Home > Sin & Salvation (Demigod of San Francisco #3)(17)

Sin & Salvation (Demigod of San Francisco #3)(17)
Author: K.F. Breene

My heart leapt.

His deep black eyebrows arched over those entrancing stormy blue eyes. His sharp cheekbones and strong jaw gave his face a severity that said badass, but his shapely lips softened his overall look into a rugged, godly beauty. Raven hair was cut short on the sides and longer on top, trendy yet wild. A tight white T-shirt hugged his broad, muscular chest and loosened over what I knew was a washboard stomach. His stylishly distressed jeans hugged his powerful thighs.

Good heavens, the man was so freaking hot. But that’s not what drew me.

An untamed, raw energy pulsed from his body, like a thunderstorm right before the lightning zapped down. He was all the strength and power of the ocean, wild and tumultuous, aching to be let free. The effect, teamed with his charisma, drew me to him and made it painful to walk away.

“You made it,” he said, a sexy smirk playing across those kissable lips.

“Yeah. We would’ve been here sooner, but we were debating our chances of being murdered and dumped in an unmarked grave.”

“We still could be,” Daisy murmured behind me.

Kieran’s smile increased in wattage. Fire raged through my body and I blinked in a lust stupor. He must’ve felt it through the soul connection because heat kindled in his eyes.

“You had a Berserker in your car, and you were worried about me?” Kieran asked lightly, but I didn’t miss the flash of fear in his gaze. He hadn’t taken that news about Thane’s loss of control very well, I’d bet.

I laughed. “He’s the only reason we aren’t still sitting in the car right now.”

Kieran nodded, his acute focus rooted to me. It used to be disconcerting. Then it was distracting. Now, I could admit to myself that it was enthralling, being able to command his attention like I did. I’d never seen him focus this hard on anyone else, as if the rest of the world didn’t exist.

“So,” I said, trying to pretend my cheeks weren’t burning. “What do we have here?”

Kieran blinked, as if coming out of a fog. He tore his gaze away, but it found its way back to me.

“Your new house, obviously.”

13

Alexis

My eyebrows wrestled my hairline. I’d been in a nice little moment just then, basking in his presence. Now I was flung back into the real world, trying to make sense of what I’d just heard.

As if mirroring my thoughts, Daisy asked Mordecai, “What did he just say?”

Kieran took a step back and made a grand sweep with his hand. Thane smiled like a gobshite.

“Happy early birthday,” Kieran said.

I left my eyebrows where they were and tilted my head. “My birthday isn’t for two months, number one, and…what?”

“I know. I’m early. I hate waiting and I love giving surprises, so…” Kieran gestured to the enormous house again.

Playing along, because it was never wise to antagonize Crazy, I took in the home I was standing in front of.

A three-car garage sprawled off to the left with a black BMW and Bria’s old Mazda (her actual car, not one of her stolen ones…I didn’t think) sitting in the driveway. Two more black BMWs hugged the curb out front. Clearly those belonged to the rest of the Six, hanging out inside like I’d thought. Two large stone pillars ran down each side of the front door, supporting stained glass windows. The door itself was embedded with one. Huge bay windows adorned the front of the house, overlooking careful landscaping.

Across the street was another large house, just as carefully tended, with Kieran’s red Ferrari parked in the driveway. The road ended not far from the houses, and beyond it the cliff bottomed out in the great wide ocean. The comforting roar of the waves washed over the quiet street.

We’d just been talking about Batman, and now we’d stumbled into a rich hermit’s paradise.

Two more houses could be seen at the other end of the street before a sharp corner took the road behind an array of leafy trees.

“It’s a gated community that didn’t take off like the developers had hoped,” Kieran said, following my gaze. “About half the houses are filled, and most of those are at the front, farther away from the dual-society zone. That one is mine.” Kieran pointed at the house where he was parked. “And this is yours. Well…” He spread his hands, and I had a strange urge to punch him in the stomach. “At the moment, it belongs to Henrietta Johnson, but since she only exists on paper, and all the paperwork is waiting for you inside, it’s as good as yours. As soon as we are out from under my father, she can sell it to you for a dollar, and that’ll be settled.”

I blinked a few times, and then blinked a few more times, and then wondered why neither of the kids were speaking. Turned out, it was because they were looking at me like two starving beggars eyeing a pot of gold.

