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Unashamed (Shameless #3)
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He is the thing that goes bump in the night. He is a liar, a protector…a killer… He is Noah Blake.
…And I love him.
Everything I thought I knew about the night that changed our lives has been turned upside down. I have no idea who to trust, but the one thing I do know is that I am his…And I will do anything to protect him. Lie, betray…kill.
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* * THIS IS BOOK 3 – You’ve already read Book 1 (Shameless) and Book 2 (Shameful) right? Ok, just making sure :)
The best snipers knew that the secret to the perfect shot was all mental. Great marksmanship required mastery of your own senses. Even in the middle of a firefight, you learned to shut out everything but the sound of your own heartbeat. There was a moment when everything was quiet, all was still and you had complete and total focus.
As Noah Blake surveyed the remnants of his destroyed office, his mind blocked out everything but the task at hand. He couldn’t think about the fact that Matthias had been beaten almost to a pulp. He had to temporarily forget about Oskar’s dislocated shoulder and that Jonas had been gassed and could possibly lose his sight.
He definitely couldn’t remember the image of Lucia sobbing on the bed after almost being kidnapped or the fact that if he’d been sixty seconds later, she’d have been lost to him. Noah tensed and pushed the mental image into a closet and locked the door.
Not going there.
“Jonas, keep rinsing your eyes. The doctor is on his way.”
His friend gave him a thumbs up and splashed more water in his eyes as he stood over the sink in the kitchen. Oskar sat at the counter, resting his arm on the surface while holding an ice pack to his shoulder. He’d probably be back to normal before any of the others. Noah had already popped the arm back in socket but it would be sore as hell for a few days. The doctor was going to give him hell for doing it himself, but Oskar had been suffering and they’d all had something dislocated at some point. He wasn’t going to leave his friend in agony when he could fix the problem. Too bad he couldn’t do something to help the others. He hated feeling so helpless.
Noah knelt next to where Matthias was stretched out on the floor and placed another ice pack against his jaw. His face had already swollen beyond belief, the eyelids so puffy his face was unrecognizable. It was a miracle the kid was still conscious. Noah suspected it was pure force of will because Matthias would hate the idea of being unconscious and at the mercy of others.
“I wish you weren’t so fucking stubborn, kid. You need to be in the hospital.”
“No way. Not putting you at risk.”
His words were muffled and slurred, but Noah could easily understand him. Mainly because he’d known what Matthias would say even before he spoke. With how paranoid the kid was about his information being in the system, he’d have to be literally kissing the Grim Reaper before he’d consent to being hospitalized. Looking at his swollen, distorted features, Noah honestly thought he wasn’t too far from that scenario. He looked bad. Really bad.
“Fuck putting us at risk. This is your life, Matthias. We can find a way to keep the heat off of us. We’ll say you were mugged or something. Shit.”
“No hospital. Please.”
It was the please that did him in. He could feel the waves of panic coming off the other man. Nothing short of knocking him out completely would get Matthias through the doors of a hospital, and Noah didn’t have the heart to put him through any more traumas.
“Doctor is here.”
He looked up with relief at the sound of Ryan’s voice. The only stroke of luck so far had been that Dylan and Ryan hadn’t been in the office when they’d been hit so they were available to help out. Well, maybe it wasn’t luck. The asshole who’d taken out half his team had probably known damn well exactly how many people were in the building. He seemed to have planned it all out. The only thing he hadn’t counted on was Lucia.
Noah glanced over to the couch where she’d been sitting for the past ten minutes. She’d been inconsolable at first, clinging to him with all her strength, but now she was disturbingly silent. He’d tried to talk to her but was met with a blank stare each time. He wasn’t sure if she was going into shock but in the midst of all the other physical injuries, he’d had no choice but to just keep her in his eyesight while he tried to take care of everyone else.
Jonas had told him that she’d refused to run. It enraged him that she’d put her life in danger, but he couldn’t deny that he was also proud as hell that she was so courageous. Not that he wasn’t going to paddle her ass later for that stunt.
“Where should I start?” Dr. Breckner’s eyes flared slightly when he took in Matthias’s appearance. He moved forward without waiting for an answer.
Noah stood back so the doctor could examine him. The doctor had been their on-call physician for years, but they’d never had to call him for anything this severe. It was usually stab wounds, cracked ribs, or the rare graze of a bullet. Matthias looked like he was sporting all of the above and then some.