Darker Shades (House of Skin #0.5) Read Online Charlotte E. Hart, Rachel De Lune

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Dark, Romance Tags Authors: , Series: House of Skin Series by Charlotte E. Hart
Series: Rachel De Lune

Total pages in book: 36
Estimated words: 33318 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 167(@200wpm)___ 133(@250wpm)___ 111(@300wpm)

The world is evil.
I know that better than most men, but I never understood its true face until I let them in my club and struck a deal. The Cortez brothers brought money and allegiance. All I had to do was agree and do as I was told. But Cortez was a monster I hadn’t fully understood. And I wasn’t prepared for one of the girls. She was spice and ire. Attitude and fire. With a body to kill for. Yeah, my conscience got involved. Or maybe it was my heart.




The sense of havoc these brothers bring with them is menacing, even for my world.

Sitting, I watch as the last one, Dante, known as Dragon, leans on the door he’s closed behind him. He lights up a cigarette and stares over his hand, nothing but animosity on his features and tattoos running over his wrists. I understand that animosity. I’m an unknown to them, a newcomer. I’m not around here. London is my home and I'm nightmare enough to scare most of it, but to them I’m nothing. Insignificant. A fucking fly to be swatted and batted around.

“You sure you’ve got the capability to maintain this, Reed?” the one in front of me says.

My stare comes back to him. This one's Knox. They call him Poe. I suppose we all know why. Sharpest of the bunch as far as words are concerned, and as useful with a blade as a poet is with a pen. “It won’t be a problem.”

The near shadow staring at my picture board of dancers moves from the gloom attached to him. I’m most wary of that fucker. He’s not said a word since he came into my club. He’s just looked, scanned, and gone in any direction he feels like. The eldest one. Abel. Not that the name suits him. I doubt anyone's killing him soon.

Who they are in reality is the Cortez brothers. San Antonio's underbelly. There’s another brother hanging around here somewhere – Elias, and then another brother and a sister to finalise the carnage. Neither of which have bothered coming to my club today. That’s fine by me.

These four are enough for me to deal with.

The shadow keeps moving until he’s got both hands on my desk, as if claiming territory that isn’t his. “The shipment will be here on the twenty-sixth. We’ll start with eight. See how you manage.”

“The trainer will arrive on the twenty-seventh and show you how it works,” Poe continues for him. “We’ll send the pickup details closer to the time. Dragon and Elias stay the entire time until the auction is done. They get a free run around here, yes?”

I glance towards Dragon, wondering where Elias has gone, and watch as he sucks in more smoke. “Fine.”

A dark chuckle comes out of Abel's mouth, somehow filled with a hatred that swarms his entire being, and he stares. It’s enough for me to lean back, conceding to his power over me no matter how much I hate it. One wrong move here, one word said that annoys or pisses on their superiority, and everyone is dead. I know it.

And they’re happy to make sure I do.

Another low rumble leaves him as he pulls up to look towards the back of the room, nodding at Dragon for some reason. The door gets opened and he’s gone on command, smooth strides leaving me with only two in the room and the heavy smell of smoke. “We'll leave a reminder,” Abel says, heading for the door. “Sense beds in better when we do.”

Unsure what that means, I stand as Poe does and track them both out. By the time we reach the main rooms, I can do nothing but watch the wreckage unfolding. The bar’s getting trashed up, girls scattering everywhere, and Dragon's pouring bottles of booze over it. He flicks a lighter about when he’s done. A warning about what could come for me if I get this wrong, presumably.

And then he just lights the fucking place up anyway.

I don’t know what the hell to do next. For once, I’ve got nothing other than holding my nerve. No power over them, and no retaliation without blowing the deal I'm trying to strike.

Abel watches the flames lick the length of the woodwork. Dragon’s still smoking, adding more fuel to the fire with another bottle. And Poe’s talking to me about the deal again, as Elias looks at all the girls scattering and smirks. “Eight in the shipment,” he says. “Get this place cleaned up. No one wants to bid on cheap crap. This smells of old hooker's cunt and looks just as fucked.”

I nod, as I see some of my own men run in from the side, and hold my hand up to them. They glance at me, confused, and wait for me to tell them what to do.