Cierra helped Bree get out of the car and up the wooden apartment steps, “Are you okay?”
“My head hurts but I’m fine, you’re okay, right?”
“Thanks to you, I’m sorry for what I said on the phone, I was just trying to get Holly to calm down, she can be over bearing sometimes.” Cierra slid the key into the locks and headed inside.
“But it’s all true.”
“Look, just go jump in the shower and the guys will be back soon.” Cierra knew it wasn’t true, Holly just needed to hear what she wanted to hear. Honestly, she hoped Holly would leave after today.
Bree didn’t say anything and headed to the bathroom.
Cierra let out a sigh as she sat on the couch, running her trembling fingers through her long hair. Bree could have let that man take her but she didn’t. Bree was a good hearted person that was for sure.
She had risked herself but managed to not care about herself. Bree cared about others, she didn’t know Marnie, Holly, the Bensons, Justin or herself and still Bee still put them all above herself. Except, she was hurting inside.
Cierra tried to go back to the time she was working for Rook. She felt so much pain back then, yet it was never enough to try to take her own life, which If she wasn’t mistaken that was exactly what Bree had been trying to do.
She jumped when the apartment door burst open, she was up in a flash and ran into Ben’s arms, “Anything?”
“No, he got away, are you okay?” Ben pushed her back some but took her face in his hands, examining her.
“Yeah, thanks to Bree.”
“You were in his mess because of her.”
“No, Ben, the man had me, he was going to take me, she jumped in and stopped him, he shoved me to the ground, giving me the chance to call you guys again.”
“How’d she even get out there?” Justin demanded.
Cierra to go over how she’d been talking to Holly and what she had said. She could see how tense Justin went, “Justin, go easy on her I think she was thinking about taking her lie when I found her, she could have jumped, but instead when she saw that man have me, she tried to stop him instantly, told him she’d go with him and that she’d be good, I think we need to find someone she can talk to.”
“See what you can find here, Ben do me a favor, run that drawling over to Clay and Iris’s, see if they recognize the man you drew today at all.” Justin spoke calmly then turned to go to the bathroom.
He desperately needed a shower, he smelled like the river and it wasn’t a pleasant smell. He made his way down the hall, he pushed open the bathroom door. He froze when he saw Bree just standing there in her wet clothes and stared at the mirror.
He took a deep breath to try to push away the anger he was feeling. Justin walked further in, shut the door and locked it as he kicked his wet boots off.
He leaned back against the door, folding his arms over his chest, “You’re going to get sick if you stay in those wet clothes much longer.” He grumbled.
She jumped and turned toward him, “Get out.” She demanded.
Justin raised an eyebrow, “No, someone has to keep an eye on you after today, and I volunteered.”
“Why, because no one trusts me?”
“Well, if you hadn’t ran away we would trust you, what were you thinking?”
“That I’m better off away from everyone, I’m causing nothing but problems, what’re you doing here anyway? You’re supposed to find Marnie and the others.”
“Yeah, until Cierra called and said Sal had you again, I told you I wouldn’t let you go back and I meant it.”
“They’re more important, maybe you should have let him take me then I could have tried to get them out.”
“That’s not happening, baby.” He pushed himself off the door and stalked over to Bree and snatched her up against him, pressing his lips to hers.
They moved against each other frantically against each other. Justin was surprised when Bree wrapped her arms around his neck instead of shoving him away. He spun them pinning her up against the wall. This wasn’t where his mind should be and he knew it, but couldn’t seem to stop. He almost lost her today, twice, either Sal would have taken her and he didn’t know if he was going to be able to save her from the river.
He slowly scooped her off her feet and wrapped her thighs around him, getting as close as he could with their clothes on. He pulled back quickly when a knock pounded on the door, “Yeah?” he called out, his voice raspy from the intense kiss and desire taking over him.
“Justin, we can’t find Bree.” Cierra said uncertainly.
“I’ve got her, she hasn’t taken a shower yet, we were talking, I’ll be out in a minute.”
“Oh, thank God.” Her footsteps faded away from the door.
Justin laid his forehead against his darlin’s, “What are you doing to me?” he mumbled.
“I, I don’t do anything.” She mumbled.
He pulled bac to look at her, her eyes were wide, a tad darker, while her lips were swollen and ripe from his kiss, her cheeks glowed with a pink flush, “Baby, whether you mean to do it or not you definitely do something to me, I’ve never wanted someone as much as I want you.”
