Page 13 of Lift

He didn’t make one move on me all night and barely touched me. I’m not sure if he was doing it on purpose because when I tried to lean in closer he wouldn’t respond to it. I guess it wasn’t about that for him last night, but after the way he touched his lips to my cheek there is so much more simmering below the surface.

When I closed my eyes last night, I was only going to pretend to be asleep until he finally went to bed, but the comfort of his home was too much and I had the best sleep I’ve had in months. I jerked myself awake when the sun came up and I knew I had to get out of there. I tempted fate as I kissed his cheek before I left because I thought it would be the last time I’d ever see him again. It was the same place he’d kissed me moments ago.

When he turns the corner out of my sight I get into my car.

I told myself this morning would be the last time I saw him, but now look what’s happened. I’m completely full of shit because the second I left his place I had my phone locked in my hand hoping that at any moment he’d text me. It didn’t take him long. I planned to ignore his call, but I was lying to myself, not only texting him back but agreeing to everything the man said.

I crank up the car because I need to get going. I have to go home at some point or Cara will blow up my phone asking about the cash I made from last night. My phone goes off, and when I look at the screen butterflies flap their wings in my stomach. I smile before I read the text just enjoying the feeling of having something exciting in my life. I’ve been so wrapped up in other things that I didn’t realize it was missing until now.

Harris: It’s starting to snow. Drive safe.

His concern is something else I’m not used to. Having someone worry over me has never been a thing. My parents didn’t even worry about me when they were around. I was always an afterthought and I didn’t know how good it could feel to have it until this moment. Am I getting in over my head?

“Don’t ask stupid questions,” I mumble to myself in the rearview mirror.

I’m all too aware that life can change in an instant, but I can’t let my mind go there. I just have to focus on the money and get through this. It’s not like I can text or call him and tell him I can’t do this because I already know the outcome. I’ll cave as soon as he opens his mouth because he has this power over me that I can’t control. First, I have to get myself on my feet and then I can think about the future. Harris is helping me with that by giving me this job today. Maybe he’ll have more work for me in the future and I’m already coming up with ways to be near him more.

I put the car into drive and pull out into the street as the snow falls all around. Winter was always my favorite time of year, but I’m not so sure I’ll feel the same anymore, especially if I spend the next few days sleeping in the car. I hope Cara’s brother leaves soon, but I’m guessing not with the big bag he brought.

My phone chimes and I check it when I stop at a red light.

Harris: Tell me you’ll be careful or I’ll get nothing done today.

I wonder what it would be like to have him pace in his office while he’s thinking about my safety? As intoxicating as that thought might be, I couldn’t do it to him. I send him a text and smile the whole time.

Me: I’ll be safe. Now get to work.

I glance up the red light as another text comes through.

Harris: You should turn on your location and share it with me. It will make me feel better.

I click out of the message to turn it on, but right before my finger hits the button I pause and wonder if I should. As if Harris can see me another text comes up.

Harris: Plus you might need help with where to go today.

He says what I need to hear, so I do as he asks.

Harris: Thank you, sweetheart

The words make my heart skip a beat, but I’m jolted back to reality when a car honks from behind me. I let my foot off the brake and begin to drive. I force my mind somewhere else as best I can. I’ve already planned out the route in my head based on all the places Harris told me to go.