Lawless:Mob Boss Book Three

By: Michelle St. James

She turned around in the front seat to look at her brother as they made the turnoff for Bass Harbor, Maine. He was pale and sickly looking, the bandage on his hand limp and dirty. Guilt wound its way through her stomach. She’d been too busy with the Syndicate’s business — too focused on those responsible for Nico’s death — to properly look after David. He’d been stuck in the brownstone, afraid and alone, and while she’d taken him to therapy, had tried to come home for the occasional meal, she hadn’t spent enough time coaxing him out of his shell. She wondered what kind of damage the shootout at the brownstone had done to him, how far back it would set the healing process.

“You okay?” she asked him as they got out of the car in the parking lot above the harbor.

He nodded, but she could see the fine sheen of sweat on his upper lip, and his eyes were wide and startled.

She took his arm. “It’s all right,” she told him. “We’ll be safe now.”

It was almost noon, but the wind was cold, and she was glad they’d found a mini-mart on the road where she could buy a cheap pair of sweats and tennis shoes. She zipped up the sweatshirt over her blouse and stayed close to David as they made their way down to the waterfront.

Ed, the wizened man who ferried them back and forth to the island, was waiting when they got to the dock. They piled into the boat, and Angel sat next to David, holding his hand as they sped across the water. It had been almost exactly a year since she’d made the trip for the first time with Nico. The bite of the wind and churning of the water was familiar, but everything else was different.

Nico had changed her. Or maybe he’d just shown her who she’d been all along.

She was still angry for what he’d done, but knowing him like she did, she had to believe there was a reason. It’s a conclusion she would have reached in Boston if she’d had the time. Now she reveled in the site of him, standing tall and strong at the front of the boat.

He was a little leaner than he’d been the last time she’d seen him, but it did nothing to diminish the raw power of his physicality. His thighs strained against the fabric of his jeans, his leather jacket doing nothing to hide the significant breadth of his shoulders. His chiseled pecs were visible under the thin fabric of his white T-shirt, and she had a sudden memory; running her tongue from his chest to his throat, his body hard and insistent under her as she rode him, his hands wrapped in the hair at the back of her head, searing her with his gaze while he thrust up into her.

He was alive.

The truth of it almost took her breath away, and she squeezed David’s hand to keep her own from shaking.

The island rose up out of the water like an emerald mirage. Ed slowed down, then coasted the last few feet to the small dock. Angel helped David out of the boat while Nico spoke quietly to Ed. Then Ed was heading back toward open water.

Nico picked up David’s backpack and they headed for the woods surrounding the private residence that was Nico’s refuge.

They arrived at the house twenty minutes later. Nico disabled the alarm, and they stepped into the stone entry, the Atlantic beckoning from the wall of glass in the living room. David seemed rooted to the ground, and Angel realized he hadn't spoken since they left Boston.

“It’s okay,” she said gently, leading him to the stairs. “Go upstairs. Take a shower, get some sleep. We’ll talk later.”

He followed her instructions like a child, his movements slow and deliberate as he made his way up the stairs. She waited until she heard the click of his bedroom door to continue into the living room. David always slept in the room Nico had given Angel the first time he’d brought her here, before she’d accepted the inevitability of her attraction to him.

She was under no such delusion now. She would have it out with Nico. Find out why he’d done what he’d done. Rail at him for putting her through it. Then he would lead her to the master suite, take off her clothes, remind her that she was still his.

That she always had been. That she always would be.

She stood watching him as he loaded the fireplace with wood and old newspaper. He’d taken off his jacket, and the muscle and tendons in his back flexed as he placed everything in the grate. He’d only been grazed by the bullet that hit him at the brownstone, and they had cleaned and wrapped the wound in the bathroom of the mini-mart where they’d stopped for gas. Now she was afraid to take her eyes off him. Afraid he would disappear into thin air. Had he been here during the last four months? Had he stood on the beach under the house only hours after she and David left? Had he missed her as much as she’d missed him?

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