Blind Fury (Men of Steele Book 1)(7)

By: Gwen Hernandez

“I’ll survive. We both will,” he said with a conviction and a seriousness she’d never seen in him before. He had always been so glib, ever ready with a quick joke when things got too heavy. Today he wasn’t hiding behind his slick charm.

Would she survive? Possibly. Right now she wasn’t so sure.

Her eyes on the floor, the fireplace, the chair—anywhere but his face—she said, “Thank you for coming.” Then she risked another glance at his eyes. “Will you be at the funeral tomorrow?”

He gave her an odd look. “Of course I’ll be there.”

She nodded and clasped her arms across her chest. What a dumb thing to ask. But being around him had always lowered her IQ by at least ten points.

“You don’t have to do all this by yourself, you know.”

“I know.” She focused on the wall behind him. “I’m not. Tara’s been helping.” And thank God for her. Without her, Jenna would be completely lost.

“I’d like to help too.” He stuffed his hands into his pockets, apparently taking his cue from her unwelcoming posture. “Call me if you need anything.”

“Yeah, sure.” If he was smart, he wouldn’t expect a call, but she nodded as she walked him to the door. He leaned in closer, as if for a hug, but she couldn’t let him touch her again, not when the feel of his arms was still imprinted on her skin.

There was another time, a few years ago, when he’d been this close. The memory was still as vivid as the man before her. He’d been helping her and Rob move into this very house, and her brother had gone out to pick up lunch.

Jenna was cutting open a box, but the blade slipped and sliced her palm instead. Mick heard her gasp and practically dropped the chair he was carrying in his haste to reach her side.

“Jesus, Jay,” he said as blood dripped from her hand. He covered her palm with his own and led her to the tiny bathroom where he rinsed her wound and placed a wad of folded toilet paper over it.

They sat there for several minutes while he pressed her hand between both of his, his expression fierce as he waited for the bleeding to stop. They’d never touched before, not really, and her stomach fluttered at the feel of his rough skin against her own.

He glanced up with the most serious expression she’d ever seen on his face, the look in his ocean blue eyes making her heart race. “You scared me there for a minute. I saw the blood…”

Heat crept up her neck and into her cheeks. At that moment she had wanted him to kiss her more than she’d ever wanted anything in her life. He didn’t.

And now he stood in front of her, that same serious expression back on his handsome face, offering the solace she so desperately needed. But he was too tempting, and she was too vulnerable.

She gave him her best effort at a smile and positioned herself behind the open door as he stepped through. “Thanks for stopping by.”

He hesitated on the stoop as if waiting for a sign from her, but then nodded and jogged down the stairs toward his car.

Jenna shut the door and plastered her back to the cool metal. She was messed up enough without adding the complication of Mick. But he was her last link to Rob, and God help her, she liked having him around.

Three hours later, Mick looked through the windshield of his car and squinted against the reflection of the evening sun off the window of the Manassas tattoo parlor he’d just left. Gripping the steering wheel, he was shaky and nervous, like a chain smoker who’d gone too long without a hit.

He had spent the last three days stuck in transport with the rest of his team—they’d all been sent home for an indefinite leave after the incident—and in spite of that transition time, the change from war zone to suburbia was disorienting. Home was both foreign and familiar.

People here went about their lives, ignorant of the daily fight for survival that went on in so many parts of the world. Oblivious to how petty and meaningless their struggle to keep up with the Jones family was. He rubbed the dashboard of his Camaro. Hypocrite.

But not really, because he’d bought this baby for speed, not looks.


He slammed the car into gear and peeled out of the parking lot with a satisfying squeal, keeping to a reasonable speed on the freeway. The car strained like a tiger on a leash, eager to be set free, until he passed Haymarket, an outer-ring suburb for those willing to suffer long commutes for larger, newer homes and manicured lawns.

Then Mick dropped the hammer, opened up the throttle, and unleashed the horses under the hood. In seconds, the endorphins flooded in, his hands steadied, and his brain calmed. His pulse thrummed with the engine, and just like that, he could finally breathe again.