Her Twin Surprise (Forsaken Sons #2) by Elizabeth Lennox

Chapter 1




“It’s going to fall over.”

The deep voice behind her made Stevie’s hand jerk and, of course, the entire toothpick tower scattered across the bar’s countertop.

Stevie looked up to watch the incredibly tall, deliciously muscular man walking towards her. The man she’d been waiting all night to see.

“You’re late,” she grumbled, trying to suppress her excitement as she swept the toothpicks up and tossed them into the bin.

“Miss me?” he teased as he perched on the stool and swiveled towards her.

Stevie’s heart pounded frantically. “Not even a little.” She added a casual shrug, hoping to convince him.

His deep, rumbling laughter told her that she hadn’t succeeded. “Liar,” he replied softly.

Her eyes moved over those broad shoulders and, even when he was sitting, she still had to tilt her head back. The man was scrumptiously tall. But it was his features that continued to capture her attention. Those silver eyes of his were mesmerizing. And when he smiled, there was a small dimple on his left cheek that should soften his harsh features. But it didn’t. In fact, it only made him look tougher somehow. Perhaps because the rest of his face was so angular, with the strong, chiseled jawline and his dark hair, tanned skin…and those entrancing silver eyes. They were such a startling contrast to the rest of him.

“How are you tonight, Janus?” she asked, pouring him a drink. She liked saying his name. Liked being with him. He laughed and teased her and he was so incredibly handsome that…!

“You’re hurt!” she gasped, sliding the bottle of one hundred year old whiskey back on the polished wooden shelf. “What happened?”

“It’s nothing!” Janus replied, waving her concern away. When she frowned skeptically at him, he smiled. “I Promise. Just…”

“And your nose!” Stevie hissed, her gaze narrowing as she noticed the bruise forming under the skin. “What happened to your nose?”

He chuckled. “Oh, well,” he shrugged a bit self-consciously. “I didn’t duck in time.”

Stevie immediately came out from behind the bar. It wasn’t as if there were any other customers at her bar. Not at this time of the evening. She’d had a rush of customers earlier in the night, but this piano bar wasn’t of the rockin’ hot spot of Seattle, Washington. The residents of this quirky, tech town preferred the oddball, hipster bars in the downtown area. Or the more lively bars by the space needle or the stadiums.

No, this quiet, almost antique piano bar catered more to the senior citizens of the surrounding neighborhoods and most of her business came in earlier in the evening.

“Duck?” she repeated quizzically, as she cupped his face in her hands to examine his injuries.

At the first touch though, all thoughts of his wounds vanished from her thoughts as the intense, shockingly powerful awareness of him poured over her.

Janus Meyers was pretty much always on her mind. It was just more powerful when he was here. And as she realized that she was touching his face, touching the man, Stevie’s heart pounded so hard that she wasn’t sure that her rib cage could hold it. She was touching Janus. Actually touching him! In her dreams and fantasies, she’d touched him all over.

She slid her thumb over his cheek, absently noting the roughness of his skin. His hands held her waist. Stevie wondered if there would be singe marks on her starched, white shirt when he took his hands away. Probably. The heat on her skin burned and her cheap, white shirt wasn’t adequate protection against this man’s touch.

“What happened?” she whispered softly.

His hands tightened on her waist, pulling her closer. “I got tackled,” he said, his voice rough and, impossibly, sounded even deeper than moments before.

Tackled? That didn’t make any sense. “Why?”

He laughed slightly, shaking his head. “Sometimes, things can get a bit rough at work.”

She sighed, sensing that he was teasing her again. Work colleagues simply didn’t tackle each other! “Janus, this looks bad. Have you seen a doctor?”

He groaned and she could feel the delectable vibration, starting in her fingertips and ending in her toes.

“Too many.”

Stevie frowned, but knew from their previous conversations that he often spoke vaguely, sometimes to the point of riddles. She wanted to know him, but what was he hiding from her? He was too big and tall to be a spy, although the thought had occurred to her on several occasions. But she’d rejected that idea. He was too noticeable, she thought. Powerful and urbane, but with a rough edge to him that made him dangerous. In the novels she’d read over the years, spies needed to blend in more. They needed to become invisible when searching for information.