Bound by Honor

Bound by Honor by Diana Palmer Read Free Book Online

Book: Bound by Honor by Diana Palmer Read Free Book Online
Authors: Diana Palmer
off than you seem to be,” he said heavily. “What a hell of a price we paid for that night, Jess.”
    She felt the hot sting of tears. “It was very high,” she had to admit. She reached out hesitantly to find his face. Her fingers traced it gently, finding the new scars, the new hardness of its elegant lines. “Stevie looks like you,” she said softly, her unseeing eyes so full of emotion that he couldn’t bear to look into them.
    She searched her darkness with anguish for a face shewould never see again. “Don’t be bitter,” she pleaded. “Please don’t hate me.”
    He pulled her hand away as if it scalded him. “I’ve done little else for the past five years,” he said flatly. “But maybe you’re right. All the rage in the world won’t change the past.” He let go of her hand. “We have to pick up the pieces and go on.”
    She hesitated. “Can we at least be friends?”
    He laughed coldly. “Is that what you want?”
    She nodded. “Eb says you’ve given up overseas assignments and that you’re working for him. I want you to get to know Stevie,” she added quietly. “Just in case…”
    â€œOh, for God’s sake, stop it!” he exploded, rising awkwardly from the chair with the help of the cane. “Lopez won’t get you. We aren’t going to let anything happen to you.”
    She leaned back in her chair without replying. They both knew that Lopez had contacts everywhere and that he never gave up. If he wanted her dead, he could get her. She didn’t want her child left alone in the world.
    â€œI’m going to make some coffee,” Dallas said tautly, refusing to think about the possibility of a world without her in it. “What do you take in yours?”
    â€œI don’t care,” she said indifferently.
    He didn’t say another word. He went into the kitchen and made a pot of coffee while Jessica sat stiffly in her own living room and contemplated the direction her life had taken.
    â€œY OU HAVE GOT…TO BE KIDDING !” Sally choked as she dragged herself up from the mat for the twentieth time. “You mean I’m going to spend two hours falling down? I thought you were going to teach me self-defense!”
    â€œI am,” Eb replied easily. He, too, was wearing sweats now, and he’d been teaching her side breakfalls, first left and then right. “First you learn how to fall properly, so you don’t hurt yourself landing. Then we move on to stances, hand positions and kicks. One step at a time.”
    She swept her arm past her hip and threw herself down on her side, falling with a loud thud but landing neatly. Beside her, Stevie was going at it with a vengeance and laughing gleefully.
    â€œAm I doing it right?” she puffed, already perspiring. She was very much out of condition, despite the work she did around the house.
    He nodded. “Very nice. Be careful about falling too close to the edge of the mat, though. The floor’s hard.”
    She moved further onto the mat and did it again.
    â€œIf you think these are fun,” he mused, “wait until we do forward breakfalls.”
    She gaped at him. “You mean I’m going to have to fall deliberately on my face? I’ll break my nose!”
    â€œNo, you won’t,” he said, moving her aside. “Watch.”
    He executed the movement to perfection, catching his weight neatly on his hands and forearms. He jumped up again. “See? Simple.”
    â€œFor you,” she agreed, her eyes on the muscular bodythat was as fit as that of a man half his age. “Do you train all the time?”
    â€œI have to,” he said. “If I let myself get out of shape, I won’t be of any use to my students. Great job, Stevie,” he called to the boy, who beamed at him.
    â€œOf course he’s doing a great job,” she

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