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|Moonlight on Nightingale Way(On Dublin Street #6)(13) by Samantha Young|
He was staring over at me as he locked up. “Grace.”
“Mr. MacLeod.” I glanced away, willing the memory of that bloody dream away.
“You all right? You look like shit.”
And that was it.
The straw that broke the back of that damn camel everyone was always piling straw on top of! Looking at him, seeing him standing there, well rested despite his sexual gymnastics at the crack of bloody dawn, I saw red.
“I look like shit?” I took a bristling step toward him.
Logan raised an eyebrow at my tone.
“Do you know why I look like shit?”
“No, but I suddenly have a feeling I’m to blame.” He crossed his arms over his chest, clearly not amused.
“Yes.” I nodded frantically, the lack of sleep making me frenzied in my anger. “You are to blame!” My voice echoed off the concrete walls of our stairwell, but I was past caring. “Seventy-two hours. Seventy-bleeding-two hours I have been awake.”
“That’s not my problem, and frankly, I’m not in the mood to deal with this… hysteria.” He walked toward the stairs, dismissing me.
“Don’t you walk away from me.”
He stopped. Turned. He raised an eyebrow. “Am I supposed to be frightened? Christ, Grace, it’s like getting bitten by a butterfly.”
I huffed, furious that he was making fun of me when my standing up to him was a momentous accomplishment. “How dare you! For the last three nights I’ve had to put up with the constant loud sex from you and your bloody American. I just want peace and quiet! I want some bloody goddamn fucking sleep!”
My words seemed to soak into the coldness of the stairwell, ringing against the walls, stunning Logan.
After a moment’s silence, during which I at once berated myself for losing my ladylike cool and mentally shook my hand for taking a stance, Logan cleared his throat.
“Have you got a glass up against the wall?”
“Excuse me?” I shook my head, confused.
“How did you know I’ve been fucking an American?”
My mouth dropped open at his obtuseness. “Because. I. Can. Hear. Every. Word. She. Says.”
“Och, no. You must be straining to listen.”
My anger reignited. “Are you mad? Why on earth would I be straining to listen?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know. You tell me.”
“Are you always this deliberately irritating?” I huffed, mirroring his stance by crossing my arms over my chest.
To my surprise, this caused Logan’s lips to twitch, and his eyes started dancing with humor. “I only seem to irritate you.” He cocked his head to the side. “I wonder why that is.”
“Because,” I whined, my head lolling with exasperation and tiredness, “I’m sleep deprived, and it’s all your fault, you bloody wretched manwhore.”
“Well, this is a whole other side to you. It’s quite unpleasant. I may have to speak to the landlord about it. I can’t take this kind of abuse.”
My head jerked upright and I glowered at him. “I swear if you don’t start taking this seriously I will push you down those stairs.”
“Now you’re threatening my life.” He tsked. “That won’t do at all.”
“Now!” I yelled. “Now you decide you have a sense of humor?”
“Uh, excuse me.” A soft, young voice interrupted our argument.
Standing a few steps down from our landing was a girl. A very pretty girl with dark hair and olive skin. She was dressed in a school uniform, and she looked a little pale – when she swallowed hard, I realized she was nervous.
I glanced at my watch. The girl should be in school. Concerned, I took a step toward her, but she was staring up at Logan in scared awe. “Can we help?”
Instead of answering me, she took a shaky step up toward us and light flooded over her face. I drew in a gasp. Behind her glasses, she had the most beautiful eyes. Violet eyes surrounded by thick black lashes.
My gaze jerked to Logan, who was staring at the girl in stupefied confusion.
“My name is…” She gulped, her chest rising and falling in shallow, fast movements. “I – I’m Maia.” Maia licked her lips and clutched tighter to the strap of her shoulder bag. “You’re Logan MacLeod, right?”
He nodded dumbly.
“Well, I think… I think I – I’m your kid. I’m your daughter.”
I sucked in a gasp, never taking my eyes off Logan. His expression shuttered.
“I don’t have a kid.” But he sounded uncertain.
Agog that in seconds my argument with him had turned into a life-altering revelation for him, I took a moment to shake off my curious stupor. I was intruding on an incredibly private situation and I needed to leave. “I should leave you to talk.”
Logan’s hand wrapped around my upper arm, drawing me to an abrupt halt. “Grace. Stay.”
Since there was really nothing else I could do, considering he was holding me physically hostage, I nodded and tried to relax so he’d let me go. He didn’t.
Maia appeared near tears, but I watched her throw her shoulders back despite her fear. Her voice trembled. “Maybe we should go inside to talk.”
I didn’t even know the girl, but for some reason I felt a surge of pride toward her for her bravery. A sense of kinship, actually. “I think that’s a good idea.” I pressed against Logan until he looked down at me. “Let’s take this inside. Or do you want every one of your neighbors to know your business?”