Bound for Life
“After everything that’s happened today, I never expected a stranger to take that kind of time,” Serena says with a sigh.
“What’s happened today?” I ask, quirking a brow, and I see her cheeks tinge with a bit of color.
“Wh- oh, nothing. The guy who caused the accident just kind of ran off, is all,” she lies, averting her eyes to the setting sun outside.
“Dirty move,” I say, crossing my arms. “Good thing you run a soap store.”
She just stares at me in disbelief for a beat before she bursts into a laugh at my awful pun, covering her face for a moment. “Oh…wow,” she says, starting to take a few steps toward me. “Who are you?”
“Someone who can tell you’ve had too much on your plate for one day,” I say. Every muscle in my body wants to take a step toward her as well, to play the game between us that she’s slipping into already. I want to flirt with her, charm her all over again, even as a stranger, take her out for a good time. If I’m really honest, I want to bend her over that counter and take her right here and now.
But for her safety, I have to keep my distance.
“Oh, who am I kidding,” she says, running a hand through her hair and looking out the door. “You’re right. Today’s been a nightmare.” She looks back to me, eyes flitting up and down my form. “Thank you, though. Really. God, I feel so silly, you didn’t come here to-”
“Get some rest,” I say, her name on the tip of my tongue before I reel it back in. “I’ll come back by tomorrow. Maybe I can take care of any other messes that come up,” I say, a boyish smile on my face.
I see the color flush into her cheeks, and she loses her words for a moment before she says, “I’ll be here!”
She was a spoiled brat when I knew her, but even then, it was the easiest thing in the world to get her off her guard and swooning. But I liked that about her. She didn’t feel shame for her feelings. She felt everything intensely. It was good to see that hadn’t changed.
There’s so much more I want to say, but I step out into the cool air without another word to her as I hear her voice calling, “Wait, I didn’t get your name!”
I pretend not to hear.
Seeing how happy she is now, I can’t let our tangled past flood into her life and upset everything she has. She’s running her own business, for god’s sake.
How would she feel about me if she knew I was an enforcer for the mafia?