Home > Honor (The Breaking Point #1)(4)

Honor (The Breaking Point #1)(4)
Author: Jay Crownover

“Yeah. I could’ve handled him. He just surprised me.”

She was so young and her words pounded into me so hard they hurt. She shouldn’t have to handle him at all. I was the opposite of innocent and suddenly all I wanted was to keep her as different from me and my life as I could.

I squeezed the hand I still held and told her, “I’m Nassir Gates.”

I gave her the name of the man I had decided I was going to be, half Middle Eastern, half American, one hundred percent lie. All the things I had done, all the things I had been, were no more. I was just a man that was going to make this new place his home. I didn’t know at the time it was going to require as much blood and warfare to survive here as it had in the desert.

As the guy who attacked her started to make noise on the floor behind me, I turned to regard him. I was far from done with the bastard, but I wanted a proper introduction before I did what was inevitable the instant I watched the brute put his hands on her.

She smiled at me softly and returned the squeeze like we were going to be friends or something. “Keelyn Foster.” Her eyes widened and she bit her plush lower lip, and I wanted to put my own teeth there more than I wanted anything in life. She was almost completely naked but I couldn’t look away from those eyes. “I mean, Honor. Around here I’m Honor.”

I smiled at her, and I was pretty sure it was the first time I had smiled. Ever. “How about I only call you that here in this club. I’m new in town but I have a feeling we’ll be bumping into each other. Keelyn is a pretty name.”

She blushed. She was gyrating for the pleasure of strangers, but giving her a throwaway compliment had her turning hot pink. And at the sight of her smile, everything suddenly made sense in my world.

“Thank you,” she whispered, but I heard the words as loud as a thunderclap.

I inclined my head at her and turned around to the man trying to crawl his way back off the stage. I could be civilized. I could be restrained. I could be calm. But when I thought about those meaty paws all over her, I didn’t want to be anything other than what I had been born to be . . . a killer.

I was on him between heartbeats. His face disintegrated under my hands. His bones turned to dust. His breath was stamped out under my feet. His life was nothing to me until I caught sight of stormy gray eyes looking at me like I was evil incarnate. Now they were the color of charcoal, and full of fear . . . fear of me. I shook the blood off my knuckles and walked away from her before I inflicted more damage.

The man in charge watched the whole thing go down. Instead of asking me for money to stay in his city, he offered me papers that were fake but good enough to make me legalish. He asked me if I could get my hands on some armor-piercing rounds. I said yes to both the papers and the ammo, and my plan for laying low swelled up like a balloon and popped right over my head. I would never be able to run from who I was, or what I was, so I figured I might as well make the most of it in this place that was eager to embrace it. This place was a different kind of war zone, where every man seemed to be fighting for himself. It was familiar enough that I knew I could thrive here, could find a place where I fit. I could absolutely work with what made the Point tick, and while here, I could watch the girl. I could wait for her while she realized this was hell on earth—and when you make your home in hell, you want to have the devil in your corner.

I could fight for her even if she thought I was a monster. After all, I already knew all about chasing a lost cause.


The devil’s voice is sweet.

—Stephen King

Chapter 1


Maybe if I hadn’t spent the last six months slinging pancakes and greasy hash to hungover hipsters and avoiding the too-curious eyes of the cops who liked to hit up the diner for early-morning breakfast, I would have noticed the ominous shift in the air.

Before I came to Denver six months ago, my senses had been honed to pick up on the slightest threat. Before, anything that might be dangerous, that might put me in peril, had made my skin tingle, made everything inside of me vibrate with awareness. Now I had settled into a simple, dreary rhythm. Every day was the same as the one before it and there was no outside threat constantly hounding me, hunting me, haunting me. I let my guard down. I had gone soft, and as a result the biggest danger of them all managed to slip into my new normal without giving any kind of hint he was there.

My nonslip shoes—that were probably the ugliest things ever made but absolutely necessary considering the greasy food the tiny kitchen pumped out—squeaked on the laminate floor as I made my way over to the lone patron who had taken the last available seat in my section. The massive plastic menu completely covered his face, but the Rolex on his wrist and the perfect cut of his suit jacket let me know he wasn’t my typical kind of customer. There wasn’t a flannel shirt or police blues in sight, and as I got closer, a whiff of something exotic and familiar engulfed my senses and stopped me in my tracks. Of all the things I had left behind, he was the one I had tried hardest to forget.

The tingling across my skin spread. My tummy tightened. Blood rushed loudly between my ears. My shaking fingers curled around the pen in my hand like it was a weapon. Before I could pull it together and walk away, the menu lowered and I was pinned to the spot, immobilized by eyes the color of spiced rum.

They were wicked eyes. Eyes that saw far too much and gave nothing away. Eyes I daydreamed about. Eyes that caused me to wake up in a cold sweat. Eyes that turned me inside out and shook me up as they made a slow perusal from the top of my head to the tips of my god-awful shoes, returning to my face and staying there as I struggled to keep my shit together.

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