“Do you want some music?” he asks.

I really wish he would be meaner or something. The way he’s being so damn… accommodating is becoming annoying.

“Sure,” I reply, my eyes squinting at a sign I’m trying to make out in the distance.

The radio comes on, too loud at first, and I nearly hit the roof.

“Sorry,” Gabriel mutters after turning the volume down.

He begins to flip through the stations until finally settling on one playing classical music.


I took him more for a heavy metal kind of guy, but whatever.

Mentally shrugging my shoulders, I try to concentrate again on the landscape. After a few minutes though, the combination of music, the warmth in the car, and the darkness begins to affect me.

My eyelids grow heavier and heavier, and it’s becoming harder to stay alert. I shift in my seat, close the vents, and try my damnedest to stay awake.

But it all seems to be an exercise in futility.

Outside, the landscape blurs into a dark smear, no matter how many times I blink my eyes.

And I swear we’ve passed that same sign two times now…

Are we driving in circles?

The last thing I can remember is a soft, fleeting touch against my cheek as I fall asleep.


While driving around, it’s just as much of a challenge for me to stay on my side of the vehicle as it is for Meghan to stay awake. I know she’s freaked out about being in the car with me again, not that it’s her fault. She’s been forced into this and it sucks for her. I can’t lie and say it doesn’t. Meghan’s got a shitty lot in life right now. Her shitty dad and his connections fucked her over.

The Irish and the fucking Russians are going to be putting up a hell of a fight now that they’re working together. Alexei’s a fucking psycho bastard whose just got a strong foothold in a neighboring city.

How the fuck have they gotten so damn big? They must be trucking in some serious bankroll to keep the shit they have afloat.

We’ve knocked out a huge circuit of their slave trade ring. Their drug trafficking has come to a crawl. Lucifer and the boys were thwarting them at every turn until they bombed the shit out of us. I’m betting we got a shit ton of false information when we looked into who did the bombings.

The Irish were surely a part of it, not the fucking Yakuza. Irish love blowing shit up, but they’re taking too big of a step forward by aligning themselves with the Russians.

They brought me out of the cage to get shit back under our foot. Get everyone off our backs. Cause enough chaos and destruction that we forever cement ourselves as the top fucking dogs. I’ll kill every motherfucker I have to, but what’s going to be the cost?

Looking over to Meghan’s perfect legs, I can’t help myself and reach out to touch them. I have to. I have no choice in my body’s reaction to her. She’s like some fucking bright star and I’m a planet that’s orbiting her so closely for the warmth and life she gives off.

Ten long years in a fucking cage, every single touch I felt there was a matter of life and death… But not with this girl.

I’ve been driving around the city in circles just so she’d fall asleep. We’d have been home thirty minutes ago if I had driven straight there, but I don’t want to get into any confrontations with her right now. I’d rather just be with her than fighting and answering questions that will only fuck things up. Not to mention taking her into a house that’s soon to be our home might freak her out a bit.

The rough skin of my knuckles feels so fucking abrasive compared to the silky flesh it brushes up against. A soft moan comes from her mouth as she shifts in the seat, not away from my side but closer. My breath heaves unsteadily as I switch from my knuckles to the tips of my fingers. She shifts again, but I have to pull away from her. She’d fucking kill me for taking liberties with her, and I wouldn’t blame her.

Fuck. I’m not Alexei and I don’t need to fucking force my way onto a woman like that worm does.

Shit, shit, shit.

Turning off the freeway, I push the SUV I’ve been driving back onto the road going home. I need to get out of this fucking vehicle. Being this close to her is driving me fucking insane with desire.

Desire to touch her no matter the consequences.

Meghan’s not going to be easy to protect, I can feel it. She’s got this spirit in her that’s nearly unbreakable. It fucking turns me on so fucking badly when she fucking stands up to me. Like I couldn’t dig a chick more than I do her.

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