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Chapter no 80 – GRAYSON

The Brothers Hawthorne

Grayson Hawthorne did not have friends. He definitely didn’t have friends in Phoenix. The muscles between his shoulder blades tightened as he stepped off the elevator and cut through the lobby.

Someone had approached Gigi, claiming to be his friend.

Grayson’s hand hit the door, throwing it open. He heard Gigi’s voice almost immediately. “Take that! I made you smile.”

Grayson turned to see his little sister standing within two feet of Mattias Slater. Eve’s spy.

“I don’t smile.” Slate—as Eve had called him—stared Grayson’s sister down.

“Of course not,” Gigi said solemnly. “The upturning of your lips that I saw a few moments ago was nothing more than a twitch. A dark and broody twitch.”

Grayson was beside them—between them—in an instant. He locked eyes with the threat. Slate’s blond hair hung in his face, but behind it, his dark stare was piercing.

“The two of you must have so much fun,” Gigi deadpanned.

Grayson turned his back on his opponent—an insult, and Mattias Slater knew it. Grayson caught Gigi’s gaze and held it. “Go inside.”

Gigi did not go inside. “I can’t! Your friend promised me mimosas and grilled cheese.”

“I did not.”

Grayson could practically hear Slate’s scowl.

“You did,” Gigi replied, leaning around Grayson to shoot an impish look

at Eve’s lackey. “With your eyes!”

Grayson shifted, shielding Gigi once more. He turned his head slowly toward Mattias Slater’s. “Step. Back.”

A valet hurried over. “Is there a problem here, Mr. Hawthorne?”

Grayson kept himself under control, even though the idea that this guy had gotten close enough to Gigi to hurt her made him want to take care of the problem permanently. “Have him removed.”

The valet rushed to call security.

Mattias Slater still hadn’t stepped back. “Vincent Blake had a heart attack this morning. A bad one.” His voice held no emotion whatsoever; the absence of it—and any hint of his humanity—was chilling. “He’s in surgery. Eve has called me back to Texas. She could be in danger, given the circumstances.”

The circumstances being that she was Vincent Blake’s sole heir—but hadn’t been for all that long.

“And that matters to me why?” Grayson asked.

“Maybe it doesn’t,” Slate replied. Then, with speed and grace that was nothing short of lethal, Mattias Slater somehow made his way past Grayson to Gigi.

“Careful with this one, sunshine,” the light-haired, dark-eyed spy murmured to her, nodding to Grayson. “He’s playing his own game. I’d hate for you to get burned.”

Grayson didn’t hold back this time. He went for Slate, but the slippery bastard wasn’t standing where he’d been a moment before. Aware of Gigi’s dismay and the security guards incoming, Grayson managed to reel himself in. Barely. “Tell Eve that I know that she tipped off the FBI. If she wants my attention, she’s got it.”

And she’s going to wish she didn’t.

“I’ll tell her.” Slate cast one last look at Gigi. “Take care, sunshine.”

Grayson didn’t look away from Mattias Slater until he’d disappeared around the corner. Then he turned his attention to his sister.

“On the one hand,” Gigi said earnestly, “my powers of inference suggest that he’s probably bad news? But on the other hand…” Grayson absolutely did not trust the spark of glee in her eyes. “He’s probably very bad news.” Gigi said that like it was a good thing.

It was not a good thing. “Don’t even think about it,” Grayson told her.

His sister grinned. “Who’s Eve?”

Grayson took advantage of the fact that they had an obvious audience to delay answering that question. He gave Gigi a look. “Upstairs.”

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