Read Evan Arden 01 Otherwise Alone Online

Authors: Shay Savage

Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary, #Adult

Evan Arden 01 Otherwise Alone (7 page)

BOOK: Evan Arden 01 Otherwise Alone
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“I’ve always wanted to try this,” she say
s
.  “You were in the military – it’s just like the quarter test on the bed after you’ve made it up.

She
cannot
be serious.

“What, on my ass?” I ask incredulously.

“Exactly!”
 
Lia
giggles again.

I drop my head into my hands and close my eyes.  I can’t believe I’m submitting to this, but at the same time I cannot stop laughing.

“Flex!” she orders, and I comply.

I look over my shoulder and watch as she tosses a quarter at my backside…

…and misses the bed completely.

“Damnit!”

I’m laughing so hard my gut is starting to hurt, and I barely feel it when she smacks my ass and tells me to be still so she can try again. 
I try to hold in the chuckles, but she smacks me twice more before I’m still enough for her.  This time it works, and I’m a little surprised myself when the quarter bounces off and
rolls
under the bed.

Lia
jumps up and down, shouting and cheering.  This makes her tits
and
her ass bounce around, too, so I flip back over and grab her, pull her back into the bed
,
and cover her mouth with mine.

“That’s the dumbest thing I have ever heard of anyone doing,” I mumble between laughs and kisses.

“It was awesome,” she says.  “I’ve always wanted to see that.”

I want to fuck her again immediately, but now the laughing has worn me out, so I lay us
both
back down and just kiss her for a while
longer
.  They are slow kisses
,
but they are just as hard and earnest as they were before.  After a while, we
are content to
lay there and watch each other – breathless.

Eventually,
Lia
goes back to her questions.

“How old are you?”

“Twenty-six.”

“Where were you born?”

“Ohio.”

“Do you have any brothers or sisters?”

“Nope.”

“How long have you been here?”

“A couple months.”

“Are you going to stay?”

“Maybe.”

She sighs and drops to her back beside me.  I can feel her shoulder against mine.


Evan
, why are you here?”

Shit.

“Well, the atmosphere is awesome,” I sa
y
, trying to pull of
f
the joke and maybe change the subject as well.  “
The weather’s never too cold
,
and I don’t have
to
worry about any leash laws.”

She looks at me for a long moment in silence.  I turn my eyes away from her.

“You live in a rundown shack in the middle of nowhere,” she says.  “You have a laptop and a really freaky looking gun.
  You
must
have some money somewhere, so why would you choose to live here?

“Well
,
you know,” I say with a small, humorless chuckle, “
if
I tell you…”

I let my voice trail off.

“You’d have to kill me?”

I shrug.  It is probably true, though for the first time in my life I actually ha
ve
an opinion about it.
  I wouldn’t really mind telling her and almost feel compelled to do so, but I know I can’t.

“I was in the M
arines,” I finally speak quietly.  “
I trained in Virginia,
was injured in the line of duty
,
and
honorably
discharged.  P
lease don’t ask me
anything else.

Her fingertips cross my cheek gently.

“I won’t,” she promise
s
.  “I’m sorry.”

I kn
o
w I
am
giving her
the wrong impression, but it is
better than an outright lie, and I can’t give her more details about
my
life afterwards. 
What would I say anyway?  Oh, by
the way, you just fucked an ex-M
arine sniping expert turned hit
man for a Chicago mob boss.  Have a great morning.

Yeah…not likely.

Breakfast is quiet, and she joins me for a walk around the area with
Odin
after we’re done.  I want to ask her what exactly she plans to do today, but I find I’m a little anxious about her answer.

I don’t want her to leave.

It makes sense, really.  I haven’t spoken to a single person since I
drove
to Pinon for gas over a month ago, and
I only asked the sales clerk
to confirm the price on a liter of Gatorade.  Before that I hadn’t said a word to a soul since leaving Chicago.

“It’s temporary.

“What, until you find someone better than me and send them out to remove me more permanently?  I’m not stupid,
Rinaldo
.”

“So you claim, yet here you still stand.”

“Fine.
  I’ll go.”

There’s a
touch against my arm
, and
her fingers slide from my elbow down to my hand.  A second later our fingers are interlocked, and the sensation is both welcome and nerve-racking.

“Do you regret it?”
Lia
suddenly ask
s
.

For a brief moment I think she can read my mind, but then I realize she’s thinking about last night. 
Or this morning.
 
Whatever.

“I’m a guy – we don’t regret sex.”

She snickers and shakes her head as she looks down to the ground in front of her feet. 
Her mouth immediately turns down
,
and she bites at her lip. 
I squeeze her fingers slightly
,
and she meets my eyes again.

“I don’t regret it,” I confirm, and she smiles genuinely.

“I’ve never done that before,” she says softly.  “I’ve never been that…
spontaneous
.  You read me so well – better than he ever did.”

