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Chapter 7

I stared at him in confusion.

What the hell did he mean he wasn’t a good guy? And who actually talked like that? This wasn’t Gotham City. Super Hero’s and their arch nemeses didn’t actually exist. Did they?

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand,” I said quietly. “What do you mean you’re not a good guy? Do you mean you’re the bad boy mothers warn their daughters about, or do you mean you’re the fitting-someone-with-cement-boots type?”

He smirked at my comment as he stared over my head.

I could actually see an internal debate taking place in his head, but from where I was standing, I couldn’t be sure what exactly he was warring about.

“A little bit of both,” he finally said as his gaze met mine.

The small smirk that had been on his lips just seconds before had disappeared and the penetration of his gaze told me that he wasn’t kidding.

“Oh,” was all I managed to choke out before downing more water in a nervous gesture.

“Coming here is against my nature,” he said quietly.

He watched me closely. The small inflection at the beginning of his statement had me meeting his gaze again.

“Then why did you come?” I asked.

He shrugged, and leaned back, supporting himself with his arms outstretched behind him. He was gripping the counter hard enough that the natural tan of his knuckles faded to a ghostly white.

“I saw you earlier tonight. After everything that you’ve been through and then witnessed downstairs, I wanted to make sure you were okay. And no, my concern is not what you saw or what you would possibly tell someone. Victor isn’t going to go to the police about what I did so anything you could possibly say would be irrelevant anyways.”

I cleared my throat and decided to ask. “Who are they, Victor and the woman? Why did you break his arm?”

He stared at me for a moment before shaking his head slowly.

“Still not my story to tell. Let’s just say that Victor and I tend not to see eye to eye on certain subjects, and the woman, Elena, is one of them.”

I nodded slowly.

“Are you and Elena…,” I couldn’t finish the sentence but it didn’t matter. Kade knew exactly where my question was going.

“Do you really want to know the answer to that?” he asked quietly.

A resounding yes echoed in my head, but my common sense finally got the better of my curiosity and ducted taped her mouth closed.

“I didn’t think so,” he said.

I bit my lip, and fidgeted with the water bottle again.

“So now what?” I asked after a moment of awkwardness.

He didn’t respond right away, but watched my nervous flittering.

“Now,” he repeated. “Now nothing. I meant what I said, Princess. I like you. I don’t know why considering the fact I don’t know you at all, but something about you has captured my interest, and I can say that it has been a very long time since that’s happened with anyone. But in the end, nothing will ever come of it. We can’t be friends, and we sure as hell can’t try to be more than that. I am not the type of person you should have in your life. I would never bring you anything but trouble and possibly danger, and I would never willingly put you in a position where those possibilities could even occur.”

“So what? You coming here tonight was to give me an official brush off,” I retorted, suddenly pissed off as hell about him being here.

He bit his lip for a second as he stared down at his shoes before responding.

“No. Tonight was about me being able to see for myself that you were alright, and to offer up some friendly advice,” he responded as he looked up slowly.

Friendly advice? Was he being serious?

“Advice? What makes you think I need advice from someone like you?” I asked angrily. “You basically just admitted that you’re a felon and that you live in the shadows. I’m almost positive that there isn’t any friendly advice you could offer me that I would really take at this point.”

He smiled, and pushed off from the counter, strolling around it until he stood next to me.

I sat forward, and continued to stare at the spot he had just vacated. I was pretty certain that if I looked at him, and at the close proximity he was currently standing, I was likely to do something stupid like cry or throw myself at him.

I didn’t know him. Didn’t know why I was attracted to him, and yet I knew that the instant he walked out of my apartment, and ultimately out of my life, I was going to suddenly feel a void I was afraid I would never fill again.

“Addison,” he said gently beside me.

I didn’t respond.

“Look at me,” he said quietly.

I didn’t comply. I was too much of a chicken.

“Look at me,” he repeated.

The edge his voice took on was hypnotic and I gave in, meeting his gaze as he stood just inches from me.

“I’m sorry.”

“Why do you say that?” I asked in a whisper.

He smiled sadly. “Because there is nothing I can do to change who I am. And who I am would only hurt you in the end.”

I think I stopped breathing. At least, that’s what I assumed once my ears started to fill with the sound of rushing water.

“Breathe,” Kade said gently in my ear.

I took a deep breath and tried to blink away the spots dancing in my vision.

Because I was still sitting, Kade had an unfair height advantage over me. For once in my life, I could say that I was glad someone had the upper hand.

Without any indication on his part, Kade leaned forward suddenly and kissed me.

It started soft and tender, and within seconds it turned carnal. The feel of his lips on mine suddenly woke up every nerve ending I had, many that I didn’t even know existed. Waves of heat washed over me from head to toe, and even though my brain was screaming that I was setting myself up for complete heartbreak, I couldn’t help but to feel more alive in this moment then I had in my entire life.

And then suddenly it was over and I was overcome with emptiness and cold.

I was so disoriented by everything that happened, I hadn’t even realized that Kade had moved away and was now standing behind me with the apartment door open.

Turning toward him slowly, I tried to think of a million things to say. A million ways to beg him to not leave and to give the possibility of us a chance. A million ways to say goodbye. Nothing I could think of seemed good enough and I didn’t have the time to examine why on earth I was so torn up about a man who I had known for literally hours.

The look of regret on his face had deepened, and I didn’t need any bright neon signs to point out that I was the cause of that look. I was afraid to even imagine the look of despair on my own face.

“Do me a favor,” he said quietly.

I nodded.

“I’m going to give you a very sound piece of advice that I don’t want you to question, but I want you to follow no matter what.”

Strange.

“Okay,” I heard myself answer.

His gaze held mine and I could see the seriousness behind his eyes.

“Stay away from Sean. He isn’t who he appears to be.”

And with those parting words, he walked out, closing the door softly behind him and disappearing from my life just as quickly as he appeared.

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