Surrender to the Devil(Scoundrels of St. James,Book 3)(47) by Lorraine Heath
After sending someone to fetch Bill, she found Jim and Jack in Jack’s office. They came with her as she returned to Greystone’s side. Pressing towels against his wound, she watched in horror as the blood soaked through them, little by little.
He was still having difficulty breathing, grimacing and taking shallow breaths. His jaw was clenched so tightly she feared he’d break a tooth. It would be so much easier to endure the guilt if he didn’t keep his eyes on her. They were such a lovely blue, but filled with such pain.
“I’m so sorry,” Frannie said.
“What are you sorry for?” Jack asked, standing at the foot of the bed, arms crossed. “You were trying to protect yourself. It’s not your fault he got in the way.”
A corner of Greystone’s mouth twitched and she wondered if he wanted to laugh. She was fairly certain this was an incident that he wouldn’t laugh about in later years—if he survived to have later years.
“Would you rather I hold cloth to his wound?” Jim asked.
Greystone, watching her so intently, clutched her wrist and held her hand in place, as though to signal that he wanted her to stay. He needn’t have worried. She had no plans to leave. She shook her head. “No. I’m responsible here. I should see to him.”
She wanted to run her hands through his hair, cradle his face, press her forehead to his, and apologize again. But she didn’t want him to survive this only to be set upon by Jack and Jim. “Where’s Bill?”
As though her words summoned him, he strode through her door. “What’s going on? I got word that Frannie was hurt.”
“Not Frannie,” Jack said, then, “Good God, are you hurt, Frannie? Didn’t even think to ask.”
“I’m fine.” Except for some bruises and scrapes, but she held her silence because she didn’t want any attention taken away from Greystone. He was the one in need of immediate assistance. She twisted around slightly to look at Bill and explain what had happened. Her movement jostled the bed, and Greystone groaned, sounding as though he was strangling trying to hold back the evidence of his pain.
Bill came around to stand beside her. “Let me see, Frannie.”
“There’s so much blood.”
“Sometimes the shallowest of wounds gives the appearance of a great wound. Let me have a look here, all right?”
With a nod, she eased back, her pressure on the wound easing. As she stood to give Bill more room, she felt arms come around her and she buried her face in Jim’s shoulder, grateful for the comfort he gave. He urged her away from the bed. As much as she wanted to go with him, she couldn’t bear the thought of leaving Greystone to suffer alone.
“No, I’m staying near,” she said, suddenly breaking free and walking back to the bed. “Do you need more light, Bill?”
She lifted the lamp from the bedside table and held it aloft over Greystone so Bill could have a better look. “Oh, it’s ghastly.”
“I don’t think it’s as bad as all that.” Bill pressed against the duke’s chest and Greystone sucked in air through his clenched teeth. “Did that hurt, Your Grace?”
The duke glared at him.
“Yes, I suppose it did. Silly of me to ask. May have bruised your ribs a bit. You must have smashed him pretty hard, Frannie.”
“I was trying to kill him.” She grimaced. “Well, not Greystone. The man who attacked me.”
“And who was that?” Jack asked.
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t know? You know every man who comes in the club.”
“He wasn’t one of our customers.”
“What did he want?”
“What does any man want who throws a woman up against a wall?”
“Would you recognize him if you saw him again?”
Now she was the one glaring, glaring at Jack. “Can’t we wait for this inquisition?”
“The sooner we go looking for him, the more likely we’ll find him and have an opportunity to deal with him.”
She looked at Jim. He was with Scotland Yard. He should be asking the questions.
“Doesn’t matter when we get the questions answered,” Jim said quietly. “I’ll find him. I’ll take care of him.”
“Don’t do anything foolish,” she said.
“Just try to remember what he looked like.”
“It was dark. I couldn’t see and I had survival on my mind.”
“Maybe the duke saw him.”
“No, too dark and shadowy,” Greystone ground out, then hissed at whatever Bill was doing to him.
“Try to stay still, Your Grace,” Bill said. “I’m going to remove some of your clothes here, then stitch you up and bind those ribs.”
Greystone gave a quick nod.
With Jim’s help, Bill removed Greystone’s finely tailored jacket, waistcoat, and shirt. She supposed she should have been embarrassed at the sight of a man’s bare chest, but she was too concerned about his wound to give it much thought—except for the passing realization that he was as finely made as his clothing.
“What the devil is that?” Jack asked.
Frannie eased around to see what Jack was staring at. Greystone’s back bore a painting of an unusual creature with fire coming out of its mouth and wings spread wide.
“Tattoo,” Greystone ground out, as he moved to lie back down.
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online