Taming the Demon

Taming the Demon by Doranna Durgin Read Free Book Online

Book: Taming the Demon by Doranna Durgin Read Free Book Online
Authors: Doranna Durgin
Tags: Romance, Contemporary Romance Paranormal Romance
respected it, directed it...accepted it. And gained enough trust to become a confidant when the blade took Leo...and then changed him.
    Now he came out of the little office with its plain plywood walls and jammed his fists on his hips, paperwork and all, to give Devin the little I-see-you lift of his chin. “Aiee, hijo, ” he said. “What have you done now?”
    Devin stood a little taller. “Brought company, Rick.” Not that he hadn’t felt her move just a little bit closer in wary acknowledgment of all the testosterone in the air—fists against leather, bodies thumping down to the mats, flesh smacking flesh.
    Enrique lifted one hand to make a little circling motion at Devin’s arm. “And again?”
    Devin glanced at the sweatshirt, found faint seepage through gray material. “Damn,” he said. “Made that one easy for you.” Not that Enrique and his highly tuned eye would miss even the slightest guarding of any injury, but...it was all part of the dance.
    Enrique grunted. He’d been a featherweight as a fighter, and nothing in the years had changed that—still spare, still fast. And he’d gotten out young—he still had his ears, his brow and his lightning wit. His nose had taken a few good licks along the way—but not, as he made clear with a glance at Natalie, his good taste.
    He didn’t linger there. “Now you tell me no doctors, no antibiotics, no worry...” His hand spun out the familiar litany of words. “Just sew, Enrique. Am I right?” He glanced again at Natalie. “Above all, no police. Does she know?”
    “Are you protecting me?” Natalie said, surprise in that realization as she glanced from Enrique to Devin and back again. “From what?”
    “From not knowing.” Impervious to the annoyance, Enrique jerked his head at the office, leading the way—a bowlegged walk with a hitch.
    Devin hesitated, glancing at Natalie. Ever hidden beneath that peacoat, but never striking him as a person of physical substance and now...even less so. Now looking as though she might have hit her limit. “You might want to stay here.”
    The skin went tight around her eyes, the corners of her mouth—she gave the gym denizens a meaningful glance.
    “They’re good guys,” Devin told her.
    “They’re average,” Enrique grunted. “But they won’t bother one of Devin’s.”
    Yeah, that was the right thing to say. One of Devin’s. He expected the flash of annoyance; he wasn’t disappointed.
    “You want a rolled magazine to bite on?” Enrique suggested with some bite of his own, rummaging through a drawer that had squeaked on the way open.
    “Girlie magazine?” Devin asked, winking at Natalie, watching her eyes widen slightly. “Or some boxing rag that your guys have been pawing through?”
    She shook her head at him, beyond words. This whole thing, beyond words...
    He offered up a wry grin, a one-shouldered shrug, and followed Enrique into the office.
    * * *
    Natalie didn’t linger long at the door.
    Long enough to see a broad expanse of shoulder, the harsh overhead light tracing strength she hadn’t truly noticed the evening before. She’d half expected additional tattoos, but his skin was patterned only by the shape of bone and muscle as he sat on the desk, presenting her with a clean profile—jaw stubborn, nose strong, eyes that flashed from brooding to carefree and back again too quickly for Natalie to find her balance with either. Quiet, at the moment. Patient...an air of resignation.
    Beside him sat a pile of bandages and a few matter-of-fact bottles, clear and brown plastic. When Enrique came back into view, Natalie barely had time to register what he was doing before he slopped the contents onto a rough cloth and began scrubbing.
    She closed her eyes; she turned her head away. She wasn’t fast enough to miss the tension that suddenly shot through Devin’s back or the pain on his face, eyes closed and jaw clenched and mouth tight with defiance of it.
    She didn’t stay by the door.

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