“Mr. and Mrs. Miller?” I asked Jack in a mocking tone.
“That’s what popped in my mind at that moment.” Jack said as he placed my bag and his on the carpeted floor. “Besides, I thought Mr. and Mrs. Wolfe would have been too suspicious in case the guy had checked the news.”
I threw open the bathroom door and was surprised to find it clean despite the fact that the Motel looked like it was a movie set out of a horror movie.
I started to sit on the bed,
“Wait!” Jack interrupted me before I sat down.
He pulled the sheet off and checked the mattress, after he’d thoroughly inspected it, he passed me a slow grin. “Just checking for bed bugs, you never know what type of creatures lurk in places like these.”
I snorted. He was right. And just like that it hit me. There was only one Queen sized bed in the room and it was way smaller then the king sized bed I occupied in Jack’s cabin. Suddenly, I started to feel nervous about sleeping in one bed. Not that I was particularly disgusted by the idea, actually far from it. My heart beat too fast in my chest like being back in high school and having asked by the teacher to sit beside my crush.
Yeah, I had it very bad for him.
He eyed me suspiciously as if reading my mind, he said. “I’ll take the couch. You can sleep on the bed.”
“No! You can sleep in the bed too.” I said it so fast that it may have seemed a little too looked desperate.
Jack’s gaze on me was unwavering. “I did promise you that we’d steer clear off each other and sleeping in the same bed doesn’t seem like a great idea.”
I breathed in and out and shook my head. “You have a lot of hours to drive so you need a lot of rest before you’re behind the wheel again. We can manage for one night. You sleep on your side and I’ll sleep on mine.”
His serious expressions cracked into a mocking smile. “Are you sure, Nurse Riley? Because I’m neither a boy-scout nor a gentleman so I can’t guarantee I’ll stay on my side of the bed. Would you take the risk?”
It was like asking me if I wanted to sit on the most dangerous and the scariest rollercoaster ride in the amusement park.
I didn’t know what had possessed me when I said. “Yes.”
“If you agree to sleep in the same bed as me, Cotton-Candy, then I may have to terminate that rule of staying away from you.”
I nodded. “That’s okay.”
He took off his wig and contact lenses and stashed it inside his bag. “Very well then.” He pointed at the shower. “Mind if I take a shower first?”
“Not at all.” I replied.
I heard the sound of the shower as I settled at the end of the bed. There was the sound of the heavy rain outside that seemed like it wouldn’t cease until morning and that was okay. I’d been reluctant to stay with Jack at first but now as the days had passed getting to know him, I’d slowly drifted into the comfort of his life. To wake up as I pleased, to cook whatever I liked, to have him eat it, not having to worry about a job, or anything else. It was almost like...
We were a married couple.
And I felt guilty for wanting to have this life. With him.
Who was I kidding? I couldn’t dream of a happy life with a criminal, a notorious serial killer at that.
Deep down I knew it couldn’t be him but there was also this small part of me that screamed it could be Jack.
What if Aaron was right about Jack being a master manipulator? If that was indeed true, then Jack was a good actor. A charming man, playing his cards right, a psychopath who knew how to get people to do what he wanted while maintaining a innocent facade, but inside he would be laughing at us for being too foolish to be blind to the real him.
I switched on the little ancient television propped on the table. A few minutes later, I heard the shower go off and Jack walked out of the steaming bathroom with a towel wrapped around his waist.
His hair was dripping wet. My gaze traveled below and I’d hardly ever noticed how brawny his chest was. His body was Herculean, the small curly hair sprinkled over his chest, circling his navel and disappearing deliciously down what was covering the most interesting part of his body.
The saddest part was him catching me staring. “You know Riley, if you want, I can drop the towel. Do you want me to?”
My cheeks became colored. I scrambled to my bag pack. “I’m going to take a shower too.”
He chuckled. “Please go ahead.”
When I walked out of the shower after twenty minutes (after scrubbing each part of my body extensively, just in case), I found Jack on his side of the bed, his eyes shut right and slightly snoring.
I sighed feeling a little disappointed.
I switched off the light, and lied down on my side. I’d closed by eyes when I heard.
“Riley, are you awake?” His voice was husky and low.
My eyes shot open. “Yeah.”
“Can I ask you to promise me something?” He asked, his tone was unsure as if I would dismiss the idea of promising him anything.
“What is it?”
“When you go back home, would you promise me to stay safe?”
“I promise you.” I said and this time I turned to face him in bed and my breath caught in my throat as I realized how close his body was to mine.
The heat from his body was warming me in ways I didn’t know was possible. The scent of his musky body-wash was making my knees weak. His dark eyes watched me intently.
He brought his hand to my face and softly brushed my hair away. Something blazed in his eyes. Something so passionate and powerful. “I will miss you, Cotton-Candy.”
It was me who lunged forward and brought my mouth crashing down to his. I watched his eyes widen in surprise once before he kissed me back open-mouthed like a hungry animal as an invitation to continue what I was doing. When he plunged his tongue deep into my mouth I moaned loudly and grasped the thick strands of his dark hair.
