Copyright © 2016 Michelle Woods
All rights reserved
All rights reserved
Death Rider took another swig of his beer and glanced towards the door. He’d been here for over three hours and Blade was supposed to be here an hour ago. Showing up early was his way of being sure it wasn’t a trap and assuring himself that he had a good escape route planned before the meet. Now though he was thinking it had been a waste of time.
Reaper called him several weeks ago with Blade’s request to talk and after talking to Blade he’d agreed to meet him alone. He’d made sure he decided when and where the meet was set up because he didn’t trust the man. Blade had agreed quickly, almost too quickly. He’d chosen this bar because there were three exits and one window he could fit through if shit hit the fan. Death trusted Reaper’s gut feelings; they’d saved his ass more than once so when Reaper called to warn him that it could be a trap, he’d listened.
Death was beginning to think Reaper’s feeling may have saved him again because Blade hadn’t shown up, likely because any move he tried to make here would end with Death walking away unscathed and forewarned about his plans. Rubbing the back of his neck hoping to release the tension there, he leaned back on the bar still watching the door. It was about time for him to get out of here; he had waited long enough for Blade to show.
Death drank the last of his beer and set the bottle back on the bar before standing up. Digging in his pocket for some credits, he heard the door open and glanced towards it. He saw a pretty brunette in a green dress that fell to her mid thighs step into the bar and pause. The dress was cut low in a deep fitted V that showed off her moderately large cleavage; the skirt was flared and when she moved it swayed back and forth across her sleek thighs. Her waist wasn’t skinny but she wasn’t heavy either, just womanly. Something about her drew his attention strongly and unexpectedly he was transfixed, his gaze following her as she shifted slightly.
At first he thought that she was the type of woman you would see in a place like this but as he watched her, his assessment changed. She’d seemed like she was the type of woman who knew the score when she’d walked in with confidence but as he watched it that confidence seemed to fade away. The way she held her body seemed off and he knew she wasn’t like the women he usually encountered in a place like this. Women who didn’t mind a good hard fuck and expected nothing more than that. He noted how she seemed to look around as if searching for someone but by the way her fingers worried the hem of her dress, he could tell she wasn’t used to wearing revealing clothing. Death tilted his head watching her, trying to put his finger on why he was fixated on her.
She stiffened her shoulders, her eyes glancing over to the bar before she moved in his direction. When she neared, he thought she would sit down on the stool next to him but she kept going past him, sitting three stools down. Death sat back down on his own stool now with one eye trained on her. She was younger than he’d first thought, he realized as he studied her face, likely in her early twenties, which made her way too young for him. He watched as she wiggled a little and raised her hand for the barkeep, who moved towards her.
“What’ll you have?” the bartender, a husky man in his early forties with a thick beard and a bald head, asked her.
“A whiskey please,” she replied and Death felt her husky, almost shaky voice send a hard rush of desire to his cock. It stood to attention and he shifted slightly trying to get it into a comfortable position without reaching down to adjust it. What drew him to her became very clear as he watched her shift slightly before she lifted the drink and took a quick sip. No woman who spoke like that and worried the hem on her garment was experienced enough to handle a place like this or more importantly a man like him.
A man, with scruffy looking beard and worn blue jeans, was already advancing on her but Death caught his attention and tapped his gun, shaking his head. The man stared at him for a long moment before nodding and moving away. The woman was still shifting awkwardly on the stool and didn’t notice the man or Death warning him away, which let Death know he was right about her being inexperienced. Death observed her lift the drink again taking a large gulp, her cheeks pinking a little as she set it back on the bar. It was obvious that she didn’t drink much when she coughed a little.
Death tapped the bar, letting the bartender know that he wanted another beer. He waited to see what she would do next, his whole focus on her now. He would bet that she was the straight-laced type who wanted a bit of a walk on the wild side. She likely didn’t know the dangers of what she was doing in coming here tonight, but he did. If she chickened out at some point most of the men who frequented this place wouldn’t be allowing her to just walk away, which was why he would have to be the man she left with, Death decided.
As he gazed at her, his hand lifting the beer he’d just ordered to his lips and taking a long swig before setting it back down, he told himself that it had nothing to do with his hardened cock or the desire that now thrummed through him. She leaned back, her eyes casting around the room and landing on several men before coming back to him. She smiled tentatively at him, then turned back to her whiskey.
