Daniel had noted Lyla’s reaction to Viper, and as he exited the bar with his target for his newest assignment, he looked up and saw Lyla panicked in the window two stories up across the street.
He parted ways with Viper, and when Viper was long gone, he strolled up to Lyla’s apartment. He rang the buzzer, she didn’t answer. He knew she was there. He rang again.
He pulled out a tool that easily undid the main lock and scooted upstairs to her apartment door.
The building was ancient, and her place was situated directly above a local business. A casually awesome location if you asked him. He got outside her door and knocked. He heard her moving about the apartment. “Lyla. I know you’re in there. Something you should know about me: I am very persistent. You left before I could ask for a second date.”
He heard the shuffling stop, and then there was utter silence.
“If you don’t give me an answer, I’ll have to come in and kiss one out of you.”
“What if my answer is no,” she said meekly.
He took a deep breath.
“Then I’ll leave you alone.”
He took another deep breath. Everything had gone fabulously until thirty minutes ago. He was determined to put the puzzle pieces together.
He fished a fake business card out of his pocket, scribbled his cell number on it and slipped it under the door. “Keep it. Just in case,” was all he said. Just in case you change your mind, was what he wanted to say. Or just in case circumstances change and you need security or a private investigator. but he kept those thoughts to himself.
He turned on his heels and left.
She watched him leave and some damn traitorous tears fell down her face. She hated crying. She despised it. She wasn’t going to allow this another second.
Time to go. One year in this town was too long. Time to hit the road and run.
She packed the few belongings she had acquired, leaving the big stuff in case of an emergency stop in the future, stopped by 100 year old Miss Bixby’s shop down below and paid the rent for the remainder of the year, just in case she needed it, threw her backpack full of clothes and things over her shoulder and plowed out the front door.
She kind of regretted not taking a moment to take in her apartment one last time, she thought to herself as she paraded down the street to the garage that secretly housed her car. That little apartment was the first thing that truly felt like home in years.
She missed it already.
She was weak. Missing a fucking apartment sitting over a store called Miss Bixby’s was weak. She was strong. Time to prove it, somewhere else, somewhere far far away.
She turned the corner of the block and plowed right into a wall, or a wall of steel and muscle and everything manly that is. She wanted to stay there, face smushed into his chest and breathe in his fragrance one last time. Weak, but true.
He used his gigantic hands to right her and looked her right square in the eyes. Even when she was bad she couldn’t lie, and she was afraid he was looking right into her soul at that moment.
Whatever he asked she knew she would answer, so she clamped her teeth together, mentally supergluing them. She gave a nonchalant nod in his direction and tried to squirm out of his hands and to her car, the car that had more horsepower than most trucks, the car parked at the bottom of this hill in a private garage, so close she knew she could see it if she looked, but still too far away. She couldn’t squirm out of his grasp if she tried, so she didn’t.
“Hi,” was all he said.
Well, maybe Viper told him all about her and now he couldn’t think of anything else to say. That was probably it.
Or not, but she didn’t care. Either way she was out of here.
She stared at him, unwilling to open her lips, to betray herself.
He eyed her bag. “Heading somewhere?” he asked. If there was anything sinister to his question she couldn’t decipher it. She found herself glaring at him.
“If there’s something you want to say, just say it. I can handle whatever you’ve got” he said in a kind of teasing, challenging way. He can handle it, huh? He can handle all the things she has been tossing around her brain the last twelve hours? Probably not. They weren’t all very good.
“Get your hands off me,” she commanded.
His face instantly shifted. Pain and embarrassment crossed his features, and his hands instantly dropped from her shoulders.
“Whatever it is, I can help,” he managed to say as she started to stomp toward the garage. She gave him the finger.
“It’s not what you think,” he called after her.
She wasn’t sure what to do. If she stomped to her garage, he would know where she hid her stuff. She wanted to keep that to herself. If she kept walking, it would lead her to the river, a complete dead end.
She spun back on her heels. “It’s not what I think?” she mocked him, finding her inner bad girl. “Then tell me, genius, what is it?!?”
“How do you know Viper?” he asked, not giving an inch.
She flinched. She stiffened. She paled. She lost all coherent thought. “It’s none of your damn business” she stated with everything she had, parading herself back in his direction.
He met her challenge, stepping towards her. “It is now. I saw you last night. You’re scared of him. Why?”
“I’m not scared of anyone, especially not a slimy snake” she said with as much venom as she could muster. She was in his face now.
“I hate him,” Damien stated.
She could have taken the anger turned towards her, she could have spewed it back at him. But the admission that Damien hated Viper was a huge relief. Someone was on her team. She wasn’t alone. She relaxed.
He brought his hands up, buried them in her hair, and moved in to kiss her. She kissed him back. She would forever want to be in his arms. It was perfection.
He was still friends with Viper. or at least ran in the same circles. But she didn’t remember ever seeing him when she ran with Viper’s crew.
“One more date. Tonight. I’ll tell you everything you want to know. Promise,” he said as he pulled back from her lips.
“It had better be a damn good date,” she tested.
“I’ll pick you up at seven, on my bike. Come hungry.” And with that he took her hand and walked her back to her apartment.
“Just to clarify, should I wear spandex or leather?” she teased. Clearly his bike was going to be a motorcycle. She watched his eyes dilate. “Either way they’re coming off” he commanded, and she wanted to obey. But she was a good girl now.
“They stay on til date number three. It’s another rule I have.” She could barely breathe. She wanted him to get her naked. She wanted to roll around his bedroom naked for hours. She wanted to feel that giant dick that was pushing on her through his jeans. She wanted to feel it in her mouth, in her hands, in her pussy. Everywhere. But she had rules now. Rules she needed to follow. So people didn’t get hurt.
“We’ll see about that” he murmured as he took the key from her hands, unlocked her apartment entrance, and helped her through. “I’ve got work to do now, but I’ll be back. Promise.”