“Did you have a good time?” Kenton asks.
I roll my head in his direction and glare. “Did I have a good time? Really?”
He starts to chuckle as he starts the car. I roll my eyes, laying my head back against the head rest.
“My aunt loves you, and my mom already adores you,” he says softly as I feel his hand on the bare skin of my thigh.
I pick up his hand, putting it back on his side of the console as he pulls out of the driveway. “Your whole family is very sweet,” I tell him, watching as the corner of his mouth lifts up.
“I thought for sure we were making progress,” he says, taking his eyes off the road to look at me with his lips twitching.
“You thought wrong.” I turn my head away from him, watching out the car window as the scenery quickly flies by.
“You work tonight?”
“Yep,” I answer shortly.
“I gotta be there by eleven.” I roll my head on the headrest in his direction.
“You gonna take a nap?” he asks, his long fingers tapping on the steering wheel.
“Probably.” I shrug. “I haven’t really been able to get used to this schedule.”
“Can you get on a different shift?” He sounds concerned.
“If a spot opens up, I can ask to transfer,” I say, shifting against the leather of his seat.
“You gonna do that?”
“Maybe. The thing is…I really need to think about what I’m going to do. I love Vegas and everything, but this is the first place I have felt at home. I love the people and the lifestyle here. I feel a lot more relaxed than I used to, and I think I might see if I can find an apartment and move here permanently.” I don’t know why I just said all that out loud. Up until now, it was just a thought rolling around in my head.
“You have a place to stay as long as you want.”
“Thanks,” I whisper, my heart squeezing.
“You can’t move out for a while though,” he says, and his jaw starts ticking. “I talked to Link, and the cops are still tracking the guy.”
“I know. He told me,” I say, feeling a chill slide down my spine.
“Nothing’s going to happen to you.”
“The whole thing doesn’t even feel real.” I shake my head. Every time I think about what happened, I can’t believe how lucky I was.
“It’s very real. Five people were murdered. Don’t ever forget that,” he growls, his knuckles turning white on the steering wheel.
“I will never forget it,” I whisper softly, my hand moving to his jaw, wanting to comfort him, but right when I’m about to touch him, I start to pull away, realizing what I’m doing. Before I have a chance to move away completely, his hand catches mine, pulling my fingers up to his mouth, where he places a gentle kiss.
“Stop fighting this,” he says gently. He drops my hand to his thigh, where he covers it with his own. The harnessing warmth of his thigh under my palm has my breaths increasing. “Stop fighting us.”
“There’s no us,” I tell him, shaking my head, trying to pull my hand away.
“You’re so f**king stubborn.” He tightens his hold on me.
“And you’re an ass,” I growl, and the car jerks to the right, onto the side of the road.
My body goes forward when he slams on the brakes. His hand goes to my seatbelt, and as soon as he presses the button, he pulls me over and onto his lap. One hand goes to my waist and the other to the back of my head and into my hair, forcing my head to the side.
“Stop,” I hiss, trying to wiggle free.
“No. Every time I knock one brick out of place, you put ten more in its place,” he seethes.
“Let me go.”
“If I have to keep kissing you to prove there is something between us, then f**k it.” His hand in my hair fists tighter as he pulls my head back, holding me immobile. “I told you before not to f**king lie to me.”
“Please.” I don’t know if I’m asking him to kiss me or stop what he’s doing, but the second the word leaves my mouth, his comes down on mine, possessing me with his kiss. I let go, completely drowning in him and his taste. My hands go to his long hair, gripping it between my fingers.
I whimper into his mouth as his other hand skims the underside of my breast. I’ve never wanted anyone like I want him. He makes me feel again—something I haven’t done in a long time. Something about him makes me want to open up, but the part of me that clicked into place to protect myself when they took my son was so strong I didn’t know if anyone would be able to get to the real me again.
“Every time I get my mouth on you, you melt,” he says against my lips when he pulls his away from mine. “I know you’ve been hurt.” I close my eyes, turning my face away from him. “I know you don’t want to hear it, but I won’t stop until I have you.”
I shake my head. He turns my face back towards him, placing a soft kiss on my forehead then my lips before lifting me off him, setting me back in my seat, pulling my seatbelt around me, and buckling me in place. We drive in silence for a long time. I don’t know what he’s thinking, but all I can think about is what would happen if I gave him a chance. Then I wonder if Link told him what happened to me.
“Have you talked to Link about me?” I ask, looking over at him. I don’t like the idea of him learning things about my history from someone else.
“To be honest with you, he offered to tell me about you.” He looks over at me, his hand coming to my thigh and giving it a squeeze before his eyes go back to the road. “I want you to be the one to tell me. I want you to trust me with whatever it is that has forced you to put up those barriers around yourself.”
I let out a long breath, one I didn’t know I was holding.
“I want you to come to me, Autumn,” he says softly.
Those words make my heart break a little. I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to go to anyone ever again. I close my eyes and fight back the tears that’ve started stinging my nose. When we get to the house, he says a quiet goodbye, telling me that he has some business to take care of. I nod, go into the house, and straight up to my room, where I crawl into bed, pulling the pillow over my head so I can cry.
Done, I’ll Give Her Crazy
(Oops, did I do that?)
“We have a Life Flight coming in,” Tara says, coming into the room where I’ve been taking care of a patient. I automatically stop what I’m doing and follow her. “Derik has already started getting things ready. The victim is a young male suffering head trauma,” she says as we hurry into the emergency room.