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Chapter 2

When I saw her walk into the diner, her honey hair dripping with water, her damp clothes clinging to her body, I was awestruck. She is absolutely stunning. She is a walking wet dream. I was instantly drawn to her, aching to feel her hair between my fingers, her skin beneath my lips.

She hadn’t realized I was there, which was fine. In my line of work being unnoticed was the best way to be. The owner seemed to cherish her, at first I thought they may be related based on how they acted towards each other but I changed my mind. The fair skinned, honey blonde, blue eyed beauty looked nothing like the dark skinned, green eyed Hispanic owner.

The owner, Greta, had mentioned she walks home after her closing shift and that didn’t sit well with me. After the phone call she received I decided I would wait around and make sure she got home safe. I don’t even know her name but the entire situation was raising flags in my brain.

After I left the diner I jogged back to my car to grab my jacket. I was going to offer her a ride before I opened my big mouth and pissed her off while I was paying. I meant to be funny, though I don’t know how I could have thought insulting her childhood was funny. Smooth, Gabe. Now I am resorting to stalking her until she reaches her house. I glanced at my glove compartment and considered grabbing my hand gun. I decided against it, considering I was off duty an hour ago, got out and locked the car. When I reached the diner, she was already gone. Damn, I didn’t think I took that long.

“LET ME GO!” I heard her scream from around the corner.

I ran down the street and peered around the corner. Four men stood in a circle, Amy’s hair barely visible sticking out beside one mans arm. She was clearly fighting, the man holding her was jerking around trying to keep her contained.

“YOU BASTARD!” She screamed. One man, the smallest of the four, flinched but didn’t say anything.

Panic gripped my chest. Panic and explosive anger that someone would dare touch her without consent. I felt strangely protective. What the hell had she gotten herself into? These men weren’t fucking around, I could see the guns peaking out of their pants. I need to go get my own.

I ran back to my car as fast as I could, sending up a prayer that she would be okay until I got back. I quickly loaded it and started running back. The closer I got the more I could hear. I was just about to the corner when I heard “Ready or not here we come!”

I stopped at the corner and peered around to see her racing down the street, three men following her. The fourth was gone. She was moving fast, making good headway, but as soon as the men started after her it was clear she wouldn’t stay ahead for long.

I bolted after them, staying in the shadows as best as I could so not to give myself away. I was about fifteen feet away when one man got close enough to tackle her. I heard her head bounce off the pavement and winced. She’s likely unconscious after that hit.

I crouched down out of site, held my gun up and aimed. Like a well-oiled machine I picked the three off one by one before they even realized what was happening. I ran over to Amy, who laid on the cement sidewalk on her stomach unconscious, her face turned to the side, blood running down it from a gash on her forehead. I checked over the rest of her to look for any visible injuries but didn’t see any. I walked over to do a once over on the men, see who they were. When the tattoo on one of the men’s arm caught my attention, my blood ran cold.

I knew these men. And I just started a war.

I quickly carried Amy to my car and headed for my house. I lived an hour away, I was in the Bronx doing some recon. I contemplated going to the hospital but I didn’t want to risk it. I have no idea what those guys were going after her for or how they even knew her. If they even knew her or if she was a random hit. Based on the call she received I assume not, but who knows. Until I knew what’s going on nothing is safe. I didn’t even feel like I could call my boss about this yet, though I would have to call and explain the bodies soon. I had no idea what to do with her.

When we arrived at my house Amy had started stirring but wasn’t awake yet. I pulled into the garage and locked everything up before I carried her into the house and laid her on the bed in the spare room. After I retrieved the medical kit I sat down beside her and started wiping her laceration. It was fairly large and needed stitches. I was about half way through cleaning it as gently as possible when her eyes shot open.

She bolted upright and started screaming.

“Hey, hey! I’m not going to hurt you!” I held up my arms, got off the bed and backed away to show her I was serious.

She stared at me for a moment before it clicked.

“You were at the restaurant?”

“Yes. My name is Gabe.”

“Why are you here? Where am I?” She looked around, terror still displayed on her face. I wanted to reach over and sooth her, wipe the terror off her face and make her feel safe but instead I stood there with my arms up in surrender, waiting.