Death finished his beer and stood. She glanced at him, her face falling slightly when he tossed credits on the bar for his drinks. He saw her finger sliding around the top of her glass and thought perhaps she was worried he would leave and she’d be stuck with the other offerings in the bar for bed partners. He wasn’t conceited, he just knew that the men who were here tonight weren’t very good looking and many of them didn’t bathe frequently. An inexperienced woman like her wouldn’t want to be with those types of men.
He moved towards her, standing close behind her, watching as she pulled a tube of lip gloss from her bag and began applying it to her lips. He noted the way her hand shook slightly with the nerves he was sure had her thoughts all jumbled. The gloss made her lips glisten as she turned to glance at him behind her when his hand landed on the bar near her. Her eyes were wide and innocent looking with a bit of fear clouding them. Good, she should be a little frightened by him he wasn’t a nice man and this wasn’t the place to come for whatever it was she had in mind.
“You want to go home with me?” Death asked softly not willing to beat around the bush.
His mind was made up about having her in his bed and if she was here for the reasons he suspected, it would be easier for her to just get the show on the road so to speak rather than make her wade through awkward conversation that might make her more nervous than she already was. Her eyes widened more and she looked him up and down, her cheeks suddenly pink. She glanced around before she nodded hesitantly and slid off the stool to stand next to him.
“You don’t want to finish your drink?” he asked, thinking she might need the liquid courage it would give her to walk out of here with him. She glanced at the drink as she shoved the lip gloss back into her purse and shook her head. Death nodded; if she was ready then they were out of here. He took her arm guiding her towards the door with his hand cupping her elbow. She seemed a little scared and her arm trembled where he held it, making him grin. Damn he couldn’t wait to fuck her. His cock was definitely in agreement as it hardened more and he wondered briefly if she would let him fuck her in the alley behind the bar. He quickly discarded the idea despite its appeal because she deserved better than a quick fuck in a back alley.
Once they were outside he tugged her towards his bike but she hesitated, pulling at her arm, and he released it to turn and face her. She was nervously running her fingers along the hem of her dress again, and her other hand was clutching her purse.
“You change your mind, sugar?” he asked, hoping that she hadn’t because his cock was throbbing with his need to fuck her against the nearest hard surface.
“No,” she huskily replied and he felt the word in his groin.
Fuck, her voice was sexy.
Death waited to see what else she would say or do. They were standing near the alley and she glanced into it as if afraid someone was going to jump out at them. Death watched her as she stepped toward him, her hands finding his upper arms as she moved closer. He realized she wanted to kiss him when she stood on her tiptoes, her body pressing against his. The soft weight of her breasts pressing into his chest made his inner beast growl in pleasure and jerk against its chains wanting to take her hard and fast.
Leaning forward, he pulled her closer, his hands on her waist, ready to give her exactly what she wanted. He pressed his mouth to hers, his tongue rubbing over her lips, but she didn’t open them for him. Death pulled back, looking down at her, wondering suddenly if she was completely innocent—like as in a virgin—because that kiss was not one even an inexperienced woman would have given unless she’d never been kissed before. Death felt a little disoriented suddenly as he stared at her and his hands caught her arms as she frowned at him. Maybe he’d drank a bit more than he’d realized because he felt a little odd like he was recovering from a three-day-bender but that didn’t make any sense.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered and Death wondered why she was apologizing to him. He didn’t care if she was a virgin; if she was willing, he would fuck her. His head felt heavy and his arms seemed to be becoming limp and kind of unresponsive. His knees gave out and he was suddenly kneeling on the pavement, her arms still clutched in his hands as he stared at her in shock. His hands fell away from her arms as they stopped working completely.
Well fuck, she’d just drugged him.
How the fuck had she done it, he wondered? He knew damned good and well she hadn’t put it in his drink and he was sure she hadn’t stuck him with anything. He stared up at her trying to puzzle it out. She was wiping her lips with a cloth she’d removed from her purse and suddenly the tube of lip gloss popped into his head and he wanted to yell but he was already too disoriented to do so.
He did manage to utter coldly, “You fucking bitch.”
“Tsk tsk, Death, my dear boy, such language. I bet you’re wishing now that you weren’t so keen on being a white knight to Becky’s damsel in distress, aren’t you,” Blade said, stepping out of the alley.
“You don’t have to be so cruel about it,” Becky snapped at him, but he ignored her.
