Entice:Eagle Elite Book 3By: Rachel Van Dyken
I waited for Mil to say something, but it was like she was in another place. I snapped my fingers in front of her face as she shook her head and then licked her lips.
“Well, as long as you’re fine,” I said dryly.
She turned very slowly to face me. It was one of those moments guys have where you know you’ve pissed the girl off but the damage has already been done, so all you can really do is stand and wait for the damn bomb to go off and pray that the shrapnel doesn’t imbed so deep into your man parts that you can’t produce children later in life.
“Look.” She released my hand and took a step forward. She was only a few inches shorter than me and hot as hell when she was pissed, not that I was going to actually say that out loud, lest she castrate me with one of her razor-sharp nails. “I said I’m fine, and I’m fine. Don’t make this situation worse by being yourself, Chase.”
“Myself?” I asked, momentarily thrown off by the way her lips moved when covered with pale lip gloss.
“She means an ass,” Nixon said, coming up from behind me and slapping me on the back. “So basically, just don’t talk.”
“Noted.” I glared after Nixon and then turned back toward Mil. “And I’m sorry for teasing you. Clearly this isn’t the right sort of…” I searched for a word. “Atmosphere?”
Nixon winced ahead of me and shook his head, a smirk forming on his lips. Yeah, jackass, laugh it up.
“For, uh…” I cleared my throat and tried to fix it, tried to make her feel better. “That sort of… banter.”
“Banter?” Nixon mouthed in disbelief.
I flipped him the bird behind Mil’s back so she wouldn’t see. Didn’t he realize how freaking hard this was for me? Not helping. Nothing he was doing was helping.
“It’s fine,” she said for the third or fourth time. By then I’d lost count.
Why was I always the guy that had to give the tough love? Was that my lot in life? To constantly be the bad guy who told someone to buck up, come hell or high water.
I held up my hand to Nixon. “Five minutes.”
Mil’s nostrils flared as I grabbed her forcefully by the elbow and led her toward the closest door, the bathroom to be exact.
When I locked the door and turned, I half-expected her to assault me with toothbrushes and toilet paper, but all she did was back away and sit on the floor, holding her hands to her chest while she took in deep breaths.
I sat down on the cold tile next to her and offered my hand.
She took it without reservation. Her skin was smooth but clammy. She shivered, her grip tightening in my hand each time her body gave an involuntary shudder.
We sat like that for a few minutes, neither of us really saying anything.
A knock came at the door. “You guys ready?” It was Nixon. He sounded anxious. It wasn’t as if he was the one getting married.
“Honest.” I licked my lips and gripped Mil’s hand harder. “I won’t let you down. I may be a lot of things, and I may be a terrible husband, since I’m still nursing a broken heart and all that, but I’ll be loyal. I’ll help you. I’ll protect you. That’s what family does. Broken heart or no broken heart.”
“I don’t need your heart,” Mil whispered. “Just your gun, maybe some of your millions, and your balls — preferably both of them.”
“Well, it may just be your lucky day!” I slapped my thighs with my hands and winked. “I’m in full possession of two.”
“Lucky me.” She laughed.
And suddenly, whatever humor had invaded my body left me to be replaced with absolute obsession at the way her laugh echoed across the bathroom. It was like hearing a symphony for the first time, all the moving parts of the instruments playing together yet separate to create such a haunting melody that a person was left speechless. Mil’s laugh reminded me of that. It was deep, throaty, and when she let go, her face erupted from a pinched look to a dazzling smile that had me staring at her damn mouth like I’d never seen one before. I swallowed the dryness in my throat and kept watching — hell, as long as she didn’t catch me staring, I’d stare all morning.
“Let’s go.” She stood and held her hand out to me. I took it, and tried not to look affected. It was probably all the whiskey I had snuck in before the ceremony. Sure, I had two balls, but really that was all I could offer.
The whole heart issue?
Well, let’s just say, my heart had broken into a million pieces a few weeks ago, and I was still trying to decide if it was worth finding them again. After all, some things are better left broken.
“You look pale.” I touched my girlfriend’s face and noticed that she had dark circles under her eyes. I knew that she hadn’t been sleeping for the past few weeks, ever since I’d miraculously come back to life. Things hadn’t been easy for her.
Damn, but there had been a lot of loss, and now Chase and Mil getting married was just one more thing causing her stress. She’d never come out and said it — but when you’re in crazy, obsessive, I-will-die-for-you love, you know those things.