Home > One King's Way (On Dublin Street #6.5)(11)

One King's Way (On Dublin Street #6.5)(11)
Author: Samantha Young

She had a throaty laugh and it made his cock twitch. It also, however, caused a pang in his chest area. He felt triumphant whenever he made her smile or laugh.

Fuck, he murmured inwardly at the revelation.

“Fine.” The laughter in her eyes dimmed. “I’ll tell you why I’m here. I’m here to get revenge for my sister.”

For a moment Craig had a sudden fear her sister was someone he’d slept with and then never called again. Had he dated a Darcy? He couldn’t think. Shit. “Your sister?”

“Darcy. Let’s just say when she was younger I didn’t protect her from a situation that I should have. It took her a long time to forgive me and for us to rebuild our relationship.”

Craig squeezed her hand, unhappy with the guilt he saw in her eyes.

“Nine months ago Darcy started dating this postgrad student. Angus York. I disliked him from the moment I met him, especially when he made it clear that he was attracted to me. But Darcy was in love so I buried my head in the sand. And once again I let her get hurt. I didn’t protect her.”

Uneasiness swept over Craig. “What did he do?”

Pure, undiluted anger blazed out of her dark eyes. “He convinced her to make a sex tape and then he showed it to his friends at a party.”

“Son of a bitch,” he hissed, thinking about his own sisters and how he’d murder any man who humiliated them like that.

“Darcy . . . she couldn’t handle it. She was betrayed and heartbroken. She broke up with him and fled to Australia. She’s out there just now, staying with a friend, trying to get over it so she can come back home.”

“That’s awful,” he murmured, taking her hand in both of his now. “I’m sorry that happened to her.”

Rain scrutinized him and the tension in her shoulders suddenly relaxed as she said, “I believe you mean that.”

He squeezed her hand. “I do. I have sisters. If that happened to them I’d want to kill the bastard.”

“Oh, I want to kill him but I’ll settle for a little justice instead.”

“And what’s the plan for that?”

“Angus comes here a lot.” She gave a bitter, rueful smile. “Well, he’s supposed to appear here a lot but so far I’ve seen no sign of him. My plan was to ingratiate myself with him . . . find a way deep enough into his life to get something on him . . . something I can use to ruin him like he ruined Darcy.”

Craig gave her a sad smile. “You don’t seem like the revenge sort, Rain. Perhaps this isn’t the best idea.”

She pulled her hands out of his hold, her defenses flying back up around her again, and he cursed himself for not treading more carefully. “I failed my sister once before. I won’t again.”

“But how is this the best plan? Surely this guy will be suspicious of you trying to be pals with him?”

She raised an eyebrow. “You underestimate this man’s arrogance.”

Craig gave her a nod and sat back to finish his sandwich. As he did Rain nibbled on the sandwich he’d given her and he studied her. The truth was he admired the determination he saw in her tired eyes. This wasn’t something she wanted to do, but it was something she certainly felt she needed to do.

All because of her loyalty to her sister.

And that, Craig could admire.

“You’re staring,” Rain murmured.

Because you’re absolutely fucking beautiful . . . and I have a feeling that beauty runs deep. “There’s a lot to stare at,” he murmured back, taking a casual swig of his water.

He didn’t want to scare her off. He wanted to put her at ease. For whatever reason this woman brought out his protective instincts. Craig didn’t want her going through the drama of dealing with Angus. If it were him he’d punch the arsehole and move on. He thought that was a much healthier way to deal with it. The lengthy process of revenge that Rain was discussing would take its toll on her.

He didn’t want that for her.

I want her spending all her free time on far more pleasurable pursuits.

Like getting to know him in the biblical and non-biblical sense.

“Stay until closing. Let me walk you home. No funny stuff,” he reassured. Let me change your mind about everything. Life was never too short for justice, but revenge, yes. Life was too short for revenge. And life was too short to ignore the kind of connection between them.

For the first time ever Craig felt more than the impulse for sex. He wanted to know everything there was to know about this woman, and if that meant giving the whole dating thing a go then so be it. He’d slowly convince Rain to give him a chance, and while he was doing it he’d distract her from this tiresome need for revenge.

“You’re very determined and stubborn, aren’t you?” she said, eyeing him thoughtfully.

“Probably about as determined and stubborn as you,” he said.

She gave a huff of laughter. “I don’t know about that.”

“Will you stay, then?”

“No funny stuff?” she said softly.

“I promise.”

Slowly she nodded.

Pleased, Craig relaxed a little and guided her back to the bar after his break. He shooed a customer off Rain’s vacated stool (to the annoyance of Joss and Alistair) so he could keep her in his sights.

It turned out, however, he’d let himself become too relaxed, because when he went to retrieve something from the stock room and returned, she’d disappeared. His hope was that she’d gone to the restroom, but when she didn’t appear after ten minutes he asked Joss to take a look for him. She returned shaking her head and gave him a sympathetic pat on the back.

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