Devil in a Dark Blue Suit. Robyn Grady
on that other long overdue matter.
Devlin propped his shoulders against the wall, jacket draped over his crossed arms, and gazed casually out at the veil of teeming rain.
‘Eden, why didn’t you return my calls?’
‘You called back yesterday?’
He turned his head to stare down her Miss Innocent look. ‘I mean three years ago.’
Her green eyes cooled and she shook her head slowly. ‘I shouldn’t be surprised.’
He cocked a brow. ‘That’s not much of an answer.’
‘Here’s the rest. I shouldn’t be surprised by your unwillingness to take responsibility.’
Her grave tone was meant to bite. Instead her indignation shot a searing arrow straight to his groin. Damn, she was cute when she was mad. Didn’t mean he had a clue what she was on about.
‘So I’m irresponsible now?’
‘I know it’ll come as a shock,’ she stated, ‘but not all women are prepared to hang around to watch the final curtain fall.’
He pushed off the wall.
Okay. He had a slippery handle on this now. He enunciated each word carefully so no one got confused. ‘You’re saying you dumped me before I could dump you?’
‘You left for the UK that last morning without saying goodbye.’
Correct. ‘You were asleep. I didn’t want to wake you.’
‘You didn’t call when you landed.’
His brow lowered. ‘I didn’t realise I had to check in.’
‘You took another flight and boarded a ship that capsized in the freezing waters of the North Sea.’
He held off from rolling his eyes.
Here it comes.
Before he and Eden had even met, he’d organised with an industry colleague to check out their operations west of the Shetland Islands. The vessel—an anchor-handling tug—had been commissioned to recover and relocate the eighteen-tonne anchors of an oil drilling rig. A manoeuvre, preparing for a hard turn to starboard to increase stability, had resulted in the winch chain snapping across the deck and around to the port side. The tug had been pulled over. Human, technical or design error…the investigation into the accident had come back inconclusive.
He rubbed the corner of one eye. ‘Look, I understand you were worried. I spoke with you as soon as I could.’
Her stony mask broke. ‘Devlin, the accident was on the news! I couldn’t get hold of anyone who knew anything. I was worried out of my mind. And when I finally spoke to you, you as good as told me I was overreacting.’
Her heart was there, shining from the depths of her eyes and, irrespective of the fact he’d done nothing wrong, his chest squeezed around a fist full of guilt.
‘Nobody died,’ he reminded her, recalling the blaze of cameras when he’d finally got to shore after the accident. ‘I was fine.’
‘Just like you’re fine when you fly your ultra-light planes?’
His nostrils flared. ‘It’s a hobby I enjoy.’
‘Just like you’ll be fine when you finally climb Eiger’s deadly North Face?’
‘I was kidding about that.’ Until he had more Alps experience, anyway.
‘Like you’re fine when you, you—’ she flung a frustrated arm towards the rain ‘—when you wrestle with maniacs in the street.’
His groan was half growl. ‘Eden, please—’
‘You don’t shy away from danger, risk, adventure,’ she went on. ‘While I, on the other hand, am a big fan of silly things like safety, security, predictability. It was nice while it lasted, Devlin. Really nice. But let’s face it…’ Her green eyes glistened and her voice lowered. ‘I wasn’t exciting enough for you. We’d drifted apart even before you left for Scotland that day.’
The pain and regret in her eyes faded before resignation dropped like a mask over her face once again. She dragged in a breath and, as if they’d been discussing the weather, inspected the sky. ‘I think the rain’s easing off.’
His arms knotted over his wet thumping chest.
Not so quick.
‘We’re not finished.’
‘We were finished three years ago.’
He measured her with his eyes. She appeared reconciled, but he saw the way her chest rose and fell beneath that designer dress, the way she bit her lip as she angled her face away.
Five days a week he sat behind a desk, organising specialist crews to tackle handson tasks associated with offshore rigs. So what was wrong with getting outdoors and amongst it himself when he could? He wanted to live life, damn it, not stand back and watch the world go by.
Why couldn’t Eden get that about him? They’d always been so in tune in other ways. They’d laughed at the same things, liked the same food, enjoyed the same music. They were explosive in the bedroom. And, as far as being distant before he’d left was concerned…
He ground his back teeth and rearranged his feet.
There was that one episode…the morning when she’d sat parked at the end of his kitchen counter, dressed in his Raiders tee, pink fluffy slippers on her feet, flipping through a jewellery catalogue. She’d looked up, wound some golden hair behind an ear and murmured, ‘Hey, babe, whatchoo doing?’ Then she’d sent over an angelic wanna-take-me-back-to-bed smile. If she’d been checking out necklaces or earrings in that catalogue, broaches or bracelets or charms—
But diamond rings…?
He winced at the same time a phone buzzed. Eden collected her cell, then the BlackBerry on his belt sounded.
While he listened to his voicemail, Eden read a text then carefully put her phone away. Her dazed look must have matched his own.
‘That text was from Sabrina,’ she murmured. ‘She wants me to meet her.’
‘Mine was from Nate. He said the same.’
She hunted down his gaze. ‘To meet him at a city hotel?’
She named the place and he nodded. ‘Nate said he had some important news to share.’
She visibly paled. ‘You don’t think they’ve done something foolish?’
‘Like get married?’
‘Like get pregnant.’
Devlin’s surroundings seemed to darken, tunnel, then caved in.
Given the brothers’ family history, a quickie wedding didn’t seem likely. Marriage certainly didn’t feature anywhere near the top of Devlin’s personal agenda. However, if Nate had exchanged vows after six short weeks, the move was far from fatal. If sweet turned to sour, there was always divorce, an option his parents should’ve considered before pushing ahead and having two kids.
But if Nate had got this girl pregnant—if Sabrina was carrying Nate’s baby—that was sacrosanct. As far as responsibility and duty went, there was no middle ground where a child was concerned. A man had to be there for his own flesh and blood. Nate would appreciate that fact.
Again employing his jacket as a makeshift umbrella, Devlin dashed out into the lashing rain and lunged off the pavement to stop a slow-moving cab. As the yellow pulled up, he signalled Eden over. She bolted towards him, kicking up water as her heels smacked the puddles.
But when he opened the passenger door, she hesitated, her hair glued to her scalp, lashes heavy