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By:L. A. Casey

“Till next time, short-ass.”

Keela casually strolled into the sitting room and stated, “I hate your boyfriend.”

I grabbed my chest. “That’s a shame, because I love yours.”

Keela’s lip twitched. “I’ll be back over tonight, I just have to go and feed—”

“The fat beast, I heard you.”

Keela growled. “You’d think being pregnant would make you sentimental and give Storm a chance, but no, you still rag on him.”

In Keela’s mind, Storm was her baby.

“He’d make a saint curse, Kay.”

Her left eye twitched just before she turned and walked out of my house, giving me the finger along the way. “I’ll remember all of this when you’re in the height of pain in labour.”

I grunted when the apartment door shut. I cringed then and silently prayed karma wouldn’t make my labour extra painful, because I teased Storm a lot... he brought it upon himself most of the time, so when you think about it, I shouldn’t suffer because of it.

I leaned back and closed my eyes on a sigh, but just as quickly I snapped them back open. I shot upright when I realised no one was in the room with me.

I was on my own.

Panic struck.

“Kane!” I called out as I looked around the sitting room, expecting someone to jump out and grab me.

I heard his footsteps as he walked down the hallway and into the sitting room, a white mug in his hand with steam rising from it. He quickly sat the mug down on our coffee table when he saw my face and rushed over to me.

“What is it?” he asked and placed a hand on my stomach in silent question.

I swallowed and shook my head. “Nothin’, it’s just... I thought I was on my own for a second and... you know, I got scared.”

Kane blinked. “You told me you weren’t afraid to be on your own anymore.”

I looked down. “I lied.”

Kane sighed and kneeled on the floor. “I’ll kill him for putting such fear into you.”

I squeezed my eyes shut as Big Phil’s face cut through my mind.

“I know.”

Kane kissed the side of my head. “Do you want to help me with my injection?”

He could do them himself now, but I appreciated him putting my focus on him instead of the monster that haunted me.

I didn’t dream of that night I was trapped in my old classroom, nor did Big Phil’s face cut into my dreams. He only plagued me during waking hours when I could sit and think of the ‘what ifs’.

What if I didn’t get out in time?

What if I inhaled more smoke?

What if he was still close by and watching us, waiting for the right moment to strike?

I didn’t voice my thoughts, but they troubled me, and I knew the same questions haunted Kane. He was just keeping it to himself like I was because he didn’t want to upset me.

We both suffered in silence.

I knew Kane, his brothers, my brothers, and Keela’s uncle Brandon were looking for Big Phil, but none of that eased my mind. He got me once before, and he could do it again if he wanted to. He was that kind of person... if he wanted something, he got it.


I think Kane knew that as well. It was one of the reasons I was never without male companionship. When Kane wasn’t with me, one of his or my brothers were. It was a round-the-clock security gridlock the lads had going. Kane went as far as to completely seal off the apartment complex I lived in, and he tripled the security detail.

I found none of it comforting though.

My mind was my own worst enemy when it came to running plausible outcomes of Big Phil finding me first before the lads found him. It worried me sick.

“Stop thinking of him.”

I looked into Kane’s eyes when he spoke and I nodded my head. “I’m tryin’, I really am. I just can’t help it.”

“I will protect you.” Kane swore, his eyes locked on mine. “No one will ever hurt you.”

I lightly smiled. “Me knight in shinin’... tattoos.”

Kane pumped his eyebrows. “I’m adding to my collection soon.”

I blinked. “Where about and what are you gettin’?”

He showed me both of his wrists so I reached out and rubbed my thumbs over the small patches of un-inked skin.

“I’m getting your name on my left wrist and our child’s on my right wrist. Wrists are a lethal part of the body to be cut; any laceration could potentially be fatal. Without you and our baby I might as well be dead, so I’m putting you both in plain view so I never lose sight of that.”

I touched my chest as a lump formed in my throat.

“That was oddly disturbin’ and insanely beautiful at the same time.”

