Connell tried to drag the Elemental toward him, but she didn’t budge. Instead, she glanced at his hands. For a second, he could have sworn amusement flashed across her face. Then she was gone—wind whipping him in the face so hard it stung.
He turned around in a circle, scanning the air and the land around him. God, he couldn’t lose her now. He needed to get his wolf back. Not having the extra other in his head was tearing him apart. The empty space inside him was like a crawling emptiness. Sometimes, it was in his head. Other times, it was in his heart.
I can’t believe I lost her. He’d had her in his hands, and then poof. At this
point, she could be anywhere. A strangled sigh escaped from deep in his chest. It sounded pathetic and broken, even to him. He checked the house to make sure she wasn’t there, and then he walked back out to his rented jeep. Damn it, he was going to have to start tracking her all over again.
“Hey, what’s your name?”
Stunned, Connell tripped. Pivoting on his heel, he turned to see the sprite standing on a huge boulder in the distance. He was so damn surprised to see her that he lost his tongue. He just stared at her like an idiot.
Apparently, she agreed. “I can’t keep calling you tall, dark, and stupid, now can I? What…is…your…name?” she repeated, over- enunciating each word.
He was too relieved to get upset over the fact she was talking to him as if he were slow. “Connell Maitland.”
The imp turned away and started addressing the air around her, “He says he’s one of the Maitlands. American accent, so one of the Colorado ones. Yeah. It’s severe. I haven’t seen anything like it. It’s like his wolf was torn out of him somehow. He thinks we did it. Hold on a sec—” Her words broke off as Connell started to run toward her.
A gust of strong air slammed him down to the ground before he cleared the rise.
“Stay there,” the sprite ordered in a glacial tone.
Frigid as the wind, he thought as he regained his footing. Hell, everything about her should be ice-cold. Instead, he felt like he was burning up around her. It was disconcerting. So was the hard edge in her voice. That kind of steel shouldn’t be coming out of such a tiny, doll-like girl.
“Yeah, yeah. It’s fine. He’s on a leash,” the imp said a touch smugly.
Connell growled low in his throat. At least that hadn’t changed. Prey the world over would still react instinctively in fear at that sound.
But the imp didn’t even blink. And she had heard him. She just hadn’t cared. She kept on talking like some gossipy housewife on the phone. Except she was addressing no one.
“Who the bloody hell are you talking to? Invisible fairies? Can anyone even hear you?” he asked incredulously.