Shattered Bonds: Book Seven of Wicked Play

Shattered Bonds: Book Seven of Wicked Play by Lynda Aicher

Book: Shattered Bonds: Book Seven of Wicked Play by Lynda Aicher Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lynda Aicher
    She set a plate on the bar and waved him to a stool. “Do you want a glass of water, too?” She was already grabbing a glass from the cupboard, completely at home in his kitchen. Like she belonged there. She glanced over her shoulder, brow raised, hand poised on a second glass. “Noah?”
    “Sorry.” He pushed the wayward thoughts from his mind. “Sure. Thanks.” What in the hell was he thinking? It had to be the fatigue. That excuse had worked all day, so he might as well stick with it.
    She sat down beside him, the stool creaking as she swung her legs under the counter. They filled their plates, her with an array of crackers, meats and cheese while he built a sandwich. Lunch had been hours ago, and his stomach reminded him of that when the heavy scents of the meats reached his nose.
    “Is it really going to be okay to close The Den for the rest of the week?”
    Her question brought the weight of the day back on his shoulders. He set his sandwich down and rubbed his brow. “It should be fine.”
    Should be. They’d debated that topic for over an hour before agreeing to close the doors through the weekend. Cancelling the Halloween party on Saturday would be a financial hit, but the club should be fine if they reopened next week. That was hoping they could open again at all, depending on how persistent the media became.
    “Darn it. I’m sorry, Noah.” She rubbed his arm, the connection soothing beyond the touch. The warmth and awareness shot from his arm, through his chest and right to his groin. “I shouldn’t have brought that up.”
    He focused on his sandwich, no longer interested in what he was eating but desperate not to think about her. Liv. Somehow, she’d managed to awaken desires he’d long thought dead. Fatigue. That was all it was.
    “It’s fine,” he said before taking a bite of the sandwich, the food tasteless in his mouth. He washed it down with the last of his beer and resisted the urge to grab another. Getting drunk wouldn’t help anything.
    “It’s not, but I’ll let it go.” She stacked a piece of meat and cheese on a cracker but stared at it instead of eating it. “Thank you for letting me stay here tonight.” The sincerity in her voice was underscored by a hint of wariness. “I don’t want to impose.”
    “You’re not.” He wiped his mouth and hands on his napkin, not hiding but stalling. He spoke the truth though, even if it did shock him. “You’re doing me a favor. I don’t know if I had the energy to drive across town to your place.”
    After finalizing the immediate details with the club, he and Liv had headed back to the hospital. Rock and Carter had agreed to stay and meet the employees and members who’d missed the temporary closure notices and showed up to the club. V went to Holden’s game, and Marcus had gone home after they’d finally convinced him it was best for his family.
    “I could’ve taken the bus.” The belligerence in her tone had him smiling.
    “Right.” He didn’t bother to reinforce that he wouldn’t have allowed it.
    “What?” Her spine straightened, the fight turning her dark eyes bright. “I ride the bus every day. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it.”
    Damn, she was fierce when fueled by conviction. He’d seen its force levied on others, but today he’d experienced it numerous times and each instance only upped his respect.
    “Of course not.” He somehow managed to keep the smirk from his face. She wouldn’t take it right. “But there was no need.” Not when he was there to take care of her.
    She eyed him before her shoulders sagged, the fight fleeing with a slow head shake. “Does the world always conform to your wishes?”
    “No more than yours.” She might wield her power in a subtler and more persuasive way than he did his, but her approach was just as effective. Maybe more.
    “Well...” She popped the cracker into her mouth and chewed, the timed pause was noted with his begrudging approval. She had a

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