Kane smirked and my eyes followed the thick scar that curved around his mouth. I stared a little longer than deemed polite, but I couldn’t help it. My gaze locked on the marred flesh until my eyes raked over his stunning face and to his arms where more of the thick lumps of damaged tissue lingered.

I loved my man, but I hated that his perfect body was tainted with such marks that brought bulk loads of nasty memories. Lately, I found myself thinking of Big Phil when I focused on Kane’s scars for too long. I remembered everything I was told about him, and I didn’t think I would ever forget even if I tried. The sick son of a bitch used Kane’s vow to protect Damien from harm to his advantage.

Marco Miles was the main man who called the shots over the brothers, but Big Phil held the leash that controlled Kane. He decided how much free-reign he got, and he was the one to viciously jerk on the leash when Kane didn’t do as he was told.

That usually happened when Kane refused to hurt innocents. He was strung up with rope by the wrists and received lash upon lash to his body, or he was stabbed with needles as punishment for his defiance. Big Phil found pleasure in torturing and training Kane.

He found pleasure in hurting him.

Kane took his perverted son’s life, and in return he wanted my life and our unborn child’s. I was terrified of the lengths he would go to seek his vengeance, and I knew that eventually we were all going to clash.

I just didn’t know who would be left breathing in the end.

“Babe.” Kane’s voice jarred me from my thoughts. “Are you okay?”

I blinked my eyes, and looked down to his wrists and lightly smiled.

“I can’t wait to see them both when you get them done.”

Kane playfully nudged me. “I could get them done tomorrow if junior here would hurry up and vacate your premises.”

I giggled. “She will come out when she is good and ready.”

“Like a typical woman then?” Kane mused. “Her way or the highway option.”

I bobbed my head up and down. “You got it.”

“Good thing it’s a boy then.” He grinned as he leaned in and kissed my head. “I love you, babydoll.”

“And I love you.”

Kane smiled and said, “You want to know something funny?”


“There are over seven billion people on this planet, and I can only tolerate eleven.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Who are the eleven people?”

He held up both of his hands and dropped a finger for each person he named. “You, Branna, Bronagh, Keela, Alannah, Alec, Dominic, Ryder, Damien, Tony the pizza delivery guy, and Susan who works in Subway in the village.”

I resisted the urge to laugh.

“Why the last two? You don’t know them.”

Kane pointed his index finger at me. “Tony brings me food, and Susan makes me food. Leave them alone, they’re good people.”

I snorted. “You really need to expand your circle of people.”

“I need to do a lot of things, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to.” He shrugged.

I grinned. “Why was there no mention of my father or brothers on that list?”

Kane gnawed on his lower lip then smiled wide. “Your family are my ultimate favourites, they’re above any list... obviously.”

I hummed. “Obviously.”

“Have I pleased my lady with my answer?” he asked in an awful British accent.

I was about to say yes, when his eyes dropped to my breasts, and he licked his lips.

I playfully rolled my eyes. “You’re such a man.”

He stood up, took a giant step backwards as his eyes dropped down to his crotch before he looked back to me and said, “I’m aware of that.”

“No, like, you’re so—”

“Handsome? Sexy? The best sex of your life?”

I narrowed my eyes. “Irritatin’.”

“But still handsome, sexy and the best sex of your life?”

My lip twitched. “I suppose.”

“I can live with being irritating if I’ve got the rest going for me.”

“You’re really annoyin’ me.”

He grinned. “Not irritating you?”

“It’s the same thing.”

“Not really. They’re different words.”

I was losing my patience.

“They have similar meanin’s though,” I stated.

Kane folded his arms across his chest. “But they’re still different words.”

That was it.

“Come closer to me so I can smack you.”

“Yeah,” he snickered. “Like that is going to happen.”

I leaned back and closed my eyes. “You drive me crazy, you know that?”

A hand gripped my thigh causing me to jump. I opened my eyes and was surprised to see Kane looming over me. The man could move fast for such a big lad.