Home > Honor (The Breaking Point #1)(7)

Honor (The Breaking Point #1)(7)
Author: Jay Crownover

If I hadn’t been so aware of him, so attuned to his every movement, his every breath, I wouldn’t have seen his hands tighten into fists on the cracked tabletop. Nassir wasn’t the type to show any kind of emotion, so that tiny little movement showed me he was hearing what I was saying to him. And he didn’t like it.

He uncurled his fingers and started to tap them on the table. His eyes glimmered with hellfire and his sexy mouth tightened. He wasn’t happy, but he wasn’t going to push me. He gave a nod that was just the barest tipping of his chin and then started to slide out of the booth toward me. I knew I should move away, that I needed to keep space between the two of us, but I stood stock-still as he got up and took a step forward so that we were toe-to-toe. He seemed even taller than he had been when I left, more imposing. I had to tilt my head back to continue meeting that amazing gaze.

He reached out and I thought he was going to run the backs of his fingers over my cheek, but the tricky bastard went right for my heart. Unerringly, his palm landed high on my chest and off to the side right where a bullet had torn through me. Right where it had flayed me open and finally shown me that the Point, and the things that I loved in it, were going to be the end of me no matter how tough I was. My heart tried to jump into his hand, and I gasped a little as he smiled at me. A real smile. One that made his sharply angled face softer, made his eyes melt like soft candy. No, my devil wasn’t going to push me . . . he was going to do what devils did best. He was going to tempt me.

“I think this life is too easy for you. There’s no challenge here. I waited for months because I thought you were going to get bored. You don’t belong here, Key, but if you’re happy here, then I won’t be back. Things are changing in the Point. You should be a part of that.”

His hand felt like it was searing into my chest. It seemed like the ugly scar the bullet had left behind would magically vanish and the print of his hand would mark me there in its place.

“The Point always changes, and it’s never for the better. I need you to go.”

I took a step back from him and it felt a million times harder than all the steps I had taken to get my ass out of the Point and away from him in the first place. Nassir looked down at his expensive watch, gave me one last smirk, and then disappeared out the front door. It should have been easier to breathe with him gone. I should have felt solid, safe, but like he always did, Nassir shifted the world around him.

The pretty cop was at my side again, and this time the concern on her face couldn’t be ignored. She was looking in the direction in which Nassir had disappeared, and I would bet good money everything inside her was screaming that he was a bad guy. That she shouldn’t let him walk away.


I sighed and waved at a table of customers that were making air gestures at me for their bill.

“Not even close.” My relationship with Nassir was beyond complicated, but we had never so much as held hands. I went out of my way not to touch him, not to accidentally brush up against him, and the only time he had ever had his hands on me was when he was trying to stop the bleeding when I got shot, and then today when he placed his hand on the same spot. “We used to work together. He’s an unwelcome blast from the past.”

She waited on me while I cashed out a few customers and refilled some drinks. I got a new table, and by the time I got the new customer’s order started, she was leaning against the front door. I didn’t have to keep talking to her, but she was sweet and she knew nothing of my life before, so there was no judgment in her chocolaty-brown gaze as she watched me scuttle around.

“I have to go . . . my shift starts in a few.” She smiled at me and lifted one of her rusty-colored eyebrows. “I know we aren’t exactly friends, but I am a trained observer and I know a thing or two about the kind of guy that oozes trouble and secrets like that one does. You can totally tell me that I’m crossing the line, but I feel obligated to tell you to be careful.”

I gave her a weak smile in return. It was so funny that anyone thought they had to warn me about anything. I used to be the girl that was the warning. Don’t end up like Keelyn. Don’t make the same choices Keelyn made. Do you want to be a stripper like Keelyn? What does Keelyn have to show for a life of hard work and fighting to survive? I had me and I was bound and determined to hold on to her until my very last breath.

“Believe me, I’ve always been careful around him. He won’t be back, though, so I don’t think you or I have to worry about it.”

As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I felt like I was going to fall over. I would never see him again. I would never hear that smoky, lilting voice again. I would never smell that spicy, mysterious scent again. It felt different when I had been the one to walk away, but now that I’d sent him away, told him in no uncertain terms that I was never coming home, it felt so final. It burned worse than the bullet that had almost killed me.

“Well, if you’re ever interested in getting out and about, I know some very cute single guys.”

That made me laugh. Sex and anything having to do with the opposite sex had been the last thing on my mind until the second Nassir had popped back up in my life. The last six months had been the longest I had ever gone without a companion, without boys telling me I was beautiful and giving me whatever I wanted. Being by myself had been enlightening, but it had also made the impact Nassir had on me all the more tangible and strong. My skin was still too tight and my heart was still beating too fast, proving it wasn’t just any pretty boy with a wicked smile who could turn my life inside out.

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