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Shade

By:Jamie Begley

Prologue



Shade watched from a seat in the darkened corner of Evie’s living room, as she came through the front door, her startled eyes meeting his as she stepped into the room.

“Shade?”

Shade stared back at the woman who had been his friend since high school. Evie, her boyfriend at the time, Levi, and he had been an unbreakable trio that had gone on to join the military together. He and Evie had remained close friends throughout the years, even after Levi’s death. When she had made it known that she intended to join The Last Riders, he had tried to dissuade her, knowing it was a emotional reaction to losing Levi. Meeting her now husband King, Lily’s father, had been good for her. Every day, he saw a little more of the woman she used to be, before she had been raped and lost Levi.

“We need to talk.” Shade kept his face impassive. It was because of their friendship that he was there in her home.

Shade watched as Evie carefully placed her purse down on the coffee table. “I guess I don’t need to ask what about. How’s Mag?”

Shade’s expression didn’t alter at her question. Mag was Cash’s grandmother, who was recovering in the hospital after unknowingly eating poisoned beans intended for Lily, at the yearly town festival.

“Better. She’ll be at the hospital for a couple more days,” he said grimly.

“I’m surprised Cash didn’t come with you.”

“I told him it was my problem to deal with. He doesn’t agree. He wants to take Brooke out himself, but I told him no.” Shade got up from the chair and walked to the window, staring out at the small town. “He doesn’t need the death of a woman with a small child on his conscience.”

“You’re not worried about your own?” Evie asked.

“I don’t have one.” Shade shrugged.

“Shade, you have feelings. I don’t know why you think you don’t. Lily shows you’re capable of loving someone.”

“She’s the exception.”

“I don’t believe so, or you wouldn’t be here,” Evie said softly.

Shade turned to face her. “I’m here because you’re a Last Rider, and we’ve always been honest with each other, Evie. Brooke’s not going to stop until she hurts Lily, or I stop her.” He stared into her eyes, seeing the flash of pain she couldn’t hide.

“She’s my fraternal twin; I grew up with her and know her better than anyone else…” As Evie paused, taking a deep breath, Shade braced himself for her to ask for mercy on her sister’s behalf. “There is nothing redeemable inside of her. You think you have no conscience and can’t feel for anyone?” Her lips gave a mocking twist. “I begged my father for a cat when I was younger, and he finally allowed me to pick one out from the shelter. I was surprised when Brooke actually seemed to like it. She played with it all the time and even let it sleep curled up against her. We had that cat for six years, and it ended up being more hers than mine.

“One night, a boy she had been dating for a couple of weeks came over and had an allergic reaction to the cat. He wouldn’t come inside after that. A month later, the cat disappeared. I searched all over the neighborhood for it, kept going into the backyard thinking it would come back. I finally noticed a mound of dirt had been dug next to our garage. I dug it up and found my cat. Its throat had been slit, and it was wrapped in the blanket it always slept on. When I told Brooke, she never shed a tear and never admitted she had done it, but I knew she was the one who had killed it.

“Believe me, she’s the true psychopath. Do what you have to do.”#p#分页标题#e#

Shade gave a brief nod before asking, “What about your nephew?”

“He’ll still have a father, who’ll be better off without Brooke. Besides, it’s only a matter of time before she hurts one of them if they get in her way.”

“I can’t wait long. It’s not going to be easy to hold Cash back.”

Once Evie nodded, showing she understood her sister’s death was imminent, Shade went to the door.

“Shade…?”

He turned back to face her.

“Let Cash handle Brooke. You don’t need her death on your conscience.”

Shade gazed back impassively at Evie. “Cash is the one with a conscience. Me? I won’t feel a thing when I pull the trigger. I never do.”

Shade saw the doubt in Evie’s eyes.

“Your love for Lily shows you’re not as emotionless as you say.”

“Brooke claims she loves me. That’s why she tried to destroy you and kill Lily,” Shade mocked.

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