Blind Fury (Men of Steele Book 1)(10)

By: Gwen Hernandez

If she could be sure he was out of her life for good, maybe she could finally meet a nice, stable man who didn’t throw himself in harm’s way just to feel alive. A man who could be happy with one woman. A man who stayed around longer than three weeks.

It ripped her heart in two to say it, but she forced the words out.

“Yes, that’s what I want.”

Mick tried to stay awake for the ride home, but the hum of the vehicle’s engine and the sweet fragrance of Jenna had a drugging effect. He succumbed to the sandman before they reached the freeway.

The thud of a car door brought him out of it, followed by Jenna’s irritated voice. “You’re going to have to walk. I can’t carry you.”

He half-slid, half-fell out of the car, letting the door prop him up. Jesus, he was an idiot. She already thought he was an unreliable, womanizing mercenary—all true—but her opinion still mattered, and he was making a complete ass of himself. Why the hell had he called her?

Because he’d wanted to see her. Simple as that.

“I’m sorry I’m such a pain in the butt. You have enough on your plate right now without having to deal with me.”

She gave him a look that said, “Gee, you think?” and propped herself under his shoulder to help steady him. At which point he realized they weren’t outside his high-rise condominium in Fairfax. “Why are we at your house? I thought you wanted to get rid of me.”

They made it up the eight or so stairs to her front door, where she left him clutching the railing as she unlocked the door. “Because if you drown in your own vomit, I’d have to go to another funeral.”

He might be drunk off his ass, but he was pretty sure she was pissed. Or maybe disappointed. Which made two of them. Yeah, way to go with the whole protector thing. She was right. He could barely take care of himself. What had Rob been thinking?

She got them inside, where he cut a wobbly path to the guest bathroom to relieve himself. When he emerged, she was straightening a dishtowel that hung over the door handle of the oven.

“So Rob wasn’t kidding about your cleaning obsession,” he said. The place was freaking spotless. At midnight. On a Thursday. When she wasn’t expecting anyone.

“It’s not an obsession. I just find clutter annoying. But it’s not like one person makes much mess anyway,” she said, using a fingernail to scratch at something on the granite counter.

He snorted. “You haven’t seen my condo.” Actually, it wasn’t too bad, mainly because he didn’t own anything. It was just his place to sleep when he was home. More storage unit than living space, it only featured the essentials. Jenna, though, had gone beyond the basics and made a home. Pictures on the walls—each one perfectly level and aligned with the others—houseplants, colorful pillows on the couch and armchairs, and a shelf full of books. It even smelled good, like vanilla. Or maybe cookies.

“I was thinking you could sleep in Rob’s room. Would that be weird?” she asked as she filled a glass of water from the spigot in the refrigerator door.

He grinned and waggled his eyebrows. “You mean as opposed to yours?” The instant the words left his mouth, he regretted them. Goddamn alcohol. Her face reddened, but she wasn’t blushing. He’d finally pushed her over the edge. He stepped forward with his hand out. “I’m sorry, Jay. I didn’t mean to—”

Abruptly, she scooted past him. “Let’s get you settled. Tomorrow’s going to be a long day, and I could use some sleep.”

Hell. He followed her up the stairs, gripping the railing to keep from tumbling backwards. His head wasn’t spinning quite as fast, but he didn’t trust his feet just yet. It had been a long time since he’d been in Rob’s room. Sometime last year when he’d crashed on the floor after a wild night. It should have been odd or upsetting to be in there, but somehow it wasn’t. It felt like home.

“Here’s the trashcan, just in case.” Jenna set the small container on the floor next to the queen bed, which was neatly made up with blue-and-white striped sheets and a red bedspread. She’d probably started preparing the room for Rob’s return within minutes of finding out he was coming home.

“I’m not going to puke,” he said. Unfortunately, he had enough experience to know. He sat on the firm mattress and felt the pull of fatigue.

“Okay, whatever. But sleep on your stomach for me. Just to be safe.” She set the glass of water on the nightstand. “And try to drink this so you don’t get dehydrated.”

She turned away, but he grabbed her hand and pulled her closer before she could leave. Her skin was soft and cool, and he had the urge to warm her up. “Thanks,” he said. Their eyes locked and something tugged low in his belly. And lower.