For the Bond (Romantic Suspense) (Beyond Blood, #3)

BOOK: For the Bond (Romantic Suspense) (Beyond Blood, #3)
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-FOR THE BOND-

The Beyond Blood Series

Book T
hree

A Romantic Suspense

Table of Contents

Title Page

For the Bond (Beyond Blood #3)

- Chapter One -

- Chapter Two-

- Chapter Three -

- Chapter Four -

- Chapter Five -

- Chapter Six -

- Chapter Seven -

- Chapter Eight -

- Chapter Nine -

- Chapter Ten -

- Chapter Eleven -

- Chapter Twelve -

- Chapter Thirteen -

- Epilogue -

Jacob

~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~

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Copyright © 2014 Nora Flite

All rights reserved.

FOR THE BOND is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

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- Chapter One -

Jacob

––––––––

H
e hadn't stopped pacing. Not since he'd interrupted my Wednesday errands by catching me at the bar, my duffel bag of gym clothes at my side. It had been an ambush. His eyes frantic, fingers alternating between jamming into his pockets and flexing at his sides.

Kite wasn't
capable
of holding still. For the third time, I offered him the bottle of whiskey—not an expensive brand, this wasn't a celebration—and he waved it away. That was good, it was only ten in the morning. But it was also strange. Since when did Kite turn down booze?

“If you plan to keep me here,” I said, eyeing my watch, “Could you at least tell me why you're so upset?”

“I'm not upset.” Black eyes stabbed at me. “I'm just feeling like a real asshole right now.”

Sighing, I settled deeper into the booth. The bottle was pushed aside. “Kite, you are
definitely
an asshole.” I wanted him to smile, and when he didn't, I felt my first ripple of unease. Kite could be volatile, but normally I knew why. “Just talk to me. If something is bothering you, tell me instead of carving a hole in our floor.”

Slowing down, he glanced at his shoes, realizing how many times he'd crossed from one side of the bar to the other. “Last night,” he started, his eyes trailing back to me. “What we did with her, it was—fucking hell, how do I even say it?”

Oh. Last night, yes. I had some words for that. “Let me help you.” I lifted a hand, curling one finger down as I ticked off each point. “You tell me when to stop. Last night with her was amazing, mind blowing, spectacular, eye opening—”

“Enough, shut up for a second.” Kite narrowed in on my giant smirk like it was the source of all his troubles. “Eye opening is actually a good way to phrase it. Marina was too good. She didn't back down, and I swear, she was ready to be pushed even further.” He studied me, brows crunching together. “Don't you want... you know, more of that?”

My hands linked in my lap. “I'll have more, believe me. I plan to indulge myself on Marina again and again. Until the very end.” There. The flinch that crawled over his face told me what was wrong. Kite wore his emotions on his sleeve. “So, that's why you're upset.”

“I said I wasn't upset!”

“Sorry, I meant
feeling like an asshole.
” I smoothed my hair back. “You're thinking about what we have to do to her. It's getting to you. Weren't you the one who wanted her
dead
the first night? You stormed up to me, right over there, saying we had something to take care of. A dangerous risk. An
immediate
problem.”

“Of course I said that!” Kite went back to pacing. “Fuck! Jacob, she walked in here and left us in pieces! I didn't know who she was... not then.”

Slowly, I lifted my chin. “And you think you know her now.”

“Yes. I think I do.” He tugged at the hem of his shirt, staring me down. “Marina, she has these nightmares. I've heard her whimpering and crying almost every single night since she's been staying with me. This morning... she told me what they were about.”

I waited for him to say more. He was waiting for me. “The murder,” I finally guessed, breaking the silence. “I imagine they're about the murder.”

“Her sister—her
nine year old
sister—was raped by Lars.” He spit the words out, lip curling.

Acid bubbled in my stomach. “We already suspected that.”
But hearing it from Marina's lips. God. That must have been sobering.
It hit too close to home. Yes, I knew what was going on here.

Kite watched me expectantly, his hands balled into fists. “Jacob, she deserves her revenge. This event has haunted her forever. It's kept her from getting close to anyone. I understand her, now. I
get
this girl. Her lack of friends, her lifestyle, her lack of fear... I get her.”

Rising from the booth, I remained where I was. “You want to let her kill Lars, but that's not all, is it?” The guilt that shone in his black depths was a bombshell waiting to explode. I had to cut the fuse. “Kite, we can't let her live. You know we can't.”

“She said she would give me the letter,” he mumbled. “She promised not to doom us with it.”

“The letter was never enough.” I was trying to remain calm, but this... I never predicted Kite would fall so hard. Become so irrational. Wasn't it irrational, wanting to keep this girl alive? We had come so far. We had to stay the course. So why was my heart deflating during my own argument?

“Listen to me,” I said patiently. “You don't know her. As long as she lives, she will pose a danger to us. To our lives. One word from her to the police or a rotten ear and we'd be done. After everything we did to get here... is a life of staring over our shoulders, waiting for the hammer to fall, worth letting her go?”

He stood there, shoulders pulled back proudly. “What if she never betrays us? Jacob, maybe we can trust her.”

Crossing to him, I kept an eye on his hands. I'd never feared Kite would hit me out of rage before, but the tension was too much. He was speaking like a mad man. I understood it, on some level. I was obsessed with Marina in my own way. I hated thinking of her as a cold corpse. But corpses couldn't screw you over.

I trusted no one in this world. No one but Kite. And now, he was stomping our pact into dust. I'd told Marina, nothing she did could ever make us fight. Apparently I'd been wrong.

Blood Brothers. I had to remind him.

