Seventh Grave and No Body - Darynda Jones Page 0,1

clearing the treetops, casting an orange glow over us. The pine and juniper glistened with the early morning dew, their shadows sliding across the window as we drove deeper into the pass. We didn’t see a lot of green in Albuquerque, so the fact that all this lay just an hour away boggled my mind. I loved the Jemez.

“Isn’t it?” SAC agreed.

“My dad used to bring us up here on his motorcycle. But isn’t all this reservation land?” I asked. “How did the FBI get jurisdiction?”

“Tribal law is complicated,” she said, her brown bob swaying as she glanced in her rearview for the hundredth time that morning. But she wasn’t checking for traffic. She was checking on the surly man behind her. “In a case like this, we actually would’ve had jurisdiction, because the campsite isn’t on Pueblo land. Either way, it only makes sense to bring in outside authorities. One of the teens was Native American, which is a whole other issue, but the tribal council was more than happy to have us do the investigation.”

She tightened her grip on the steering wheel, her gaze darting again to the rearview. I couldn’t blame her. Reyes was certainly something to look at. Since I could feel emotions radiate off people like others could feel the weather, I felt every infusion of warmth that rushed through her with his nearness. He affected her like hot tea on a winter’s day, but she hid it well. I had to give her kudos for that. She was curious about him but guarded. Since Reyes, dark and dangerous, was an enigma even to me, SAC was smart to be guarded. But there was no denying the raw magnetism, the sensuous allure he unconsciously sent out in sweet, pulsating waves.

Either that or I was ovulating.

No, wait. No chance of that. It was him. A side effect of being created by the most beautiful angel ever to fall from the heavens, forged in the fires of sin and degradation. All the stuff one’s mother warns one about.

I struggled to keep from taking a peek every few seconds myself. But just for good measure, I decided to risk a quick look-see. I took out my phone, flipped the camera for a selfie, and focused it on the man riding in the middle seat. He leaned into one corner, sitting spread-eagle across the seat, one arm thrown over the back of it, watching me from underneath his lashes. Studying me.

I raised my chin a notch, refusing to be affected by his shadowy, brooding gaze. I was just as mad at him as he was at me. For two weeks now, he’d insisted on escorting me everywhere, forgoing his responsibilities at that bar and grill he owned to be my babysitter.

Of course, I was now carrying his baby, and she was kind of a big deal. Destined to save the world and all. So I couldn’t be too angry. And he was damned nice to look at, even when he scowled. In fact, if I were totally honest, that scowl only added to the allure that was Reyes Farrow. Damn it. When I scowled, I looked constipated. Leave it to the son of Satan to turn a scowl into the stuff of fantasies.

It wasn’t like he had a reason to be mad at me, though. Not that mad, anyway. I’d tried to sneak out of the apartment without him, to go on this case with Agent Carson alone and get some one-on-one girl time. I soon found out that was the wrong thing to do. He told me so repeatedly before she’d arrived outside my apartment building entrance, reminding me that the Twelve, aka the aforementioned hellhounds, were hot on my heels. But even if they made it through the void of oblivion that resided between hell and this plane, and even if they did manage to escape into this dimension, they would still have to find me. And demons, even hellhounds, had their limitations on this plane.

So, after a ten-minute lecture that involved Reyes reiterating – repeatedly – and me tapping my foot in impatience, Agent Carson pulled up in her SUV. We’d thrown her when we both climbed into her official vehicle, but I quickly explained that Reyes, my affianced, had separation anxiety.

She took it well. She was supercool like that. Most of the time. There was one exception, when she’d threatened to have me arrested and promised I’d spend the rest of my life in prison