STEEL 7 (Multiple Love #5) by Stephanie Brother



I gaze around the plane, taking in Elijah's messy brown curls and Jax's perfectly crooked nose. Asher and Hudson are deep in conversation. Hudson's the taller of the two, with long legs that stretch into the space in front of him. Asher's blond hair reflects glints of the sunshine from the window, giving him an ethereal air that doesn't fit with the thick biceps straining at the fabric of his shirt. Ben shifts the leg that I've worked out is only part his own, as though the prosthetic he's wearing is causing him pain. Lastly, my eyes trail to Mo, the most mysterious of the Steel 7 bodyguards, only to find that he's looking directly at me. His obsidian black eyes send a jolt of something through me that feels slick like fear but tickles like arousal. In my chest, my heart skitters like a mouse, and I suck in a quick breath, shivering.

Either the pilot has turned up the air-conditioning, or my body temperature is affected by my nerves.

Without a word, Connor unfastens his belt and reaches to open a cupboard to his right side, retrieving a soft gray blanket that he passes to me. That's Connor all over. Observant to a fault.

"Thanks," I whisper, pulling its warmth over myself. The fabric rasps against my gooseflesh, and I close my eyes as a sense of safety washes over me.

The intercom clicks and crackles, then the voice of the pilot rings out. "We'll be heading on over to the runway in a minute or so. The weather in Berlin is rainy, so I hope you bought your umbrellas."

Shit. That's another thing I forgot to pack.

My phone buzzes on my lap under the blanket, and I reach into the warm space to retrieve it.

I'm expecting it to be Tyler again. Or maybe Jordy, my best friend from high school, whom I have somehow managed to cling onto through everything crazy that has happened in my life.

Except it isn't Tyler or Jordy.

It's another psycho piece of shit sending me an image that I wish I could immediately erase from my mind. The phone slips from my hand and clatters onto the floor, attracting the immediate attention of everyone on the plane. Connor has scooped it up before I can say anything, staring down at the still-visible image of a piece of a stalker's anatomy that should never be revealed to another soul.

"For fuck’s sake," he growls. His eyes close as though he's trying to trap his bubbling fury inside himself.

"They just don't stop," I say, the tears burning behind my eyes and constricting my throat.

"They will," he says, his forest eyes dark and cold with fury. "They will because we'll make them."





2

CONNOR





The plane touches down in Berlin during a rainstorm, which isn't ideal. Luna isn't a seasoned flier, so the additional turbulence has her grasping the seat arms until her knuckles are white and her long red nails almost pierce the fabric.

Airport security is tight, but I'm still worried about getting her out of here in one piece. I wish I knew why she has attracted so many crazies in such a short time but trying to work out the darker side of the world is pointless.

It exists, so we do too. The good guys. The men who put their lives on the line to protect the innocent and make the world a better place.

My crew is all connected by earpieces that are tiny enough not to cause us issues or draw too much attention. I press the button hidden behind my lapel and murmur the instructions I want them to follow so Luna doesn't have to hear all the details. She's stressed out enough as it is and keeping the boring security plans as far away from her as possible is all I can do to try and help her relax.

Luna needs to know that we've got her back, but she doesn't need to know how much effort we're putting in to keep her safe.

One of the reasons that Blueday Records chose us for this tour is that we have a reputation for security that seems effortless to the client. They know how volatile Luna can be. She's a tiny thing, but her personality is fiery. I've seen how quick she is to anger, but also how vulnerable she is underneath the surface.

She has that rare quality of a woman who seems so much larger than she actually is, as though her aura casts a wide glow around her petite frame.

Maybe it's her aura, her special quality, that has all the psychos across the world drawn to her like moths to a flame.

Or maybe it's just the way she looks.

I try not to notice her soft skin or her eyes that switch between shining like bright, hard emeralds and glowing softly like spring growth on the most delicate plant. I try not to let my eyes scan the curves that her clothes do nothing to conceal. I know that's part of the record company's plan. They play up her innocence but lace it with sex too.