Home > All Things Pretty, Part Two (Pretty #3.5)(7)

All Things Pretty, Part Two (Pretty #3.5)(7)
Author: M. Leighton

Maybe there’s a way I can help her, a way that we can both live with.  Talk to my captain, to the DA, to anybody who will listen about getting her reduced sentencing.  I mean, she was a juvenile when she killed her brother. And it was accidental at that.  Self-defense, some could even argue. I mean, if he’d turned his rage on her…

Then there are the checks, also forged while she was a minor.  But she didn’t say she stopped cashing them once she made the deal with Tonin.  And, if she were smart, she probably didn’t so that it wouldn’t raise any brows or questions about the welfare of her mother.


Then there’s whatever she might have been complicit in as far as Tonin’s dirty dealings.  Jesus in a jumpsuit, she’s in a shitload of trouble if all this comes out.

And that’s up to me.

If I don’t tell, and Tonin for some reason doesn’t rat her out… could I go on, knowing this, and never tell?  Could I do that and still look myself in the mirror?  Could I not, though?  Could I live with myself if I didn’t do anything and everything for her, to help her?

I don’t have the answer. To any of those questions. I just hope something comes to me before I need them.

I glance over at Tommi where she sits in the passenger seat.  No matter what she’s done, no matter what happens from this point on, she will still be my Tommi.  The woman who draws my soul like bees to honey.  She’s good. Deep down. There’s no question of that.  And regardless of what unfolds from here on, I’ll fight for her, for her case and her life, until my dying breath.  I begged her to trust me and she did.  Even though I knew I’d have to betray that trust to some degree, I had no idea what I was actually asking of her.  But she did.  She knew she’d be giving me everything I could ever need to destroy her whole life.  Yet she did it anyway.  Knowing how thoroughly I could screw her, she did it. She trusted me when she’s never trusted anyone else. She picked me.

Determination sets in.  I can’t let her down.  I have to do whatever I can. Whatever it is.  I have to. I know I do.  As God is my witness, I’ll go to my grave trying to make good on her trust because no one else ever has.  And she deserves that. After all that she’s been through, she deserves someone to love her that much.

I should probably tell her that I’m a cop, but it would be crazy to risk the operation at this stage.  If I can take Tonin down, half her worries will be over. So for her good as well as that of my career, I’ll keep my mouth shut a little bit longer.

When the old restaurant comes into view, I pull around to the next block, to the side street, so we can approach from the rear of the building. I don’t want to advertise our presence.

I turn toward Tommi, who looks exhausted. Like she might fall apart any second now.  “Stay here.  I’ll–”

“Don’t even finish that sentence. I’m coming with you.  That’s my brother in there.  At least I hope to God it is.”

“Tommi, I–”

“Unless you plan to knock me out or tie me to the roof of this truck, I’m coming.  Stop wasting time.”

Her face is pale, but determined.  And really, I don’t blame her. I’d be the same way if it were one of my brothers or my sister in there.

“Stay behind me.  No matter what.  You hear me?”

She nods once. “Behind you. Got it.”

I reach across in front of Tommi and unlock the glove compartment. I remove the “illegal” gun I was given for my cover ID.  At this point, I don’t give a shit if it’s legal or not; I just want it to shoot.

We both get out and meet at the tailgate. I stuff the gun into the back of my waistband and take Tommi’s hand. Together we walk down the sidewalk toward the old restaurant.  A million things left unsaid. A lifetime of questions for just the next five minutes.

I’m immediately suspicious, my instincts on high alert when we get close enough to see that the back door is open.  So is the door to the matching storage building across a narrow alley.  I pull Tommi to a stop, but before I can decide our next move, Barber, Lance Tonin’s right hand man, appears at the entrance to the smaller building.  Alarm bells start sounding and my gut tells me that this is all about to go sideways.

He smiles, a gesture that I guess is what a rat would look like if it were capable of such expression.  “Just in time. Come on in.”

He disappears inside and I turn to Tommi. “Please.  Go back to the truck.  Get the hell out of here. I’m begging you.”

She looks me in the eye, nothing but bravery and determination on her beautiful face.  “He’s my brother.  And-and I won’t let you clean up my messes.”

Yeah, it might be the worst possible time in the world for something like this, but I don’t give a shit.  Things are happening.  Most likely the sun will rise on a totally different reality for all of us tomorrow.  Gotta make the most of right now.

I cup Tommi’s face in my hands, staring intently down into the emerald green I’ll probably never be able to forget, no matter what happens.  “I’d walk through fire for you. And for anyone you care about.  You don’t have to do this alone anymore.  You’ve got me.”

Tears well in her eyes, turning sparkling jewels into liquid pools.  Her chin trembles the tiniest bit and she winds her fingers around my wrists, holding me to her.  “Whatever today or tomorrow, or next month or next year holds, I will never regret you.  Whether you know it or not, you saved me.”

God, how I want to!  I wish I could just sweep her off her feet and run with her, far and fast.  But I can’t.  For a hundred different reasons, I can’t.  And I won’t.  I’m not one to run from anything and this is no exception.  We’ll face this, whatever this ends up being, together.

My mouth falls onto Tommi’s in a kiss that was meant to be gentle, sincere.  But the urgency of the situation, the uncertainty of tomorrow turns it into a rough, wild plundering. When I pull away, we’re both gasping for air.  The moment is real and raw and maybe as honest as any we’ve shared.

And I know that Tommi feels it, too. I can see it in the lines of her face, in the way her eyes soften.

“Sig, I…I–”

My chest gets tight. I know what she’s going to say.  Whether in truth or as a result of the turmoil, I don’t know, but right at this moment, she loves me.  In a way, I hope she doesn’t finish her sentence, doesn’t tell me.

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Sinclairs series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
» This Man series
» One Night series
» Fixed series
Most Popular
» A Thousand Letters
» Wasted Words
» My Not So Perfect Life
» Caraval (Caraval #1)
» The Sun Is Also a Star
» Everything, Everything
» Devil in Spring (The Ravenels #3)
» Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels #2)
» Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels #1)
» Norse Mythology