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413 Cherry Street - Page 17

She quickly pours a coffee into a takeaway cup, grabs a danish, and practically shoves it at the guy as she waits for me to continue.

“No charge,” she says. “Now leave before you inhale any smoke.”

The guy seems pleased enough with his free breakfast that he doesn’t argue and leaves.

“So, is this like a one-time thing?” she asks.

“I hope not.” Oh, crap. Now she’s got me worried that this is a one-time thing. Although, it didn’t seem that way in the letter he left me. The letter that I have read dozens of times and is folded up in my pocket.

I can’t wait to spend the rest of the day (and the rest of my life) with you.

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That doesn’t seem like the words from someone who is in it for one night only. But who knows? Guys can say anything to a girl when they’re trying to get laid. We only find out what’s real and what’s bullshit afterward.

We chat as we work, setting up the cafe for the lunch rush.

Madison keeps wanting to talk, but all I want to do is keep silent and process things for a bit. There are so many thoughts, emotions, and feelings running through my mind, I don’t even know where to start.

I’m making sandwiches and am so focused on what happened last night that I barely register the bell ringing over the door. I glance up and gasp when I see who walks in.

It’s the sketchy guy from yesterday. The one who got me into this mess.

And he’s not alone.

Three equally sketchy guys follow him in.

“Get out of here,” Madison says as she grabs a knife and holds it up.

“Is she here?” the guy with the hoodie on asks.

The sketchy guy from yesterday points at me. “That’s her.”

My chest burns as my heart races. All four of them are staring at me as I back away from the sandwiches, clinging onto a spatula like it’s going to offer any kind of protection.

“Where’s my drugs?” sketchy guy asks.

“Our drugs,” the guy in sunglasses behind him corrects. “That was our drop and you fucked it up, lady. You owe us some money.”

“A lot of money,” the big muscular guy behind him adds.

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” I say with my voice racing. I feel shaky all over like my body is about to fail on me. “You left the bag in the coffee shop and I tried to return it to you.”

“You fucked up our business is what you did,” Hoodie says as he glares at me.

Sunglasses puffs out his chest. “You messed up our drop!”

“She messed it up?” Madison scoffs. “What kind of assholes plan a cocaine drop in a harmless coffee shop like this?”

“Madison,” I hiss. “Shut up.”

“Yeah, Madison,” Hoodie says. “Shut up.”

“Why don’t you make me, creep?”

Oh crap.

“Fine,” big muscles says. “We’ll do it your way.”

He cracks his knuckles as the four of them walk around the counter.

Big muscles is in front and he steps on the maraschino cherry that Madison spat out. He slips on it and falls, which blocks the others.

Madison and I don’t waste any time. We leap over the counter and explode out of the door.

“This way!” I shout as I lead her into the alley beside the store.

“A secluded alleyway?” she says in disbelief as she runs after me. “This was your brilliant plan?!”

I don’t have a plan. I don’t have anything. I’m working on pure instinct here.

“Call the cops,” Madison says when she sees the phone in my back pocket.

I can’t call the cops. They’re probably going to arrest me again.

There’s only one person I can call.

I quickly dial the newest number in my phone and wait with my heart stopped until I hear his deep sexy voice. “Hello?”

“Liam!” I say as relief floods into me. “I need your help! Again.”

Chapter Nine

Hazel

“Where are you?” is all Liam says on the other end of the line.

“In the alley beside the coffee shop,” I spit out as we run. “Hurry, please! The guy from yesterday is back with his friends.”

I can tell that he’s running. His breath is picking up and I can hear the sound of his shoes slamming against the pavement.

“Liam, where are you going?” a woman’s voice asks through the phone.

He doesn’t answer her. I hear a door slam and the line cuts off.

I hope he gets here soon. His office is only a few streets away, but the guys are catching up.

Three of them sprint down the alleyway as we circle around the shop and head back up the alley the other way.

Their shoelaces are on loose and their baggy pants are hanging halfway down their asses, so they can’t run as fast as Madison and I who are in leggings and have tied-up running shoes on.

We put some distance between us and pop out of the front onto the sidewalk, but muscles springs out and grabs my arm.

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