Attorney Rafe Stanton knows making promises is a dangerous thing. Over and over he has failed to keep people under his protection safe. For years he watched his younger cousin Noah lose his battle with drugs and alcohol, which eventually led to a deadly car accident. When he finds out about Noah’s secret marriage to Logan Tate, Rafe has one last chance for redemption.
Inheriting a fortune should be a blessing, but for Logan life never works out that way. He’s learned the hard way that dreams don’t come true—and if they do, well, there is usually a hefty price tag attached. All he really wants is a quiet life, but that isn’t in the cards when his apartment gets broken into and a pretentious lawyer from Boston arrives thinking he can call the shots.
The two men don’t see eye-to-eye about the inheritance, but with Noah’s powerful family coming after Logan, they find themselves reluctantly on the same side. A gunman, greedy in-laws, and meddling friends are not enough trouble; soon they also need to deal with the explosive chemistry between them.
But Rafe made a promise to the past and Logan doesn’t trust easily, so a future together seems out of reach.
Logan was nursing his coffee in his hands. He had yet to take a sip, but his throat felt too tight—even breathing was an effort. He could feel the numbness creep up from the edges of his mind. It’d been a long time since he’d felt this disconnected from everything around him. He was dimly aware of what was going on in the room. Ria was upset. She was reprimanding herself for letting her temper get the better of her. Uncle Vicky and her partner—damn, Logan went blank on the name—tried to comfort her. It didn’t matter that he couldn’t remember the name; he was going to be kicked out. For a few months, he’d found a safe spot to stay. He’d even dared to make some new friends. Foolish. His mother had been right. You’re trash. Disgusting. Nobody wants the likes of you around.
This time Noah wouldn’t be around to cushion the blow. No trip to Hawaii to save him from falling. Logan’s arms suddenly felt like lead and he let his coffee sink into his lap trying not to spill anything and draw attention. He tried to pull in a few shallow breaths to keep the worst of the detachment away.
He tried to rally around the fact that Noah seemed to have come through for him and had kept his promise. Seems like there was some money for him, and that’s why Noah’s lawyer cousin was here. Even through the haze of his mind, Logan could feel Rafe’s presence in the room. Noah had called him his rock. Shit, what an apt description. There was something stony about Rafe Stanton. He was an unmovable object and all edges. His square, strong jaw. The clipped, aggressive way he talked. His flint gray eyes with the straight dark eyebrows that were in contrast to his blond hair. Shit, the man hadn’t smiled once since he pushed his way into Logan’s home…not that there was anything to smile about.
Noah had talked with so much admiration about his older cousin; a tiny part of Logan had hoped he would make a good impression when they finally met. Yeah, he could forget that now. Ria’s outburst still rung in Logan’s ears: Lying cheat. Arrested for prostitution. Not a real marriage.
It’s not fair—just not fair. I’m trying so hard.
“Logan.” Rafe’s voice startled him. His hand wrapped around Logan’s steadying the coffee cup. Only now, Logan realized that he’d lost his grip and a small amount of hot liquid spilled over his jeans.
“Let me take his.” Rafe carefully untangled the cup and put it on the table. Logan forced himself to look up. He tried to pull air into his lungs. It sounded obscenely loud and his exhale was shaky.
“Sorry,” he whispered.
“It’s okay,” Rafe said. The rest of the room had gone silent. Logan could almost feel the air shift as the lawyer took control. “Can I ask about the break-in from last night? Was anything stolen?”
“No,” Logan replied. “The place was searched, but nothing was taken. We—Ria and I—Ria and Victor are my landlords. I’m renting this apartment. Ria and I interrupted the intruder.”
“Is that when you got the shiner?” Rafe reached out and almost touched Logan’s cheek. Instead of pulling back, Logan had the ridiculous urge to lean in, but Rafe dropped his hand rather abruptly.
“Yes. It sounds rather cliché, but the door hit me.”
Rafe looked now at Ria. “It was a single intruder? Or more? How did he escape? Any leads yet, Ria…ehm…Officer Porter?”
“Call me Ria. It’s fine.”
“Okay then, Ria, you raised concern for your family’s safety, so we should address this.”
Reluctantly, she filled him in. “One intruder. He was alone. I saw him escape on a motorbike he must have hidden on the side of the road. It wasn’t a normal break-in. Logan had a very expensive watch on his dresser.”
“Yeah, only an idiot would leave that behind.” Ria’s partner—Jase—that was his name—added.
“So, not a robbery and not related to Logan’s past.” Rafe looked at Logan, who confirmed with a nod. He really hoped Ria believed him now, because Vegas was in his past, and Logan wanted it to stay that way.
“That means we’re back to Noah’s family,” Victor chimed in. “They obviously wanted to find out what kind of person Noah’s husband was. I have to say I don’t approve. That’s a very underhanded way. They should have just knocked at the door and introduced themselves. I always have some blueberry pie in the freezer for unannounced guests. No need to sneak around like that.”
“You’re right.” Ria put her hand on Victor’s leg, and then looked at Rafe. “Do you think that could have been the motive? Logan didn’t think so last night, because we assumed they already knew about him, so why search this place?”
Rafe leaned back in the chair. His fingers tapped a soundless rhythm on the armrest. Then, he closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Logan, could I suggest you come with me back to Boston?”