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Mountain Darkness (Wild Mountain Men 1) Vanessa Vale 2022/7/22 14:36:55

He ran a hand down his face. “I know it. You know it. But there’s no evidence to prove it.”

I slapped my hand on the steering wheel. “Why the fuck can’t we have the woman we want? Why can’t it be fucking simple?”

He didn’t reply. “Let’s go talk to her.”

I put the SUV in gear and headed toward the diner. I had to assume she was working. “Being with us, she’s going to learn that we protect her.”

I knew they wouldn’t let it go. Knew the note wouldn’t have given them the answers they needed. There weren’t any answers, none that any of us wanted to hear. None that would let us work out.

I couldn’t let them lose everything. I knew what it was like, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I wasn’t worth it.

When I saw the SUV pull into the parking lot—thank god I’d been doing a pass for coffee refills—I practically ran back to the coffee machine and set the pot down. Dolly came out of the kitchen and I walked right up to her, blocked her path toward the pie case.

“You have to cover for me.”

I glanced over my shoulder, saw Nix and Donovan headed toward the entrance. God, they looked good. Big, brawny, serious. And pissed.

Her gaze flicked behind me.

“I broke up with them.” She knew who.

The answer would take much longer than the twenty seconds before they came into the diner.

I grabbed her hand, squeezed it. “I’m not here. Please, Dolly.”

I didn’t give her a chance to say no, just dashed behind the counter before they could see me and sat down on the floor, tucked my knees up.

Dolly came over to me, then stared down at me as if I’d sprouted a second head.

“Please,” I begged. I couldn’t face them or talk to them. It would be too hard to push them away, to do the right thing. The diner was the Grand Central Station of Cutthroat, and I wasn’t going to have my love life front and center for everyone to see. To talk about. They could talk about me all they wanted, to spread idle gossip about my involvement in Erin’s murder. I wouldn’t drag Nix and Donovan into it.

That was the reason I’d left them in the first place.

Perhaps she could sense how frantic I was because she turned and faced out into the restaurant. I could see her arms moving, probably wiping down the salt and pepper shakers to appear busy.

“Gentlemen, you’re looking mighty handsome today.”

They were there. Right there on the other side of the counter. I wanted to pop up and throw myself at them. Have them wrap their arms around me and hold me and tell me everything was going to be all right.

“We’d like to talk with Kit.”

I heard the deep tone of Nix’s voice and my nipples went hard.

“She’s not here,” Dolly replied.

“Her car’s in the lot.”