Home > The Fall of East (Hear No Evil Trilogy #3)

The Fall of East (Hear No Evil Trilogy #3)
Author: Nana Malone

 


Chapter One

 

 

Nyla

 

 

Someone had shoved dry cotton pads in my mouth. Dry, bitter-tasting cotton and saw dust pads. I tried to push them out of my mouth with my tongue to no avail.

Somewhere in the distance, someone whispered. "Fuck, I am so sorry, Nyla. Please, please, be okay.”

The overwhelming desire to comfort them took over. I needed to tell them that I would be okay just as soon as someone removed the cotton from my mouth. I turned toward the voice but then froze as a burning pain seared through my shoulder like I was being jabbed repeatedly by a hot poker.

Holyfuckingshitebollocks.

The nausea hit next, and I wanted to vomit. Oh God, what if I tried to vomit and the cotton was still in my mouth? I would choke.

Warmth enveloped my hand and started to spread up my arm, chasing off a chill I didn’t know I had. I wanted that warmth. Wanted to cocoon myself in it and never let go.

I'm sorry. Again, those words filtered into my consciousness.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

My heart stopped.

Those words. Words full of anguish. Words a part of me had needed to hear since the moment my heart was broken.

Those were the words East Hale had said to me… before he shot me.

After everything we’d been through to be together, he had put a bullet through me. A bullet.

Off in the distance, I could hear beeping. Beep-beep-beep... It sounded like an alarm. Somehow, something sounding like an alarm was far less prevalent in my mind than the thought of how the man I cared about had shot me… with a gun. Through my flesh. And there had been no hostage situation where he had to shoot me to get to the bad guy, or some other such Jason Bourne-like shit.

Oh no. We'd been alone in a room, and that motherfucker had shot me. His eyes full of promise, his words telling me he cared about me, right before putting a bullet in my shoulder. Well, I was going to return the favor, except I was going to have much better aim.

Just as soon as it wasn't dark and painful and cold anymore. So damn cold.

Why was it cold?

Oh, he’d removed his hand. Not only had he shot me, but now he’d also left me alone and bereft.

More beeping. Faster now. Beep-beep-beep-beep-beep.

He had shot me. It was all I could think about. His soulful, moss-green eyes as they pleaded with me. The look of grim determination on his lush lips as he pressed them together and raised his gun and then fired.

The alarms were louder now, faster too. Beep-beep-beep-beep-beep-beep.

God, I was so cold, and the bitterness on my tongue added insult to injury. I needed to get out of there so I could kill him.

Damn right. I had plans for East Hale. I was not going to let him go slowly into the night. Oh no. I was going to make it torturous. Like a rain of fire.

Yep, a rain of fire.

My brain latched onto various revenge schemes as I lay in the dark and cold. The asshole had shot me, and I hated him.

No, you don't. You love him. Just think about why he shot you.

Why? There was no good reason to shoot the woman you loved. That was ridiculous. Nobody shot a woman they loved. It was counterintuitive. Useless really, because when she recovered, she would come for you. Unless, of course, you thought she was going to die. In which case, sure, go ahead...

Then that voice again. East’s voice. God, why did he sound so good? The deep rich baritone was like mulled wine at the holiday. Warming me in places too buried to feel warmth. "Yeah, she's coming to. Get the doctor in here. She seems agitated."

Agitated? Damn straight I was agitated. That motherfucker had shot me. Why couldn't I wake up? I wanted out of this cold place. I wanted to go find East and shoot him. Tit for tat. That was really how I dealt with most things, honestly. Tit for tat. Where would I shoot him?

The balls.

Of course. As if there was any question. He was going to get shot in the balls. That thought brought me much satisfaction, and the beeping slowed down.

It was still too loud though.

"There you are, sweetheart. Come on, wake up. Talk to us."

There was another voice saying, "Back off. The last thing she needs is to see you first thing when she wakes up."

That rich, chocolatey voice talked back. "She’ll want to see me. She’ll understand."

The other voice was familiar. Sweet. Like a warm hug in the winter. "I swear to God, if you put your hands on her again, I will shoot you right here." Amelia. That was definitely Amelia.

I furrowed my brow. More shooting? If someone was getting shot, I wanted in on this.

And then the beeping was slow but steady, and really close, as if it was right next to me. There was light in the periphery of my vision, but I still couldn't see anything. I tried blinking my eyes, but it was a searing, white light, so I quickly closed them. It was all too much.

"Easy, love." East whispered. Did he always sound so good? I listened to him because his voice was so soothing and made me want to tuck in, even though I wanted to kill the man.

Amelia bit back, "I swear to God, if you touch her, you die."

"She cares about me. You can't stop it. You're stuck with me."

"Oh, I promise you, she will get over it."

East was almost laughing now. "And you really think I'm going to let you shoot me?"

"Oh, let me? I'm an Interpol agent, remember? If you—"

I opened my eyes more slowly, and their voices came into sharper focus as I listened to the two of them bicker like school children over my bed. "If you two are done now..." I croaked.

What the hell was wrong with my voice? Why was it so scratchy?

Both heads snapped in my direction. East was right at my side and took my hand. "Sweetheart, I'm so sorry. Are you okay?"

I frowned at him and then slid my gaze to Amelia. "Amelia, you were right. This is why we don't date fuck boys, because fuck boys shoot us." I tried to snatch my hand from his, but his grip was too firm.

The idiot just smiled at me with relief etched on his sculpted face. "Yes, I am a fuck boy. I'm sorry. But Interpol was coming, and Denning... I knew he wouldn't believe that you hadn't seen anything, so I shot you."

I blinked up at him. Sleep was still threatening to pull me down, but I fought it. "You shot me to help me keep my job?"

"Of course. Regardless of what you say, your job is important to you. I know that. So I gave you plausible deniability."

He wanted to give me plausible deniability?

That is sweet though.

I frowned. I didn't want sweet. I didn't want him being wonderful. He had shot me.

Amelia leaned in. "You should go, Hale. I told you if you hurt her that I was going to end you. I'm not going to do that in the hospital because, you know, they’ll likely save you. But watch your back, because I certainly do have plans for you."

He rolled his eyes. "I'm not leaving. My family donated a wing to the hospital. You couldn’t kick me out if you tried."

Amelia glared at him. "Who does that? Who casually throws around that they own part of the hospital?"

I mumbled. "He does. The London Lords do. This is all his fault."

"I agree. Completely his fault." She nodded in solidarity.

East just rolled his eyes. "It is my fault. I did this. And I will fix it. The last thing I ever want to do is see you in pain."

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