Death wanted to hit him but his arms still wouldn’t work and his body was becoming heavy. As he watched Blade move closer, his head spun as the drug took more control over his body and he shifted forwards, headed towards the hard concrete.
Jamie Franklin watched the biker she’d just drugged fall face first onto the concrete parking lot. She winced. Damn, if he’d been awake that would have hurt like a bitch. Not that it wasn’t going to hurt when he finally did wake up. Guilt assaulted her as she stared down at the man her brother hovered over. She wasn’t too keen on this plan but Evert had insisted. He felt it was the only way they would be able to get the Blue Bandits president to listen to them about the club.
Not that she thought it would be easy to make him see reason after taking in the intense way he’d looked at her as he’d fallen. After what she had just done to him, he had every right to spit the bitch insult at her but it stung a little that he had called her one. Letting out a sigh, she realized that even though she’d agreed to trap the poor man for Evert, she wasn’t sure it had been the right thing to do. He’d been really pissed if the glare he’d managed to give her before he finally passed out had been any indication.
“Evert, maybe this was a bad idea and we should just leave him here for his MC to find. I mean he was pretty mad and that won’t help your case. And why did you tell him my name was Becky?” Jamie asked while tilting her head to watch Evert check the man’s pulse.
“Jamie, how many times do I need to tell you that my name’s Blade, not Evert. And I told him you were Becky because I don’t want him to know who you are. If he learns you’re my sister, he will try to use it against me or hurt you to get at me. We’ve also been over why we’re doing this and I’ve already told you this is the only way to make this work.” Her brother glared up at her from where he knelt beside the biker with an exasperated look on his face. She rolled her eyes because he could just get over it, she wasn’t calling him by that silly name.
“First of all, that’s not what our mother named you so I won’t call you by that stupid handle,” she informed him, wondering why the name his buddies had given him was the only one he wanted to use. Apparently naming your friends something stupid was the same for every man who entered an MC because he’d called the man he was currently turning over Death. Jamie rolled her eyes because it was dumb that they couldn’t just go by the names their mothers had given them. I mean who wanted to be called Death?
She felt her stomach twist because she would bet “Death” wasn’t his name because he was warm and fuzzy. Nope, that name didn’t bode well for either of them because a handle was usually given to someone for something they were good at. Her brother was good with knives, hence his moniker of Blade.
Watching Evert roll him all the way over onto his back, Jamie winced, putting her hand to her face in sympathy because Death’s face was scraped and bloody. Damn, he would likely have a scar when the cut on his chin healed. How the ground had done that much damage when he’d only fallen a short distance she couldn’t fathom.
She continued arguing with her brother, “But I still think this was a really bad idea and we should leave him here and try to convince them another way.”
“Jam-Jam, it’s all right. This will work.” Evert’s brow furrowed in determination. Jamie internally shook her head. Damn, he was going to be stubborn. Sometimes he could be so damned mule-headed. Not that she was any different and it wasn’t a virtue for either of them. Nope, they were both known to allow that stubborn streak to land them in hot water.
“How many times do I have to tell you, stop calling me that,” she growled. She hated that nickname, passionately. Her glare was hot and Evert, the damned bastard, grinned and winked at her before he motioned for Hock and Red to come help him get Death up off the ground. Jamie walked behind them as they loaded him into the truck bed.
“Wait, put him in the truck. I can’t drive to the clubhouse with him in the bed like that, I might sling him around and he will be more beat up than he already is,” Jamie protested.
“Jam-Jam, just get in and drive him. We don’t want anyone to see him and if he happens to wake up, it’s safer if he’s in the bed of the truck,” Blade explained.
“I don’t care. He’s banged up enough from falling. I refuse to be the one to make it worse, Evert.” Standing with her hands on her hips, she glared at her brother.
Red and Hock snickered as they shoved Death’s legs into the truck and she watched his head hit the wheel well. Damn, they weren’t even trying to be gentle.
“Be careful,” she commanded, earning sheepish smiles from the two of them.
“He’ll be fine. Trust me, he’s had worse than a few scrapes and bruises. You just need to relax,” Blade muttered, rolling his eyes.
“Yes, I’m sure that’s true but if he wakes up all banged up is he going to be in the mood to listen to what you have to say?” Jamie asked with a dark glower.
