Toby shook his head, eyes wide.

“He waits for them to go to sleep and then he comes out from under their bed and snatches them away into the night. So if I were you, Toby, I wouldn’t be rude or say bad words to your mummy anymore.”

Toby abruptly burst into loud, terrified sobs.

Maggie gave the boy’s mum a wide smile. “You’re welcome.”

The horrified mother could barely speak in her fury as they sought to comfort her son, gather her other two children, and demand the check from the waiter.

Craig and I exchanged tight-lipped looks as the family scampered out of the restaurant . . .

And then we burst into our own horrified laughter.

“What?” Maggie chuckled, shrugging.

“You can’t say that to a child.” Craig shook his head, wiping tears of laughter from his eyes.

“What? I bet it works! The little shit won’t be telling his mum to fuck off anytime soon. Rain thinks it was brilliant, don’t you?”

I struggled to breathe, still not believing I’d actually witnessed what I’d just witnessed. “I think,” I giggled, “I think it was part brilliant, part awful. You do realize that child won’t sleep for weeks now.”


“Ach, so? We coddle kids too much these days. They’re turning into little arseholes. I should know—it started with my generation.”

We laughed again, my stomach starting to hurt a little, and I decided I might quite possibly have my own girl crush on Maggie. She was so wonderfully honest and real in a way I wasn’t brave enough to be. It just wasn’t who I was. That didn’t mean I couldn’t admire someone who could be like that though.

“Wait until Mum hears that one,” Craig teased as he scooped up a bite of his almost forgotten lasagna.

“Oh, don’t.” Maggie suddenly looked unsure. “You know she’ll think it was rude and I’ll get an hour-long lecture.”

“Maybe you need an hour-long lecture.”

“I get plenty of those at university. No lectures at home, please.”

“Fine. But no more traumatizing children.”

“I make no such promises.”

* * *

In the end I was having so much fun with Craig and Maggie that I decided to hang out with them for a little while longer. Craig didn’t need to be at work for a few more hours so we decided to go to Old Town. After wandering around in and out of shops, joking around, we stopped in at The World’s End, a pub on the Royal Mile.

I insisted on buying the first round—a wine for myself, and a beer for both Maggie and Craig. While I was waiting for the drinks, they found a table nearby.

I’d only been standing there a minute when I felt a strong arm wrap around my waist. I leaned back into Craig’s familiar heat as he pressed a warm and rather possessive kiss to the side of my neck.

“Need a hand?” he murmured.

I tried not to shiver and failed. “Sure,” I said softly, hating when he made me all hot and bothered in public. Mostly hating how easily he made me all hot and bothered in public.

He grabbed the two beers when they were ready and I carried my wine over to the table where Maggie was sitting.

She was grinning from ear to ear at us.

“What?” I smiled in bemusement.

“Him.” She pointed at Craig. “Possessive fucker. Don’t think he’s a gentleman, Rain. He only went up to help you because those three fit-as-fuck guys were checking you out. Still are.”

I followed her gaze to three guys sitting at a table across from the bar. They grinned at me and I looked quickly at Craig. Sure enough he was glowering at the men.

“This is brilliant!” Maggie clapped her hands in glee.

Craig snapped his attention to her. “If I didn’t love you so much, I’d kill you.”

“Aw.” She reached for him, pulling him down beside her and snuggling into him. “You can’t stay mad at me. I’m only joking!”

He wrapped his arm around her shoulders and picked up his beer. “Find some new material for your jokes.”

“Are you kidding?” She pulled away to stare at him in mock horror. “You falling in love is the best material ever.”

I tensed immediately but if Craig was perturbed by her words he didn’t show it.

“That just proves your low level of wit if you think that’s the best material ever,” he countered.

The two siblings bickered affectionately and although I stopped freaking out about what Maggie had said, I started to freak out that Craig completely ignored it. And then worse . . . as their obvious love and closeness became more and more apparent I started to miss Darcy.

Missing Darcy led to thoughts of why I was missing Darcy, which led to thoughts of Angus, which led to the reminder that I was completely and utterly messing up my plans for revenge.

Because of a guy.

Once more I’d selfishly put my sister aside for my own needs.

Well no more.

Craig had distracted me long enough.

Somehow I had to get the plan to destroy Angus back in action.

Even if it really was the last thing I wanted to do.

*   *   *

That night I called my sister, needing to hear her voice, needing the motivation to do what had to be done.

“Well the sun is out here, so it must be late there,” was the first thing she said when she picked up.

I smiled at the familiar sound of her voice. “You know me. Night owl.”

“I miss you,” Darcy said, sounding sad.

“I miss you too.”

We were silent for a moment.

Finally I said, “How are things over there?”

“You mean have I recovered yet from the sex tape scandal?”

I grinned at the dryness in her voice. She sounded a little more like her old self. “Yes.”

“I was doing okay. Good, actually. But the last couple of days have been difficult . . . I keep dreaming about him. About the party . . .” Her voice cracked and I winced.

Anger flooded me but I did my best to keep it out of my tone. “Why do you think that is?”

“I don’t know,” she said hurriedly, and I could hear the lie in her words.

Worry crashed through me. “Darcy—”

“I drew up some new designs,” She quickly changed the subject. “I’m emailing them to you.”

I gave her the subject change without pushing any further, knowing she needed it, but inwardly my blood was hot and my throat was parched—my thirst for revenge on my sister’s behalf was back.


As it turned out, Craig made it easy for me to put my Angus plan into motion.

That Friday, at Craig’s behest, I arrived at Club 39 for the first time since we’d started officially seeing each other to hang out with him while he worked. When I arrived his colleague Joss came around the bar to greet me. I’d spoken to Joss weeks ago, way back before Craig and I were a “thing.” She was quick-witted and down-to-earth and I’d immediately liked her.

“Rain, hey,” Joss said with a grin. “Craig told me he asked you to hang out tonight. You know we’re pretty busy Fridays so I thought you might want to sit with my boyfriend and friends. They’re good people, I promise.”

“Where’s Craig?” I said as I followed Joss up the steps surrounding the bar and onto the main floor.

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