Smoke and Fire(5)

By: Donna Grant

“The e-mail sent is from Kyvor, the technology giant,” Ryder said. “However, there is a work order in place. It has my name on it.”

Kinsey shrugged and looked at each of the men. “See? I’m not making this up.”

“The work order was placed by you.”

Her mouth fell open in shock. “That’s not possible. I don’t place work orders. We have a division for that. Well,” she said, then paused. “There are a few of us who visit a company and will take a work order for future use while we’re there. But I’ve never been here before.”

“Tell me, Kinsey. Who wanted to talk to who?” Ryder asked.

Her eyes widened and the words locked in her throat from her disbelief and anger. It took her a full minute to get herself under control just so she could talk.

She was furious, but she reminded herself she was dealing with dragons. Kinsey wasn’t sure how far she could go without them burning her to a crisp.

But she also couldn’t hold back the irritation and sarcasm that were a part of her nature.

“You think I did this?” she asked with a laugh and rolled her eyes. “I never wanted to see you again. I ran, remember?”

“I remember,” Ryder murmured.

Kinsey threw up her hands. “Then why would I come here?”

“There are numerous reasons,” Dmitri said.

Tristan nodded. “Aye, lass.”

Her head swung back to Ryder. “I didn’t put in the work order. I didn’t even know you worked for Dreagan.”


It hit her then like a wrecking ball. Dreagan was Gaelic for dragon. OMG! How could she have been such an idiot not to put two and two together?

Ryder hid the keyboard with a tap and rested his arms on the table. “You’re intelligent, Kinsey. It wouldna have taken you long to piece it all together.”

“I wanted to forget that I saw you shift. I was petrified. I ran. From you.”

She had the thought after she spoke that perhaps she should’ve waited until she was alone with Ryder to say such things. But it was too late. The words were already out.

“I know exactly what you did,” he said in a clipped voice.

So she had hurt him? All because she ran? What had he expected her to do? Run toward him?

Then his words penetrated her mind. “What do you mean I would’ve pieced it together?”

Dmitri made a sound at the back of his throat as he got to his feet. “Nice try.”

“What the hell?” she asked in frustration. “I want to know what you’re referring to.”

“The videos of dragons on the Internet,” Tristan said.

Kinsey closed her mouth and took a couple of steps back until she ran into the wall. “Of course I saw the video.”

Ryder’s gaze narrowed on her, but he didn’t say a word.

“That doesn’t mean anything,” Kinsey argued. “Millions of people have seen that video.”

Tristan glanced in the hallway and pushed the door. He looked at Ryder and said, “It willna take Con long to learn she’s here. Get this sorted quickly.”

“Aye,” Ryder replied.

“It’s obvious she’s seen Ryder,” Dmitri murmured.

Kinsey swallowed nervously. Silent looks passed between the three men as if they were communicating. Then Tristan left, closing the door softly behind him.

Dmitri walked to the window and looked out over the rolling hills and the sheep that dotted the countryside. He kept his back to them, but he wasn’t going anywhere.

Kinsey returned her gaze to Ryder. “What’s going on?”

“Whether on purpose or no’, you’ve walked right into the middle of a war.”

She gave a shake of her head. “No. I don’t want to be here. I want to leave. Right now.”

“You’re no’ going anywhere,” Ryder stated.

Kinsey cut him a look and snorted. “Good luck trying to keep me. My company knows I’m here.”

She walked to the door and tried to open it, but the knob wouldn’t budge. No matter how hard she turned, pushed, and pulled, the door wasn’t moving.

Breathing hard, she whirled around to the men. “You can’t hold me here.”

“Your company sent you,” Dmitri said. “They obviously want you here.”

“That’s insane,” she argued.

Ryder lifted a blond brow. “Is it?”

Kinsey dropped her purse and bag and put her hands to her head. “Stop.”

“That willna change the facts.”

“I can’t hear this. I can’t see any more or learn any more,” she said, closing her eyes. As if that would stop all of it.

“I never harmed you.” Ryder’s voice was a whisper, said in her ear.

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