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Page 31



“He knew and didn’t say anything?” Colton questioned, sitting at the table. “And let me make myself very clear. I’m your brother. I’d never hide anything like that from you. Got it?”

“Yeah, I got it. But he’s like a brother to me,” Gavin murmured, flicking his eyes down to his watch. No doubt his driver had already picked Emily up from work. He needed to leave to make it across town on time to meet her. “I haven’t spoken to him yet, but I plan on making sure I do soon. I’ll deal with him then.”

“I see.” Colton nodded. “Besides, I’m sure dealing with Dillon is on the top of your priority list.” Colton rolled his neck and cracked his knuckles, a wicked smirk tipping his mouth. “I’m slightly older and not as buff as you are, but if you want some help, I’d be more than willing to go a few rounds with the prick.”

Gavin hesitated a moment before turning toward the door. “Look, I have to get out of here. I’m meeting Emily for lunch in forty-five minutes.”

“Wait,” Colton blurted, standing to his feet. “How come you just gave me that look? Don’t tell me you’re not going to toss the asshole around a little for what he did to her. I know you better than you think. What’s up?”

Sighing, Gavin stopped shy of the door and turned around. “Emily made me promise I wouldn’t go after him.”

At this, Colton drew his brows together and chuckled. “Gavin, you’re dealing with a woman who also made you promise not to buy her a car because she thinks they’re unnecessary in Manhattan.”

Gavin couldn’t help grinning. “I know, right? Who gives a shit that it’s Manhattan. She has no idea, but I already ordered her one.”

“Exactly.” Colton laughed and sat back down. Features serious again, he tented his hands beneath his chin. “Now go order up a side of kicking some Dillon ass. What Emily doesn’t know won’t hurt her.” Colton paused, his stare unwavering from Gavin’s. “But what you’re sitting on will kill you.”

Colton stated those last three words with an air of simplicity, but the truth in them shot through the room. Battling to stay true to his promise to Emily, no matter how badly he could taste Dillon’s blood, Gavin simply walked out of the office.

No matter if it was the middle of early morning traffic, midday traffic, or late afternoon rush hour, traffic in Manhattan blew. Fucking. Blew. Gavin was starting to think Emily’s reasoning for not wanting a car wasn’t so bad after all. But try as he might, he was addicted to driving. Sure, he could easily have his driver cart him around in his limo like the rich prick some perceived him to be, but Gavin couldn’t let go of the sense of control he had behind the wheel. He loved it. Windows rolled up and stereo blaring, cluster-fuck of Manhattan traffic or not, it was one of the few stolen moments he had to himself that actually calmed his nerves and levied his thoughts. However, as Gavin maneuvered through the tidal wave of vehicles clogging the streets, calm wasn’t something he was feeling. No. Not even close. His head was jarred. His thoughts became more fucked with each passing second. Though Chevelle’s “The Red” was bursting from the speakers, the only thing Gavin could hear was Colton’s words reverberating through his head.

“But what you’re sitting on will kill you.”

Sitting on it would kill Gavin. This he knew. He also knew if he stayed dormant, it would turn him into a bitter man. Although the thought was something Gavin couldn’t register now, he feared he would come to resent Emily as the years dwindled on. With the café he was supposed to meet Emily at clear in his line of sight, Gavin pictured her sitting at a table waiting for him. Only a few hundred feet and he’d be there. Another few minutes and he’d be able to keep his promise to her. At least for today.

“But what you’re sitting on will kill you.”

“Kill you…

Kill you…

Kill...

You…”

“Fuck it,” Gavin bit out. Before his brain had a chance to grasp what his body was doing, from the farthest left lane, Gavin cut the wheel hard right when the light turned green. He couldn’t hear or see them, but a symphony of horns and display of middle fingers from pissed off New York drivers were directed at him. His new destination? Dillon’s office in the financial district. Punching through the gears, Gavin managed to plow through the busy city streets without killing anyone. That didn’t mean he didn’t come close. His blood surged as he blew through a red light crossing over Church Street, nearly clipping the back of an open double-decker bus filled with tourists. Another burst of horns went off. Again, Gavin couldn’t hear them. He couldn’t see pedestrians jumping onto curbs to get out of the way of his speeding Ferrari FF because his vision went blood red.

Blood. Fucking. Red.

With one hand gripping the wheel, he used the other to yank the tie from around his neck. As he pulled into the garage below Dillon’s building, he shrugged out of his suit jacket, paid the parking fee, and shot into a parking spot. After swinging open the door and slamming it closed, Gavin made his way to the elevator and hit the button to Dillon’s floor.

Gavin was no longer fighting a fucked up battle in his head. He rolled his sleeves up and sank deep into an eerie sea of calm. He was feeding his body what it craved, what it needed, and because of this, he felt high. Drugged. As he rode up to the fifteenth floor, specks and shadows of Emily’s face curled through his thoughts. His heart sank as he glanced at his watch. The thought of her sitting at the café waiting for him, completely unaware of what he was about to do, bothered him. However, he couldn’t stop.

Gavin broke from the elevator when the doors opened, stepping out into a shitload of commotion. It was something he was used to seeing. Wearing cheap suits from eBay and ties their grandmothers had bought them for their twenty-first birthdays, young, money-hungry cubs paced the bullpen in front of their cubicles. With Bluetooth receivers in their ears and polished wealth on the other end of the line, they talked fast, attempting to rip a piece of meat from a portfolio holding more cash than they’d make over the course of a lifetime. They jutted their chins up in greeting and Gavin knew a couple of them recognized him when he breezed through the chaos. He simply nodded back. None of them would end their calls from the potential stack of money they were trying for. Considering he’d only shared a beer or two with them through the years when Dillon invited him out, Gavin really didn’t give a shit if they ended their conversations to stop and say hello or not. His focus was on the door in the left corner of the massive office. Behind it was the piece of meat Gavin was about to tear into. No longer calm, the closer he got, Gavin felt his unfed hunger splitting his stomach in two.

“Hey, Gavin,” a familiar female voice purred.

He dragged his attention from the door holding his lunch beyond it, but his feet never stopped moving. “Hey, Kimberly. Is he in his office?”

The busty blonde nodded. “He sure is.”

“Good,” he clipped, rounding the corner of her desk.

As he approached Dillon’s door, Gavin ducked his towering six foot three inch frame in an attempt to see below mini-blinds covering up half the glass. Gavin’s eyes landed on Dillon’s back. He stood in front of his desk, his arms crossed. In one swift motion, Gavin swung open the door and closed it. In another, he twisted the lock, sealing them off from anyone who might try to enter.


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