Dark Witch (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy 1) - Page 91

“I could really use both.”

She climbed the stairs with him. Not exactly the circumstances she’d imagined for her first invitation into his place, but she’d take it.

He opened the door off a narrow porch. “Company wasn’t expected.”

She peeked in first, then smiled. “Thank God it’s not all neat and tidy or I’d feel intimidated. But it’s nice.” She s

tepped in, looked around.

It smelled like him—horses, leather, man. The room, a kind of combination living/sitting/kitchen, let in the early evening light. A mug sat next to the sink, a newspaper lay spread on the short counter that separated the kitchen from the rest.

A couple of books and some magazines were scattered around—mystery novels, she noted, and horsey magazines. A tumble of boots in a wooden box, a clutter of old jackets on pegs. A sofa with a little sag in the middle, two big chairs, and, to her surprise, a big flat screen on the wall.

He noticed her speculative look. “I like it for watching matches and such. You’ll have some whiskey.”

“I absolutely will, and a chair. I get shaky after it’s all done.”

“You were steady enough while it counted.”

“I almost lost it.” She spoke as he went to the kitchen, opened cupboards. “You helped me hold on.”

Since she was here, and safe, and it was done, he could speak of it. Or try. “You were glowing like a flame. Your eyes so deep it seemed like worlds could be swallowed up by them. You reached up, and you pulled a storm from the sky with your hand. I’ve seen things.”

He poured whiskey for both of them, brought the glasses back to where she sat, dwarfed in one of the big chairs. “I’ve run tame with Fin most of my life, and Connor, and Branna. I’ve seen things. But never have I seen the like of that.”

“I’ve never felt anything like it. A storm in my hand.” She looked down at it now, turned it, amazed to recognize it, to find it so ordinary. “And a storm inside me. I don’t know how to explain it, but it was inside me, so huge and full. And absolutely right.

“I broke a tree, didn’t I?”

He’d watched it shatter like brittle glass, into shards and splinters. “It could’ve been worse, entirely.”

“Yeah, it could’ve been. But I need more lessons, more practice.” More control, she thought, and more of the famous focus Branna continually harped on.

Then she looked at Boyle. The hard, handsome face, the scarred eyebrow, the tawny eyes with temper still simmering in them.

“You were going to fight it with a knife, with your hands.”

“It bleeds, doesn’t it?”

“I think so. Yes.” She let out one more cleansing breath. “It bleeds. It wasn’t expecting what I did, or could do. Neither was I.”

“I think neither of you will underestimate that again. Drink your whiskey. You’re pale yet.”

“Right.” She sipped at it.

“I think it’s not the night for dinner out with people.”

“Maybe not. But I’m starving. I think it’s something to do with expending all that energy.”

“I’ll throw you together something. I’ve a couple of chops, I think, and I’ll fry up some chips.”

“Are you taking care of me?”

“You could use it at the moment. Drink your whiskey,” he said again, then walked back to the kitchen.

Rattling pans, a thwack of a knife on wood, the sizzle of oil. Something about the sounds eased her frayed nerves. She sipped more whiskey, rose, and walked back to where he stood at the stove, frying pork chops in one skillet, chipped potatoes in another.

She wasn’t sure she’d ever had a fried chop, but wasn’t complaining.

Tags: Nora Roberts The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy Fantasy
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