“I was down the road, I heard you screaming.” I said, staring her in the eye willing her to believe me.

“Oh.” Her cheeks went red and she looked down.

Is she embarrassed? What the hell is she embarrassed for?

“Can I finish dressing your wound?”

She looked startled and reached up to her forehead. She winced when she made contact. “Uh, yeah. Thanks.”

She scooted back to the edge of the bed, wincing the entire way. The pain on her face seemed stronger than reasonable from the laceration.

“What’s wrong?”

“Oh, nothing. My back is killing me.” She shrugged, then groaned at the movement.

“Let me look.” I moved to behind her and lifted the back of her sweater.

Her entire back was red and starting to bruise. There is a large welt from one side to the other, it looked like she had been whipped with a crowbar.

“Jesus.” I muttered.

“What? What is it?”

“Did they hit you with something?”

“Yeah. I don’t know what, I wasn’t really paying attention when they attacked me.”

“You’ve probably got some cracked ribs. Does it hurt to breathe?”


“I’ll wrap them.”

I moved back to grab the tape out of the first aid kit.

“Why do you have all these supplies?” She asked me. I glanced over to the kit and realized it probably was shocking to regular people. I had everything from IV’s to stitching supplies.

“Occupational hazard.”

“Oh. What do you do?”

“I’m an FBI Agent.”

“What? Really?” She whipped around to stare at me, her blue eyes wide with shock.

I chuckled. She is so damn beautiful. Every time she looks at me I am draw to her. I want to taste her lips against mine, feel her soft skin glide under my fingertips.

“What did you think I do?”

“I don’t know. Finances?”

I full belly laughed at that and had to pause wrapping her ribs.

“I am the least mathematically inclined person ever. I hate math. I can do it perfectly well, I wasn’t bad at it per-say, but I definitely don’t enjoy it.”

She laughed along with me, cringing with every movement. “Don’t make me laugh, it hurts.”

“Sorry.” I chuckled again and continued on her ribs.

Every time my fingers brushed against her skin it electrified me. Her smooth skin sent waves through my body straight to my core.

“So, tell me who those guys were.” I asked.

She shivered, “My dad owed them money.”


“Yeah. I guess I was the payment.”

“What?” I clenched my jaw and my fists, trying to control my anger. Taking women as payment?! That’s a new low, even for them.

“Yeah. Hey, thanks for getting me out of there. How did you get me out of there by the way?”

“I shot them.”

She was silent for a moment and I almost regretted telling her. I didn’t want her to be afraid of me. She has stirred things inside of me that haven’t been stirred in a long time, if ever. I wanted to get to know her on all levels and I’ve never wanted that before.

“Did you shoot my dad?” She finally spoke.

“Was he the small one?”


“Then no, he was gone before I came back with my gun.”

“Oh. Okay. Well, thanks for saving me.”

We sat in awkward silence while I finished bandaging her ribs and sewed up her forehead. It would definitely scar but I did my best on the stitches trying to make it look nice. After I cleaned up I put the kettle on, remembering she had tea at the restaurant.

“Thanks,” She said as I handed her the mug. “so, what now? Do I go to the police? I guess you kind of are the police. Are other men going to come back for me? What about my roommate? Oh my God Rose!” She rambled before frantically searching her pockets. “My phone is gone! I must have dropped it, I need to warn Rose.”

“I have a phone you can use.” I stood to go grab one of my burner phones out of my office. When I came back she was pacing frantically, wearing a path in my rug. “Here you go.”

She raised an eyebrow at me when she looked at the flip phone before she dialed.

“Rose, its me. I’m going to keep calling until you answer.” She said into the phone before hanging up. And she did, she called four times before she stopped pacing and visibly relaxed. “Rose, its me. You need to pack a bag and go stay at Austen’s. Now. My dad sold me to some crazy guy for his drug debt. Or gambling debt, hell probably both. Anyway, they tried to take me.” I could hear the girl on the other end of the line freaking out, using some strong language to reference the father and men. I held in a laugh at the ‘crazy buggers’ remark, she has no idea how hard she hit that nail on the head.

