Nailed (Marked For Love #1) (8 page)

BOOK: Nailed (Marked For Love #1)
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"If you want, afterward I'll buy you an ice cream cone."

"Very funny, asshole."

While he read them out, she punched the buttons with shaky fingers, then added more quarters when the recording came on the line. "It's ringing." She licked her lips, turned her back to him, then turned back to face him again. "Answering machine."

"Leave a message. Tell her you'll call her back in an hour."

She did and once she'd hung up, made him make good on his ice cream offer. "I binge when I'm nervous."

"Let's go." Hand on her back, he guided her to the Blazer.

***

"You know, she sounded just the same on that recording," Julie said in between licks of her ice cream cone.

He watched her tongue lap up ice cream, then scolded himself. This wasn't the time. "Is that good or bad?"

"I'm not sure." She sighed and flicked off a chunk of the chocolate coating with her tongue, drawing it into her mouth. "Probably bad considering she's twenty-eight."

"Ready to head back?"

"What's the rush?"

"We can sit outside the convenience store and eat there as easily as we can here." He pointed the Blazer back toward the store.

"Fine. So what kind of car do you really drive?" Her free hand caressed the dusty console between the seats.

"BMW."

"Seven series?" She sounded more than a little wistful, reminding him once again of how much she'd given up for her sister in the last three years. He didn't know if he'd have done the same for his brothers.

He pulled into the parking lot, stopping directly in front of the phone and killing the engine.

"Maybe when this is all over, I'll let you take it for a—is that phone ringing?"

They were out of the car at the same time, Julie tossing her half-eaten ice cream on the ground as she ran. "Hello! Lisa?"

Wynn stood to the side, pen and paper in hand, ready to scribble down any tidbits Julie threw his way. When she tilted the handset so he could listen, he leaned over and pressed his head against hers.

"It's Jules, and I don't have much time."

"Jules! Oh my God! Holy freakin' shit! Where the hell have you been?"

"I'm safe," she stammered. "Are Karen and Kevin? Do you know?
Did
you know?"

"Hell, yeah, I knew. Fuckers were after Kevin, and if your silly ass hadn't disappeared, you'd have known that."

"Wait, Lisa, let me talk. Are you sure this line is secure?" Julie asked, glancing in his direction.

"No way to know, so keep it short," he murmured.

"Who the fuck is that?" Lisa demanded, her voice suddenly all business. "And where the fuck have you been?"

"It's okay. I promise, but I don't want to say too much, and we need to keep it short. If...if folks find out you know where I am, you could be in danger."

"Jesus H Christ, first Karen now you! And Mom said I was the reason she had grey hairs."

This was no laughing matter, but Wynn was forced to pull away from the phone and catch his breath, relieving the ache in his sides brought on from holding it in before he rejoined Julie.

"Lis! Pay attention! He's here to find something. I can't tell you who he is, you're just going to have to trust me. He says if he finds what we're looking for, he won't have to find Karen and Kevin."

"I don't know if I should say anything more," Lisa drawled, her voice now distant and distrustful.

"I understand."

Wynn took the phone from her with a reassuring smile. "I want to do this in a way that'll keep your sister and brother-in-law safe, Lisa."

"Sure." She sounded far from convinced.

"See what you can do and we'll give you a call back tomorrow."

"K, hey call me back at this number."

Wynn juggled the phone, while he scribbled, then repeated it back to her. "Here's Julie."

With one last look at Wynn, she spent a few more minutes reassuring Lisa that she was safe, and no she didn't need any help going underground, before she hung up. "Lisa said she doesn't know, only that she heard them talking and it's in safe place."

He wasn't surprised Lisa had given Julie more than him, and even though what she'd given her had been little, it'd been enough to give Wynn hope they'd be able to see this though with as few complications as possible.

"Good, that's good." He squeezed her shoulder.

Chapter Thirteen

Talking to Lisa had been harder than I expected and all I wanted was to get away from Wynn, to be alone, to feel a little normal again, even though deep down inside I knew my life hadn't been normal for a very long time. After he dropped me off, I headed up to my own apartment and sank into the couch, forcing an unhappy Clyde on my lap.

