Pie snorted. “You shouldn’t agree with me.”
“He hurt my friend.” She sniffled. “She always told me she could handle it. That she could handle everything. Seeing her so lost, kind of broken, she’s just no more invincible than the rest of us.”
“Something happened between the two of us,” he said.
“Me and Lindsey. She’d been avoiding me for a couple of days when it happened.”
Pie ran a hand down his face. “You know I’d been tempted to ride back home. To leave her to deal with whatever problems she thought we were having. I didn’t. I got … I don’t know. Something told me to get inside that damn building. To make Lindsey talk to me. To see reason.”
“I know she loves your friendship and that it scares her something happening to it.”
“Nothing will. I’ll never do anything to hurt her.”
“I know that. I think she knows that as well. She’s just scared. She doesn’t want to be the reason anything happens to you.”
“It doesn’t matter now, or ever. I’m not going anywhere.”
“Do you love her?” Kasey asked.
Staring at Lindsey, he nodded. “Yeah, I do.”
“Then I know she’ll be all right.”
For another few minutes Kasey stood there, but he knew she had to get home.
“Let me take her,” he said.
With Kasey’s help, he picked Lindsey up and carried her over to the bed. When he placed her down on the bed, she curled up in a ball. He stroked her head, and then followed Kasey out of his room. Leaving the door shut, he made his way downstairs.
“Tell her I’ll be by tomorrow. We’ll spend some time together.”
“I will. Thank you.”
“Don’t need to thank me. She’s my best friend.” Kasey placed a hand on his shoulder. “Take care of her.”
He watched her go before heading into the kitchen. Holly and Mary always left food in the fridge for any of the club to take, so he grabbed a plate and filled it with some sandwiches and other things that he knew she’d love.
When he got back upstairs, Lindsey was already awake, sitting up in bed, pillow resting between her thighs and stomach. She tucked some hair behind her ear and smiled. It didn’t quite reach her eyes, but it was on her lips.
“Hey, yourself,” he said. “You’ve not eaten, so I think it’s only fair we share a meal, you know.”
Sitting on the bed, he rested the plate between them.
“Don’t you want to eat on the floor? The crumbs.”
“You look so comfortable there.”
She shook her head. “Crumbs of food are the worst.”
They sat in the same place she’d been with Kasey.
He watched as she picked up a small sandwich triangle and began to nibble it.
“I don’t feel very hungry.”
“You’ve got to eat something.”
He picked up a small triangle and shoved it into his mouth, chewing as he did.
She giggled. “You’re hungry?”
“Starving. I’ve been thinking about food all day.” It wasn’t a total lie. He didn’t feel hungry, but he wasn’t about to let Lindsey starve because of it.
She finished off one sandwich and picked up another.
Holly and Mary were always experimenting with different glazes to go on small sausages, so he picked one up and popped it into his mouth. Now he saw why there were so many still in the bowl. They were like fire in his mouth.
He kept on chewing.
“Don’t eat them,” he said.
“They’re too spicy.” He breathed out. “Is there fire there?”
“Oh, that was my bad. I like things spicy and hot.” She grabbed a sausage and popped it into her mouth. “Yum.”
“You’re crazy. That is just … way too spicy.”
She shrugged. “I like a lot of heat.”
For a few seconds she was able to forget, and he saw that, but with many times before, she remembered and the smile disappeared.
They finished their food in silence. She ate a couple more sausages without pulling any faces or showing signs of heat.
He took the rest of the food back downstairs.
When he returned Lindsey was in the shower, and he sat on the edge of the bed, waiting. Removing his leather jacket, he kicked off his boots and waited his turn. Any other day, he’d have been sitting on the toilet, chatting with her.
Why don’t you?
Stop letting him change you.
Getting to his feet, he entered the bathroom.
“I didn’t think you liked cooking,” he said, taking a seat on the toilet lid.
For a few seconds she didn’t respond. He’d not looked toward the screen. Seeing her naked body, even through the frosted glass, wouldn’t help matters.
“I don’t, not usually. Mary and Holly have a way of making it fun. They needed some help around the kitchen. They had me mixing up batter while they worked, dealing with some stuff. You know, the normal things that friends do.”
“You three are friends now?”
“I hope so. Mary admitted that at first she didn’t like me. It has taken her time to realize I want nothing to do with her man, or anyone’s man for that matter.”