Beneath These Chains (Page 68)

I buried my face in the crook of his neck to muffle my cries as I came. When Lord emptied himself inside me, he did the same, his teeth scraping along my shoulder. The sensation kept my body on edge as the orgasm flared through every pleasure receptor I had.

Neither of us moved for long minutes. The only sound in the room was the drawing in of heaving lungfuls of air.

Lord finally lifted his head and pressed a kiss to my forehead and then my lips. “I love you, Elle. So goddamn much.”

“I love you too. More than you know.”

He pulled away, and a tissue box on the nightstand provided the means to clean up. When he shut off the light, Lord wrapped me in his arms and held me close. I’d never been a fan of spooning, but this man had converted me for life—so long as they were his arms I was sleeping in.

In the darkness, our breathing slowed, and I swore I could hear his brain start to churn again.

“Go to sleep,” I whispered. “You’ll hear your phone if it rings, and until then, there’s not a damn thing you can do.”

“I know. That’s not what I’m thinking about.” The words ruffled the hair sliding forward over the side of my face.

“Then what?”

“Even though I wish I didn’t know, I’m glad I do. Now I can do something about it.”

“It’s good to have the mystery solved … even if it had to be solved this way.”

He pressed another kiss to my hair. “Yeah. Tomorrow’s going to be a hell of a day, so we better sleep.”

He was undoubtedly right. My mom would be awake and sober, and I needed to tell both her and my stepbrother that my stepdad had been murdered because of me.

That wasn’t going to go well.

The ringing of my phone ripped me from the dream I’d been having about being trapped in my basement shooting range, staring down the barrel of a gun. Needless to say, I was really glad to wake up.

I reached for the phone and every ounce of that gladness drained away.

Hennessy. Here we go.

Elle’s eyes snapped open as I answered.

“This is Lord.”

Hennessy didn’t even bother with a greeting. “Got some bad news for you, man.”

I froze, bracing myself for whatever else could possibly be coming next. It didn’t just rain—it fucking hurricaned in NOLA. Guess I shouldn’t have been surprised.


“Found a Charger registered to Chains smashed into a telephone pole down by Loyola. It was totaled.”

What the hell?

“The Charger? My Charger?”

“Yeah, if I were you, I’d head down to your place and see if anything else is missing. I can meet you there.”

My mind immediately went to Mathieu. “You find anyone with the car?” I held my breath waiting for the answer. As fucked up as what he’d done was, and despite the fact that I was going to share everything I’d learned with Hennessy, I didn’t want anything to happen to the kid.

“No. Abandoned. The accident reconstruction guys were just finishing up when I heard about it, and they’re saying the tracks look like the driver swerved to miss something and lost control.”

My mind kicked into high gear to process all the shit he was throwing at me.

“Thanks for calling. I’m on my way. And yeah, I got some shit I need to tell you in person … so if you could meet me there, I’d appreciate it.”

“What the fuck does that mean?” Hennessy demanded.

“I’ll fill you in when I see you.”

“Fine. Be there in ten.”

I hung up, and Elle was watching me. “What happened?”

“Someone stole the Charger. I gotta get to Chains and check out the warehouse to see if anything else is gone.”

“Do you think it was Mathieu?”

I shrugged. “I didn’t get any calls from the alarm company, which makes me think it must have been. Anyone else would’ve tripped the alarm. He had keys and the code.”

“But why would he steal the car?”

“He must’ve expected me to go to the cops and give a description of his car. He knew I wouldn’t realize the Charger was gone until today. That would’ve bought him enough time to get out of town.”

Elle nodded and frowned. “I can’t go with you. I have to check on my mother and make sure she’s okay. And then I have to figure out how to break this all to her, plan a funeral, and get her to agree to rehab.”

Shit. Talk about the morning from hell for both of us. “What if you just make sure she’s situated and work on the funeral stuff. I say you let Hennessy deal with telling her about any motive for the murder. That’s not going to do either of you any good right now. And then rehab … Maybe wait until I’m back so I can be there if you need me?”

Elle leaned in and pressed a kiss to my lips. “Thank you. I’ll wait.”

I pulled her in closer and stole another taste before releasing her. “Call me if you need me. I’ll be back as soon as I can. We just have to get through today. That’s all you need to focus on.”

I didn’t want to leave Elle to deal with that mountain of shit by herself, but when I pulled up to Chains an hour before we were scheduled to open and saw Hennessy’s car parked in the alley, I knew this was preferable to telling him over the phone.

I shut the door of the ’Cuda and turned to the warehouse. The overhead door was down, the service door was closed, and the locks were intact. It reinforced what Elle and I had discussed. Mathieu stealing the Charger made the most sense.