Darkness Bound

Darkness Bound by Stella Cameron Read Free Book Online

Book: Darkness Bound by Stella Cameron Read Free Book Online
Authors: Stella Cameron
Tags: Fiction, General, Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal
brightened like a man who just found the escape he never thought would come. “I can’t find a call back number. Anyway, I can’t stop now,” he said. His buddies were trailing toward the door, trying to appear deaf to anything John Valley and Leigh were saying. “Look, I’ll stop on my way home. How’s that?”
    “It’s not good,” she said, hating the way her voice rose. “How long can it take to write down your name and address, and a phone number? Especially if you’d quit wasting time arguing with me.”
    “I’m sorry if I’ve added to a bad day for you,” Valley said, condescendingly. He patted Leigh’s upper arm as if dismissing her. She had never put up with being brushed off, not since she was a child and couldn’t stand up for herself, and she wasn’t about to slip backward now. She planted her feet apart and held her ground.
    “I asked you for something,” she said. “Don’t touch me again.”
    That’s when John Valley made his big mistake. He closed his fingers around her arm and his formerly flirtatious smile turned into a malicious sneer as he gave her a small shake. She felt heat wash into her face.
    Leigh felt as much as heard a whining, spinning whirl of air. Or it seemed like air. Her hair blew over her face and she stumbled, caught herself on the back of a chair—and felt a large hand steady her.
    She brushed back her hair in time to see Gabriel drop a towel in the sink and start around the bar toward Valley.
    Too late.
    There was one movement at her shoulder, a forceful passing shadow, and John Valley yelled, “No!” His feet left the floor. He landed on his back on top of the bar, slid the length of the polished sheet of wood, shot off the end, and only stopped when his head cracked into a cedar pillar.
    Unable to speak, Leigh looked up at Niles, who stood beside her, his blue eyes turned black like polished onyx. Rigid, the muscles in his neck distended, his big hands were balled into fists, and his breath expelled like a long, low growl. There was only one word for his starkly compelling face: predatory.
    The breakfast crowd had been ebbing and flowing. A rapid ebb emptied most of the tables.
    “My God,” Leigh said. “How did you do that?”
    “Do what?”
    He drew himself up to his full height and she had to crane her neck to see his face.
    “The counter’s slippery,” he muttered as the roomemptied of the last couple of customers. “Doesn’t take much momentum to slide on something like that.”
    “You threw him there. I saw you. Niles, you picked up a grown man and threw him!”
    “I had the right angle to get enough leverage.” He kept his voice low.
    Sean Black stood behind Niles, yet Leigh had not seen him come into the bar again. He, too, had hands curled into fists resembling lethal weapons and his face was completely colorless, the lips clamped tightly shut. His eyes were almost the same pitiless black as Niles’s.
    Niles and Sean glanced at each other. Only a second passed but Leigh saw what seemed like a message pass between them. With one hand, Niles hauled John Valley to his feet. He shoved him into Sean’s waiting arms, one of which hooked around the man’s throat.
    “Got a pen, Gabriel?” Niles’s voice hit an even lower note, laced with danger.
    “Got it,” Gabriel said.
    “This is John Valley,” Niles said. “Write that down.”
    “I’m gonna call the cops,” Valley whined. Spittle clung to the corners of his mouth. “Unprovoked attack, that’s what this is. I’ll sue your ass.”
    “Office address,” Niles said while Sean gave John Valley’s throat an extra squeeze.
    “I work out of my place,” Valley croaked and gave the address followed by the phone number. “You’re not getting away with this. I’m an innocent private citizen.”
    “Innocent?” Niles said. “Treating a woman you don’t know like she’s yours to handle?”
    The sound Valley made resembled a high note from a choirboy whose voice was

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