“Is that what I’m feeling?” she asked innocently.
“A heat every time we kiss?”
She nodded her head then laid it against his chest.
“Yeah, I’d say you want me just as bad then, but we can’t.” He mumbled.
“Because, we don’t know anything about each other, we don’t even know how old you are.” He pressed his lips to the top of her head then tilted it up and began to attack her neck with soft kisses that made her tremble against him.
She let out a gasp, “Justin.” She whimpered as she dug her fingers into the back of his hair knocking his wet hat off into her face.
He let out a chuckle as he pulled the hat out of her face, “Why don’t you get your shower, then I will.”
She looked up at him, those violet eyes were so dark with the need he felt, “We could just take one together.”
His back teeth clenched, his body grew rigid, “I don’t think that’s such a good idea, I have to talk to Ben anyway.” He declined quickly. If he got into that shower with her, he wouldn’t keep his brain about him.
She nibbled that bottom lip of hers and he wanted to take over, “Okay, I’m sorry.” She whispered as she pulled her gaze from him.
“Trust me, babe, I want to, I just think it’s safe that we don’t for now.” He knew he wasn’t explaining very well, but he didn’t know how to either.
He slowly stepped away from her, setting her back on her feet, he kissed her gently and headed out the door. He stood there waiting for the water to start. When it finally did he headed to the living room where Ben was holding Cierra, the way he wanted to hold his darlin’ right now. It was becoming clear that was the way he’d always think of Bree, as his.
Ben looked up at Justin, “Is she okay?”
“I think so, she’s taking a shower now, are you okay, Cierra?”
“Yeah, I’m fine, to Bree, I managed to find a couple people here in town she can talk to, Ben was getting ready to head over to Iris’s.”
“Okay, sounds good, will you call the places, Cierra, ask them to come here to talk to her, the first one who says yes hire them, after a background check.”
“Sure thing, boss.” Cierra ran her hand along Ben’s arm.
Man, he wanted that contact from his darlin’, but until they knew he couldn’t cross that line. And wouldn’t. he watched Ben leave and Cierra jumped on the phone.
He began to pace as he waited for Bree to get done with her shower then he could take his.
“You’re going to wear a hole in that floor, Justin.”
He turned to look at Cierra, “Sorry.”
“Justin, what’s wrong?”
“What’s not wrong? I want a girl I have no clue about, what she likes, dislikes, what will and won’t set her off, I almost jumped off a stupid bridge for her, and I don’t know a damn thing.” He rubbed his hands over his face roughly.
“She want s you too, you know that right, she missed you as soon as you left,” Cierra began and then stood. “Do you think Ben and I know everything about each other? Ben doesn’t know everything about you, nor do I, but we’re still here, Justin.” She laid a hand on his shoulder. “You’re still our friend, and we’re yours, you know that guy would have taken me today, I would have ended up like her, but she stepped in as soon as she realized I was in trouble, the first opportunity she got to run away she did because those other girls are in trouble, she has a good heart, Justin, and you see it.”
“But I thought the worse when you called and said she was gone, like it was a diversion to stop us from finding Marnie and the others, I am terrible for her.”
“You still came, you saved her twice from that dirt bag, you care about her, Justin, everyone can see it, you just have to let yourself see it and do it.”
“But what kind of man am I to care about an eighteen year old, that’s fourteen years between us, if I’m lucky that she is eighteen, what kind of life can I offer her?”
“A good one, Justin, age is a very stupid number and if you two fall in love, no one will stop you, like you said you were going to jump off a bridge for her, you’d go through hell and high water for her, just as Ben would do for me, you already love her, Justin.”
He pulled back from Cierra. He searched her soft cornflower eyes as her words sunk in. He was a pig. He fell in love with such a younger girl, a girl who didn’t even remember having a childhood. He gritted his teeth and stormed out the apartment and slammed the door shut hard, continuing to storm down the steps to his boke. He tore out of the parking garage.
Cierra let out aa sigh as she watched Justin storm away. Maybe she had said the wrong thing. She had never seen him battle himself like this before. She bit her lip as she sat in the computer chair running her fingers through her hair.
Hopefully if he got some space he’d figure things out for himself.
Justin pulled to a stop at the bridge he almost lost Bree. He gritted his teeth, she wasn’t his to lose, when was he going to get that through his head? But he wanted her to be his.
He let out a huff, hating himself, shutting off the engine, he stared at the metal rail. Why had she even come there? He should have stayed and talked to her. Tried to understand how she was feeling.
