Axel (Carolina Reapers 1) - Page 63

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Seeing her every day? No fucking way.

Even I wasn’t that strong.



Twenty-three minutes.

It’d been twenty-three minutes since Cannon Price had walked through my office door, sat in the vacant chair across my desk, and not said a single word to me.

He clearly didn’t know who he was dealing with.

It had been five long, miserable days since Axel had walked out that same door—stormed out. Had sliced and shredded my insides with his words...not that I didn’t deserve it. But I’d thought he’d known me better than that. Known that if I could be in that hospital in Sweden with him, I would. If I would’ve wrapped this shit up four days ago, I would’ve been on Lukas’ jet in a heartbeat.

But here I was.

Five days later. Five days since Cannon had punched a ref after the game outside the locker room and we still didn’t know why. Five days since I’d calmed the League down with the security footage and convinced them not to take action, their final decision having been made today. I’d call Lukas after this meeting, see what Axel’s plans were. If he intended to stay longer, I would hop that jet.

I missed Axel like I never thought possible.

But I didn’t want to bother him while he was dealing with the surgery and worrying about his brother, and I’m sure he didn’t call because, well, because he was so busy taking care of Tage.

Lukas, thank God, was my source for all things Sweden. Axel’s brother had a brief scare, but was healing nicely and already headed home with his roommates and an army of trained nurses that Axel had undoubtedly paid for.

I wished I could hold him. Inhale his scent and tell him how damn sorry I was.

My cell vibrated on my desk, and I hurried to scoop it up, my heart racing with hope...only to deflate.

It wasn’t Axel.

Asher Silas: Have you put out an all-call for applicants for the head position of my charitable foundations, yet?

Me: Already done. I’ll be digging through the two-thousand applications we’ve received this week. Then I will narrow down for actual interviews.

Asher Silas: Good work. It’s imperative this person work well with the Reapers while also representing us properly in the Charleston community.

Me: I’ll select the perfect one.

Asher Silas: I have no doubt.

I slid my cell back on my desk, filing that task away for later. Right now...

I stared at Cannon, who continued to look either down at the floor or at the artwork adorning my walls. One piece was a print I’d seen on our many—some blurry from alcohol—escapades in Sweden the first time Lukas took us over there.

Funny, I’d purchased it when I’d gotten home, the swirls of ink reminding me of a time that should’ve been miserable due to my breakup, but ended up being incredible because of Axel, and we hadn’t even been an item then. Is that what true love was? A fierce friendship that blazed so hot it couldn’t help but burn?

My brain worked and swarmed, trying like hell to come up with a solution to prove to Axel that I cared about him more than I could put into words. That if it had been any other time—hell, any other situation—I would’ve handed it off to Faith and ran with him to Sweden. Anything other than a League incident. With the Reapers being so new, Gage and my jobs weren’t the only ones who would go under scrutiny if the League had filed for action. Thank God I’d known what I was doing when I calmed them down. But it had taken until today for them to give me a fucking ruling.

Twenty-six minutes.

Cannon Price was good.

I was better.

I’d handled the stubborn Seattle Sharks for years. I had plenty of practice in waiting out alpha males who didn’t want to talk.

On their own terms and on their own time.


Thirty-one minutes.

A knock sounded at the door before Faith came trotting in with two glasses of ice water. She was learning. The best apprentice I ever had. A few more months and I’d actually be able to delegate to her. Not that she wasn’t ready now. She was. More than. But me? I needed time to adjust to the idea that I didn’t have to handle everything on my own. Something that Axel had helped me realize.

“Did you want something else, Cannon?” Faith asked, her voice soft and timid like he may blow at any second.

“No, thank you, Faith,” he said, his words kind and calm, shocking the hell out of us both if Faith’s surprised look was any indication.

“Okay, let me know if you need anything, Langley.” Faith flashed me a sympathetic glance before closing my office door.

I took a sip of my water, watching him do the same.

We both set our glasses down and continued the silent battle.

Tags: Samantha Whiskey Carolina Reapers Romance