“No, I’m safe. Actually turns out one of my customers from last night is an FBI Agent, he helped me.”

“The Italian God? Please tell me it was the Italian God.” The other girl shrieked into the phone and started making sex noises. Amy’s face went bright red before she spun to face away from me.

I couldn’t hold in my laughter any longer. Normally I wouldn’t be so cocky to assume it was me but the look on her face was all the confirmation I needed. “Tell Rose I say hi.” I managed between laughs.

“You are an idiot, Rose. He says hi.” Amy bit out.

“Ohemgeee he heard me!” Rose said as Amy shot me a glare.

I took that as my cue to leave and busied myself in the kitchen, close enough I could eavesdrop without being seen. Amy told Rose she would report the ‘incident’ to police and then meet Rose at this Austen’s place and asked that she call Greta for her and explain that she wouldn’t be in for a few days. Once she got off the phone I waited a few minutes before bringing the snacks and glasses of water I had prepared into the living room.

“Godlike Italian, huh?” I laughed as I walked in the room.

“It was Italian God.” She snapped, then blushed and walked away.

“Well, I have to say that’s something I’ve never been referred to before.” I smirked and set the snacks, which consisted of crackers, meat and cheese, down on the coffee table.

“I bet you’ve been called an asshole before.” She grumbled.

“Yes, now that one I’ve heard before.” I laughed again and grabbed some of the food.

She sat on the couch opposite to me and reached for some, her sleeve pulling up and exposing a tattoo on her wrist. I caught a glimpse of a turtle and flower before she had one of each option and pulled her arm back.

“So, you have a tattoo?”

“Uh, what?”

“The tattoo. On your wrist. A turtle?”

“Oh yeah.”

“Why a turtle?”

“My mom always used to say ‘slow down, like the turtle. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you, as long as you get there. Sometimes you have to just go with the current’ and then she would go on about how much we could learn from the turtles.” She giggled and it was the sweetest sound I had ever heard, “She was kind of crazy but the good kind.”

I stared at her, not sure if I should but really wanting to ask what happened. She referred to her as ‘was’ and ‘used to’ so obviously something had. She looked up and caught my gaze, almost reading the question there.

“My family was in a car accident when I was nine.” She said, assumingly to answer my question, but it just brought more.

I didn’t pry, the hurt was evident in her eyes and even in the way she had rubbed the tattoo while she spoke, so instead I asked her, “So who is Austen?”

“Rose’s boyfriend.” She said and grabbed more food.

“Oh okay. Will your dad know to send anyone there looking for you?”

“No, Rose and I met in college after I cut my dad out of my life. Well, tried. He wouldn’t know Rose and I are friends not just roommates, let alone who her boyfriend is.”

“Good.” I didn’t want her to leave, but I couldn’t exactly ask her to stay. I watched as she took a sip of her tea and all I could see was her lips wrapped around my manhood, her deep blue eyes staring at me through her eyelashes. “I should probably call and let my boss know what happened.”

I walked to my office, trying to give myself some space from her before I jumped her bones. Pull yourself together, she is injured and was just assaulted for fuck sakes! I yelled to myself.

I dialed my boss, his groggy voice answered on the second ring, and explained everything that had happened. He wasn’t pleased with the situation but was relieved I hadn’t been seen. We knew sending me into the area was risky but it was an unrelated and entirely safe job only meant to last the day so we went ahead with it.

When I walked back into the living room a short while later, Amy was passed out on the couch. I contemplated leaving her but with her ribs in their condition it didn’t feel right. I cleaned up the food and dishes, waiting a bit to ensure she was asleep as I often do with my niece and nephew, before I scooped her up and carried her back into the spare room.

My bedroom, the next room over, was normally my reprieve from the world. Tonight it felt suffocating as I laid mere feet away from the gorgeous woman in the next room. I tossed and turned for hours wondering what secrets lie behind her big blues, wondering what had caused the hurt I caught occasional glances of. Picturing all the things I wanted to do to her to make her moan my name and then scream it in ecstasy, before I finally fell asleep.

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