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In His Keeping


Page 62




His expression softened and his hand went to her forehead, his thumb pressing into her brow and rubbing along the lines, applying just enough pressure that it was soothing.
"I don't want you to leave," he said simply.
"Why?"
Her eyelids were growing heavier and heavier and she didn't want to go under yet. She wanted to hear why. Sluggishly her eyelids fluttered, half closed, and then the room seemed to go dimmer and dimmer.
"Beau?" she asked fearfully, wondering why the room was going dark.
"I'm here," he said. "Medicine working yet?"
"Why?" she persisted, determined not to surrender to the pull of the medication until he answered her question.
He hesitated, seeming to wage an internal battle, almost as if he couldn't decide whether to tell her or not. She reached blindly, searching for his hand. Her anchor.
His hand closed around hers and immediately warmth spread up her arm and into her chest. He lifted her hand to his mouth and pressed his lips to her palm.
"Because you're mine," he said simply.
TWENTY-ONE
BEAU stalked out of the bedroom, his face set in stone. He knew the others had moved to the living room because he heard voices in that direction. He was so pissed he literally couldn't see straight. Rage formed a red haze that made his vision cloudy.
As soon as he strode into the living room Dane looked up and said, "Oh shit."
"Beau, man, let it go," Zack softly advised.


Ignoring them all he headed straight for where Caleb stood rubbing his throat from where Beau had pinned him to the wall, blocking his brother's airway. Caleb barely had time to look up before Beau flattened him with a punch to his jaw.
Pandemonium ensued. Beau followed Caleb down, intending to yank him up by the shirt to look him in the eye. But Caleb connected with a roundhouse kick from a supine position, knocking Beau back several feet as he stumbled to maintain his footing.
It gave Caleb enough time to bolt to his feet and he glared at his younger brother, rubbing his jaw where Beau had landed the punch.
"That's the only one you get," Caleb warned.
"Says you," Beau said in a menacing soft voice.
"That's enough!" Ramie said sharply.
She shot across the room and stepped between the two men just as Beau advanced to close the distance between him and Caleb. Beau pulled up, not wanting his very petite, small-boned sister-in-law to take an inadvertent hit. If he accidentally hit her as hard as he'd punched his brother, he'd very likely break her jaw.
Instead he stood there, seething, fists down at his sides, his fingers flexing, curling and uncurling, itching to pound on his brother some more. He couldn't even look at Caleb without unfettered rage overwhelming all else.
"He was wrong, Beau," Ramie acknowledged quietly.

"The hell I was," Caleb said, a stubborn set to his jaw.
Ramie rounded on him, but not before Beau got a good look at her expression and it was positively murderous. He watched in surprise as Ramie dressed him down and informed him that he did not make decisions for her and that if she wanted to help Ari then she damn well would.
"Swear to God, if you cause so much as one moment of pain to my wife, I will take you apart," Caleb said, his face red, eyes blazing.
"You hypocritical son of a bitch," Beau said softly.
Ramie started to speak up but Beau gently put his hand on her shoulder but let it slide away quickly before she picked up on his utter fury. It was a motion for her to stand down, one she acknowledged with a short nod, but she remained solidly between the two men.
"Did you not see what you did to Ari?" Beau demanded. "That woman is desperate, terrified and alone. The only family she has vanished without a trace and you attacked her.
Worse, you made her feel unwanted. What is wrong with you? And that wasn't enough for you. You kept poking at her, so that she felt completely defenseless and when she uses her powers it is debilitating for her. You ought to know all about psychic bleeds. Only yours weren't nearly as bad as the ones she suffers. And if that's not bad enough, the pain she suffers is horrific. She already had a brain bruise before you brutalized her tonight. I just put her to bed and she couldn't even say more than two words because she was so weak and even the lightest sound sent shards of glass through her head. And I had to sit there and watch because there's not a damn thing I can do to help her besides shove a pill down her throat and hope she gives in to oblivion quickly so she can escape her reality. Now, you fucking tell me, big brother. When did you become an asshole who verbally beats up on a fragile, vulnerable young woman? Oh wait. I remember. You've had plenty of experience given how you forced Ramie's compliance when she quite plainly told you no."
Ramie paled and the color leached from Caleb's cheeks as pain shadowed his features, shadows collecting in his eyes. Beau wished like hell Ramie wasn't in the middle of them. That his reminder to Caleb had to be stated in front of Ramie, who needed no reminder of the hell Caleb had unwittingly unleashed on her.
"Are you forgetting who her father is? That he was the last one to see our father alive?" Caleb asked hoarsely, though regret already simmered in his eyes. He cast a sorrowful look in his wife's direction, abject apology etched on his features, and it just pissed Beau off all the more that he could feel that kind of remorse and be utterly appalled by what he'd put Ramie through, but he saw nothing wrong with brutalizing a complete innocent.






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