Instead of responding, Corbin stared out the window. It gave the impression that his launched offensive fell on deaf ears. Chase saw right through it. When approached with a discussion he preferred not to talk about, Corbin pulled the same bullshit. His behavior over the past half-hour stumped him to the point of fury. The indication that the conversation was about to be shutdown made it that much worse.
“Admit it,” Chase demanded. “You’re attracted to Tylar so fiercely, it makes you furious. That’s why you go out of your way to try to threaten and intimidate her. You know it doesn’t work, right? She’s not scared of you.”
“You don't know what you're talking about,” Corbin stated with an evenness that came across forced.
A form of madness took over. “You want to know why your attraction to her pisses you off so badly?”
Not a chance. “It pisses you off because she's a student at Cellar Institute and you've found yourself drawn to her. She played you like a puppet!”
“Enough!” Corbin shouted.
“I'll bet that's what infuriates you the most,” he said, ignoring all the warning signs at the risk of provoking Corbin into a violent blackout. “Corbin Manning, the man who has to be in control of everything can't keep a handle on something as simple as lust. Maybe you will end up just like your father, after all-”
Before he could react, Corbin lashed out. The shock of meeting Corbin’s right hook for the first time sobered him, triggering the end of his unfinished rant. Blood poured down the front of Chase's shirt. He leaned his head back and pinched the bridge of his nose. After a few moments of crackling silence, Corbin rapped two knuckles against the black glass behind his head. A signal for Jimmy to lower the privacy window.
“Yeah, Boss?” his driver asked.
“Can you hand me a clean rag or a box of Kleenex? Chase had a mishap and is bleeding from his nose.”
Tensions Run High
- An Excerpt from On Fractured Ground -
“You're an asshole!” Chase climbed into the back of the limo and slammed the door.
“What did I do?” Corbin asked.
“Don't pull that shit with me. You know exactly what I'm talking about!”
“I think you need to calm down. And what was that about you telling Tylar I made another threat on her life? Should we have taken her out of seclusion? Or are your emotions getting in the way?”
“When you left I wanted to teach her a lesson for throwing herself at you!” He could not believe this was happening. The monster he'd turned into. “How's that for letting my emotions get in the way?”
Corbin’s demeanor shifted toward a lurking temper. He spoke with loaded slowness, “You didn’t, did you?”
“No. Don't look so damn worried.”
“Why would I be worried?”
“Oh, come on! You two were putting out pheromones like plants emit spores. That was the most sickening display of angry hormones I've seen since I was a teenager!”