Logan Calhoun III. He is the last full-blooded Paladin, next in line as leader of the Paladin Council, and as by the books as they come. At least until he meets his mate in Deliver Me from Temptation. But what happens when his mate is human (can you say frowned upon?) and butting her nose into places she doesn’t belong (definitely cause for a good mind-squeegee) and in danger because of it? Well, a man’s gotta do what he has to do, even if it means breaking the rules. In this scene, Valin, the epitome of Haven’s bad-boy, gets the shock of his life as he watches the “good” Paladin go bad.
The door banged open, and as if his thoughts drew him, Logan stepped into the room. Valin’s hand clenched around the cross as he quickly shoved it into the cushions of the couch he sat on. A musty old couch that was rarely used, which meant the resultant stirring of dust made him sneeze.
Logan ground to a halt just inside the door, his gaze zeroing in sharply on where Valin sat.
“Valin,” he said, his shoulders seeming to ease slightly as he realized who it was in the room with him.
“Hey, Logan.” Valin tossed a leg up onto the stack of tomes in front of him. Logan’s gaze flickered to them, disapproval tightening the skin around his nose, but he didn’t say anything. “Do I want to know why you’re in here?” Logan asked carefully.
“Probably not. Though no worries. I will take nothing but what I brought in with myself when I leave.”
Logan shrugged, moving past him into the room. “Really, not my business.”
And okay, life as Valin knew it had just ended. Did Mr. Goody Two-Shoes, next in line as major-stick-in-the-mud just say something wasn’t his business?
In an amazing act of personal restraint, Valin clamped back the quip that sprang to his tongue and watched as Calhoun senior’s pride and joy (okay, maybe not joy, that man didn’t seem to take pleasure in anything) ruthlessly stripped daddy dearest’s shields off the trunk in the back of the room. A pop of the physical lock and few seconds of rifling later and Logan had his favorite knife in hand and, after a moment to test the sharpness of his blade, was stuffing it and its holster deep into the folds of a wadded up sheet he grabbed from the floor. Valin’s eyebrows rose even farther when the Paladin then dug back into the trunk and pulled out a smaller, but no less lethal knife and hid that in the sheet too.
Well, damn. Logan was disobeying a direct order, wasn’t he?
Valin blinked, wondering if when he opened his eyes again Logan wouldn’t be there. Like maybe he was asleep and—
“Do you know where Alex is?” Logan asked, letting the lid drop with a loud bang.
Valin shrugged. “I think he’s still trying to sleep off those cracked ribs somewhere.”
“Good. I have something I need to take care of tonight. I’ll contact you both tomorrow.”
“Anything I can help with?”
Logan didn’t answer, simply stared at him with those damn steely gray eyes of his that made him look eerily like his father.
“All right. Anything you want me to do while you’re off doing your thing?”
“You can start by putting the cross back.”
Crap. Busted. Only…Valin let his gaze drift to the bundle Logan held conspicuously against his thigh. Tit for tat, anyone? “Okay. But can I suggest using this instead of a sheet?” He grabbed up a nearby canister of worthless maps, tossing it toward the Paladin. “Would probably fit.”
Logan grabbed the canister out of the air and opened it up. “Thanks,” he said as he dumped out the contents and rearranged the blades inside. When he was done he looked back at Valin, indecision plainly written on his face.
Valin arched a brow in question.
“Actually, there is something you can do for me,” Logan said.
“Yeah, what’s that?”
“You could make yourself scarce until I next contact you.”
Valin felt his mouth tugging into a grin. A favor for Logan that was bound to twist Senior’s panties? Oh yeah, he could definitely do that.
So tell me what you think… Is it okay for good men to do something a little bad in the name of love? And has there ever been a time when breaking (or bending) the rules turned out to be the right way to go?
Today we have one paperback copy of Deliver Me from Temptation for a lucky U.S. or Canadian commenter and one Nook or Kindle copy for international readers up for grabs!