Page 19 of Judge

“We need you to come with us.” I stand up a little straighter, fear wrapping around my spine.

“She’s not going anywhere,” Smith drawls as he steps into my line of sight, blocking my view of the officers. “You’ve seen her. She’s fine. You can leave.” His words are clipped. Final.

“Justice Prescott, we don’t really have a choice,” one of them says. “She has to be taken down for questioning.”

“For what?” I ask, trying to peer around Smith.

“Your uncle is making some wild claims and threatening to press charges. He’s saying you’re being held against your will and Justice Prescott is your captor.” My fingers digs into the back of Smith’s shirt. Probably not because of why they should be. No it was the thought of being his captive. There my mind goes again. Always going where it shouldn’t in moments like this. I press into him. My body molding to his.

“She’s not going anywhere. It’s not wise to make me repeat myself, boy,”

“This isn’t your courtroom, Smith,” the other one finally chimes in, folding his arms over his chest. I think he’s trying to make himself look bigger than he is. It might work some places, but not standing near Smith.

“It’s Justice Smith, or Your Honor,” Smith corrects him. He takes a step towards the officer. I jump in because I don’t want things to get out of hand. His threat about Paul lingers in my mind still. If I’ve learned anything in the last twenty-four hours, it’s that Smith is possessive of me and this could all go very badly. I don’t want him getting into trouble because of me.

“I can go and answer questions. Show that I’m fine,” I pipe up. Smith turns a little to look down at me. I know I’m going to pay for that one, but I have a feeling it will be worth it.

“They aren’t taking you,” he says again. His eyes look a little wild.

“I’ll come back.” I meet his eyes, willing him to not make this bigger than it needs to be. “Let’s get this done and over with. Then we can get to those plans you made for us.” I bite my lip thinking about them. Spending all weekend wrapped in him would be more than a dream come true.

I’d wanted to skip dinner when he’d told me what he had planned, still primed from his office. He’d been so close to taking me. I wanted to feel him deep inside me. Be connected to him. As much as I wanted that, I also want to get this over with. If there’s a way to get my uncle out of my life for good, I want to take it. I could start over new with Smith. I want to be the person to give him that life he thought of as a young boy.

I want one, too. A real one. It has always been my dream. My mind always blanked when people asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I’d pushed college with my uncle to get away from him. With my father I said that, too, but because it was the next step in life. I thought I was supposed to do that. Thing is, I’m eighteen now and I can do anything I want and I want to be with Smith. I don’t want to do all the crap in between to get him.

He pulls me into him and kisses me deep, taking my breath away. A dash of shyness hits me that the two police officers are standing there, but more that he’s not hiding this. I hadn’t given it much thought, but this thing between us is not going to look good for him. He’s a public figure.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” I ask when our mouths part. I lick my lips, still tasting him. I want to take those words back, but he puts any fear I have to rest.

“There’s nothing I want to do more than this. I think that’s pretty clear at this point.” I have to fight the tears, knowing they likely won’t help the situation.

“That’s the sweetest thing anyone has ever said or done for me,” I tell him. “There’s nothing that will keep me from you either. So let’s handle this.”

“Then I’ll handle you.” I smile at him, looking forward to him handling me. I turn to go with the officers, but he pulls me back to him. I melt into his big frame. “I’m sorry,” he says, taking me by surprise. Even the two cops inhale sharply in unison.

“I was cold to you at first. I—”

“I know it was lot all at once. I felt it, too.” He gives me one of his rare smiles. We’ve tipped each other’s worlds upside down. His reaction might have been jerky at first, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I’d been sucked in by it. I enjoyed trying to figure him out and watching him try to fight this losing battle. Maybe I shouldn’t enjoy the fact that I’d made this man’s hardness crumble for me, but I do. If he wasn’t a jerk, I wouldn’t have gotten to witness what he could become for me.