“Okay, now hold on.” I put my hand up to stall whatever they planned on saying. “This isn’t like him buying us food, or the guys cooking it, or free training. This is…too much. Way too much. Like…way, way too much. So much too much that it is on its own planet of too much.”

“Yes, but you’re one-hundred-percent in his pocket now, and he is putting you in incredible danger,” Daisy reasoned. “He owes you this.”

I pushed my held-up hand her way. “For one thing, he’s my boss, which is different from being in his pocket, and for another, the danger he put me in is finished. The job is done; his mom is free. I’m now putting myself in incredible danger. If anyone is going to buy me a new house, it’s me. He doesn’t owe me squat but my next paycheck. Which I’ll use to buy myself that new house…someday.”

“He’s protecting us by putting us in a house without your name on it,” Mordecai said. I’d just known he’d have the better argument. The guy was too levelheaded for his own good. “You’d still have your house. A house that you can move back into when this is all done.”

“Right!” Daisy flung a finger at me. “The paperwork for Franny is inside—”

“Henrietta,” Mordecai supplied. Kieran’s smile sparkled.

“—but that doesn’t mean this is actually your house. It’s no one’s house. We can just squat here while all this Valens stuff is going down, and when that is done and we’re the victors, we can reassess.”

“It’s in the magical zone, Daisy,” I said. “You’re not magical.”

“I have an I.D. that says I am,” she replied smugly.

“That’s why I had Zorn put in—”

“No.” I moved my hand from Daisy to Kieran, silencing them both. “It’s dangerous here. If Valens’s people find her here, they can kill her outright. At least there are laws Valens has to follow in the dual-society zone.”

“Valens doesn’t have to follow laws anywhere,” Kieran said, his humor dissipating. “He sent that woman after Bria yesterday, and it won’t be long before he sends someone better. If he goes after you, Alexis, I’ll be the only thing standing in his way. I need you here so I can protect you. This is the best compromise I could make. You’ll be safer here. You all will.”

“Even if they check me out, my paper matches my lifestyle,” I said, ready to fight until the last on this one.

“They won’t just look at your papers, baby,” Kieran said softly, anxiety tightening his eyes. “They’ll want to peel you apart and see what you know. They’ll do it with pain.” His body tightened, and I could see him struggling under the weight of that thought.

I surveyed the enormous structure in front of me. “But this…” I shook my head and took a step back. “Why not a shanty on the other side of town? This is too much.”

“A shanty?” Daisy asked in disgust.

“It’s not yours,” Mordecai said. “We’ll just stay here for a while, use the back way to come and go until the battle is finished, and then we’ll go back to our incredibly cramped home in a not great part of town. This massive improvement is just temporary.”

Kieran leaned into me, warmth radiating off his body and soaking into mine.

“If you stay here, I can stay with you. Or you can stay at my place,” he said, his stormy eyes inviting.

“Foul play,” I murmured, my gaze roaming his incredibly handsome face. Heat flash-boiled my blood and my body vibrated with desire. I could barely breathe. “But won’t your dad think something’s up if you move out? Won’t he check out your neighbors?” My voice had turned sultry, dripping with my aching need.

He took a step to close the distance, his body inches from mine. Electricity singed me as it passed between us.

“Neither of those things are an issue anymore.” His sweet breath fell across my face. I wanted those lush, shapely lips on mine. “He’s on the cusp of connecting Bria to me, I can feel it. It will all unfurl from there. Quickly.” His pause was slight, but anxiety dumped into my body through our connection. “We’re out of time.”

He was worried but not letting it show on his face. Our fate, whether we would live or die, waited on the horizon, just out of sight.

“Which is why you need to make new friends,” I heard Daisy say, but I couldn’t focus—not on her, the obvious danger we were all in, the horribly shortened timeline, or the enormity of this gift.

All I could focus on was Kieran’s eyes delving into mine, urging me to take his hand and let him lead me into the house he’d bought for me. To let him take care of me and the kids. To let him provide for us as he so desperately wanted to.

Silence fell around us. Souls pulsed in bodies. The delicious sea breeze caressed my hair.

Kieran’s stormy eyes dared me to say yes.

14

Kieran

The phone vibrated in Kieran’s pocket, but he ignored it. It was probably Henry calling to update him on the status of the business license for Lionel Curtsy, a fictitious man who’d just inherited a nice sum of money and planned to start a used car dealership specializing in passenger cargo vehicles. Old school buses, vans, trucks—all things Lionel would be purchasing for the business venture to come.

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