Angel of Darkness(8)

By: Cynthia Eden


Nicole St. James.

The only charge who’d ever escaped him. The woman that, sure as the devil, had changed his life. The rage began to heat his blood because it shouldn’t have been like this. Not for him. Not for her.

He slammed the glass down on the countertop. She hadn’t even glanced his way. She’d just sauntered to the old, scarred tables in the back. What was she doing?

Nicole St. James was a schoolteacher. She was a woman who wore long skirts and loose, gauzy tops. She wasn’t a woman who wore torn and faded blue jeans, jeans so tight they hugged her thighs and hips, and she didn’t wear tops like that—tops that barely covered her breasts and left her midriff bare.

Too much flesh.

He yanked his gaze back up. Did she even realize how much danger surrounded her? And why was the woman in Mexico? She should have been home in New Orleans, enjoying the life he’d given her.

The one he’d sacrificed so much to make certain she had.

But no, she was leaning over some man and skimming her fingers down the guy’s tanned neck as she whispered to him.

Seduction.

The man rose, laughing, and turned away from his friends. Someone called out, “Mamacita!” as Nicole and the man disappeared through the small back door.

Keenan’s shoulders straightened as he rose from this chair. Okay, so he’d expected ... more. The woman hadn’t even glanced his way. Not once. She’d found her stud, taken his hand, and led the guy right outside.

Eyes narrowing, Keenan stalked after them. The man could find another lover. He had plans for Nicole St. James.

He didn’t bother going out softly. Keenan wanted them to know he was coming. He shoved his palm against the door and the wood splintered beneath his touch.

Then he was outside. The night air, thick with humidity and musky with the scent of wild animals, hit him. One more step forward and Keenan caught the soft whispers in the air.

A woman’s husky voice.

A man’s hungry mutters.

The heat inside of Keenan flared hotter.

He turned the corner, and he could see them half-hidden in the shadows. Kissing. Nicole’s hands were all over the man. She was up on her toes, and her head lowered as she began to kiss her way down the man’s neck.

Keenan crossed his arms over his chest. He cleared his throat. “Uh ... sorry to interrupt.” No, not sorry at all.

Nicole glanced back at him. Same deep green eyes. But there was no surprise in her stare. So she’d known he was there? Well, it was pretty hard to disguise the smash and splinter of wood.

But Romeo must have been too far gone to hear because he whirled in surprise with his beady eyes narrowed. The guy’s shoulders blocked Keenan’s view of Nicole. The guy snarled, “Vete a la chingada!”

Right. Been there. He didn’t exactly plan to be taking another trip to hell. “You need to leave.”

The guy blinked.

“I want her.” Keenan’s voice rumbled too much when he spoke, but fury churned inside of him, demanding release.

So he was having trouble controlling his emotions. Getting slapped with all these feelings hadn’t really been part of his game plan.

“Too bad,” the guy snapped, his English tipped with his Mexican accent. “She’s busy tonight.”

Her fingers curved over the would-be-lover’s shoulders. “Let’s get out of here.”

Keenan shook his head. “No, Nicole, you’re not going anywhere.”

Silence.

Then, slowly, her fingers unfurled from the man. She shifted her stance, took a step forward, and Keenan stared right into those green eyes—eyes that had haunted him for so many nights.

“How do you know my name?” She whispered.

He smiled. “You’d be surprised at the things I know about you.”

“I’ll take care of this cabron!” Romeo promised.

Cabron. Bastard. Keenan lifted a brow at the guy. “You should leave now.” Nicole didn’t glance at Romeo. Her stare stayed focused on Keenan. “Really fast. Leave.”

“What? No, we’re—”

Her head turned toward the man. “Leave.”

His eyelids flickered. “Puta. ”

“Yeah, great, call me whatever you want, but just go.” Her hand came up and pressed against the guy’s chest. He stumbled back about five feet. “Go.”