“Jam-Jam, let me worry about that. I’ve got this under control. You just drive him back to the clubhouse and we’ll take it from there.” Blade’s voice was frustrated and he looked like he wanted to strangle her. Not that she was worried because she knew he’d never hurt her despite his level of frustration with her.
“I’ll drive him but don’t expect it to be quick because I am not going to be banging him around the truck bed to get him there fast,” Jamie told him as she stomped towards the truck.
“Jamie, damn it. Just go a normal speed and try not to draw any of the Blue Bandits’ attention if you see them. If they catch you with their president passed out in the bed, you won’t be treated nicely,” Evert warned, his voice filled with worry.
“I’ll be fine,” Jamie told him, reaching up to grab the back of the seat to climb into the truck.
“Damn, I knew I should have driven the truck here instead of my bike,” Evert grumbled as he stood in the door of the truck.
“It’s not that big a deal. I’m capable of getting him to the clubhouse even though I am beginning to think this was a bad idea. Besides, if they’re looking for him they’re more likely to pull you over than me,” Jamie told him, rolling her eyes.
She hated when he acted like she was useless. She wasn’t an idiot and she could manage to drive him to the clubhouse without incident, even if she was worried about him being unconscious and rolling across the truck bed every time she turned.
“This has nothing to do with me thinking you incapable and everything to do with me worrying about them catching you with him. But if I leave my bike here it would be taken by whoever comes looking for him and I am not allowing that to happen to my wheels. Just be careful,” Evert finally said with a little grunt as he shut the door.
Jamie glanced into the back of the truck bed as she took off. Watching Death slide down towards the tailgate, she winced. Damn, this was going to be a long drive. She really hoped she didn’t cause a lot of damage to the poor man—not that she hadn’t already caused enough damage by allowing him to fall flat on his face in the gravel parking lot.
Jamie pulled the truck out of the lot and watched her brother and two of his gang members climb on their bikes. Evert waved at her and took off, zooming around her with Red and Hock right behind him. She twisted her hands on the steering wheel as she watched them fade into the distance. Now she was on her own until she reached the clubhouse. Feeling her nerves coil tightly in her stomach, she glanced back at Death. He was still covered by the tarp they’d thrown over him and he bounced with every rut she hit in the road. Damn, he was sure going to be sore when she finally got him home.
Her palms were sweaty and her lip was probably red from all the times she’d bitten it by the time she turned down the last road headed to the clubhouse. Jamie let out a little sigh because she was almost done with this chore. If she wasn’t sure that Evert would find another way to kidnap him, she likely would have turned around an hour ago when she was twenty minutes from the bar and returned him. Jamie didn’t like feeling that Death’s captivity was her fault, even if it was.
She knew her brother, and Evert was just as stubborn as she was. If she’d returned Death, he might have come up with a plan that put Death in more danger than this one did. She was almost sure the reason Evert had dug in his heels on this plan was because it was the least likely to get anyone killed. Jamie wasn’t so sure this was the best idea Evert could come up with now that they’d put it into action, but before she’d actually done it the plan had seemed sound.
She pulled up in front of the large farmhouse and shut off the engine, glancing back to see Death slide around the bed as the vehicle came to a halt. The door to the house opened and two of the men walked out and headed towards the truck bed. Jamie climbed out of the cab and moved to the back of the truck where they were already pulling the tailgate down. Ripper and Thorn jerked Death up out of the bed and began trying to carry him into the house.
“Be careful. He’s already been thrown around for the last hour and a half on the way here. He doesn’t need any more bruises,” Jamie snapped at them.
“Relax, sweet-cheeks,” Thorn snickered, rolling his eyes.
Jamie hated when he called her that even more than she hated being called Jam-Jam by her brother, mostly because she didn’t like him very much. He made her skin crawl and seeing his smile at the moment sent a shiver down her spine. She really hated that guy with an extreme passion. Evert walked out as they hefted him up, holding him by his arms and legs, which didn’t look comfortable. She watched the way they banged his head a bit on the side of the truck and winced. Damn he was gonna have a headache when he woke up.
“Glad you finally got here, little sis. I was starting to get worried. It’s been an hour and a half and that drive should have only taken an hour max,” Evert said, coming over to stand before her, his brow raised in question.
Jamie glared at him, her arms crossed in front of her and her teeth smacked together. “I had a man in the bed of the truck and I wasn’t about to sling him around like a sack of potatoes.”