His phone began to ring shrilly, “Mathers.”
“Justin, you need to get over here now.” Iris’s voice sounded a bit panicky.
“Iris, calm down, what’s wrong?”
“Clay needs to talk to you, now.”
“Okay, on my way.” He hung up and jumped the bike to life and headed to his sister’s. maybe Clay recognized the drawling. One could only hope.
He rushed to Iris’s and flew up into the driveway. He killed the engine and headed inside. As soon as he walked in he ran into Ben, “What’s going on?”
Ben held his hands up, “Ask Clay, they’re in the kitchen.”
Justin headed down the hallway with Ben behind him. Clay was looking very distraught as he bounced his leg and drummed his fingers against the square wooden table. Justin pulled out a chair and sat down, “What’s going on?”
“How did Ben draw that picture?” Iris began.
“The girl I found, she remembered a name, Bree, and she described that man when we got to my apartment for Ben, why?” Justin laid his hands on the table leaning forward a little.
“That man is Tanner Ericson, Dezerea’s husband.” Clay mumbled.
“So, she’s your niece, she’s Emmy.” Justin ran a hand over his mouth. “Can we check the DNA against you, just to be sure.”
“No.” Clay answered shortly.
Justin tensed a little, “Why?”
Clay ran his hands over his face and through his short brown hair, “There’s a reason Dezerea and I were never close, we aren’t blood, I was adopted.”
“Shit.” Justin hung his head, he was so close, so damn close. “Who can I run the DNA against then?” he demanded.
“I’ll have to call my mom, see if she’d do it, I was hoping I wouldn’t have to call her, she’s going to be so disappointed in me for losing Marnie.”
Justin let out a sigh, “Clay, we’ve got to do this, please? And I’m going to find Marnie and the others.”
Clay hung his head as he pulled out his phone slowly and began to make a call, “Mom? I need your help, when’s the last time you saw Emy and Tanner?”
Clay’s face paled as he looked first to Iris then Justin, “When?”
“Why didn’t anyone tell me?” Clay demanded. “I see, I need you to come here, I need you to give some of your DNA, since Tanner is gone.”
Justin’s jaw clenched, gone, great, just great. This kept getting better and better. Bree was going to be heartbroken. His steel gaze locked on Clay the whole conversation.
“We may have found her mom, and since I can’t give any DNA we need you. Tomorrow?” Clay glanced at Justin who nodded his head. “Yeah, that’ll work, just don’t get your hopes up too much, it might not be her, I love you, Mom.” Clay hung up the phone.
“What did you mean by Tanner is gone?” Justin didn’t let his body relax, knowing exactly what was going to be said.
“He was killed, shot actually, I guess the night Emmy went missing, she was sixteen at the time, it happened five years ago, there’s always been a strain between the family, especially after I found out about being adopted, I never felt, complete, my mom said her name was Embry Ericson, but this girl doesn’t remember, but she described Tanner to a t. My mom will be here tomorrow, what are we going to do about Marnie, though?”
“Ben and I will go out again tomorrow, Cierra can collect the swabs and send them out.” Justin stood from the table. “Do you have any pictures of your sister?”
Clay shook his head and laid it in his hands.
“Iris call me when she arrives and I’ll let Cierra know and send her over.”
Iris nodded her head as she scanned his face carefully, “Are you okay, Justin?”
“Fine, just let me know.” He stormed out of the house with Ben behind him.
Ben grabbed his arm and spun him around, “Justin, you can’t tell her until we know, you won’t, will you?”
“Damn it, Ben, I don’t know, she has a right to know.”
“But, what if it’s not true, though?”
“I don’t know, Ben, I can’t keep this from her.”
“Damn, you’ve got it bad.” Ben mused.
“Will you and Cierra stay out of it.” Justin clenched his jaw.
“Well, if it’s true, at least she’s only eleven years instead of fourteen.”
“That’s still ridiculous, she’s still basically a kid.” He grumbled.
“Don’t over think it, Justin, just let it go and if something happens, then something happens, but let me tell you, it’s going to be more hell to fight it.”
Justin glared at Ben a little, “Let’s go, I still need a shower.”
“Thank God, I thought you were sporting a new cologne.”
Justin slugged Ben in the arm then got on his bike, while Ben went to the Sonata.
Holly flew into the apartment and breezed over to the couch. As soon as Bree seen it was her, she fled to the bedroom. Even though she didn’t even know if she’d be allowed to stay in there tonight. She let out a shaky breath as she made her way over to an empty corner of the bedroom.
