Witness to Passion

By: Naima Simone



A shiver rippled through him.

Fallon emerged from her crouch in the corner of the small porch, making herself as small a target as possible during the fight. She lifted her gaze from the sidewalk where her two would-be assassins lay. Shock darkened her gray eyes until they appeared black. A soft, weak sound escaped her as she wrapped her arms around herself.

Her lips trembled.

Parted.

“Umm…hi?”





Chapter Three

Fallon blinked.

Blinked again.

Nope. Shane Roarke still stood at her living room window.

His tall frame and wide shoulders nearly swamped the pane and glass. Hard muscle strained at the black cotton of his long-sleeved shirt. And as he edged the curtain aside to peer outside, a delicious display of strength shifted beneath his shirt. She focused on that subtle show of lethal grace, latched onto it with a desperation that had panic attack scrawled all over it. In bright red Crayola crayons.

Oh Jesus. She squeezed her eyes shut, but immediately that big, ugly gun in Shane’s hands flashed across the backs of her lids. No! Her eyes popped open. Bad move, bad move.

She returned her gaze to Shane’s back. As long as she fixated on the prime example of badassery in front of her, she could shove aside the fact that she’d been seconds away from becoming a tear on some gangbanger’s cheek. Did they still do that? She clasped her hands together on her lap, the grip so tight her fingers throbbed in protest. Wow, she had to cut back on the Lockup marathons.

“I take it the guys who arrived after your phone call were friends of yours?” Three figures dressed in all black and wearing ski masks had seemingly materialized out of the darkness bare minutes after Shane had put the two men on the ground. Like silent wraiths, the eerie trio had soundlessly hauled the assailants to their feet, threw them over their shoulders, and disappeared as quietly as they’d appeared. If she hadn’t peeped it with her own eyes, she wouldn’t have believed they’d been there at all.

“Yes,” Shane replied without turning away from the window.

“What will they do with those two?” She swallowed, trepidation suddenly necklacing her throat. Which was crazy since they obviously hadn’t cared about her well-being. “Will they kill them?”

This gained his attention. He slowly pivoted, his eyes zeroing in on her. She should’ve braced herself for the impact of it. Even with the stress of the last hour stretching her tighter than a taut guitar string, she should’ve been more prepared for the powerful impact of that intent stare.

He and Addy shared the same astonishing turquoise eyes that belonged only in those over-the-top contact-lens ads or in teen vampire movies. But while her friend’s gentle, blue-green shade reminded Fallon of sparkling Caribbean seas, Shane’s sharper, incisive stare called to mind the gem with the same color. Even the thick, ridiculously long lashes couldn’t soften the hardness in that gaze. But then everything about him was hard.

Close-cut black hair emphasized the angular planes that kept his face from verging into way-too-pretty-for-a-man land. The stern line of his full, sinfully curved mouth. The strong chest and solid thighs that whispered of power and unshakable control. The black long-sleeved shirt, cargo pants, and boots in no way concealed the animal magnetism of a body that was sculpted for a Spartan cape and loincloth. They enhanced it.

“No, they won’t kill them. The two men who tried to execute you tonight will be interrogated and then turned over to the police.”

“Shouldn’t we have called the cops first? Isn’t it their job to ‘interrogate’?” She stressed the term, bristling at his tone and reminder of her near miss of starring on an episode of 48 Hours: Hard Evidence.

Shane snorted. “You have such faith in the police—such faith you didn’t immediately call me when all this went down. When it was the same cops who obviously leaked your name to the Lords of War and didn’t even have the courtesy to call and give you a heads-up that your identity had been compromised.” He crossed his arms. “As for your question, no, I’m not calling them first. Their hands are tied by rules that don’t apply to me.”

A gleam entered his eyes, and a pit big enough for her heart to plummet through yawned wide in her stomach. She wasn’t an idiot. The thought that tonight had been somehow connected to the murder she’d witnessed had occurred to her. Yet, denial and fear had her shaking her head. “You don’t know for certain tonight had anything to do with Jonah Michaels. It could’ve been a mugging, and I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

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