1. That’s good, she told herself. The barrier appeared to have been lifted, and they were back at square one. For some reason, she didn’t want to start off on the wrong foot with this man. In fact, as crazy as it sounded, she wanted to take another deep breath of his cinnamon scent. Maybe it was from something he’d come in contact with earlier that day. One way or another, she promised herself she’d find out. Closing her menu, she laid it on the table. “Let me guess. You can read Cajun French.”
2 “Of course I do.” As soon as she’d retorted, Cherron knew how it sounded, and quickly amended her reply. “I mean, I care very much for him. To be honest, Liam, I don’t believe the soul-burning type of love you read about in romance novels, or see on the movie screen, really exists. My parents were married for almost thirty years before Dad died. And not once in all that time did I ever see them kiss one another. Or hug. Or even put their arms around each other.” She pushed her broccoli around on her plate with the memories. “I think, in order for a marriage to survive, there has to be a mutual respect for each other. And some fondness. But out and out love? It’s a bogus emotion. I believe when people care for each other, they call it love and let it go at that.”
3. Yarrolam launched himself at the two men holding Cherron, slamming sideways into the man with gun. Both Cherron and the man who held her fell backwards under the impact. Turning slightly, he slashed down with his thick claws across the first man’s wrist, severing the hand holding the pistol. Before the second man could worm his way free from underneath Cherron, Yarrolam twisted his body and brought his Ruinos hand down on the guy’s Adam’s apple. The man released his grip on her and clasped his neck in a vain attempt to staunch the flow of blood.
4. “And then what?” She tossed a concerned look at him. “Liam, how long are we going to have to watch our backs?” Her worry was a bitter cloud, striking him full in the face. This time it was stronger and more pungent. The longer they remained together, the more he was going to become aware of her feelings, her moods, and her emotions. The knowledge left him both exhilarated and depressed. This woman was meant to his, yet she was already spoken for. But he refused to claim her until she either withdrew herself from Aaron, or declared herself no longer his.
5. His embrace tightened slightly, but it still wasn’t what she wanted. Glaring up at him, she stared into those chocolate-brown eyes with their silvery pieces of glitter. His expression was unreadable…until she saw the crack in his façade. Somehow, she knew he wanted to do more. The subtle hunger was evident in the tense lines around his eyes and mouth.
6. A hand closed around her mouth the same instant she recognized the unconscious form. The action prevented her from crying out at the sight of his bruised and blood-covered skin. His Ruinos head sagged, facing the floor. He was held up off the floor by his elbows. His hands and arms appeared encased in some sort of silvery wrapping or cast that acted as handcuffs. His legs and feet were also bound at the ankles by the same kind of covering that made a metallic sound when it scraped across the threshold. Before she could get to her feet, another hand clamped down on her shoulder, keeping her from rising.