Saved by Venom (Grabbed 3)(10)

By: Lolita Lopez

Taken aback by his gruff tone, she froze in place. Squeaking with fright, she explained, “The soles were too slippery. I nearly face-planted on a tree stump and decided it wasn’t worth the risk.”

He grunted. “You’ll care when you lose those toes to frostbite.”

Her stomach trembled violently and she stared at her frigid feet. “Are you serious? Am I really going to lose my toes?”

His lips twitched with amusement. Was he teasing her? She couldn’t tell. With a flick of his fingers, he motioned her closer. “Come here. Let me help you.”

She took a few tentative steps toward him. “I think you’re the one who needs my help.”

His mouth settled into an irritated line. “My leg will keep. Now get over here and let me see your feet.”

She frowned at him. “You could be nice about it.”

He sighed loudly. “Please. Come here before you freeze to death or need your damn feet amputated.”

Though that was hardly nice Dizzy felt sure that pushing him wasn’t a good idea. She moved as close as she dared. Apparently that wasn’t close enough, because the frightening sky warrior snatched her by the waist and hauled her onto his lap. She squealed with surprise and smacked his chest. “Let me go!”

“Not likely.” He gathered her even tighter to his warm, hard body. “Now stop fighting and hold still.”

“Like hell,” she snapped and pushed at the ridiculously strong arm clamped around her waist. It was no use. His superior strength rendered her desperate shoving futile.

“Stop,” he said with a laugh. “You’re going to fall off me onto the snow. I’m trying to warm you up. Now behave or I’ll toss you over my lap and spank that sweet little ass of yours.”

Outraged, she gasped at him. “You wouldn’t dare!”

“Oh, sugar, I would.” His blue-green eyes glinted with excitement and something else, something she couldn’t quite pinpoint. Arousal? Yes, she decided finally. The thought of spanking her bottom aroused him. She wasn’t sure what to think about that.

His gloved hand moved down her legs to her feet. She couldn’t believe how small her foot looked cupped in his massive palm. He brushed the snow and wetness from her skin. “Can you feel your feet?”

She nodded. “Yes.”

He pinched and wiggled her toes. “And here?”

“Yes.” She curled her toes under and tried to pull her foot away from him but he held tight.

“Unzip that pocket on my left leg.” He gestured to the pocket in question with his head. “There is an extra pair of socks in there.”

Fingers trembling from cold and nervousness, Dizzy did as instructed. She found the pair of too-big socks and handed them to him. He shook them out and quickly rolled them onto her feet. The tops brushed her knees and the heel was above her ankle but she didn’t care how silly they looked. Her feet began to warm almost instantly. “Thank you.”

He simply nodded and unzipped another pouch on his strange pants. He withdrew two clear plastic bags and two long, thin strips of plastic. “Evidence bags and zip ties,” he explained. “I’m going to use them to secure a barrier around the socks. I don’t want them getting soaked with melted snow.”

She marveled at all the things he kept in his pants. “Don’t these get heavy?”

He flashed a quick smile. The sight of his lips curving in that playful way did crazy things to her belly. “You get used to it.”

Ignoring the wild tremors shaking her core, she asked, “Why do you need all these things?”

“I’m SRU.” He slid the plastic bags over her feet. “Special Response Unit,” he clarified. “We’re small, focused, elite teams who respond to highly dynamic environments and situations.”

“Dynamic environments?”

“Hostage situations, terrorist threats—dangerous stuff that requires some finesse and understanding.” He tightened the zip ties around her ankles. Satisfied with his work, he pulled down the cuffs of the ugly red pants she’d been forced to wear. “What do you do?”

“I’m a seamstress.” It seemed a silly occupation compared to his. “I design clothing for a couple of small boutiques in The City. Well—I used to design for boutiques.”

His gloved hand caressed her cheek. The cold, slightly damp fabric rasped her skin as he slid his fingers under her chin and forced her to meet his unnervingly steady gaze. “I’m keeping you.”

She swallowed hard. Voice barely a whisper, she answered, “I figured.”

Rather generously, he said, “My leg is still caught in this damn trap. If you really want to be free, if you truly want to reach that safe zone, you’d better get up now and start running.” He pointed in a direction to the far right. “It’s that way, honey. You were headed in the wrong direction.”

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