Home > Up to Me (The Bad Boys #2)(14)

Up to Me (The Bad Boys #2)(14)
Author: M. Leighton

Olivia clears her throat and brings me back to the present.  “How’d it go?”

“I’ll tell you all about it when I get there.  Do you need anything as I come through town?”

“Ummm, not that I can think of.  With what you brought last night, I think I’m all set.”

“Good.  Okay, I’ll see you in a little while for lunch then.  We can order something up to the room.”

Immediately, my thoughts go to the dining room table in the hotel room, to pushing aside china and crystal glasses and heavy silverwear, to tearing that damned robe off her and easing my body into hers.

I bite my lip when I feel blood flow divert away from all my vital, thinking organs in favor of the fun ones.  I’ve gotta stop thinking about shit like that.  I can’t very well ride back to Atlanta, on a motorcycle, with a huge hard-on.  At least not comfortably.

“Mmmm, that sounds good.”  Part of what makes me bite my lip harder is what she said; it’s like she knew exactly what I was thinking.  But most of the reason is the way she said it.  She’s got the sexiest voice when she talks low like that.  It’s got a hoarseness to it, like a rumble that I can feel vibrate through me. Wakes my dick up every time.  And he didn’t need any help today!

“All right then.  See you soon.”  I hang up.  I know it probably seemed abrupt to her, but it was either that or take a few extra minutes to walk off a boner before traveling back to the city.  And I hate leaving her alone for one second longer than I have to.  I’m pretty sure she’s safe, but I’m not certain.  And as long as I can’t be certain, I won’t be taking any unnecessary chances.



I flip my head up from drying my hair and stare at my reflection.  I can see the worry in my eyes.  I don’t know if Cash can or not, and if that’s making things worse or not, but something sure is.

It seems like the tension between us is growing. And not in a good way.  The sexual tension is still there.  For sure.  But it’s taking a back seat now to whatever else is going on to trouble the waters.

It might just be a collection of things.  I know I’m feeling a little uncertain.  About him, about the situation, about…everything.

Damn Taryn and her stupid comments!

I know I shouldn’t pay that much attention to her, but it seems like her words snapped me out of a trance, one where I was ignoring everything in order to focus on Cash.  And look where that got me!  A kidnapped cousin and an all-expense paid trip to a luxury hotel that might as well be a prison.

It wouldn’t feel so much like captivity if Cash and I weren’t so tense around each other.  I know what my issues are.  It’s his that concern me.  Why has he grown distant and uneasy?  Is it just the situation with Marissa?  Does he feel guilty? Is he worried about giving up the books and losing the only means he had of helping his father?  I’m sure he’s feeling all those things.  But the question is:  is there more?  Does it have anything to do with me?

As I finish getting ready for work, I grumble silently over this strange new predicament and how selfish I am to be so focused on it when there are more important things at stake.  When I’ve threaded thin gold hoops through my pierced ears, I shut off the bathroom light and make my way to the living room.

“Okay. I’m ready whenever you are,” I say to Cash where he’s sitting on the couch, pretending to watch television. I can tell by the way he starts when I speak that his mind was elsewhere.  Deep, deep, deep in elsewhere.

He smiles.  And my heart skips a beat.  Just like always.

“I guess it’s working out perfectly that you wanted to work tonight, huh?  Now we both have reason to be there.  You can make some money and I can keep an eye on you.”

“You don’t have to keep an eye on me.  In fact, we don’t even need to stay here probably.  They have Marissa.  You’re taking them the books.  This should all be over with tomorrow, right?”

I’m not sure what to make of Cash’s expression.  But even if I did, I wouldn’t trust that I’m interpreting it correctly.  I think I’m just too sensitive right now.  To everything about him.

He nods and smiles, but the smile is tight.  “It should be, yes.  Just bear with me a little while longer. Please.”

The last word is added with a hesitant sincerity that makes me feel bad for…something.  Like I’ve wounded him somehow.  But I can’t imagine that’s true.  Still, it seems that way.

“Of course.  Whatever you think is best.  I mean, come on.  Room service and marble bathtubs?  What’s not to love, right?”

“Precisely.”  His grin still doesn’t reach his eyes.

“Let’s go make some money.”

Ten minutes later, as we zip through the streets of Atlanta on his bike, I revel in the feel of having my arms wrapped around Cash’s waist.  It’s the one time I can hang onto him without giving thought as to why I’m holding on or if I’m holding on too tight.  Or if I should be holding on at all.

I wish I had a giant rewind button. I’d take us back a few days, to the day he came to Salt Springs to find me, to the day I felt like I was his and he was mine, to the day I stopped thinking about everything else.

To before I talked to Taryn.  And she reminded me that leopards don’t often change their spots.  They’re beautiful as they are, but they should be admired from a distance. Where they can’t reach you with their claws, claws that could easily tear a girl’s heart out.

When Cash rounds the corner and Dual comes into view, my heart sinks.  Taryn is already here.  And she’s sitting in her car, no doubt waiting for someone to unlock the doors and let her in.  I heard Cash call Gavin, the part-time manager, and tell him not to worry about opening up, that he’d be in.

Holy crap! I didn’t even think about that!

As Cash drives past her car and around the building to his garage, I see her eyes follow us.  Even through the tinted face shield of the helmet, I can feel the sharp tips of the daggers she’s throwing my way.  I assume that this will bring an abrupt and likely ugly end to our truce.


The garage door opens with the push of a button on Cash’s bike and he guides us inside and cuts the engine.  I hop off quickly, hoping Taryn doesn’t come around and make a big scene.

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