The afternoon of their fourth day on the island, Shan again checked his email. There was a message from Kayne that had Shan up and moving immediately.
“Pack up,” he ordered Race.
“There will be soon enough unless we get out of here.”
“What about Addie? She’s still sleeping and…”
“Just get everything together from your room and mine. Can you…No, probably not.”
“Shoot a gun, or use a knife defensively?”
Race nodded. “Not a gun, but a knife isn’t a problem. I carried one when I was living on the streets.”
“Ever use it?” Shan asked as he shooed Race towards the house, following behind him.
“I did, and successfully, although I never killed anyone if that’s what you’re asking.”
“It was and it wasn’t. I need to see something, so come with me.” Shan led him into his room, which in Race’s opinion was very Spartan. The only thing that said it was Shan’s was the camera bag. It stood open on a low chest which matched the one in Race’s room.
“Holy shit,” Race muttered when he caught sight of what the bag held.
Shan smiled tightly. “I never go anywhere without protection no matter what, which apparently you believe, too, from what you just said. Why didn’t you have your blade with you when you delivered the message?”
“Who says I didn’t?” Race replied.
“You don’t have it now.”
Race cocked an eyebrow. “How do you know?”
“Kid, I’m the one who undressed you the night we arrived here. No knife.”
Race turned somewhat red when Shan said that, covering it by moving closer to the case to see exactly all that it contained. “I forgot it in our hurry to pack up and get out of your place,” he mumbled.
“First lesson, never do that again.” Shan handed him one of the knives from the case, smiling when Race took it, holding it as he should, the blade projecting up from the top of his fist. “One thing…” Shan took hold of Race’s hand, releasing it instantly when the young man stiffened. “Sorry, I keep forgetting,” he apologized. Retrieving another knife from the case, he demonstrated the thumb position that would give Race even better control in a fight.
Race nodded, tried it and then, with Shan’s, permission sheathed it, attaching it to his waistband. He snickered when he realized that drawstring pants didn’t give quite the support that a belted pair would.
Shan chuckled in agreement before telling him to get moving and do as he’d been asked. Then he strode from the room.
As he left, Race watched him hungrily, knowing Shan had misinterpreted when Race had frozen at his touch. Shan’s closeness had sent a frisson of desire through Race’s body that made him grateful Shan couldn’t read him—and unhappy about it at the same time. Heaving a deep sigh he set to work.