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Chapter 2

November 14, 2007

            Evan was a great emotional support, but she wouldn’t dare involved him in her problems. She called Aldridge’s office from school that same day she had gotten locked in disguising her voice in order to get to him through the receptionist. Once she had gotten to him, she let him know she had gotten her aunt to verbally agree.

            “I’ll have a courier deliver papers for her to sign before you give her any money,” Aldridge said.

            “Don’t worry, I haven’t gotten the money yet anyway. I’m still trying to come up with it. How much do you think a liver is?” She tried to make light of her situation despite the upset she felt all over.

            Seriously, Aldridge asked, “How are you really holding up, Shane?”

            Lying was becoming tiresome, but she didn’t change her story. “As well as can be expected, Aldridge. Look, I have to go. I don’t want to be late for class. Thanks so much for everything.”

            Three days after the incident on their way home from work late one night, Evan suggested offhandedly when she was looking overly bothered and not saying anything, “Killing them comes to mind.”

            She shook her head dejectedly. “I won’t resort to something like that, Evan. You know me.”

            “What about if you promised to pay her from what the trust gives you in installments?”

            Shane looked grievously disappointed. “Aldridge was right when he said she wants the money in her pocket. All the money, all at once.”

            “Dammit, Shane, forget about family and blood. They treat you like shit and they don’t deserve the respect you give them. I think Mr. Tate was right. You need to droop them like a bad habit and keep going.”

            “I won’t do that.” She was adamant about it even though Evan was right. She had a feeling even if she tried, Bethany and Bud would come back even worse and something bad might really happen to her.

            “Does Aldridge know she threatened you or even that she hit you?” Evan asked angrily.

            “No, and I’m not going to tell. I have a feeling the façade that everyone knows Bethany by is all that it is – an act. She’s much worse behind closed doors.”

            Evan stopped walking and looked at her in disbelief.

            She faced him wondering what made him look as if he couldn’t believe she had just said that.

            “And this doesn’t give you reason to do something about it now? Knowing that she could seriously hurt you doesn’t scare you into taking measures.”

            “I want it all to be legal, Evan. I do want her out of my life as soon as possible, and if I can give her what she wants then I’ll do it. I’ll give her the money she wants and they’ll all be out the house,” she insisted.

            “That house is not worth your life!” he said incredulously.

            A horn honked from the street and they both looked at a dark new updated custom Ram pickup. A Caucasian man sat behind the wheel with a look of confusion on his face with soft dark eyes, long pitch black lashes. Immediately she noticed the broad shoulders and lean frame of a very handsome man with a very confused look on his face.

            Evan moved slightly in front in front of her protectively. “Can I help you?” he snarled.

            He had made a weird U-turn and was on their side of the street. He leaned to the window slightly from the driver’s side and said, “I’m looking for an apartment over in this area and have become a bit lost. Could you please help me?”

            “No!” Evan sneered.

            “Yes,” she said at the same time.

            Evan looked back at her with ‘an-you-crazy’ look and moved in front of him. “What street?” she asked the guy.

            “I’m sorry, what did you say?” he asked. “I can’t hear your soft pretty voice, ma’am.”

            She smiled and moved closer. Evan was on her ass like white on rice as if this man was going to jump out to kidnap her. She doubted it, because he looked too friendly for words, although looks could be deceiving.

            “My name is Paul,” he said. “I’m from Harper Woods, and I haven’t traveled this far into the city in years.”

            Shane could tell he was telling the truth. He looked worse than a fish out of water. “You’re looking for what street, Paul?” she asked, coming closer to the truck.

            Evan put a hand on her arm protectively and eyed the man warily.

            Paul looked down at some directions on a piece of paper and then said, “Elmhurst. Someone told me to take this street straight down until it ends, but I haven’t seen anything.”

            “Well, you can always wait until the morning,” Evan suggested. “If you call the western district police office, they’ll be happy to help you.”

            “I wish it were that easy, but I need to get there tonight, sir,” he said politely to Evan and then looked back at Shane searching her eyes desperately for help.

            “If you go down this street to Wyoming, take a left, then take a right on Grand River.” She spoke slow and precise noting how attentive he watched her speak, while writing down what she was saying. “On that street, you’ll take a right to Livernois, then make a left and go down until you see an old police precinct.” Yes, he was definitely looking her up and down as if making an assessment about her. Even though it was cold outside, Shane felt hot under the collar. “The light before the precinct, you’ll make a left and that’s Elmhurst.”

            He looked down at the instructions he had written and when he looked up at her he still looked confused and harried.

            “You have a good night,” Evan said, trying to draw Shane away.

            She stuck her ground and asked Paul concerned, “Do you think you can find it?”

