Page 31 of For the Taking

“No. She shouldn’t have ever trusted anyone, Riley. You know that, and you believe that, if you give yourself a chance.” Stephen pulled out the bullet, and Riley grunted. “You need to stop feeling guilty. You need to put the past to bed and move on. And you should consider doing it, living and breathing.”

Stephen patched him up, and Riley gritted his teeth at each stitch. He didn’t make a sound, but his thoughts were on Meghan.

“You’re all done. Let me go and clean up. Meghan’s in the kitchen.”

“No, Meghan’s here.” They both turned to see Meghan, holding a large tub of ice cream. “I wanted to check and make sure you’re okay. I can come in here with this, right? It’s not a real hospital.”

“You can. I always clean it after every visit. I will give you two some privacy,” Stephen said. Without another word, he was gone, leaving him alone with his woman.

Was she his woman?

Meghan stepped into the room. She wore a pair of sweats and a tank top. The red dress was long gone, which was such a shame.

“How’s your arm?” he asked, noticing the bandage above the cast.

“It’s hurting. He gave me something for the pain. He also checked out my broken arm. I’ve got to stop trying to use it, as otherwise it will take longer to heal.” Her broken arm was the one holding the large tub of ice cream against her body. “This is helping. You want some?”

“Sure.”

She put the spoon in and held some up to his lips. “How about you?” she asked, feeding him chocolate ice cream. “How are you holding up?”

“I’ll live. It’ll be fucking painful. But I’ll live.”

“Do we have to leave?” she asked.

“Not straight away but I don’t want to stay here too long.” He wanted to keep David on his toes. “It won’t be long now.”

“Will you consider what that guy offered you?”

“David’s place?”

“Yeah.”

“No.”

“Why not?” she asked.

“It’s not who I am.”

“You worked for him though. Wouldn’t you know everything there is to know about taking over? About being the right guy for the job.”

“It’s complicated.”

“I don’t think it has to be,” she said.

“Meghan, we’re not talking about this.”

“You’re right. I’m sorry. So, what is the plan now?” she asked.

He saw right through her smile as she put one on for him. He wasn’t good at this, never had been.

Running fingers through his hair, he didn’t have a clue what to say to make it right with her. There was nothing to be said.

“Look, you don’t have to come with me. I can pay Stephen and you can live with him for a time.”

“Really? You want to be rid of me now?”

“It will be easier for you.”

“No.”

“Meghan.”

“I said no. I’m not leaving you. We do this together, or we don’t.”

“You want to die. That’s what you’re saying to me.”

“I’m telling you I don’t want to be here alone when I can be with you. That’s all I’m saying.” She sat down beside him. “You’re stuck with me, Riley. Live with it.”

He didn’t feel stuck with her. Far from it.

What had Meghan Short fucking done to him?

Chapter Eleven

Riley’s plan didn’t really consist of much. They moved from motel to motel, sometimes only staying long enough to shower and nap. They weren’t just moving though. Riley went to each of David’s businesses, and either tore it up, burned it down, or had it exposed for what it was.

For over a week they were able to dodge David’s men, the police, rest, and not get killed. During that time, Riley burned down three storage warehouses, exposed six illegal brothels, and also a crooked politician. There was also a raid on an underground fighting facility. A lot of people were arrested, and she got to watch from the motel across the street with Riley, and he bought popcorn to see it all happen.

During that time, neither of them had sex.

They didn’t have time to move.

She stared down at Riley’s watch that he’d placed on the bed. She’d already showered, and she knew without even asking him that he was going to face off with David soon. This was the fourth motel in two days. They wouldn’t be able to go much longer before David had them.

In such a short time, Riley had gotten under her skin.

He’d made her feel so many different things, and it wasn’t just the sex either. It had been nice, more than nice, but it was more.

She enjoyed being with him. She felt like she belonged when she was with him. No one ever made her feel that way.

Putting the watch on the bed, she got to her feet and glanced at the mirror. Her hair was a mess from the shower. She still wore the bath towel and hadn’t tried to dress herself.

Licking her dry lips, she knew this was what she wanted to do.


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