Darkness Bound

Darkness Bound by Stella Cameron Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Darkness Bound by Stella Cameron Read Free Book Online
Authors: Stella Cameron
Tags: Fiction, General, Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal
    “Ease up, there, Sean,” Gabriel said. “A death on the premises would be bad for business.”
    “If I catch you anywhere near Ms. Kelly, you won’t walk for a long time,” Niles said. “Got it?”
    “Yeah,” Valley croaked. “Lemme go.”
    Leigh’s attention suddenly got stuck on Sean. He didn’t seem the same as he had. His lips were pulled back to show amazing teeth. Very white, sharp, and with incisors longer than the rest. He looked… feral. And he had bowed his head over Valley’s shoulder close enough to bring his mouth within an inch of the man’s shirt.
    Sean began to open his mouth wider. Leigh heard a click.
    She came close to screaming but Niles hauled her against him and whispered, “Everything is cool,” before he said, “Let him go, Sean. We’ve done our part. He won’t bother Leigh again.”
    Instantly, Sean released the man and stepped away. John Valley fell in a clumsy bundle on the floor where he lay, panting, for a whole lot of seconds. When he stood up his complexion was putty-colored.
    “What if all the customers hadn’t left before the final show?” Leigh said under her breath.
    “We would have made allowances,” Niles said, his arm still feeling like a length of iron around her shoulders. “Get out,” he told Valley. “You’d better hotfoot it down to the cops. They’ll want to hear all about how Sean and I threw you around and made a bar rag out of you. Get going.”
    Valley scuttled outside and engines leaped to life as he left with his cronies.
    “You were going to bite him,” Leigh told Sean. She felt weak and unreal. “Why would you do that?”
    Sean laughed. “You’re imagining things, Ms. Kelly. It’s never a good idea to let your imagination run away.”
    “Call me Leigh.” She felt shaky. Was this what passed for normal out here? Everyone else seemed to think so.
    “Sally,” Gabriel yelled, and the woman put in an appearance looking, Leigh thought, inexplicably pleased. “Molly get here yet?”
    “Nope.” Sally shook her head. “She’s havin’ her hair done. The twins are in, though.”
    “If word doesn’t get out that we’re runnin’ fights here, lunch is going to be on us shortly,” Gabriel said. “Get everyone in gear. Tell Molly to come and see me when she gets here.”
    “Sorry about all that,” he told Leigh. Leigh nodded and gave Gabriel a weak smile. “I’ll be in the office.”
    Niles dropped his arm from her shoulders, but he spread a hand on her back and turned her toward him. “You understand what I meant now?”
    “About what?” Leigh turned cold.
    “Being careful. Not assuming because it seems peaceful around here that everything’s safe.” He dug the tips of his fingers into her side. “Valley’s no problem. But we get some odd ones from time to time. Best make sure one of us is around if you have to go far on your own, particularly after dark.”
    Leigh nodded, but she was considering whether she should pack up and leave the area at once.
    “You’ll be just fine,” Sean said. “Won’t she, Niles? No need to get scared off and run away.”
    Niles raised his brows at Sean, who turned away at once and walked outside.
    Leigh frowned at his back. Either her thoughts werewritten on her face—in detail—or some of these people could read them.
    She got a soft, memorable smile from Niles, who followed Sean.
    Gabriel hovered, looking around as if expecting something.
    “What?” Leigh said.
    “Er, I gotta go outside a while, talk to Niles and Sean. I don’t think we’ll get anyone in but just in case, do you think you can mind the bar?”
    She had tended bar for a few months while she was going through school. “Sure. I’ll be fine. Go on.”
    Gabriel left and Leigh went behind the bar. Her only company was country and western music played quietly over numerous speakers, and the distant sound of pots banging in the kitchen.
    Two white-haired men with matching paunches pushed through the doors and

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