“I remember my blood pumping, the smell of rubber burning, sirens, and the look of sorrow on Race’s face as I tried to outrun the cops. I would’ve made it too, would’ve disappeared in the night and gotten away scot-free but I was worried about ditching Race, distracted by the entire shit show, and I lost control, skidded, and slammed the car into a telephone pole, knocking myself silly and giving the cops plenty of time to catch up to me.
“I asked the cop that pulled me out of the car where Race was, trying to figure out what was going on. Over and over again I screamed at the cop why. Titus was the arresting officer, he’s also my half brother. He put me in the back of the police cruiser, told me the old guy was dead, I was getting arrested for grand theft auto and evading arrest, and I would be lucky if I didn’t have kidnapping and accessory-to-murder charges leveled at me. I asked to talk to Race. I needed to know how things had gone so bad, why we had jacked the old man, what was going on, and Titus just told me I would understand later. He’s the only reason I did a five-year term and not a fifteen.”
I cleared my throat and finally lifted my head to look back up at her. She had tears in her eyes and looked as uneasy as I felt. I didn’t want her to feel sorry for me. I did bad shit and got caught. That was just part of the game. It was the betrayal from the only person in life I had ever totally trusted that twisted me up and left a bad taste in my mouth.
“Titus knew where the deal was going down. Race called him. He sent me to prison on purpose, I need to know why. He let Novak kill that man, facilitated it. I need to figure out if he’s gone, turned into one of them or not. Race was working his own angle that night. I need to know what it was.”
She whispered my name and moved so she could squeeze herself between me and the counter, which was still littered with the groceries we never put away. She put one arm around my neck and the other over where my heart was thudding in my chest.
“He must have had a good reason. You’re his best friend. He didn’t become one of them, because he came after me as soon as you went away. It all has to be tied together. Race isn’t a bad guy, and I don’t think you really are either.”
She was wrong. Pressing her hard into the counter, I used my forearm to send the grocery bags flying to the floor. They rattled and clanged across the tiles as I grabbed her around her tiny waist and lifted her onto the counter so we were eye-to-eye and I could insert myself between her legs.
“You’re wrong. If he set me up because he was too stupid to get out from under Novak, or because he was scared or caught up in something nasty, I’ll destroy him and I won’t regret it.”
She didn’t look away from me, and like it was a sign from up above telling me I had done my time and deserved just a few moments with this precious, difficult girl, I noticed one of the boxes of condoms had survived the crash to the floor and was still on the counter within reach.
“So tell me, Bax, what reason could Race give that will make this all okay? Is there one? Really?”
I felt my jaw clench and the corner of my eye twitch. I had spent five years thinking that very thing and the only answer I had come up with that was acceptable was, “If it was all just Race trying to save me from myself, like he always seemed to be doing, I can understand that.”
“I don’t think you will—destroy him, I mean. I don’t think you could live with yourself if you did.”
She didn’t know me well enough to say that, but I was about to show her just how far and how fast I was willing to go when I wanted something. She had no idea the devastation I could bring with very little effort. I was good at it. I reveled in it more often than not.
I saw her suck in a breath as I hooked a finger under the top button of her top and popped it open. I lifted an eyebrow to see if she was going to say anything, and when she didn’t, I gripped both sides of her shirt in my fists and ruined it by pulling it apart. The tiny plastic buttons pinged off the appliances and the floor. She made a face at me that had her wrinkling up her freckled nose. How on earth had I thought she was boring? She was like sunshine and warmth all wrapped up in a porcelain package blessed with the greatest tits I had ever seen. I never would’ve thought I was a freckle guy, but damn, I sure liked hers.
“You know that was my only shirt.”
I tugged it down her arms and tossed the remnants out of my way. Her bra followed, leaving her bare from the waist up and looking like an ivory-skinned dream. I had seen a lot of hot girls in my time, girls who made a living based on how pretty they could look, how sexy they came across to the opposite sex, but none of them held a candle to Dovie and her primitive and untouched beauty.
“I threw a couple T-shirts in with my junk while you were pouting.”
I got my hands under the gap at the top of her too-big pants and worked the fastener open and got the zipper down. I felt the baby-soft skin of her abdomen quiver against the back of my battered knuckles, but she lifted her hips without a question when I urged her up so I could get the rest of her clothes off, leaving her totally naked and pinned to the counter in front of me. Her hands were resting on either side of her naked thighs, her green eyes were huge in her face, and she was chewing on her bottom lip hard enough that I saw a drop of blood. She was all kinds of virtuousness and way too good for all the things I was bound to do to her.
“You are going to regret this when I prove to you everything you think about me is wrong.”
She lifted a hand and traced the star next to my eye with the dull edge of her fingernail.
“No, I’m not. You are not a mistake.”
Maybe I would just have to show her.
I yanked her with greedy hands and very little finesse to the very edge of the counter so she was pressed up as tightly as she could be with my erection. I put my hands on her bare ass and kissed her, not like you kissed a woman you wanted to seduce, but like a woman you wanted to own and imprint yourself on forever. There was something heady, powerful about having her totally naked and at my mercy while I was still fully clothed and looming over her. I wasn’t into all that power and domination crap, but with her, man, I could play lord and master all day long if she was into it.
I got one of my hands wrapped in her mass of curly hair and bent her back over my arm so that all her softness was grinding into my hardness. I moved my tongue in and out of her mouth, used my teeth on her, held her still while I ate her up and sucked her in. She felt so good, so clean and pristine, I wanted to mark her up from her head to her toes. She whimpered a little when I got a little overzealous sucking on her bottom lip, and moved to wrap her long legs around my waist.