Home > Shades of Wicked (Night Rebel #1)(11)

Shades of Wicked (Night Rebel #1)(11)
Author: Jeaniene Frost

“Lest every vampire run for their lives when they realize a Law Guardian caught them indulging in magic?” he supplied.

“Exactly.” With that, I sprinkled some finely sifted powder over my head and spoke in a language Ian shouldn’t know.

He regarded me with amusement. “Been a while since I heard Icelandic. Superb pronunciation, by the way.”

Dammit! Did I need to speak Klingon to finally stump him? I ground my teeth but finished the spell. I could tell from the look on his face when it set in. A slow whistle escaped him.

“Bugger. Me.”

My golden bronze skin stayed the same, but my hair was now longer, thicker, and so light blonde it could have been mistaken for platinum. Gold and blue lowlights wove through it, giving the tricolored mass a dyed look even though it was natural. My dark blue-green eyes had also lightened to silver and I’d grown until I was just under his six-two frame in my heels.

My body had filled out, too. Gone was the litheness that had led him to wonder if I was half his weight. Now, my breasts were round and generous, as were my hips, and my arms and legs were well fleshed with muscle. Even my scent had changed. After Ian’s gaze had done a thorough mapping of my body, it kept returning to my face, where features that had been moderately pretty before were now on the startling side of beautiful.

I ignored his fixation and wound my hair into a knot on top of my head. Then I affixed a rubber hood over it and tucked it into my neckline so I was fully covered. The last touch was tight rubber gloves that went to my elbows.

Ian finally stopped staring. “If your aim was to take the edge off this spectacular appearance, you failed. Everyone will still want to shag you, even if they laugh at your ridiculous onesie first. You should have glamoured a less dazzling appearance if you didn’t want to stand out so.”

“This is my usual look when I visit these places,” I said, which was the truth.

“’Least it will keep me from being called a cradle robber,” Ian said cheerfully. “You might be lovely, but you do look more like a prom queen than one of my usual dates in your normal appearance.”

“I’m so glad I can protect your reputation,” I said with false sweetness. “More importantly, with this appearance, I can be recognized by my former friends, if any of them are here. Allies will be useful if we need to engineer a quick escape.”

“You have friends in magical places?” His smile turned sly. “Why, little Guardian, do you indeed go ‘slumming’ at times?”

“When you’re as old as I am, you end up doing a little of everything at some point,” was my evasive reply.

His chuckle was a low rumble of amusement and sensuality. “I’d say I could imagine, but I’d rather you show me.”

I gave him a pointed look. “Not in this lifetime.”

He let out a dramatic sigh. “Another sexual hoarder. Can’t escape them these days, it seems. Ah, well, we have places to be and a demon to mercilessly taunt, so let’s get to it, shall we?”

I hid my smile as I gave his barely clad chest and thin leather pants a last look. “Yes, let’s.”

“What the bloody hell did you say?”

The sound from the falls was loud, but I didn’t think that was why Ian was pretending he hadn’t heard me. He just didn’t like what I’d said. That’s why I relished repeating it.

“We have to jump into the river so we can go over the falls.”

He glanced at the churning waters, where thick ice chunks regularly crashed into each other. “Like hell we do.”

“The place we’re going to is spelled to prevent just anyone from coming in,” I said, fighting back my grin. “I don’t know the new magical version of a password, but I remember the old one. It requires going over Bridal Veil Falls while wearing the right symbol.” Then I couldn’t resist adding, “I told you to put on the unitard. Next time, follow my lead.”

He stared at the icy, frothing water before he gave me a truly evil glare. “Enjoy your victory now. I know I’ll enjoy mine when I repay you for this.”

“Ooh, I’m shaking in my warm, waterproof boots,” I mocked, my grin finally breaking free.

He kept glaring as he stripped off his coat, shirt, and boots, placing them by a nearby tree. Then he gave the river a resigned glance. “My knobs will turn into ice cubes.”

“Probably,” I agreed, and took a small rouge pot from inside my boot. The substance inside wasn’t rouge, so it didn’t leave a visible trail as I traced the necessary pattern first over my face, then over Ian’s. When I was done, I threw the pot aside and gave a final glance around.

No one was watching us. The few remaining tourists out at this hour were near the head of the falls, where multicolored lights shone on the roaring waters, giving the falls an ethereal look as they endlessly spilled over the ledge.

“Keep hold of my hand,” I told Ian as I held it out. My grip was strong but so were these waters. Plus, there were many rocks hidden beneath the surface, and all this was before the treacherous drop over the falls.

His fingers tightened on mine as he took it. Then he surprised me by grinning. “Can’t say I prefer the cold, but I have thought of doing this before. Here’s to crossing one more item off my bucket list!”

With that, he yanked me into the freezing depths of the fast-moving water. I stifled a gasp as it hit the bare skin on my face. Extreme cold didn’t feel freezing—it burned. I instantly felt guilty as I imagined how much pain Ian must be in. I should have insisted he go back to the hotel to put on the rubber unitard—

Ian’s roar when his head broke the surface caused more guilt to slam into me. That turned into amazement when I realized he was laughing. “Lucifer’s flaming farts, now this hurts!” he cried, attempting to spin me in a circle. The water was too strong. He only succeeded in dunking us both.

“You can’t be enjoying this,” I sputtered when we broke the surface again.

“Right you are!” he sang out, the words choppy because currents kept slamming water into his face. “Know . . . how many . . . props it takes to . . . duplicate this?”

“Don’t want to,” I managed before the current choked off my reply. We were picking up speed as the precipice neared. Bridal Veil might be the smallest part of Niagara Falls, but it was still a very significant waterfall.

“Brace!” I shouted, gripping his hands with all my strength when the horizon of water abruptly disappeared.

I thought I heard him laugh again as we went over the falls, but I couldn’t be sure. The roar of water deafened me.

Chapter 10

I coughed out the water that had flooded my lungs, hearing Ian do the same. The alcove behind the falls fit us both, but I was surprised to see there was no longer a cave beyond it, too. At some point since I’d last been here, the cave must have been demolished. Good thing the place we were going wasn’t in there.

I realized I was still holding Ian’s hand and finally let go. He immediately began rubbing his arms and torso. “T-tell me it’s w-warm where we’ll be,” he said through chattering teeth. Looked like he was over the thrill of the icy pain.

“It should be,” I said, feeling guilty again.

I went over to the farthest corner of the alcove. Good, the large, flat rock that marked the entry was still there. I rested my face against the smoothest part, making sure the invisible symbol on my forehead touched the rock. After a second, the stone dissolved and an entryway appeared.

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