Entice:Eagle Elite Book 3By: Rachel Van Dyken
We walked arm-in-arm down the aisle, wordlessly gripping one another as if each of us was waiting for the other to be the first to crack. To hell with that. I wasn’t going to show weakness — I couldn’t. I’d messed up too much in the past few months. It was time to do my job regardless of my personal feelings in the matter. I had been slacking — I’d allowed a girl to get so deep under my skin that I’d forgotten what I was. A born killer, a made man, son of a very dead mafia boss — and husband to one of the De Lange leaders.
As far as Mil was concerned, I was it. I just needed to prove to her that I could take it — that I could push past my sorry-ass heartbreak and be the man she needed me to be, because after seeing the look of sheer terror on her face as she walked down the aisle, I had come to one conclusion. She was hiding something big. The pit of my stomach dipped — whatever that something was — it could very well get us all killed.
“Ten bucks says the only person not packing is Mil’s grandma by marriage,” Mo said once we’d all finished eating our dinner, which had basically been a painful process of chewing, swallowing, drinking unhealthy amounts of wine, and trying to stare at my plate to keep from looking at Trace, while my wife sat next to me. Hell had officially risen to earth, and I was smack-dab in the middle of it, trying my damnedest to remember how to swallow without choking — without dying a little bit inside each time I saw him touch her face. And trying not to feel like an ass when Mil caught me staring — again. I’d resolved about an hour ago to actually be the man she needed me to be, and I was already failing. Horribly. The second time I looked, Mo kicked at me under the table but accidently hit Tex instead, causing everyone to look up, which was probably why Mo had said what she had.
We all turned heads to look at the hundred-year-old woman. She was currently on her fourth glass of wine and looked to be about two seconds away from falling into her chicken cacciatore.
“Nope.” Nixon shook his head. “It’s always the ones you don’t suspect. My money’s on Grandma.”
“I’ll take that bet.” Tex rose. “Seems like someone needs to fall on their own knife and all that. This has to be the most depressing wedding I’ve ever gone to, and that includes the fake one Mo made for her kittens when she was four.”
“They lived happily ever after.” Mo tilted her head into the air and narrowed her eyes.
Tex leaned down and tapped her on the nose. “Yes, if happily means they lived for five damn minutes before marching directly into oncoming traffic.”
“I think the wedding reception just hit its low point,” Mil muttered. “Save us, Tex. I beg you. Find the gun, and I’ll give you a prize.”
“Prize?” Tex’s eyes lit up. “As in—”
“As in her new husband won’t punch you in the face. You’re welcome. Hooray for prizes!” I did a fake punch into the air. “Now go create some excitement before Nixon starts picking people off with his semi-automatic.”
Nixon rolled his eyes. “Right, like I’d even bring—”
“It’s in the SUV,” Trace answered, sounding bored. “Saw it when I took out my dress.”
“Damn.” He looked away.
Just then a very drunk-looking cousin, Vinnie, got up and took the microphone from the band. “Look here! I have a toast to the bride and groom!” Shrill feedback from the microphone pierced the air, and Vinnie staggered, seemed to struggle, but finally found his footing. The microphone stand wobbled and then fell onto the stage with a loud clang. In a rush to grab it, Vinnie tripped over the cord and landed flat on his ass with a loud “Oomph.”
“For the love of God, save us all,” I grumbled, pushing Tex toward Grandma. Hopefully that would provide us some entertainment even if it was just watching them talk. Right, that’s how bad things had gotten.
We all sat at the table, the very depressing bridal party table, and watched as Tex slowly made his way toward the elderly woman.
“This won’t end well,” Trace said under her breath. “The man has the subtleness of a bomb.”
“Exactly.” Mo grinned from ear to ear. “I did say we needed entertainment, didn’t I?”
“Mo…” Nixon warned.
“He cheated on me, Nixon. Let me have my fun,” she said smoothly.
“He what?” Nixon roared, jumping to his feet. Curious stares pinned in our direction as Mo grabbed his hand and pulled him back to his seat.
I let out a low whistle. Dysfunctional didn’t even begin to cover it.
“I’ve got this. You aren’t the only one who knows how to use his powers for evil, brother. Revenge is a bitch. Isn’t that what they say, Trace?”
She looked guiltily down at her hands. Yeah, double meanings I could really do without. Hopefully, Mo wasn’t going to get Tex shot at our wedding, not that I’d be against it. This was the first I’d heard of him cheating. Granted, Mo hadn’t really been all that for sharing recently. She’d been as secretive as ever. Something told me it was for a reason, but I’d been too wrapped up in my own drama to even ask. How bad did I suck as a half-brother? Bad, real bad. On a scale of one to ten in the suckiness department, I’d be around an eleven.