            “Honestly?” he asked. “No, but what if I give you a hundred dollars, will you personally take me there?”

            “No!” Evan said emphatically.

            This was a stranger, but he looked lost and desperate. Still a bill wouldn’t get her close to her fifty grand. Although every little bit helped.

            “I’m sorry, Paul, but I shouldn’t. You are a stranger,” she said.

            “Five hundred,” he offered taking the money out his wallet and holding it up.

            She gasped seeing that amount just fly out of his wallet as if it were pocket change. Reaching in the cab, she pushed both his hand down. “Don’t go flashing that kind of money around these streets!” She almost called him an idiot, but bit her tongue.

            By the way he acted, he hadn’t been in the city a very long time.

            He used this opportunity to take her hand in his and look deep in her eyes. She felt some erotic connection instantly as if he were caressing her soul with just his eyes. “Please,” he said in a very low voice that Evan couldn’t hear. “I won’t hurt you.”

            Her lips had suddenly gone dry. That she had allowed him to touch her for so long and not draw her hand away was alarming in itself to her. That her comfortable level did not become bothered by his proximity was alarming twice fold. Looking over her shoulder at Evan, she saw his look of complete disapproval and withdrew her hand with reluctance from Paul’s touch. “I-I don’t’ think I should.” Yet the money did look appetizing.”

            “This is crazy, Shane,” Evan said.         

She signed. “What a second,” she told Paul and stepped a few feet away from the truck to have a private word with Evan.

“I’m not going to let you get in that car with that man!” Evan said. “I’ll go with him”

She shook her head. “I don’t think he trusts you, Evan. I mean you’ve been giving him dirty looks since he pulled up. He’s from the suburbs, you think he’s going to trust you?”

“And you think he trusts you?”

Looking at Paul who nervously tapped the wheel, she said, “Yes, I think so.”

“Crazy men come to the city and slice up pretty girls all the time,” Evan sneered.

“He’s not crazy.”

“This is about the stupidest thing you could think of doing, Shane.”

Strangely she wanted to go. Not because she just wanted to help him out or she desperately needed the money, but because she wanted to explore the odd feelings that were aroused inside of her.  Why did she have the sensation when he touched her? What was it about him that made her feel so relaxed? “Look Evan, you and I both know to pass up money like this is crazy. He can give you half and I’ll take the other half. I’ll get his driver’s license information, while you sneak to the back and take down his plate. If anything happens to me, you know where to go. I’ll let you keep the two-fifty and we’ll call it even. No one has to know and I’ll call you as soon as I get to my house.”

“You think they’ll let you use the phone at your house?” he asked, knowing the negative answer to this question before she could even answer it.

She snatched his cell phone off his belt and put it in her jacket. “I’ll be fine,” she assured him and then went back over to Paul. “You give him half now and when I get you there you can give me the rest.”

He looked surprised that she was agreeing to come with him, but then quickly nodded. “Sure, sure.” Keeping his wallet low, he took the money out and handed it out the window to Evan who snatched it away.

“Wait!” she said to Paul before he put his wallet away. “I need to see some ID.”

“You can hold it,” he said, giving her his ID.

Shane warily took it and watched in her peripheral vision as Evan checked out the license plate. “I’ll call you,” she promised Evan.

Evan only nodded and watched as she went around the truck. Paul unlocked the doors and leaned over and opened it for her. He took his cap off his head in courtesy as she entered the cabin. As soon as the light came on, the long thick legs that led up to a lean muscular body and an even more surprisingly handsome face for a white guy took her aback that the light accentuated. Obscure midnight blue eyes from the shadows peered down from pitch-black hair that was cut short in the back, but came down long over his forehead near his eyes.

“Hi,” she said rather breathlessly.

He smiled a wide reassuring grim. Evan cleared his voice breaking their intense eye contact.

“If you hurt a hair on her head,” Evan sneered at Paul. “I’ll personally find you and break every bone in your body.”

Paul only nodded, but respectfully didn’t break eye contact with Evan until he felt Evan was only a little assured he had turned his friend over in safe hands. She slid in the passenger seat and watched as Paul carefully gripped the wheel with one hand and waited for her to close the door ensconcing them in darkness. He put the truck in drive and pulled away from the corner. Her eyes carefully watched as his strong arms too control of the wheel and guided the large truck into the midnight somewhat busy traffic.

Shane wondered would this night change her life. Would she see Evan again? And would she figure out her strange attraction to Paul?


From → Chapter 2

One Comment
  1. Tori permalink

    Oh this is getting good. Paul and Shane has some chemistry. I can’t wait to see how this plays out. Great Post!

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