“I told you he’d be fine, Jamie. Ugh, it doesn’t matter, you made it back and that’s what’s important. Go on in and get something to eat. Lissa’s in the kitchen and she made potpie for dinner,” Evert muttered after giving her a brief hug.
Jamie nodded; she didn’t have to be told twice. She was starving because she’d been too nervous to eat before she’d left and Lissa’s potpie was always amazing. She entered the clubhouse headed to the kitchen while Evert walked in behind her. There weren’t many people hanging around downstairs, likely because it was two in the morning, but the few that were there lay on the couches or sat at the bar. Lake winked at her as she walked by and she smiled back. Of her brother’s friends, he was likely her favorite. Of course, Crook was a close second and Bam was also in the running.
“Glad you’re safe, kitten,” Lake said, brushing a hand over her head as he stood up. “I’m headed to bed now that our girl’s safe,” he informed Evert, who nodded.
“You two are beyond overprotective. I just didn’t want to hurt him any more than necessary.” Jamie rolled her eyes and smiled at Lake, who chucked her under the chin with his fist in a brotherly gesture she was familiar with.
“Kitten, you know that when it comes to you that’s never going to change,” Lake said before pushing her towards the kitchen. “Now go eat.”
“Yes, daddy,” Jamie mocked as she did as she was told but only because wanted some food.
“Smart ass,” Evert grumbled from behind her.
Shooting her brother the finger over her shoulder, she entered the kitchen. Lissa was already pulling a plate from the oven. She wore a flowy pale blue gown that only came to mid-thigh. It was low-cut and showed off her heavy cleavage. Her wheat-colored hair curled as it flowed over her shoulders as she moved to set the potpie on the counter before looking up at Jamie.
“Everything go okay?” she asked, her face covered with a frown.
“Yeah, not sure it was the right thing to do though,” Jamie muttered as she sat down on the stool in front of the plate.
“I don’t know why Blade involved you in this mess. It’s bad enough that he came up with his crazy plan to kidnap Death Rider but to involve you.” Lissa was shaking her head as she leaned forward resting her arms on the counter as she watched Jamie pick up her fork. Jamie wasn’t surprised that Lissa didn’t agree with her brother’s plan. She’d been quite vocal about Jamie not being the one to enact this plan. She’d insisted multiple times that she should be the one to do the job for him. Evert had shut that down quickly and Jamie knew that they were still not speaking over the incident. Jamie understood that it wasn’t because Lissa thought that she wasn’t capable of doing it but instead that Lissa worried about her.
“It’s fine. It wasn’t that hard and he said I was more his type than you. Guess he prefers brunettes,” Jamie said and lifted her fork to her mouth. The flavors of the potpie exploded over her taste buds like a little dose of heaven and she moaned in pleasure.
Damn, Lissa could cook.
Jamie really wished she’d paid more attention to Helga when she taught them how to cook when they were younger. Maybe then she’d be able to cook like this instead of being so bad at it that she could burn water. She wasn’t exaggerating that statement either, she’d actually burned out a pot of water while making pasta once. If Lissa hadn’t walked in and found it, the whole place might have gone up in smoke because it had started a small fire. Glancing up at Lissa, Jamie saw the frown clear a little as she began eating.
“No, that’s not what it is,” Lissa muttered mysteriously.
Jamie glanced at her wondering what she was prattling on about but was too busy eating to worry too much about it. Lissa shifted, her hand rising to shove the heavy fall of curls over her shoulder as she moved to sit beside her. Jamie bumped her shoulder.
“I did fine.”
“I’m sure you did. You were raised around this motley crew after all, but he shouldn’t have used you,” Lissa muttered, a dark scowl directed at the door that Jamie knew was meant for her brother.
“It was fine, Lissy. He took the bait and was down for the count in less than three minutes so he never got the chance to do anything to hurt me. You shouldn’t worry so much,” Jamie told her as she finished the last few bites of her meal.
“I just bet he did take the bait and if the drug hadn’t worked what would you have done if he had gotten aggressive?” Lissa asked.
“Taken him out like Evert taught me.”
Lissa snickered. “I love that you still insist on calling him that. Blade hates it and that serves his ass right for involving you in this scheme. He should have used one of the girls and not you.”
“Lissy, I’m no different than any of you. I can handle myself and I had a gun in my purse if things went sideways,” Jamie explained as she shoved the plate away, wondering if there was any more because she was still sort of hungry. Not that her hips needed the calories.
