbled on my cookie. “We sort of deserve it after saving humankind.”

  All of the guys chuckled, as did I. We really did deserve a break...

  “Where would we go?” I asked Caleb, shifting in my seat to face him. His clear, green-eyed gaze met mine, and I fought back the urge to kiss him. To kiss all of them. Emotions were riding high around the kitchen table, and I was swimming in everyone's.

  “Well,” Caleb started, tapping his chin. “I always wanted to visit somewhere tropical...” The rest of what he was saying faded into static as I stared harder at him. Were his eyes bleeding?

  “Cal, hun, something's wrong,” I interrupted him, starting to panic as blood filled his eyes and began running down his cheeks like some sort of macabre version of tears. “What's happening?”

  I grabbed his arm, but he didn't seem to hear me. He continued speaking, but it was like I was underwater or something, unable to make out his words. Frantically, I looked to the guys for help, but found them all still smiling at me with rivers of blood running down their faces.

  “What the fuck?” I screamed, shooting out of my seat. It crashed to the ground behind me as I backed away from the table. “What's going on?”

  As I watched, their eyes all burst like squished grapes, sending thick fluid splattered over the table and drenching the cookies. Horrified, I scrambled further away, but my back slammed into a solid form, and I spun around in panic.

  “Caleb?” I gasped, “How—” I spun back around to find he had indeed disappeared from the table without me seeing him move.

  “You didn't seriously think you'd beaten me, did you?” Caleb spoke, but it wasn't his voice that came from his mouth. “You'll never be rid of me, Foxy Girl. Not ever.”

  Words fled my brain as Caleb's skin split open down the middle, peeling back and revealing the blood covered form of Mr. Gray leering back at me. On the verge of a panic attack, I whipped my head back to the guys at the table, only to find them all dead. Every one of them. Throats slashed, chests ripped open, and so much blood.

  “No,” I whispered, feeling heavy, wet hands wrap around my throat from behind while I stared transfixed at the corpses of my guardians. “This can't be happening. You're dead. I saw you die. This isn't possible.” My words cut off after that as Gray squeezed, and my fingers clawed frantically at his hands.

  I was weak. Why was I so weak?

  “Kit,” a soothing voice reached my ears, but I couldn't look away from the grisly scene in front of me. “Kit!” The voice sounded sharper and from closer by. “Fucking hell, this is a bad one tonight.”

  Wesley stepped into my line of sight, walking straight through the table, the bloody scene evaporating in his wake. Glancing behind me at the blood covered man trying to strangle me, Wesley snapped his fingers sharply, and the pressure disappeared from my throat instantly.

  Sucking in huge gasps, I looked around me but found nothing more than an empty room, w
hich also evaporated until it was just Wesley and I standing in nothingness.

  “Wes?” I croaked, rubbing at my still sore neck and feeling tears roll down my face. “Was this...?”

  “Another nightmare, sweetheart. That was one of the worst I've seen, though.” He wrapped his arms around me in a tight embrace, and I shuddered, collapsing into him.

  “It seemed really real,” I whispered into his chest as he stroked my hair.

  He sighed. “They always do. But I'm here now, so you can rest. I'll keep you safe, I swear.”

  With the clarity that it had just been a dream, the horror and panic slowly faded away, leaving me feeling safe and warm. Knowing Wesley was protecting my dreams, night after night, was helping me to heal. Slowly, sure. But I was healing all the same.

  1

  Warm hands sliding over my belly were what woke me, gently, from the deep sleep I’d been in. With a soft sigh, I snuggled back into the body behind me.

  “What time is it?” I whispered in a voice thick with sleep, not bothering to open my eyes.

  “Late,” Caleb murmured back, pressing a kiss to the back of my neck. “Or early, depends how you look at it.”

  “How early?” I asked, rolling over in his arms and snaking my own around his waist to cuddle in tight. My cheek pressed to his hard chest, and I breathed in his vanilla and cinnamon scent. He smelled like the most delicious cookie sometimes…

  “Kitty Kat,” he chuckled. “Did you just lick me?”

  “Uh-huh,” I mumbled, nodding slightly. “Your fault. You smell like baking.”

  He huffed a little disgruntled sound. “I guess there’re worse things, and if it means you licking me more often...”

  It probably wasn’t intended to be funny, but I snorted a laugh nonetheless, cracking my eyes open a scant millimeter and pushing up to peer at him.

  “Why so late tonight?” I whispered, inspecting his face and finding worrying dark circles under his eyes. He’d been spending almost every night with this witch who was teaching him to control his powers, and I was getting concerned he might burn out.

  Caleb hesitated a moment. “No reason,” he replied, dodging my eye contact.

  My lips pursed, and I thought again about pushing him for more information. It wasn’t worth the fight though, as I’d already learned. We’d been on the run from Omega for just over a week, and in that time Caleb and I had already entered into some pretty heated arguments about this mysterious training.

  “We need to move again today,” he told me, changing the subject.

  Tucking my face back into the crook of his neck, I sighed. “Again?”

  “We have to stay ahead of Omega,” he reminded me for what felt like the seven thousandth time. Of course I knew we needed to. Jonathan—my dad, and head of the Omega Group—had tried to kill us all on more than one occasion, and I didn’t care to stick around and wait for him to succeed.

  “Why do you think he’s doing this?” I asked again. I’d been asking the same question all damn week, ever since overhearing the damning evidence that my own dad was behind the car bomb and the crash and countless other little accidents over the past month and a half.

  “I don’t know, Kitty Kat. But we’re going to find out, right?” Caleb pulled back to peer into my eyes again. His own emerald gaze serious for once as he met mine. “We’re in this together now. All of us.”