He scowled up at me, blinking those ugly yellow eyes, then turned to lick his shoulder. Don't ask me how I knew it was a scowl. I just knew.

Eventually he worked his way free, sprawled on the carpet and proceeded to clean his privates. "Eww."

I lurched to my feet and stepped outside. Despite how tired I was, sleep would be a long time coming and a walk was in order. At least that might make me feel slightly normal.

Downstairs, Tara was splashing around in the pool with her latest hoochie-boy. They changed as often as she changed her nail color, which was often. "Hey Bonnie, wanna join us?"  

I wandered over to the security fence and leaned against it. Her "friend" was cute. I had to give it to her, Tara had good taste in men. "What happened to What's-His-Name?"

"I got a new What's-His-Name!"

And apparently lost her bikini top again. With a shake of my head at the sight of her B-cups, I turned away, ready to go for my walk when Wynn appeared at the top of the stairs. I slowly circled the pool and met him at the bottom.

"If you want to be alone, just say so."

"I'm good." I considered kicking him for being so damned understanding. Instead, I stuffed my hands in my pockets and headed for the walkway between the apartments.

"So, who we watching tonight?"

I shushed him, then silently dragged him down the walkway to the parking lot. "Darcy's husband is home," I whispered.

"So that guy you were watching her with?"

"Brad, the town mechanic."

"Has he ever changed your oil?"

"Regularly," I said with a laugh. "Jealous?"

"No way." He wrapped an arm around my shoulder and pulled me close. There was something comforting and familiar in it, something I hadn't had in a long time, and I soaked it up.

"Will I ever have a normal life again?" I asked as we walked.

"Sure you will. Soon as this is all over, you can relocate someplace nice like Brazil—"

"Fuck you!" I said, shoving my elbow in his side. "I don't speak Portuguese."

"Ouch! I thought they spoke Spanish."

"That's what you get for thinking. It's Portuguese, baby."

"Who we peeping on tonight?"

"
Nobody!
Now keep your voice down."

"Why do you spy on people?"

"Euh!" With a curl of my lips I looked him up and down. "Why are you a thug?"

"Kaylee and Tan had another fight."

What?!
Was he trying to tempt me with gossip or something? "I know. It's a really small complex in case you didn't notice."

"You could slip him a note and tell him who she's cheating with."

"That's mean. And Tan's a nice guy, so no way—" I shook a finger in his direction, "—and don't you either! When's your furniture going to get here?"

"Mom said tomorrow."

"So your mom really did send you your stuff?"

"Some of it. Obviously, I'm not really planning on staying here any amount of time."

"Aw now. Cielo's not so bad when you get used to it."

"Not exactly my idea of a good time either. I've got a condo in Dallas already, but I'm not there much. Work keeps me on the road a lot. I promise not to trash the place, but I guess I can kiss my deposit good-bye." He grinned at me, his teeth gleaming in the moonlight.

My belly did a funny little flip-flop thing brought on from more than an overindulgence in ice cream. Let's not get carried away though, Wynn was the closest thing I'd had to a real friend in three years, and he got paid to beat people up—or whatever. Not exactly Nobel Peace Prize material. But I was feeling, off-kilter, to say the least.

Sue me for feeling vulnerable. I was tired mentally, physically, emotionally. After everything that had happened in the last twenty-four hours, after three years of living a lie.

At least with Wynn I knew where I stood. At least with Wynn there was no pretense. I turned to stand in front of him and let my hands glide up the length of his chest to circle his neck.

His head dipped ever so slightly, then he whispered, "This is a very bad idea."

"I know."

He gently pushed my hair away from my face, tucking it behind my ears. "You sure?"

Thanks to the damn lump in my throat, I couldn't speak. A nod would just have to do. I buried my face in the softness of his shirt, inhaling the woodsy scent of his cologne, his warmth and maybe even a bit of his strength, and gave in.

He silently led me to his apartment, and slowly undressed me. It was the first time since losing all that weight I felt shy around a man, afraid to speak, out of my element. Afraid if I spoke, the reality of what we were doing would be too much.