“Kite.” I said his name so sharply he startled. “This one thread will unravel us.” Grabbing his wrist, I forced his arm up, clenched his fingers. The scar that had run over our palms had healed long ago, nothing visible remained. I still felt it. Crisp pain, the blossom of blood, and then the buzzing numbness. If I remembered all that, he certainly had to. “You
can not
trust her. But you can always trust me.”

He searched my eyes, I prayed he found what he needed there. Squeezing my hand tightly, he held on. “I do trust you. I also trust that she will haunt me.” Letting go, Kite stepped back. The gap felt a mile wide. “What hellhole of a life am I going to be left with, if I sentence this woman to death because she was willing to sacrifice everything,
everything
, to avenge her family?”

Looking at his fist, I read his knuckles and smiled bitterly. “You'd tear this life down, abandon what we have, all because of a nightmare that left this woman crying.”

When his eyes narrowed, my blood chilled. “Wasn't it my tears that pushed you to do the same?”

“Fuck you,” I said, but it had no strength. He was aiming to make me crack, and it was working. The laugh that slid out was stale. “Kite, you're going to ruin
this
.” I waved around at the bar, at ourselves. “
Everything!
I helped you back then, and what we did—it made us who we are. You'd use that to manipulate me now?”

“I just want you to open your eyes and see that maybe, for once, your planning is wrong.” He took a step toward me. It took everything I had to hold my ground. Marina had changed us both. I had known it, yet the full extent of the damage... it now stretched between us. “Jacob,” he hissed. “Give her a chance. It's her right to kill Lars Diani. Let's help her with that, and then... maybe she doesn't need to die.”

I stood to my full height. I only had an inch or so on Kite, but I wanted everything in my arsenal. He was my best friend, and he was talking insanity. But... if it was so insane, then why was my heart thumping at the idea? Why did I feel the pull towards this concept where maybe, just maybe, Marina Fidel didn't have to die?

Reckless. Stupid. Chaotic.

I wanted to howl with laughter. My tone was low and cool. “Here's the deal. We're going to go finish my errands.” Snatching up my duffel bag, I looked him up and down. “I have spare clothes for you.”

“What?” He was scowling in confusion.

The weight of the gear felt good in my grip. “We're going to sweat this tension out. A nice, old fashioned spar. If you beat me, I'll agree to give Marina a chance.”

He didn't seem capable of blinking. “A chance at what?”

I took a breath—filled my lungs and held it. Yes, getting this adrenalin out of our system would be good for us. “A chance to prove that she can be trusted.”

I wasn't lying. If there was a way to make me believe, truly believe in my gut, that this affliction of a woman wouldn't turn on us one day... I would take it.

I was just as insane as Kite.

What had Marina done to us?

- Chapter Two-

Kite

––––––––

T
he gym was that hot, cloistering kind of heat. Think the Amazon, but sweatier. I didn't care, I was too caught up in the situation I had gotten myself into. In the back room we had to ourselves, Jacob stood across from me. He was wrapping his hands in tape with such speed and familiarity. A seed of doubt grew in me.

He practiced this shit all the god damn time. I knew how to brawl, but it had been awhile since I'd needed to. Years since I'd been a bouncer. Running was my only real exercise, it kept me lean and light.

Jacob turned, letting his slick, steel-wrought calmness roll over me. Rarely was I on the other end of that look. It gave me chills, strangled my lungs. It also renewed my desire to win. This was not a casual spar between friends. This was a battle for Marina's life.

Fuck. What had we become?

He'd changed from his typical three piece suit. Long red shorts and a form-fitting black tank-top should have felt wrong on him. With the boiling energy in his stance, it became natural. I was wearing similar gear, the extra shorts and shirt he'd had in his bag.

“Are you ready?” he asked me, rolling his neck.

Tucking my hands into the fingerless gloves, I squinted at him. “I don't know. Are
you?

Jacob's smile was too wide for his mood. It was bothering him that we were doing this. But shit, it'd been his fucking idea. I'd wanted us to shake hands and agree that Marina could keep breathing.

But we hadn't.

And so we were here.

The side of his jugular rippled. It was his only movement. “You can back out now, if you want.”

“Screw you,” I laughed. “I'm not backing out. You said if I beat you, you'll give her a chance.” My hands had been heavy. Thinking about Marina, how she'd opened herself up to me this morning... my arms became pure air. If I could move as fast as the blood shooting through my veins, I'd take Jacob down in a heartbeat.

He squared off with me, stepping so slowly to one side I almost missed it. I twisted to keep facing him, hands up and clenched. “I'll do as I said, but I wasn't suggesting you back down because of her.” The edges of his teeth glinted. “If you surrender gracefully, you'll still be able to walk tomorrow.”

His threat was ridiculous. Intentionally so. My humor swelled, I was desperate to seek out a lightness in this constricting atmosphere. There was a surprised laugh in my throat, a comeback rising in response to his shitty challenge. I'd always been easy to rile up. “Big words fo—”

Jacob's leg swung out, slamming into my thigh. Stumbling, I grunted at the burst of pain. It was centered where he'd hit, radiating out and leaving a moment of numbness. In disbelief, I glared at him. Opening my mouth to joke back had put my guard down. That had been his fucking plan.

Jacob had insulted me on purpose. He always said he knew me well... and he was right. The bastard was god damn right. “Well?” he asked, staring at me between his raised arms. “You're still sure?”

“Yeah.” Breathing deep, my eyes fixed on him and didn't waver. “Now I am. Thanks for cinching my decision.” I sank into the cool world of shadows. The void that followed me before a kill. I shouldn't have been feeling this, not with Jacob. He wasn't supposed to be on the other side of this—this fucked up monster in me. But too bad.

Marina deserved a chance.

BOOK: For the Bond (Romantic Suspense) (Beyond Blood, #3)
3.28Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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