Roger that. You have company coming your way fast. They’re armed and don’t look friendly. We’ll cover you while we can.
Then I’m going to stand with you. You’re not going to keep me outside your walls anymore. Not for my protection. Not because you’re afraid I won’t understand. From now on, we fight together. Her soft voice broke with emotion. I love you. I have loved you from the very beginning, Rune.Rune, he said, then slowly shook his head. He reached out, tenderly cupping her beautiful face in his hands. I wasn’t honest with you. Not even about my name. I owed you so much more than that. I still do, Carys. Hell, I can’t pretend I’ll ever be the man you deserve.
She brought his battered fingers to her lips and kissed them with unbearable sweetness. I fell in love with a man who is kind and good and loyal. A strong, fearless man who owns every room he walks into, whether it’s the arena or the bedroom or the fancy lobby of the MFA.Her kiss moved to the centers of his grit-covered, lacerated palms. I fell in love with a man who makes his living delivering pain, yet who touches me with so much tenderness, it makes my heart ache.Devotion smoldered in her eyes as she held his tormented stare. That man’s name is Rune, she said. I know everything about him that I need to know, and there’s no other man I will ever want.
Christ, you humble me. And I love you, Carys. So damn much. The words were a raw whisper on his lips as he lifted her chin and claimed her mouth in a deep kiss filled with longing.There was regret in it too, because, even though she absolved him of his lies and didn’t hate him for the situation they were in together now, she didn’t know his whole truth yet. She didn’t know the full depth of his shame.
He broke their kiss on a sharp sigh. I can’t forgive myself until he’s dead and this place is destroyed forever. He’s done terrible things. I don’t mean everything he did to me. None of that matters to me now. It’s the other people he’s hurt. My mother. The Breedmate who came after her. And to the little girl, Kitty. What he did to her is unspeakable.
Carys soberly nodded her head. I know. But she’s strong, Rune. And she’s coping as best— Her eyes widened when she saw his confused frown. Oh, my God . . . you don’t know. Of course, you don’t know. Your sister, Catriona—Kitty. She lives in London now. She’s mated to an Order warrior, Mathias Rowan. For the past few days, they’ve been in Boston, staying at my family’s Darkhaven.Yeah, I am. Because now he understood her cold-shoulder today. He understood her anger at him now. And he’d never felt more elated about anything in his life.
Rounding up his brother and Leila, Jehan pushed both of them out the door.Sending you on your way, he replied. Don’t come back for four more nights. This handfast isn’t over until I say it is.
He closed the door on their confused faces, then turned to go after his Breedmate.Sera folded the red silk gown and placed it on the bed, trying not to let her heart crumble into pieces.