This computer was the access to the woman he wanted. He hated doing this, and had promised himself he wouldn’t, but he needed a clue to Kaley’s wants and desires. The story was about a shy, quiet woman—like Kaley. She was alone in the world and looking for that one man to awaken her. Quinn read through the story, seeing the signs that Kaley was begging for. She didn’t need to wait for him to make his intentions known. Kaley needed a man who took charge. He’d been playing this all wrong.
When he read the next three stories, he closed the computer, making sure she wouldn’t know he’d invaded her privacy. He wanted Kaley to trust him even though he’d invaded her room.
Opening her notebook, he saw more notes scrawled across the lines. Kaley hid from the world as her own desires scared her.
Leaving the bedroom, he paused as Dorothy walked out of the kitchen. “I told you to stop going into her bedroom.”
“I needed to.”
“She texted me to ask about you and why you’re here.”
“Shouldn’t she have asked that already?” He took a seat at the table as Dorothy handed him a cup of coffee.
“You’d think so. Kaley isn’t much of a talker. She won’t question why you’re here until you make her aware there’s something she’s missing.” Dorothy took a sip of her coffee. “Do you know why you’re here?”
“You know why I’m here, and I’m not backing down. I need you to leave for a few weeks.”
“You’re kicking me out of my own apartment?”
“Kaley’s going to be mine. The only way to make her mine is to get rid of you. You’re like an added layer of protection she can hide behind. I don’t want her hiding or running to you.”
“She’ll be pissed at me, Quinn. Can’t you think of something else?”
He sat back, running a finger over his lip. “No. You’ve got to go. Make an excuse.”
“Well, Scott turned out to be gay. I could use being heartbroken as an excuse.” Dorothy drank her coffee, frowning. “I hope you know what you’re doing. If Kaley starts to hate me, I won’t speak to you ever again.”
Kaley wasn’t going to hate him. He was going to make sure she didn’t get a chance to think about anything but him.
“It’ll be fine.”
For the rest of the afternoon, he helped his sister pack, and saw her off. She was going to visit their parents. Quinn promised to take care of Kaley. He asked her to wait until it was time for Kaley to get off work before she sent a text. Entering the apartment, Quinn was more in control. There was no doubt in his mind that he was going to get what he wanted. He never gave up.
Entering the kitchen, he made a quick casserole so he and Kaley would enter the apartment to wonderful smells. He phoned his mother to talk him through Kaley’s favorite foods.
“You’re being sneaky, like your father,” his mother said. Her voice filled the kitchen, where he had her on speaker phone.
“I know what I want.”
“Kaley’s a dear girl. We’re happy for you to get together.”
“Mom, this is not some test I’m cramming for, or some hobby I want to master. She’s the woman I’ve been in love with for a long time. I did exactly what you, Dad, and Dorothy asked me to do. I left to give her time to spread her wings. I’m done waiting for her. I want to be with her more than anything else.”
His parents were the only two people he could be completely honest with. They saw a hell of a lot more than he thought was possible for two people to see. Both his mother and father had seen what was happening to him with Kaley. Dorothy had been a surprise child as they’d been trying for over ten years to have more children. He didn’t know the complete medical history, but it was hard for his parents to have lots of children, even though they both wanted them.
The eleven-year age gap had never bothered him with Dorothy. He enjoyed helping his folks look after her. Being a big brother meant something to him. He warned all the prospective boys away, kept her safe, and Kaley, too. Then one day he came home from college to see Dorothy dancing around the living room. She was shouting over the music, encouraging Kaley to dance with her. He’d been silent as he watched the two girls. When he’d seen Kaley, it had been like he’d been hit in the gut. The feelings she inspired inside him had been powerful, consuming. He’d not seen a mousy, shy girl. Quinn had seen the beautiful woman she was going to turn into. She loved reading, and he loved watching her read. From that moment, he’d been hooked. Every chance he could, he’d come home just to see her. Those initial feelings had developed, strengthening with every passing year. Now, she was going to be his. They’d give his parents grandchildren. He wanted a big family, but first he needed Kaley.