“Does ‘
he’
have a name?”

She eyes me for a moment.


William
.”


William
is an asshole,” I sa
y
definitively.  She smiles again, but the smile is a sad one.

“He wasn’t always,” she says.  “When we were in school
,
he was so sweet and so different from the other guys.  He grew up on the reservation near my hometown.  He was…exotic, I guess.  I
think
I also
believed
all that talk of alcoholism in Native Americans was bullshit.”

“Just because it’s a stereotype doesn’t mean it never fit
s
,” I
murmur
.

“Very true.”
  She nods her head.  “My dad loved him, and I think when he passed away…my dad died of cancer two years ago…”

“Sorry,” I mumble.  I don’t even know why I do it – I’m not one for standard responses.

“It’s okay; it was a long time coming.”  She takes a deep breath before continuing.  “My dad loved
Will
, and I know he wanted us to be together.  I think…maybe I would have left him before it came to this if Dad hadn’t loved him so much.”

“You going to tell me what he did?”

“He drinks.”

“You said that.”

“Then he gets mean.”

I wait for her to continue.  I’ve already deduced most of this, though alcoholism would have been a guess only.  There is nothing about her that points to his drinking as opposed to just him being a dick.

“He did slap me once,” she says quietly.  “I mean – it was
a while ago – b
efore we were engaged, so it’s not like it would be out of
character for him to do again.”

She huffs out a humorless laugh.
  I found myself wishing the fucker would track her down so I could pick him off from a mile away.

“But even if he wasn’t
violent
, he was never there.  When he did come home, he
’d
yell
at me all the time and tell me what a crappy job I was doing as a housewife.”

Another laugh without heart.

“I was in school, so it’s not like that was all I was doing.  We weren’t even married, just engaged.  We’ve been engaged for almost four years.”

“Why didn’t you get married?” I ask.  I feel her shoulders move up and
down in a noncommittal gesture
though I keep my eyes on the horizon. 
Odin
is nosing around a creosote bush a few yards ahead of us.

“Lack of funds was always his reason,” she says. “He always said he wanted to give me the perfect wedding even though that wasn’t what I wanted.  Dad was all for it though Mom was happy to have us stay as we were.  Actually, she’ll be thrilled to hear I’m not going back to him.”

“You aren’t?”
  I did not want to assume.

“Not this time
,” s
he says softly.

“What aren’t you telling me?” I demand.

She bites into her lip before responding.

“When I told him to pull over, he did,” she says.  “He hadn’t
actually
stopped yet when he reached over, opened my door
,
and shoved me out.”

Lia
goes silent, and I try to stop the feelings of rage inside of me.  I haven’t had such feelings in years, and it had taken years for me to get them under control in the first place.  I want to find this asshole.  I want to annihilate him.  I want to tear him to fucking pieces to make sure he can never hurt her again.  It would be easy and might even be a decent distraction from hanging around here.  She just showed up yesterday – he can’t be that far.

“I took a bunch of
Aikido
classes in college,” she tells me.  “
I was always so…
ungraceful

I thought it would help, but it never did.  I did learn how to roll, though.  That’s what I did wh
en I fell out
,
and
I
managed to end up on fairly soft ground.”

The
edge
of her mouth twitches slightly, and the corners of her eyes clench, though it’s barely noticeable.  She still isn’t telling me the complete truth, but I am fairly sure she’s holding back some detail.  Did she start the fight?  Was he drunk while he was driving her?
Why was he so angry?

Why do I give a shit?

I don’t bother asking myself if I d
o
care – it’s so obvious there is no point in denying it to myself.  I just can’t figure out
why
.  I haven’t cared about anything since seven men and one woman trusted me with their lives and I failed them.

“I have
to
go to my mom’s,”
Lia
finally says.  “
She never really liked him in my life
,
and I know she’ll be supportive, and I don’t want her to worry.  My cell doesn’t seem to work anymore.”

“It won’t,” I confirm.  “Not anywhere near here.”

“I
figured
.”


You can still c
all her,” I suggest as I try to ignore the feeling in my chest when I think of her leaving.  It’s ridiculous and idiotic.
  “There’s no landline here, but I can drive you into Pinon to call her.”

“She’ll still worry,”
Lia
says with a shake of her head.  “
Will’s
probably called her by now, and God knows what he’s told her.”

“You want me to find him?” I say without thinking.

What the fuck,
Arden
?  You going to kill this
girl’s
ex?

She looks to me, and I don’t miss her quick glance to the rifle.
She is far too observant for her own good, and s
he knows what I mean as much as I do, even if it is a ridiculous notion.

“No,” she says quietly, “I don’t think that’s really necessary.”

I reach out and grab her fingers.

BOOK: Evan Arden 01 Otherwise Alone
7.4Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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