She sat down, leaning her back against the wall and pulled her legs up to her chest. She had to go back out there, she had to get the others free, if she was caught again it wouldn’t matter. Justin was nice but he didn’t care about her, there was nothing between them. Maybe she’d leave tonight after everyone went to sleep and get them out. Yes, that would be the plan. She’d sacrifice herself for them, they deserved better.
Three days since the girl, one six nine, left. Three miserable days and no one came to save them. Maybe Marnie just dreamed it all up. No one got free, no one was coming for them. All she wanted was her mom and dad.
She had heard the burly man talking that they’d be moved in four days. They had four days to be rescued and if they weren’t, who knew what kind of conditions they would be given to.
But after the fourth time of being battered she had stopped fighting, it hurt too much. She had no idea how one six nine kept up the fight.
Justin and Ben headed up to the apartment in silence at first.
“So, are we going back out tomorrow?”
“What if Sal comes back?”
Justin gritted his teeth hard, “We have to hope that doesn’t happen.” He strolled into his apartment and groaned when he saw Holly but fear rattled him to the core when he didn’t see his darlin’ anywhere. “Where’s Bree?”
“She went down the hallway a little bit ago, she might be in the bathroom or bedroom.”
“Justin made his way down the hall, he saw the bathroom door was open. He headed in, pulling the door shut behind him. He turned the water on, stripped then got in.
He showered quickly, and dried off roughly. He wrapped the towel around himself then headed to his room to get clothes.
He walked into the bedroom, he panicked when he didn’t see his darlin’ on the bed. She better not of, he glanced around then seen her in the corner of the room. He slowly walked up to her, “Babe, what’re you doing?” he crouched down beside her.
“Nothing.” She whispered.
“What’s wrong, darlin’?”
She shook her head.
“Are you okay?”
She shrugged her shoulders.
He sighed a little, he held his hand out to her, “You know there’s a very comfortable bed over there that you can lay on.”
She pulled away from him though.
“Baby, look at me,” he whispered and when she didn’t, he reached out, tilting her head up to meet his gaze. “Come on, beautiful, talk to me.”
“I have nothing to say.”
“Baby, what were you thinking when you left today?”
“I don’t know, I’m confused about everything, when I fell in that water, I wished to die.” She whispered. “Before Cierra showed up I was thinking about jumping, letting the water take away all the pain and never feel it again, you’ll ship me away once you find out who the man is that I remembered, and I don’t blame you.”
Justin pulled Bree into him and hugged her tightly, “Babe, don’t think like that, I’m not going to ship you off.”
“You’ll go back to where ever you came from eventually.”
“Or I could move my business here instead, I already have a place here, I would just have to sell the office and find one here.”
“Maybe I just want to be close to my family again.”
She stared at him without saying anything.
“Come on, let’s go to bed, babe.” He stood and took her with him. Once he laid her on the bed, she hid her face. He turned to his movable drawers, so what if she was a major part of why he wanted to move to Saint Clairsville, Marnie and Iris were another reason, but she was the huge reason. He didn’t want to leave her. Some of what Ben and Cierra had said to him was starting to sink in.
He yanked on a pair of boxers and gym shorts then crawled into bed, pulling the blanket from her face. He cupped it gently, three days and he couldn’t think what his life would be like without her. He brushed his thumb against the fading bruises, “You scared about ten years off of me today when you didn’t come back up and when you weren’t breathing.” He whispered.
“I won’t survive another scare like that, and thank you for trying to help Cierra today, that was so brave of you, you’re a very brave person.” He leaned forward and caught her lips in a whispered of a kiss.
She tensed at first but then leaned into the kiss and it deepened.
He slowly ran a hand up to the back of her neck, massaging with his thumb gently, “Bree.” He moaned out as the fire took him over and he grew rigid beneath the silky shorts.
She slowly pulled back and looked up at him, her violet eyes shone with the need he had. He knew better than this, he didn’t do this. He wasn’t good enough for her, but for some stupid reason he just couldn’t stop what they were feeling.
He pulled her closer to him again and teased her lips open with a gentle tongue and she opened for him. His tongue sneaked in and began to dance with hers, causing her to moan as she sneaked her hand up into his damp hair.
Justin rolled pulling her with him, her legs ended up on either side of his muscular thighs and he nestled up against her perfectly, “Babe, if you don’t want this you have to tell me.” He encouraged as he pulled back to gaze up into her beautiful eyes.