  His meaning was clear, and I smiled sadly. He meant even though my adoptive dad had apparently been using me for his own gain and had maybe never loved me at all, I didn’t need him. I had more people in my life now who cared for me than I’d ever had before, and I would not let this betrayal break me.

  “I know,” I whispered back, sliding my hand up to brush over his cheek. He hadn’t shaved, and his stubble was rough under my palm. “Do we need to leave soon?”

  “Not for another few hours. Vali was organizing the next location when I came in.” His gaze ducked to my lips before returning to my eyes. “You should get some more sleep.”

  I gave a tiny shake of my head. “No, I’ve done hardly anything but sleep this past week. I’m ready for some action or something. Maybe I should see if I can help Vali.”

  “You know he’ll say no.” Caleb grinned. Vali had been saying nothing other than no to me all week. Some crap about not wanting to involve me in his sordid affairs, but it was starting to sting as a bit of a rejection.

  “Oh, don’t give me that face,” Caleb laughed when I pouted at him. “If you really don’t want to sleep, I could suggest another activity...”

  This time, it was my gaze that ducked to his lips. “Oh, yeah?” I grinned, anticipation fluttering through me as I became acutely aware of how close our bodies were and just how little we were wearing.

  “Yeah,” he replied, a wicked smile on his lips as he lay back on the pillows and tugged me closer until I was flush against his side. “Look.”

  He reached over to the nightstand and grabbed a small switchblade, which he used to prick his finger. Fascinated and more than a little confused, I watched while he squeezed a sizeable droplet of blood onto his fingertip, then raised his eyebrows at me.

  “Ready?” he asked, and I narrowed my eyes. Ready for what? Certainly not what I’d had in mind…

  With a sexy sort of chuckle, he flicked his hand up at the ceiling, sending that little droplet of blood soaring through the air. I watched it, transfixed, and when it hit the plaster beside the ugly-ass light fixture, the whole ceiling seemed to just... disappear.

  “What...” I breathed out, staring up at the clear night sky above us and the luminescent green light bending and curving in front of the stars.

  “We travelled all the way to fucking Harrow, Alaska, and you never got to see the Northern Lights,” Caleb murmured, tugging me to lie back down beside him so we could both look up at the display.

  “So you thought...” I trailed off again, totally gobsmacked by what I was seeing. “Is this just an illusion?”

  Caleb snickered, and his hand tightened around my waist. “Listen to you becoming an expert in magic. No, Kitty. Not an illusion. More like a window. This is the exact sky over the North Pole right now.”

  His teasing about me becoming an expert in magic was in good spirits. Since bonding with Austin, an Ink Mage, my magic had been sort of just bleeding out all over the place. I’d been casting spells I hadn’t intended, and after accidentally turning Cole green one day, Austin had decided I needed more formal training in how to use his magic.

  If I’d thought his teaching was painful when learning how to shoot, it was nothing compared to the ogre he was when teaching magic.

  “This is so cool,” I whispered, gazing up at the beautiful natural phenomenon above us for a long time. The way the light shifted and moved was mesmerizing, and I soon found myself... calm. Calm in a way that I just hadn’t been able to achieve in longer than I cared to remember.

  Between finding out I was a Ban Dia—one of a master race that essentially created all supernatural beings—and being hunted, tortured, and blown up by every man and his damn dog... there just hadn’t been any downtime.

  Turning back to Caleb, I pressed a soft kiss to his lips, letting it linger a moment before pulling back. “Thank you,” I murmured, meeting his eyes with sincerity. “This is amazing.”

  “Anything for you, Kitty Kat,” he replied, his fingers trailing up my side underneath my baggy sleep shirt. Or rather, Cole’s T-shirt, which I had commandeered to sleep in. Men’s T-shirts were always so damn cosy.

  “Couple of hours, you say?” I double-checked, knowing we would need to allow at least one hour to pack up the cars and wipe any trace of ourselves clean.

  “Mm-hmm, that I did.” This time, his smirk was as wicked as my own, and heat flushed through me.

  “Good.” My fingers traced over the ink on Caleb’s well-muscled abdomen, following the swirl and flow of the lotus blooms down lower until my fingers reached the waistband of his sweatpants. “Then we have time
to fully appreciate this amazing view.” And by that, I was not referring to the Aurora Borealis lighting up the room with its shimmering, green glow.

  “Kitty Kat...” Caleb scolded, “I was trying to have a nice, relaxing moment with you.”

  Humming happily in my throat, I placed another lingering kiss against his lips, taking my time and feeling his body respond.

  “Consider me relaxed,” I teased when our kiss ended. “Now I want to thank you for this amazing gift.”

  My fingers had hooked into the waistband of his sweats, and there could be no mistaking what I meant by that. Caleb groaned, then threaded his fingers into my hair to pull my lips back to his.

  This time when our lips met, there was nothing languid or gentle about it. Caleb teased my lips apart, his tongue delving into my mouth and tangling with mine in a torrent of pent up desire on both of our parts. With everything that had happened recently—Caleb’s magic training, our mission to retrieve my Ban Dia ring, and then all the safe-house hopping—it had really been too damn long since Caleb and I had been intimate with one another.

  “Kitty Kat,” he hissed as I freed him from his sweats and wrapped my palm around his length. “This was supposed to be something nice for you.”

  “Uh-huh,” I replied, but my mouth was busy moving down the line of his neck to his chest.

  Caleb sucked in a sharp breath, his hips lifting slightly as my fingers gripped him and stroked. For just a few moments, he let me, and my lips closed over one of his nipples.

 
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