Home > Mastered (The Enforcers #1)(11)

Mastered (The Enforcers #1)(11)
Maya Banks

How they pulled that off she would never know, because these men were not men who would ever go unnoticed even in a much, much larger crowd. They were big, tall men, with broad shoulders, ripped muscles and faces you could break a stone on. And they all looked . . . pissed. At her? For her? It was hard to tell, although not one of them spared a glance in her direction. No, their anger and disgust was solely focused on Eddie and the pitiful sight he made squirming around on the floor.

Eddie was not a small man, but these guys? They made Eddie look like a scrawny boy.

She swallowed. Hard. And her hand automatically went to her arm as the man who’d intervened on her behalf turned his attention fully on her now that Eddie had been dragged away.

She idly wondered where exactly they were taking him, but then decided she needed to be more worried about how she was going to get out of here. Or if they were taking her anywhere. Panic swamped her and she could feel the beginnings of a full-scale mother of all anxiety attacks. Not what she needed tonight. She just wanted to call the number her girlfriends had provided and be picked up and out of there as soon as humanly possible.

“Um, thank you,” she stammered out. “I’ll just be going now. I shouldn’t have come.”

The man’s expression gentled and he put his hand out to her shoulder. She flinched involuntarily, a natural reaction after being assaulted by another man. He frowned, his eyes narrowing, as though he’d been insulted by her response, intentional or not, but his displeasure wasn’t in any way reflected in his touch.

It was exceedingly gentle and he gave her a reassuring squeeze even as his frown disappeared and he regarded her almost tenderly.

Now Maddox understood all too well Drake’s reaction and his instant call for Maddox, Zander and Silas to intervene, because this was one mean son of a bitch taking out his rage and humiliation on a beautiful woman half his size.

He also understood Drake’s uncharacteristic response to this particular woman because she was a lone sheep in a pack of vicious, bloodletting wolves.

“Are you okay?” he asked quietly in a very gentle tone, not wanting to frighten or intimidate her further. It was obvious to anyone that she was absolutely at her breaking point, and it fired all the protective instincts he’d seen reflected. She needed extremely gentle care or she was going to fall apart at any moment. And fuck it all, but that pissed him off royally. He wanted to be outside teaching the little bastard a lesson even though the others were more than capable of beating the little bastard, a lesson he wouldn’t soon forget. He just wished he could take part. But this woman needed very careful handling, and now he understood Drake’s adamancy that Maddox take care of the woman and see her safely to Drake’s quarters. If Drake hadn’t already staked a claim, she would be coming home with him tonight and never have to worry about the asshole he’d gotten off her ever coming within a mile of her.

“Yes. No. I will be. Just as soon as I leave,” she muttered.

Clearly Evangeline was losing her mind. Guys like him weren’t sweet and caring. He’d probably be horrified if she ever voiced the opinion that his touch was gentle and his expression tender. He’d likely take it as an insult.

He shook his head.

She looked at him in panic. “What does that mean?”

“I’m sorry, but I can’t do that,” he said softly. “The boss wouldn’t like that and he doesn’t like to be kept waiting. Mr. Donovan wants to see you. He sent me to get you.” Then his lips curled in disgust as he spared one quick glance over his shoulder as if to reassure himself the matter with Eddie was fully resolved. “And to take out the trash.” The last rumbled from deep within his chest, and she could tell he was pissed all over again.

Then she really panicked.

“But why? I didn’t do anything! I was standing here minding my own business and that . . . that . . . asshole assaulted me,” she sputtered.

His gaze darkened as fury crept over his features, and she wished she’d just kept her mouth shut. Then, as if he’d realized he was scaring the crap out of her, his expression went bland, and then the gentleness was back in both touch and expression.

“I truly am sorry,” he said, his voice soothing. “But Mr. Donovan wants to see you. He sent me to get you, so that’s what I’m going to do. I won’t hurt you. I’m Maddox, by the way. And I’ll tell you now, Drake is an intimidating son of a bitch, but he will not hurt you. Do you understand what I’m telling you? Don’t act afraid. You will tell him what made that asshole act like a douche bag before he got thrown out of the club. Furthermore, that bastard will never be allowed back into any of Drake’s establishments, but he’ll take it one step further. He has contacts all over the city, and that dickhead will not only be banned from any business Drake owns, but he will be blackballed from any similar establishments.”

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