One Night of Sin(9)

By: Elle Kennedy


“Fine, I’ll drop it,” Reed said. “Just know that I wholeheartedly approve of last night or any future nights you might spend with your mystery girl. It was kinda hard to tell from a security feed, but she looked hot.”

Gage rolled his eyes again. Of course Reed approved. Hot was the only requirement the guy had for hooking up, with temporary coming in at a close second. Reed was a player to the core, and had been from the moment Gage met him, back when they were two punk-ass teenagers growing up in South Boston. They’d both dreamed of becoming professional MMA fighters, though Gage’s style leaned toward boxing while Reed was an out-and-out brawler, not above fighting dirty. And they’d both retired at the same time, taking the cash they’d earned over the years to open the club.

“Are you fighting tomorrow?”

The abrupt demand summoned an inward groan. “Yeah.” He kept his tone vague.

“Only one more after that, right?” Reed asked carefully.

“Two more.”

“And then you and Mitch are square?”

“Yep.”

“You sure about that?”

He met Reed’s uneasy expression head-on. “Damn sure.”

After a beat of silence, his friend heaved out a breath. “I sincerely hope Denny appreciates what you do for him, bro.”

“He does.”

“Yeah? ’Cause I don’t see a lot of gratitude coming your way.” Reed took a quick drag, this time polite enough to exhale in the opposite direction. “Look, you and I go way back. Which means Denny and I go way back too. And in all these years, not once have I heard a thank you leave that little bastard’s mouth.”

Gage stiffened. “Watch it, man. He’s my brother.”

“Doesn’t make him any less of a bastard.” Reed leaned forward and snuffed out his cigarette in the ashtray. “The way I see it, a real man cleans up his own messes.”

He didn’t answer. Couldn’t answer. Because Reed was right. Denny always took the easy way out, and for Denny, the easy way meant handing his problems over to his big brother to fix.

Gage wasn’t stupid, though. He knew he was fully to blame for Denny’s dependence on him. His fault for cutting his kid brother too much slack. But Denny wasn’t as strong as him. He wouldn’t have survived their childhood if Gage hadn’t been around to protect him.

It hadn’t come as much of a surprise when Denny grew up to be an addict. Gage’s little brother was too weak to deal with real-life problems. He preferred to hide behind the high and let Gage bail him out whenever he messed up.

But Reed was right about another thing—Gage couldn’t keep rescuing his brother. He might’ve signed up for three months’ worth of bruises, cuts, and broken ribs to keep Denny out of danger, but after he paid off his brother’s debt, he was done. Cutting him loose for good this time.

Un-fucking-likely. You’ll never stop protecting him.

He ignored the internal accusation. Mostly because it was too depressing to dwell on.

“Anyway, I’d wish you luck for tomorrow, but we both know you don’t need it.” Reed looked ready to say more, but the loud buzzing of his phone interrupted the conversation. He swiped the handset off the desk and answered with a quick, “Yeah?” Then he paused, and the shit-eating grin that stretched across his face raised Gage’s hackles—especially since it was directed at him.

“Take her up to Gage’s office. He’s on his way.” Reed hung up, the smile widening. “Guess what, bro? You’ve got a visitor.”

His pulse sped up at the same time an exasperated breath flew out of his mouth.

Goddamn her. He’d told her not to come back.

“So…it was nothing, huh?” Reed’s expression conveyed sheer and total enjoyment.

Gage bit back a curse, then left the office without another word.





Chapter Three

Skyler paced the small office, already second-guessing her decision to show up tonight…until the door swung open and her nerves evaporated like a puff of steam.

The man who appeared in the doorway was even sexier than she remembered. Decked out in all black, he lingered for a beat before stepping inside and shutting the door behind him.

The closer he got, the faster her heart raced. She devoured the sight of him, the form-fitting pants hugging his long, muscular legs, the snug T-shirt molded to his sculpted chest. Her mouth ran dry when she spotted the tattoos curling out from his sleeves. No color, just black flames and curved designs inked into his tanned flesh, making him look dangerous and badass and really, really hot.

“Why did you come back?” A deep rasp, his eyes glimmering with equal doses of irritation and desire.

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