“Conn.” The tall, broad man entering the exam room greeted Conn. She assumed this was the guy called Mason.
“Mason.” Conn replied just as smoothly.
Aries peeked around Conn’s massive frame to spy a glimpse of her so-called brother. She couldn’t help the un-lady-like snort that left her. The man looked nothing like her. Where her hair was deep black, except for the white streak at her temple, Mason’s was a soft brown. While her eyes were a warm hazel, Mason’s were a striking and vivid green.
Mason cleared his throat. “If you don’t mind, I’d like to be alone with her.”
Aries felt her heart accelerate. Dread swept over her. This can’t be good.
“I do mind,” Conn replied.
Aries couldn’t help the rush of relief that washed over her. She didn’t know Conn, but she certainly knew him better than Mason, and she knew that if Conn wanted her dead, brutalized, or raped it would already have happened.
“Conn!” Mason growled in challenge.
“Stop with the theatrics Mason, you’re frightening her.”
Aries cowered behind Conn, hoping that if Mason couldn’t see her he’d forget she was there and just leave.
“This,” Mason ground out, “is family business that does not concern you.”
Aries could hear the amusement in Conn’s voice. “Let’s ask her.” Conn turned his head to frown down at her. “Would you like to be alone with your…with this man?”
She couldn’t keep her small hands from fisting in the back of his camo shirt. “Can you stay?”
Conn stared at her evenly. “Yes.” Then he turned to Mason. “You heard the woman.”
“Fine!” Mason barked, “But for Christ’s sake, get out of the way so I can at least get a good look at her.”
Aries fully expected Conn to step to the side. Instead, he reached behind him and pulled her under his arm so that her body remained hidden, leaving only her upper body exposed to Mason’s scrutiny.
She blinked at the man who was staring at her intently, letting his eyes rove her features as if searching for something. He was built like Conn, large and broad.
Now that I think about it, these men are all built the same. They look like a team of MMA fighters.
When Mason’s eyes shifted from glassy green to a full, matte black that consumed nearly his entire eye, Aries tried to retreat under Conn’s arm. He clamped her to him, holding her in place.
Aries watched the other man inhale slowly and deeply several times before his eyes transitioned back to their beautiful, reflective green. His eyes dropped to her throat and lingered there for long moments before he dipped his head and his shoulders slumped. Aries knew then that he’d genuinely thought, or hoped it would seem, that she was the sister he’d been searching for.
“I…” Aries began softly, drawing both men’s attention. “I’m sorry I’m not who you were looking for.”
Mason’s expression darkened, then he looked at Conn. “I still want tests. I need the proof.”
Conn lifted his arm from her shoulders and pushed her behind him. “You know she’s not your sister, Mason, there’s no need to torture her.”
Torture! Panic flared to life and, standing behind Conn, Aries again scanned the room quickly for some form of weapon, any weapon.
“Now who’s indulging in theatrics? It’s not torture Conn; it’s a few simple blood tests to confirm that she’s no relation. And the last time I checked, you had zero say about what occurs here at StoneCrow.”
“That’s true, and I also care zero about what occurs here at StoneCrow, but she’s my prisoner, and I’ll decide how she’s treated.”
“Prisoner?” Mason scoffed, “I retained you for your services, Mercenary Drago. You’ll do as I say.”
Aries pushed herself into the wall as Conn tensed in front of her. “I follow no man’s orders, Mason, so I suggest you watch your mouth. And it’s Commander Drago.”
“You’ve been paid!” Mason challenged.
Conn reached down and pulled a rolled stack of hundred dollar bills from the front leg pocket of his fatigues before Aries heard it slap on the floor. “Keep your money. I’ll keep the woman.”