Nightshade Page 58

Neville sat on the edge of the stage with his legs dangling off, guitar at a casual angle across his lap. Shay leaned against the platform. Nev caught sight of us and gave a brief nod. Ansel and Mason immediately headed for the stage.

Bryn laced her fingers through mine. “Their music talk gets pretty intense. Want to grab a seat?”

I followed her gaze to the opposite side of the room, where Ren, Dax, Fey, Sabine, and Cosette sat together.


As we approached the table, Ren got up, stretching his hand out to me. “Glad you’re here.”

My pulse stuttered, but I walked to him, letting him tuck me into the curve of his body and lead me to the chair beside his.

“Thanks,” I murmured into the folds of his leather jacket before we sat down. Bryn sank into the chair on the other side of me.

“Hey guys.” I smiled at the other wolves. “Good to see you.”

“Hey Calla,” Dax said.

Sabine smiled briefly. Cosette spoke too quietly for me to hear her over the buzz of the bar crowd.

“Fey.” I glanced at my packmate as I settled into the chair. “Mason said Dax gave you a ride here.”

“Yeah.” She edged her seat closer to Dax.

I opened my mouth but thought again and kept quiet. Better to see how this plays out.

Ren looked toward the stage, his eyes settling on Shay.

“Your fan club arrived earlier. He’s been waiting for you.”

I bit the inside of my cheek. It will be a miracle if I make it through this night.

“Ansel invited him.”

“I’ll have to thank him for that,” Ren said with a smile full of knives.

“I think it’s a good thing,” Bryn said, sounding a little defensive. “Logan wanted us to look out for him. Calla shouldn’t have to do all the heavy lifting. It’s a pack responsibility.”

“Of course.” Ren’s irritated tone faded. “We should help her take care of the kid.”

“We’ll see if he can hold his own outside of school.” Dax grinned.

Fey whispered in his ear and he laughed loudly.

“Something you’d like to share?” I leaned over, catching her wrist in a vise grip.

She tried to twist out of my grasp. “Not really.”

Bryn drew in a hissing breath and Fey stopped struggling.

“Sorry, Cal. I didn’t mean any disrespect,” she said quickly. “It was an inside joke.”

“I understand.” I stared her down until she looked away. I dropped her wrist when Ren squeezed my shoulder.

“Easy now,” he said. “It’s our night off. Dax, go get another round for the table.”

Dax nodded, patting Fey’s thigh before he went to the bar.

Ansel, Mason, and Shay settled into the other chairs at the table.

“Hey guys.” Ren offered them an easy smile. “Glad you could join us, Shay.” I tried not to notice the sudden sharpness of Ren’s expression, that of a wolf on patrol.

“Isn’t that the bartender from Eden?” Bryn’s eyes were on the stage.

Two men had ascended the platform with Neville. I recognized the Bane from the club, but now he had a bass slung over his shoulder.

“That’s Caleb,” Mason said. “And yeah, he works at Eden. He’s a good friend of Nev’s.”

“Who’s on the drum kit?” Ansel asked.

“Tom,” Mason said. “He owns this place, and he likes to sit in with the local musicians who play here.”

Neville spoke into the mike. Even amplified, it was tough to hear his quiet voice over the din.

“Sabine. We could use you. Why don’t you get up here and bring your chair.”

My packmates all looked at her with surprised expressions, while the Banes just smiled at each other. Ren dragged my chair even closer to his, slipping his arm around my waist. I met Shay’s eyes for a moment before looking back at the musicians, feeling like I might as well be the rope in a tug-of-war.

Sabine went to the stage, dragging her chair along. Nev handed her a tambourine and put a mike in front of her.

“What’s going on?” Bryn asked.

“Sabine sings backup for Nev. Sometimes they do duets,” Ren said. “She’s got a great voice.”

“Really?” Bryn said, grabbing a handful of peanuts. “Who’d have thought?”

Cosette glared at her.

“Evening.” Nev’s voice drew our attention. “I’m Nev. Caleb’s on bass, you all know Tom, and the lovely Sabine is gracing us with her presence tonight.”

The only applause came from our tables. Apparently the other bar patrons weren’t here for the music.

Neville nodded at Tom. The bar owner and Caleb exchanged a quick glance and in the next moment, bass and drums had set off at a slow, grinding rhythm. A smile ghosted across Neville’s lips; his fingers moved over the guitar strings, and he began to sing.

Mason flashed a grin at me and I nodded. Yeah. I get it now.

Sabine took up the harmony. Her voice was sweet and dark like the first shadows of twilight. The music poured into my veins, a mixture of grit and silk. Subtle and intoxicating.

The Banes leaned forward in unison, drawn into the pulse of Neville’s song. My own limbs felt like they were humming with the bass line.

I could see Bryn’s feet sliding over the floor, moving along an invisible river of sound. She looked at Ansel, eyes alight. “So I was promised there would be dancing.”

“Already?” Ansel objected. “I’d kind of like to just listen for a while.”

Her lips cut into a thin line, but Shay spoke up.

“I’ll dance.” He turned to my brother. “If you don’t mind.”

“Ladies’ choice.” Ansel gestured to Bryn.

Bryn couldn’t quite hide her startled expression, but she quickly offered Shay her hands and a playful smile. “Let’s go, then.”

Shay led her onto the uneven floor. A few interested glances from bikers passed over the two of them as they began to move together in front of the stage. Neville nodded, smiling as Shay slipped his arms around Bryn and guided her body with his.

“Huh,” Ansel murmured. “He’s good.”

“Nervous?” I laughed.

He grinned at me. “Hardly. She’s not the one Shay’s after.”

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