So lost in my hurt I was surprised at the touch of Angus’s fingers on my chin, tilting my face up toward his. My breath stopped as my heart hammered away inside my chest. This was escalating way, way faster than I’d like.

“If you let me in there,” Angus murmured against my mouth. “I’d never replace you.”

I closed my eyes, hoping my expression could be mistaken for need instead of pain.

Right words, very wrong fucking man.

I froze when I felt his lips on my throat, his other hand gripping my hip.

This isn’t right! Stop him. STOP HIM!

“Do you really think I’m that stupid?” he whispered in my ear, and I heard the anger he’d been hiding all along. “I know you’re up to something . . . I just wonder how far you’re willing to take this.” His grip on me tightened to where it was painful.

“Angus . . .” I lifted my hands to push him away just as he lifted his head to kiss me. His lips were barely on mine when he was suddenly wrenched off of me.

My eyes widened at the sight of Craig hauling Angus off me and up against one of the club’s pillars. His face was contorted with rage and as I watched his fist slam into Angus’s face I thought my heart might burst.

Angus recovered quickly enough to swing back at Craig, but Craig ducked and then punched him in the gut, winding him. Craig straightened to full height again and this time his fist flew downward, connecting with a fleshy smack that sent blood spraying from Angus’s mouth. He slumped to the ground.

He groaned and turned onto his back, and Craig reached for him again.


“No!” I cried out, worried he’d kill the prick.

But Braden and Adam were suddenly pushing through the crowd that had gathered (a crowd, it should be noted, that included Angus’s two friends, who stood there and did nothing to help him), and they started pulling Craig away.

Craig pushed them off. “I’m not going to fucking hit him again!” he snapped, shrugging out of Braden’s strong grip.

“Who the hell are you?” Angus groaned, sitting up tentatively.

“Rain’s boyfriend,” he spat. “And that was for what you did to her sister.”

Angus winced as he touched his mouth. “I think you broke a tooth. I’ll sue you, you tosser.”

Craig lunged for him again and Angus looked like he was about to wet himself. Braden and Adam held Craig back once more while I enjoyed the look of pure terror on Angus’s face.

A feeling of triumph washed through me.

And it was swept quickly away when my eyes met Craig’s.

His blazed utter fury at me.

Well that only fanned the flames of my rage.

How dare he! How dare he look at me like I was the one who had done something wrong!

I ran my gaze over him in disgust, putting everything I’d felt tonight into my expression.

His mouth slackened in shock.

Feeling no words were necessary, I walked away, hating him for making me want forever with him when he had never had any intention of creating forever with me.


Craig stared after Rain as she stalked out of the bar, wondering how the fuck in this equation he had turned out to be the bad guy.

That final look she had given him—it had cut him to the quick. It also sent him into a flying panic.

“Go after her.” Joss was suddenly beside him, her expression grave. “We can cover the bar.”

Craig looked at Alistair, who was by Joss’s side. His friend nodded. “Go.”

“We’ll get rid of this arse,” Adam assured him, gesturing to Angus, who was still sitting on the floor like the attention-seeking idiot he was.

“Thanks.” Craig pushed past them and through the crowds of customers that had gathered. Well, he didn’t really have to push through them. They got out of his way as soon as they saw him coming.

He could give a shit.

It had felt great to punch that slimy bastard.

When he saw him touching Rain, and her letting him, Craig’s head had nearly exploded. He’d never felt such rage mixed with such hurt.

Aye. Fucking hurt. Because that’s what happened when you loved someone. They could hurt you like no other could.

So why the hell was she the one wearing the wounded look?

He rushed up the basement steps onto George Street just in time to see his girlfriend getting into a black cab. “Rain!” he shouted, hurrying after her. He got to the door just as she was pulling it closed and he jumped inside.

“What are you doing?” she snapped, and he flinched at her red eyes and the tear streaks running through her makeup.

Craig sat down on the bench seat beside her and gave the taxi driver her address.

“You want him here, darlin’?” the taxi driver said, eyeing Craig with suspicion.

Rain looked panicked. Probably at the thought of him throwing another punch. “It’s fine.”

The driver pulled off into traffic and Craig stared at his girlfriend’s elegant profile. She refused to turn to him.

“Why?” he said. Not sure if he was asking why she flirted with that arsehole, or why she’d looked at him like he had hurt her, or why she was crying right now when he’d never seen her cry.

“Not here,” she whispered, her fingers curling into the fabric of her dress.

Everything about her was wounded and vulnerable, and despite how angry he was with her, all he wanted to do was pull her against him and take away whatever pain she was feeling.

Instead they sat in absolute silence all the way back to her flat. She paid the expensive cab fare because Craig had left his wallet and keys back at the bar.

Reluctantly she let him into her flat and they strode into her large living area.

“So.” He crossed his arms over his chest and sat on the arm of her couch. “Want to tell me why you thought it was a good idea to let that fucker touch you? And then do you want to tell me why you were so pissed I hit him?”

Rain was walking past him when she caught sight of her face in the mirror above her fireplace. She gave her reflection a bitter smile as she wiped at her smeared makeup. Catching him looking at her through the mirror, her smile fell. “I wasn’t pissed you hit him. I rather enjoyed that part. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” he said gruffly. “Now what about the part where you let him touch you?”

She shrugged as if Angus touching her wasn’t a big deal, and Craig wished the arse was in front of him so he could punch him again. “It escalated quickly. He was smarter than I thought. He knew I was up to something. He was being a creep. I was about to push him off.”

Fury suffused him. “So the fucker was attacking you?” He stood up, wanting to go back to the bar to kill him.

She shook her head. “He was just messing with me.”

Craig considered the fact that she’d been in the position to allow Angus to mess with her. “And how did he manage that, eh? I thought we agreed that you were over the whole childish revenge scenario. What made you approach him?”

Her eyes brightened with anger as she whirled to face him. “One, I didn’t approach him, he approached me! And two, I never agreed to let it go.”

“Well you’re fucking letting it go now!” he yelled. “How do you think your sister would feel about this? You really think she’d be okay about you doing whatever it takes to get revenge on her ex-boyfriend? Did you really think she’d been fine with you fucking her ex?”

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