Bane's Heart (Avaleigh's Boys #2)(4)

By: Sandra R. Neeley

“He loves to take things apart and see how they work, see what else he can make of them,” he told her with a smile in his voice.

He got in the driver’s side and drove them the two blocks to the coffee shop. They each ordered iced coffees, and when he saw her eyeing the pastries, he ordered four different types because she wouldn’t admit to wanting any one in particular. They sat there across from each other, smiling like fools, neither one knowing what to say next. Janie started, “You seem to be very proud of your little brother.”

Bane chuckled a little, “I am very proud of him, but he’s my big brother. He’s older, but I’ve always treated him like the younger brother. He hasn’t always had it easy, growing up I mean. It was just the two of us against the world, and unfortunately, it was usually him that caught the most hell. I used to do what I could to deflect it, catch some of that hell on myself, so he didn’t have to deal with it all by himself. He’s a good man. I’d do anything for him.” When he looked up, he saw Janie sitting across from him, her mouth hanging open. “Did I say something wrong?” he asked her.

“No, not at all, I just, I’m surprised that you would do that. Take part of his burden to protect him. Not many people would do that. It speaks volumes about the kind of man you are.” She was quiet for a few moments as they enjoyed the pastries spread between them.

“Wasn’t there someone who could help ya’ll? Parents, family maybe?” she asked him.

“Ha!” he huffed out, “That’s what we were trying to survive. Not everybody has protection. Especially not from their own parents. You have to make your own where you can.”

He fidgeted, uncomfortable with the direction their conversation had taken. She reached across the table and covered his hand with her own, “Thank you for sharing. It means more than you know.” He just barely had the confidence to meet her gaze. When he did, she smiled at him, “You’re a good man, Bane. Don’t ever let anyone tell you different.” He smiled at her and turned his hand to take hers into his own. They finished their coffee and shared a little more of the pastries between them. Those that they didn’t eat, Bane had bagged up for her to take with her. They only had about thirty minutes, and the time seemed to fly by as they spoke easily and relaxed so naturally in each other’s company. When the time was up, Bane drove her back to the grocery. He parked right in front of the door and hopped out to run around and open her door for her. He helped her from the truck, and before he walked her to the doors of the grocery, he leaned in and pressed his lips against hers. When she didn’t react, he started to pull back, but she slid her hands into his hair and pulled him back down. She was ready this time and kissed him fully on the mouth. He groaned and lightly licked her bottom lip with the tip of his tongue, and she opened to let him in. He kissed her softly, gently and then pulled back a little to smack her lips a time or two with his own. She tasted like honey, and clover, and if he didn’t stop, he was going to cum in his jeans, right here in front of God and everybody, at the damn front door of the grocery. No woman, NO WOMAN, had ever had that effect on him, no matter how freaky or hot she’d gotten. But this one, simple, innocent kiss from his Mate absolutely fucking floored him. She was everything.

“Can I see you again tomorrow?” he asked her.

“I have to work. We’re shorthanded, so I’m not sure what time I’ll get lunch, and if I do, it may only be a few minutes. But maybe if you happen to be around, I can ask for a few extra minutes off,” she smiled up at him, and his cock jumped. He couldn’t fucking believe how much power this girl had over him in such a short period of time. Cold, Untrusting, Manipulating, Cynical Bane—was absolutely head over heels in love with this girl. His Bear was, in his mind, rolling on the ground laughing at him. Bear had never been as cynical as Bane was, and now Bear was loving every minute of Bane being brought to heel.

“When you get lunch tomorrow, just come outside here; I’ll be waiting.”

“But I don’t know what time it’s going to be; maybe I could call you or something.”