We stretched out on the air mattress both of us laughing softly at the silliness of it, then we were touching each other, communicating silently. Kissing softly. Wynn's tongue gently exploring my mouth, teasing me, warming me, his fingers between my thighs, gently stroking me, making my clit swell, making me wet.

His cock was pressed against my leg. Then I was on top, with Wynn buried deep inside me. The security light outside cut through the blinds, lighting our way. Illuminating his hands on my breasts, his fingers tweaking my nipples and caressing my stomach while I rode his cock, plunging up and down, my lip caught between my teeth. I wanted to scream and cry, beat on his chest, but I didn't want the neighbors to hear me.

He moaned, his hips moving with mine, our pace quickening as his fingers slipped lower to tease my clit, his cock stretching me, filling me with every stroke while my clit swelled with every stroke of his fingers until Wynn finally spoke.

"Hurry."

It was my pleasure to pick up the pace until my orgasm shot through me, heat and sweet release searing me from the inside out. I collapsed on Wynn's chest, still unwilling to speak as awareness returned. A light dusting of hair on his chest tickled my cheek and move with every breath I took, but I couldn't bring myself to move and Wynn apparently wasn't in any hurry to make me.

***

Late the next afternoon I sat on the steps leading to the second floor watching two burly men carry the ugliest couch created by humanoid life forms upstairs to Wynn's apartment. It was a work of blue velvet art. You know the kind, with huge-ass flowers, overstuffed arms, cute throw pillows and a matching chair. It would never be considered Shabby Chic but it might qualify as Shabby 80's. At least it wasn't brown. It, along with the dresser, bed, brass and glass tables and
luscious
gilt mirrors—pardon me while I pulled my tongue out of my cheek—made quite an ensemble.

Someone
had a wicked sense of humor.

When I'd toasted Wynn with my soda can earlier, he'd flipped me the bird, obviously not nearly as excited as I was about how his happy abode was shaping up.

At least he'd have a bed for us to use now.  

Even though I knew sleeping with Wynn was a bad idea, the thought of having Wynn in a real, live bed again got me to my feet and back in 8-A to finish up trashing it out.

Having a semi-steady diet of sex had made me hornier than a sixteen year old boy on Viagra.

It's just a saying, so don't get bent.

But after going without for a while, you sort of got used to it, just like you sort of got used to
having it again
. And, can I just say, it was much easier to get used to it than
not
.

Once the movers were gone, Wynn joined me in 8-A. Tony was out fixing the A/C in Darcy's apartment. The units were water cooled and occasionally froze up.

"Did you call your mom and thank her for all that nice furniture?" I smirked, yes I did.

"Yup, and I'm giving it all to you when I leave."

I held up a dirty, gloved middle finger, then knotted the last bag I'd just finished filling. "I've got to mop and I'm done for the day. What's for dinner?"

His lips quirked in a crooked little grin and he propped his arms on the door frame, stretching his faded Shiner Bock Beer t-shirt across his chest. "Awful sure of yourself there, girly."

"I've been down here busting my ass all day. The least you can do is feed me." I tossed the bag next to the other ones stacked just inside the door.

"Oven fried chicken. One hour and don't be late."

One last pat of the door frame and he turned toward the stairs. I followed, grabbing two bags, pausing before I headed for the dumpster to admire Wynn's ass for a few more minutes.

Grinning under my mask, I turned toward the sink with a renewed burst of energy. Thirty minutes later, I'd Lysoled the entire kitchen, mopped and was locking up when Tan came storming out of his apartment, bags in hand, slamming the door behind him. I wasn't touching that situation with a ten foot pole.

I headed upstairs, assuring my grumbling tummy we'd eat as soon as I showered. Clyde was not going to be happy at being left again.

***

The apartment was better than I expected—or worse, depending on your point of view. "Your mom has great taste in furniture."

Wynn scowled at me from his spot at the oven. He'd centered the couch in a place of honor on the wall where I usually sat to eat, and hung the matching gilt mirrors over it. The brass and glass coffee and end tables were obviously secondhand and slightly tarnished, but everything was clean and in some perverse way, kind of homey. I guess the smell of parmesan and chicken helped.

"If you want to eat, I suggest you be nice to me."

BOOK: Nailed (Marked For Love #1)
2.88Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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