“I love you, kid, but you aren’t like the rest of us. Blade and I made sure of that. You’re a lady and we’re not,” Lissa told her in that motherly tone she got sometimes.
Jamie rolled her eyes. Lissa was ten years older than her so she was closer to Evert’s age than her own and she’d helped him raise her when their father died when she was six. He had already joined the Headhunters MC and had asked Lissa to look out for her when he wasn’t around. At twenty-two, she should be old enough that it wasn’t an issue but Lissa had never lost her motherly instincts when it came to Jamie. They were best friends despite their age difference and Lissa’s tendency to become a mother hen. She knew that being one of the sweetbutts made Lissa think she was less worthy than Jamie, which drove her nuts because she wasn’t.
“Just because you have sex with more men than I do doesn’t mean a damned thing, Lissy. You’re a lady too or I wouldn’t be one either,” Jamie growled.
“Jam-Jam, that’s not really how that works. You don’t understand the difference but I do,” Lissa said, shaking her head as she stood and grabbed the plate off the counter. She went to the oven and removed a pan and began dishing out another helping of potpie without speaking.
“Is that for you because I’m full,” Jamie asked, becoming distracted from their conversation by the scent of the food.
“No, you’re not. I know you keep insisting on a diet because you think your hips are too big but you aren’t pulling that bullshit with me around. Eat the damned pie,” Lissa growled, slapping the plate down in front of her with a glare.
“I don’t want it,” Jamie growled back but the smell was already making her mouth water and the damned hussy knew it. Shit.
“Fine, but only to make you shut up,” Jamie grumbled after a five-minute staring contest.
“Whatever helps you sleep at night.”
“You’re a pain in the ass, you know that, right?” Jamie asked as she started eating the second plate of potpie her friend had forced on her. Lissa smiled and went back to the stove to cover the leftovers and place it into the fridge before she turned to look at her again.
“Yep,” she replied.
“You know that being a lady has nothing to do with who you have sex with, don’t you?” Jamie asked after a long moment of silence where the only sound was her chewing and the scrape of the fork across the plate.
“No, Jam-Jam, I know you think that you know what makes someone a lady but trust me when I say I am nowhere near a lady. I am in fact a whore and that’s all I will ever be, but you, you’ll be more than that. You already are more than that,” Lissa said and anger flooded Jamie as her words sank in because she hated that Lissa insisted on limiting her capabilities.
Yes, she had sex with men in the club for protection and because she enjoyed it but that didn’t mean that was all she could ever be. It always pissed Jamie off when she said shit like that. She knew Lissa was a hell of a lot more than just a whore or Jamie wouldn’t be the woman she was.
“First of all, you haven’t had sex with anyone except my stupid brother in more than a year and I know that for a fact so don’t try to lie your way out of that one. He’s not been using any other sweetbutt so I know it must be you he’s sleeping with. And second, you can be anything you want to be so stop limiting yourself,” Jamie growled as she dropped the fork on the plate to glare at her friend.
“Why are you keeping track of who your brother sleeps with?” Lissa asked her with a raised brow.
“There isn’t a lot to do around here, you know, and he won’t let me get a job so…” she let her voice trail off and shrugged.
“You need a damned hobby. And I am sure you’re wrong about who he’s slept with. Most men don’t stick to one woman unless they’ve patched someone,” Lissa said as she grabbed the plate, knocking the excess food off into the trash before she placed it into the dishwasher.
“I am well aware that I need a hobby but I am not wrong about Evert,” Jamie muttered. She was sure because she’d heard Lake tease him about it a month ago. Evert had used his fists to solve that conversation and then he’d taken off for two days. She wasn’t sure where he’d gone but Lake hadn’t teased him after that, so maybe she was wrong but she didn’t think so.
“Go to bed, kid. I’m too tired to have this conversation tonight,” Lissa muttered and rubbed her forehead. She did look tired suddenly and Jamie wanted to ask her what was wrong because she could tell something was bothering her. After watching her closely for a moment, she decided she would allow her to evade the conversation tonight and stood up. She exited the kitchen to head up to her room, seeing her brother leaning on the wall near the bar watching the door. It made her almost smile. Yep, there was something going on there. She was sure of it because Evert never allowed another man near Lissa and that told a story she was sure her brother didn’t want anyone else to know.