Banishing Shadows

Banishing Shadows by Lorna Jean Roberts Read Free Book Online

Book: Banishing Shadows by Lorna Jean Roberts Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lorna Jean Roberts
Tags: Erótica
mouth to speak, but Luke waved him off. “We’re not simply being overprotective of her. There’s a reason why we’re all so concerned about her. Something happened four months ago…”

Chapter Two
    Over an hour later, Kayla stumbled into her apartment, immediately heading toward the small kitchen. Reaching into a cupboard, she grabbed a large bottle of gin. Cord’s hand bracketed her wrist, his fingers gentle but implacable as her arm was pulled back, the alcohol plucked from her grasp.
    “Hey!” she yelled as Cord calmly placed the gin back in the cupboard. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
    “You don’t need alcohol.” Cord stared down at her, his voice like his body—immovable and hard.
    “I’ve agreed to let you stay. Reluctantly. I didn’t agree to you bossing me around.” Kayla was exhausted, afraid, vulnerable, and she hated it.
    “There may be times where you’ll have to do as I say without hesitation,” Cord replied calmly. “Times where your safety may depend on obeying me. So you might as well obey me all the time, hmm?”
    She glared at him. He winked.
    Oh, brother.
    “I want a drink.” She wasn’t in the mood for humor—she wasn’t even sure he was really joking. He was so arrogant she wouldn’t be surprised if he really did expect her to do everything he told her. “Give me back the gin.” She made sure her voice was every bit as strong and imperious as his had been.
    “Alcohol won’t help you deal with the panic attacks, Kayla.”
    Her chin rose. “What makes you think I have panic attacks?”
    Instead of replying, he grabbed her hand. Heat pulsed up her arm. Luckily he didn’t notice as he turned and tugged her along behind him through the living room.
    “At least this place is better than the shoebox you used to live in. Where’s the bathroom?”
    “Second door on the right. I don’t need you here, Cord. I’m not in any danger.”
    “You know, if I didn’t have such a healthy ego, I’d feel crushed by your constant rejection.”
    She bit back a smile, surprised she could feel amused after a day like today.
    “Why is it you don’t want me around? Is it because you don’t think you need me?” he asked. “Or is it because you’re still mad about what happened two years ago?”
    He stepped into the bathroom and turned to look at her. Kayla glared at him.
    “Both. Neither. Urgh. Why are you here? You couldn’t wait to run out the door last time I saw you.”
    “So you’re still mad. I thought as much.”
    “Well, clever you,” she replied sarcastically. “I’m not mad. To be mad would mean I actually cared. I don’t. I got over you ages ago.”
    “Kayla, I was supposed to protect you from players like me. You deserved more. Still do.”
    “And you just decided that because I’m an idiot who doesn’t have a mind of her own?”
    “No, because you were an innocent. You were probably dreaming of forever-afters. I wasn’t.”
    Well, that struck a little too close to home. She had been foolishly dreaming that he would declare his undying love for her. Of course he hadn’t been thinking the same. Why would he want her when he could play the field? She’d thrown herself at him, he’d taken what she’d offered and he’d left. That she’d wanted something more was her problem. A problem she didn’t have anymore.
    Really, she didn’t.
    “How do I know you’re going to stick around this time? That I’m not going to wake up one morning to find you gone?”
    His eyes narrowed. “Look, think of this as a business arrangement. Being your bodyguard is a job and I never walk away from a job. I’m here to protect you. This isn’t about sex. It’s about your safety. And I take that very seriously. You’re my best friend’s little sister. I’m not about to let anything happen to you.”
    She supposed that should make her feel better, and yet she couldn’t help but feel hurt. He really didn’t want her.
    But she knew that he spoke the

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