“I think I want this,” she ran her hands against his pecs and six pack abs, not shying away from him.
He pulled her down and began to go for her neck, “If you want me to stop just say so, babe.” He would stop the minute she asked him to.
“Please, don’t stop.” Her voice a sexy husk now.
He let out a loud moan against her neck as he slid his hands up beneath the black hoodie she had changed into. He massaged her back as she squirmed against him. “You okay?” he rasped out.
She leaned back to look at him and nodded her head.
He nudged her back, bringing her close to him and began to kiss her again. He slid his hands from her back to her sides then cupped her breasts, rubbing the peaks with his thumbs, testing the weight of them in his hands, which was perfect for him.
Bree pulled back at the shock of the feeling that ran down her body. She looked at Justin, “What was that?” she whispered.
“Well, if it’s anything close to how I’m feeling, it’s you feeling very turned on.” Justin encouraged gently. “A tingling sensation and shock?”
Bree nodded her head.
“You want me as bad as I want you.” Her breasts were still in his hands as they heaved against him. “We can stop, beautiful.”
“I’ve never felt this way before, at least not that I remember, I hated when the others touched me.” She saw how dark his gray eyes had grown as she felt them run across her face. “You feel it too, though, and it’s a good thing to feel?”
“Yes, to both questions.” He answered softly.
She ran her hands over the front of his very tone body, “Please, Justin.” She ached in places she didn’t remember aching in.
“I’m going to take your sweatshirt off, okay?”
She nodded her head and let him pull it up off of her.
His gaze darkened even more as he raked it over her and he grew even more rigid beneath her. He pulled her up toward him, bending his head a little and caught one aching nipple in his mouth then the other with his forefinger and thumb, rolling it and tugging the other.
She let out a gasp as the shock ran across her body. She shoved her fingers into his soft blonde hair, pulling him closer. She let out a gasp when she felt him roll her onto her back. He slowly got off the bed, heading to his drawers. He opened the top one and pulled something out and made his way back to her.
He pushed his red, silky shorts off then climbed back on the bed. She wondered what this would mean between them, all she knew she wanted it, whatever this was.
His hands went to her sweatpants and slid them off of her. She felt her heat rise over her cheeks as he seemed to drink his fill of her, “Baby, you’re so beautiful.” He whispered and leaned down and caught her lips slowly and softly.
She gripped his shoulders tightly as she kissed him back. She felt only a need, for what, she didn’t know, but only this man could fulfill it. She wasn’t insecure or scared, she knew what fear was and this wasn’t something she had to fear with Justin.
She felt Justin adjust himself, getting rid of his boxers, and his straining flesh bumped against her making her let out a whimper.
“Are you sure?” he whispered against her ear again.
“Yes.” She reassured, clutching his shoulders more.
He entered her slowly and she clutched his shoulders tighter.
Bree gasped and winced at the pain she felt when he pushed inside her.
He pulled back, “Shit, babe, we don’t have to.”
She leaned up and kissed him urgently, “Don’t stop.” She begged.
He entered her more and she dug her nails into his shoulders but he slowly began a rhythm that was slow at first. As she arched up into him the pain disappeared as he continued to move repeatedly into her. She squirmed against him. As she moaned softly feeling so much but unsure what it was.
All she knew was it was amazing. He leaned down and kissed her fast and urgently. She let out a scream as the explosion over ran her quickly.
She felt his lips move to her neck and he convulsed against her, tightening his hands in the sheet beside her head.
He let out a shuddering breath as he rolled from her a little but pulled her close to him.
Justin couldn’t believe he was her first and he now wanted to be her last. But he was fearful of what would happen once the DNA came back for Clay’s mom being her grandma.
He let out a sigh as he carefully disposed of the protection he had used and smiled when he felt his darlin’ move closer to him, laying her head on his shoulder. He tightened his arms around her, kissing her temple, “Are you okay, darlin’?”
She nodded her head as she let out a shaky breath.
“Are you sure?” he looked down at her. “You can ask me anything, babe.”
She gazed up at him and began firing off so many questions about what had just happened between them. That was how they spent most of the night, her asking and him answering the best he could until she slowly dozed off against him.
He let out a huff, he couldn’t believe that he’d taken her and he felt like he could do it so many more times. Finally, his racing mind halted and he snuggled close to his darlin’ and fell asleep with her.