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He slid his hand closer and closer to
Toby staggered into the kitchen and pulled up sharply at the sight that met him.
Tara—Mistress Tara—was standing at his stove, frying something that had Toby’s stomach perking up and paying attention.
Another part of him was coming to attention at the view, though, and he wished was wearing something more substantial than his ratty, old, loose sleep pants.
Tara looked edible in low riding jeans and a tight top that looked as though it was painted on.
He must have made some sort of noise as she spun around with a hand to her chest.
A warmth he couldn’t—or didn’t want to—explain curled through him when she spotted him and her eyes lit up.
“You’re up,” She exclaimed moving around the kitchen island. “I was going to bring a tray up to you, but seeing as you’re down take a seat, the food nearly ready.”
Toby moved to a stool and watched as she returned to the stove and started plating food. A heaped plate was soon slid in front of him, with the command to, eat it all or else.
He worked his way through the mountain of food and nodded to Tara as she rambled on about her childhood spent with Oliver and Carlos, and the crazy things they got up to together.
When he finally pushed his empty plate back with a contented sigh, he had to admit he felt better than he had in ages. His head was clear and alert, and the headache he’d woken up with had backed off to a dull throb.
He startled as Tara’s hand appeared in front of his face waving some pain pills. “Take these.”
He rolled his eyes at the command and did as he was told. “You know, I’m not a child, right?” he pouted.
She just laughed and took the plates to the sink.
“So, what you got planned for the rest of today?” She washed the dishes as she spoke and Toby moved to grabbed a dish cloth to dry them.
The repetitive motion helped to center his thoughts. A glance at the clock told him it was already gone midday, he’d slept longer than he’d realized. “I really want to called my brothers. But, I don’t know if, for one, they’ll speak to me, or two, if they’re even awake yet. They weren’t badly hurt, but I’m sure the painkiller we were given would have knocked them out, just like they did me.”
“Why don’t you call Oliver and Carlos?” Tara passed him another plate.
“Yeah! Right! I really want to call one of the men who have placed themselves as my brothers’ protectors. They probably want to kill me for letting this happen. If I hadn’t been shouting at Danny—which I know he hates—he wouldn’t have run. Harold wouldn’t have got to him. And he wouldn’t have gotten hurt—again.”
Suddenly his breath whoosh out of him and he found himself backed against the nearest wall.
“You are not to blame for this mess. Could you have done things different? Of course. Could Harold have got the drop on Daniel—or even Silas—some other time of place? Yes. The only ones to blame are the two bastards now languishing in hell.”
Toby stared at her, wide eyed in shock. She let out a huff and then crashed her lips down on his.
The kiss was hard, teeth clashing and biting. All the frustration, the worry, the anger was pushed into that kiss. Toby felt nails biting into his bare sides, hard enough he was going to be sporting scratches. He wrapped his arms around her and slid his hand closer and closer to….
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