Home > Immortal Nights (Argeneau #24)(13)

Immortal Nights (Argeneau #24)(13)
Author: Lynsay Sands

However, all of that would apparently have to wait. Abigail had been wounded and was in dire need of rest. So rest she would have.

She also no doubt needed food and drink. He’d intended the coconuts to take care of that. She could drink the coconut water and eat the white fleshy fruit inside, but fish would probably be better. He just had to sort out a way to catch some. Maybe he could somehow fashion a spear, Tomasso thought as he turned to head toward the beach.

Abigail woke up with her nose twitching in interest. Something smelled delicious. Stifling a yawn, she sat up to glance around, but couldn’t see anything but trees. Curious, she got to her feet and moved around the tree she’d been sleeping by, and blinked as she spotted Tomasso on the beach at the edge of the jungle, turning something over a fire in the shade of a large palm tree.

Stomach rumbling, Abigail started forward, her gaze shifting to the sky beyond the trees. The sun was setting on the horizon and it was growing dark. She must have slept quite a while, she thought with a frown.

“Why didn’t you wake me?” she asked as she stepped out onto the beach.

Tomasso glanced to her with surprise, and then smiled crookedly as if at an adorable puppy. All he said, however, was, “You needed rest.”

Abigail considered him briefly, noting that his five-o’clock shadow was more a seven-o’clock shadow now. But it was his smile that was making her suspicious, so she simply moved past him and walked down to the shore. The water was still. There wasn’t even a hint of a breeze to stir it. It made the surface a serviceable mirror and Abigail stepped a few feet into the water, then peered down at her reflection and moaned. Her hair was standing up in every direction. That combined with her pale face made her look like a clown.

Muttering under her breath, Abigail shrugged out of her blouse, tugged off her jeans, and then pulled off her tank top. Leaving her clothes in a pile on the beach, she then strode determinedly into the water in just her underwear and bra. It was as good as a swimsuit, Abigail reassured herself as she went, and she was not returning to the fire looking like this.

The air had cooled while she slept, but the water was even cooler and Abigail shivered as she moved deeper into its embrace. That didn’t slow her down though. She had always loved swimming. Her mother had insisted she take lessons as a kid and she was good at it. The moment she was up to her waist in the tide, she dove under and kicked, coming up several feet further out.

Finding her feet again, Abigail turned then to look back to shore, her eyes widening when she saw that Tomasso had followed and was now waist-deep in the water. As she watched, he dove as well. A moment later he popped up in front of her.

“Never swim alone,” he admonished, but his gaze was not on her face. In fact his eyes seemed locked on her chest and she glanced down to see that her plain white bra was not much of a covering when wet, but had gone transparent. Her nipples were showing through, and they were growing erect, whether from the cold or his nearness, she didn’t know, but it didn’t matter. They were still erect and on show.

Groaning with embarrassment, Abigail turned away and struck out in a strong swim away from shore, aware that Tomasso followed and then caught up and swam beside her. Apparently he was serious about her not swimming alone.

She didn’t swim far. Abigail was aware that she was out of shape and would tire easily, so stopped again after several feet to tread water. Tomasso immediately stopped as well and turned to face her just a little more than a foot away. Close enough she could have reached out and touched him, but not so close she felt uncomfortable.

“Hungry?” he asked.

Recalling the smell that had woken her, Abigail nodded and glanced back to shore. The smoke from the fire was barely visible from here. He’d kept it small, no doubt to prevent drawing attention in case Jake and Sully were still looking for him.

Thoughts of his kidnappers were quickly followed by thoughts of Jet, and Abigail frowned. Tomasso had dragged her off that plane, leaving Jet behind in the company of a couple of nefarious dudes. That was why she’d tried to break away from him at the last minute and had managed to hurt herself. Frowning, she turned back to Tomasso.

“What will they do to Jet?” she asked with concern.

“The plane?” he asked, confusion obvious on his expression.

“No. My friend, Jet. Jethro,” she added, using his proper name, and then explained, “He was the pilot of the plane we were on.”

A scowl claimed his lips and he growled, “That is the Jet you kept mumbling about in your sleep?”

Abigail’s eyebrows rose at this news. She’d been mumbling about Jet in her sleep? Actually, that was a bit reassuring. It meant she had been thinking about him, and didn’t have to feel guilty for not bringing him up until now. Of course, he probably should have been her first concern on waking the first time, but Abigail decided to blame that on her head wound. No doubt her thinking had been a little muddled. That excused her, right? Actually, it was probably even true, Abigail acknowledged. She wasn’t the sort to just forget about a friend who might be in trouble like that. Instead, she was a worrywart. In college she used to make friends call when they got home from visiting her place, just to be sure they made it all right. Not thinking and worrying about Jet until now definitely hadn’t been the norm for her.

“What is this Jet to you?”

Abigail blinked her thoughts away and glanced to Tomasso curiously. He was sounding kind of cranky. Like maybe he was jealous, which was just ridiculous of course. She wasn’t the sort men got jealous over. Besides, they’d already had this conversation on the plane. He’d asked then if Jet was her boyfriend and she’d said no, he was a friend. Of course, Tomasso had probably been a little fuzzyheaded from the drug they’d been giving him in that IV and maybe didn’t recall, so she excused him.

“He’s a friend. We grew up together,” she said patiently and explained, “He’s been my best friend forever. He’s like a brother or something. Jet is not my boyfriend.”

“Hmm,” he muttered, not sounding much happier, and then he asked, “What kind of name is Jet?”

“His name is Jethro,” she explained, despite having said his proper name earlier. “But he always wanted to be a jet pilot, so I shortened his name to Jet when we were kids and it stuck.”

Tomasso merely grunted at that, but the slight sneer that had claimed his lips eased now and he frowned and asked, “So this Jet, your friend, was the pilot of the plane?”

“Yes.” Abigail glanced toward the sky as if he might fly over them right then, and sighed when she didn’t see his plane.

“So he works with the kidnappers?” Tomasso asked darkly.

“No!” Abigail shifted her attention back to Tomasso. “He was a fighter pilot for the navy, but finished his tour a couple weeks ago. A buddy of his who got out a month before him had a job with a cargo company and arranged an interview for Jet when he heard he’d finished his tour. Jet got the job. He only started a week ago, and this company is legit. I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t get involved with transporting a kidnap victim.”

“Then why was I on his plane?” Tomasso asked simply.

Abigail frowned. “From what I overheard the guy saying when he was wrapping up your arm, you must have got loose and trashed their plane?”

Tomasso nodded slowly.

“Well, it seems they needed to find alternate transport and quickly. Jet was told it was an emergency trip. Had to be right away, that sort of thing.”

“Probably they were running low on the drug they were using to keep me under,” Tomasso said thoughtfully.

“That could be it. I don’t know for sure. All I know is that I’d just got into San Antonio and met up with Jet at a bar as planned. He was supposed to have a couple days off, but then he got a call from his boss about this flight. Jet said he was going to refuse, but then decided it could be fun. I could fly down with him and we could kick around Caracas for a couple days and then fly back.”

“Why were you in the cargo area and not the front of the plane?” he asked, his eyes narrowed.

Abigail stiffened in the water at the suspicion in his eyes. The moment she stopped moving, she started to sink and immediately started treading water again, but it was an effort. She was tiring, Abigail realized, and turned to head back toward shore. Once she’d reached water shallow enough that she could stand, Abigail walked out of the surf and dropped to sit next to her pile of clothes.

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