He left my mouth to trail kisses down my jaw and collarbone. His eyes met mine, “Are you sure about this?”
I gave him a nod. “I’m sure.”
He pulled the strap of my tank top down my shoulder, “once you give yourself to me, there’s no turning back. There’s no in-between. There can’t be anyone else other than me.”
“There won’t be.” I smiled.
He smiled back, “well then.”
Jack lifted his t-shirt over his shoulders and tossed it aside, helping me to do the same with mine. He unclasped my bra with urgency and squeezed my breast firmly. My gaze momentarily flicked to his arm covered in tattoos. I could feel the thickness through the thin fabric of his boxers.
Jack rubbed against and growled, low and masculine. His kiss grew wilder as he peeled every last bit of clothing we wore leaving us both bare. He hadn’t said he loved me, neither had I, but his actions spoke volumes.
“I want to touch you.” I said. I was being quite bold for someone who’d been terrorized by him for months.
The hunger for Jack that I’d kept caged inside my body was spilling out. I should have been ashamed of myself. Everyone at the hospital had warned me about him, told me to stay away and yet here I was willingly climbing in his bed. The guilt and the shame had left my body for good.
“How much I wanted to do this to you since the very first day you walked into my room, Nurse Riley.” He breathed.
“I can’t blame you. I’ve had filthy thoughts about you too.” I admitted.
He chuckled. “Do tell, Nurse Riley. Taking advantage of your patient like this, it’s against the hospital rules.”
“Then maybe we should stop.” I teased him.
“I never said I had any problem with you taking advantage of me.”
I laughed as he reached towards the desk and opened the drawer. He pulled out a square packet and grinned. “I like this motel. It comes equipped.”
My giggles were replaced by groans and an insatiable urge to have him inside me. Before I knew what was happening, he was ravishing my body and then driving into me relentlessly. The lovemaking was intense and raw. When the frenzy was over, I had tears trailing down my eyes.
Jack appeared confused. “Did I hurt you?”
I shook my head. “You didn’t.” I wiped my tears. “I’m just too sensitive, I guess.”
“No you’re not.” He said rolling off me, leaning with his head propped over his arm. He stared at me intently, his brown eyes bore into mine. “You’re thinking of something else. What is it?”
I was afraid of speaking it, what if I asked him and he shut himself down or worse. “It’s nothing.”
Jack scooted closer and kissed my shoulder blade. “Tell me, Cotton-Candy.”
I stared back at him, my eyes still glistening with tears. “You’re not a psychopath, are you?”
He smiled sweetly, “If I knew that having you in my bed would make you realize that, I would have had you here sooner.”
“Oh, Jack. I’m so sorry I didn’t believe you.”
“You don’t need to apologize.” He said.
“I want to help you.” I blurted out.
“Help me?” he raised his eyes.
“I’ll help you catch the killer.”
“I can’t put you in danger. Whoever is after me clearly keeps record of people I care about and I can’t tangle you in this mess. You can help me by staying out of trouble, Riley.” With the authoritative voice he’d used, I couldn’t argue with him. He continued. “When you go back to your job, they will ask you questions and I won’t blame you for telling them the truth because if you tell them that you think I’m innocent, they are going to think I manipulated you, or worse. If you hide my location, they would think that you are supporting a criminal.”
“What do you want me to do?” I asked.
“Give them what they want. Tell them about the cabin, let them tear down the place.”
“And where would you go?”
He shrugged. “I’m good at hiding, Riley. I’ll manage.”
I brushed my fingers on his gruff jawline. “And what about us?”
“Us?” he chuckled and kissed me deeply. “A Nurse and a wanted criminal can’t have a future, Cotton-Candy. Not now, not ever.”
My heart hurt. “It is possible.” I reasoned. “After we clear your name, we can be together.”
“I like the sound of ‘we’, but in my case, I’d rather die than watch something happen to you. I won’t ever forgive myself.”
“You didn’t kill your mother, right?”
With the mention of his mother, his jaw tightened and I thought I saw that dangerous guy who used to be locked up. “She went missing one day and a week later the police started the investigation, but before that I found the suitcase in the shed. A suitcase soaked in blood.” He recited it so calmly that it scared me. His voice was devoid of emotion. “Her body parts were inside. I’d opened it and clearly, my fingerprints were all over it. I didn’t kill my mother, Riley.”
I couldn’t say I was sorry, or even console him with such words. I couldn’t imagine the darkness he held within himself having gone through something so traumatic and gruesome. “After that, I wasn’t really myself. I’ve been violent in the past but I’ve never hurt someone. Instead, I would lock myself up in my room or admit myself into the institution when it got out of hands. But they believe I did it. They think I was always crazy and that I lost it and killed my own mother.”
He buried his face between the crook of my shoulder blade and my neck. I could feel the wetness of his tears on my skin. There was silence. He said in a anguished whisper. “I would never hurt her. I didn’t kill her. Do you believe me, Riley?”
“I believe you, Jack.” I said.