Read Online Books/Novels:
Buttons and Blame (Buttons #5)
Author/Writer of Book/Novel:
I’m supposed to return her to Tristan to finish the deal.
But now I’m dreading the day when I have to drop her off.
Can I really do it?
I’m not supposed to care about this woman. I’m not supposed to care about anyone, actually.
But I care about Bellissimo.
|Books in Series:|
|Books by Author:|
Adelina was quiet during the journey home. She didn’t make a fuss about leaving or seem to consider running. She kept her head down through the airport, was silent on the flight back, and returned to Italy without a single complaint.
How did she maintain such restraint?
If I had been able to see Vanessa one last time, I wouldn’t have let her go. I would have tied her up so she couldn’t leave. Whoever burst through the door to retrieve her would have to go through me—and a million bullets.
When we returned to my house in the countryside, we immediately went to sleep in my enormous bed. The maids had just cleaned the place, so the sheets were fresh and soft against my skin. We lay side by side, but no sex was had.
I knew she didn’t want it.
She was exhausted, so she went straight to sleep.
I was tired too, but all I could do was think. I stared up at the ceiling and pictured the way her parents hugged her goodbye. They were both in tears, even her father. They hugged her so tightly that Adelina had to pull their hands off.
It was too painful to watch.
Hours passed before I finally drifted off to sleep, my brain shutting down because it didn’t want to think anymore. My body found hers, and my arms wrapped around her petite rib cage, holding her like a stuffed animal.
Morning arrived within the blink of an eye.
My eyes opened to Adelina wrapped around my body. Her face rested in the crook of my shoulder, some of her brown was hair across my chest. Her arm circled my waist, her petite hand rising and falling with my stomach as I breathed. One slender leg was tucked between my knees. She was clinging to me like I was her savior, not the evil fiend I truly was. She didn’t see the world in black and white. Her traumatic experiences taught her that life was much more complicated than that. Maybe I was evil, but I wasn’t the kind of evil she needed to be scared of.
I watched her with lidded eyes, waking up to the sound of her gentle breathing. Sometimes she adjusted her position, moved her arm to a different place along my abs. Her lips were parted slightly, and her warm breath fell directly across my skin.
I watched her as the sun rose higher in the sky and flooded the bedroom with morning light. She was usually awake at the crack of dawn, and her sleepiness told me she was knocked out from our long flight.
Since I had work to do, I couldn’t wait around forever. I got out of bed, took a quick shower, and then headed to the base. Crow and I had a brief conversation on the phone just before we prepared to leave for our flight, so not much was said.
But he was definitely pissed.
I got to the base, took care of a few things, and then found Crow sitting in the assembly building. The completed guns were stacked on shelves while the others were on tables in the center of the room. The skeletons were done, but the specific parts of the gun work needed to be completed. Crow stood in one of the aisles, his hands resting in his pockets. He was staring straight ahead at a plain wall. He was absolutely still like one of the statues in Rome. His chest didn’t rise or fall with a single breath. His expression didn’t seem different because he wore the same look of consternation at all times.
But I knew he wasn’t the same man anymore.
I walked down the aisle and stopped when I was ten feet away. He was in a black suit, obviously intent on heading to the winery when he was finished at the warehouse. I gave him the opportunity to speak first, to see just how sour his mood was.
But he didn’t speak. He didn’t even look at me.
This was going to be a bad day.
“Pretty fascinating wall, huh?” I tried to lighten the mood by being a smartass. It usually coaxed Crow into some kind of reaction. I looked at one of the guns sitting on the table and felt it in my hands. I ran my thumb along the smooth barrel before I returned it to the table.
Crow turned his head slightly to look at me, but his reaction was exactly the same. He didn’t spit out some harsh insult or tell me to jump off a cliff.
Now I was really worried. “What did Pearl do?”
He turned his gaze back to the wall.
I tried to be patient and wait for Crow to speak when he finally found the words. My brother was the strong and silent type, but he usually had more to say than this. He must have had too many thoughts in his head to keep them straight. Or his jaw was clenched so tightly that he couldn’t unhinge it to talk.