Landon frowned at the next obstacle—a thirty-foot solid wood wall. On a normal military confidence course, the same wall might be ten feet high. Tough to get over by yourself but doable for a two-person team. Nobody could get over this one, even with teamwork. No average human anyway.
Landon glanced at her. “I don’t suppose you can fly, can you?”
“Not quite.” She hesitated, then added, “But I can climb it.”
He raised a brow. “Climb it? You’ve gotta be kidding me.” When she didn’t answer, he folded his arms across his chest. “This I’ve gotta see.”
Ivy’s pulse quickened. Part of the reason the DCO made them do the confidence course was to expose Landon to her true nature so he could recognize its value. Or cringe in revulsion.
Time to see if he could handle it or would go running off for a psych evaluation.
Turning to face the wall, she let her fingernails extend until they were as long as those of the great cat with which she shared her DNA. Then she took a deep breath and ran toward the wall. Jumping onto it, she dug her claws into the wood and climbed hand over hand all the way to the top. Heart pounding, she peeked down at Landon, praying she wouldn’t find the disgust she’d seen so many times before. But he just stood there with an amused expression on his face.
“If you expect me to climb the wall like that, we’re going to be here awhile,” he called. “Hope you brought lunch.”
Huh? No shock, no freaking out, no fear in his eyes. She couldn’t believe it. “Well?” he prompted. She gave herself a shake. “There’s a rope up here. I’ll toss it down.”
Just because he hadn’t freaked out didn’t mean he wouldn’t demand answers when he got to the top, and Ivy braced herself for a barrage of questions. But he only reminded her that Kendra and Todd were timing them so they’d better hurry.
Since Landon hadn’t freaked out after seeing her sprout claws and scale a thirty-foot wall, Ivy didn’t see the need to hold back anymore, particularly when they got to a rope bridge stretched between two towers fifty feet high. She could get across the bridge in the dark with one arm tied behind her back, so she didn’t need to use the safety rope above her head, like Landon did.
She didn’t know what happened. Maybe she wasn’t paying as much attention as she should have. Or maybe she was showing off for Landon. The next thing she knew, her foot slipped off the rope and she fell. She instinctively tried to grab the rope bridge, but missed it.
Crap. The fall wouldn’t kill her, but it would hurt like hell—her pride most of all.
Suddenly, her hand hit something. She grabbed whatever it was, hoping it was strong enough to stop her descent, when she felt a hand wrap around her wrist. Amazed, she jerked her head up to see Landon holding on to her.
“I’ve got you,” he said, his voice calm and reassuring.
Ivy didn’t know how he managed to get to her so fast. Or how he was keeping himself from falling. Dragging her gaze away from his soulful brown eyes, she saw that he was hanging from the rope bridge by his legs like a circus performer. That probably wasn’t a standard Special Forces move. Maybe he had some monkey DNA and didn’t know it.
“Um, Ivy. Not to rush you or anything, but this isn’t really comfortable. Think you can find a way to climb up me without ripping me to shreds or knocking us both down?”
That’s when she realized her claws were out and dug into his wrist like spikes. That had to hurt.
“Oh God, I’m sorry!”
She retracted her claws and carefully climbed up Landon’s back onto the rope bridge. Grabbing the top rope, she quickly moved forward so he could get back up on the bridge. But Landon didn’t bother. Instead, he swung hand over hand on the bottom rope until he got to the tower, then dragged himself up onto it. Careful to hold on to the safety rope this time, Ivy hurried across the rope bridge to join him.
She grabbed his wrist to see how much damage she’d done. There were five bloody puncture marks around it that were already starting to swell. She winced. They looked painful. She might not be crazy about the guy, but she hadn’t meant to hurt him.
“I really am so sorry,” she murmured.
“I’m fine,” he said. “I’ll get it checked out when we’re done. You okay?”
Ivy blinked up at him. He’d almost gotten killed saving her butt from her own stupidity, and he was asking if she was okay?
“Yeah. I’m fine. Thanks. For catching me, I mean.”
“No problem. What’s a partner for?” He flashed her a devastating grin. “Come on, let’s get moving. We’re eating up the clock.”
Tyler, Paige. Her Perfect Mate (X-Ops Book 1) (pp. 51-54). Sourcebooks. Kindle Edition.
Now training is never easy but Landon has done right by her and didn’t freak out over her change. However, there are those who aren’t so happy about this partnership.
Ivy’s friend Clive is interested in more with her and as a result tends to want to fight with him every time he sees him.
Action packed as this team goes on their first mission and it goes FUBAR. Plenty of questions arise as they fight crazed hybrids and start wondering who can be trusted.
This pairing proves to be more than just a partnership, their attraction to each other is almost overwhelming. Things heat up quickly and the rules go out the window.
With X-Ops Paige Tyler has created an edgy, exciting, sexy, suspenseful and action packed series. Her Shifters are unique to this genre and I am loving every word.
I couldn’t put this down and have purchased the rest of this series!
5 Contented Purrs for Paige!
Paige is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy romantic suspense and paranormal romance. She graduated from The University of West Florida with a degree in education in 2000, but decided to pursue a full-time career as a writer in 2004. Since then, she’s written over fifty books in several genres, including paranormal, contemporary, western, sci-fi and erotica. She loves writing about strong, sexy, alpha males and the feisty, independent women who fall for them. From verbal foreplay to sexual heat, her stories of romance, adventure, suspense, passion and true love will leave you breathlessly panting for more.
She and her very own military hero (also known as her husband) live on the beautiful Florida coast with their adorable fur baby (also known as their dog). Paige graduated with a degree in education, but decided to pursue her passion and write books about hunky alpha males and the kick-butt heroines who fall in love with them.
When not working on her latest book, Paige enjoys reading, jogging, P90X, Yoga, Pilates, going to the beach, watching NFL football, watching movies and hanging out with her husband (not necessarily in that order!)