“I don’t understand why I have to leave the state,” I told Link, putting another pair of shoes in my bag. I had no idea how long I would be gone, and Link had made it sound like I wouldn’t be able to come back to Vegas for a long while.
“I hate to remind you, but you’re the only witness, and from what the cops said, the guy is a killer paid by the Mob to do hits on people.”
I sighed, looking around my house. I hated that I was leaving, but I knew it was for the best. I’d been at the police station for over eight hours, going over what had happened. Then I’d sat with a sketch artist. Somehow, the guy who had shot Tessa and those men had avoided every camera in the club. The cops had informed me that I needed to be extra cautious. I was the only witness, and they were concerned that he would come after me.
When Link had found out what they’d said, he’d made a call to one of his friends from back home in Tennessee and asked if he would be willing to let me stay with him until the police caught the guy. The man, Kenton, had agreed, telling Link that I would be safe. I hated that I was leaving my home, but if my only options were either death or moving, the choice was begrudgingly clear.
“I hope they get the guy fast,” I mumbled.
“Me too, but until then, you will be far away from here and safe.”
“Are you sure it’s a good idea to have me stay with this guy? I mean, how well do you really know him?”
“We were best friends growing up. He’s a good guy. You’ll be safe with him.”
I bit the inside of my cheek and nodded before going into the closet to get another suitcase. Might as well pack enough stuff to last me. Once I was all packed and ready to go, we got into Link’s SUV and headed for the airport. I was nervous the whole way, feeling like something crazy was about to happen…
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’re about twenty minutes out from our arrival destination. The weather in Nashville is mostly clear and sunny. The temperature is eighty-five degrees. The pilot has now turned on the fasten seatbelt sign. Flight crew, please prepare for landing,” I hear through my sleep-ridden state and lift my head from the wall where I was resting it.
The memories of what happened yesterday leave my head as I wipe my mouth with the sleeve of my sweater before looking around to see that everyone is putting their belongings away. I make sure my seatbelt is secure before sitting back. My leg starts quickly bouncing up and down, and I rub the tattoo behind my ear, trying to think about something other than the plane landing.
Once we are on the ground, I wait until everyone is off the plane to make my way out into the terminal. I go to baggage claim and look around, but I have no clue what this guy looks like. All I know is that his name is Kenton and he is supposed to be picking me up.
I don’t see anyone who looks like they’re searching for someone, so I go to the conveyer belt and spot one of my bags as soon as I get there. I pull it off, stumbling back slightly from the weight as every guy here just watches me without offering to help.
I look around again, wondering if I’m supposed to call someone to tell them that I landed. I pull my phone out, click it off airplane mode, and send a text to Link, letting him know that I have arrived. He sends me a message back, letting me know that Kenton called and told him that he couldn’t make it to pick me up and I should just catch a cab to his house. The door would be unlocked, and the address is in the message.
I shake my head, cursing under my breath, and almost miss one of my other bags going around the belt. Luckily, I catch it at the last second. I carry it over to my other bag and turn around just in time to see my last bag about to go through the tunnel. I run as fast as I can in my flip-flops and land halfway on the conveyor belt. My bottom half is being dragged along the floor as I grab the handle of my bag, pulling it back so hard that it flies over me, causing me to land on my back with my hands over my head.
“You must be Autumn,” I hear rumbled from above me.
I tilt my head back and look up at the man standing over me. He’s upside down, but even from my awkward position, I can tell that he is good-looking. His chuckle makes me grit my teeth. I stand up, putting my bag on its wheels and dusting off my butt before turning back to face him.
He raises a brow at me, shaking his head, looking me over from head to toe. My body heats immediately under his gaze. I take my sweater off, wrapping it around my waist and clearing my throat.
“You are?” I ask him again, getting annoyed that he’s obviously finding this so funny, if the smirk on his face is anything to go by.
“Kenton.” He smiles. “Those bags yours?” He nods towards my other two bags.
“Yes.” I blow some hair out of my face, looking into his amber eyes and wondering why the hell I feel so hot all of a sudden.
He looks away, going over to my bags while I take the time to look him over. He’s tall, much taller than my five six. His hair touches the edge of the black T-shirt he has on. He needed a cut a while ago, but judging by the dark scruff along his jaw, I can tell that he doesn’t care much about grooming. His shoulders are broad, tapering down to a lean waist. His thighs are thick, encased in a pair of dark jeans that have shredded around the seams, and his wallet is imprinted in the back pocket like he wears them often.
I look at his ass as he leans over. I can’t believe I’m checking a man out; I’m not one to be the slightest bit sexually interested in anyone. My eyes travel lower, looking at his feet, which are encased in a very large pair of black boots. I wonder absently if what they say about shoe size is true. I shake my head at my thoughts, dragging my bag with me towards him.
“I thought you couldn’t make it,” I tell him when I reach his side. My head tilts back to look up into his eyes.
“Yeah, change of plans,” he mutters, looking at me.
I wait to see if he’s going to say anything else. Apparently, he isn’t going to, so I shake my head again and lower my face towards the ground.
“You tired?” His voice is dark and rich, and it does something crazy to my insides. I nod, lifting my head. “Let’s roll. You can sleep when we reach the house.”
I don’t say anything else. Something is wrong with me. Maybe I’m getting sick, I think, putting my palm to my forehead. When I don’t feel anything, I start to follow him out of the terminal to the car park.
When we reach the parking lot, he stops and pulls a set of keys from his pocket. I hear the beep and look around, expecting him to be driving a large truck, a Hummer, or maybe even a tank. I never expected him to be driving a Dodge Viper. The black-on-black of the car only makes it look hotter. I look at my bags, wondering how we will get them in the car.