"Ready?" Tristan suddenly asked, startling her.

"You've only been in there for five minutes," she said, glancing down at her watch. "What are you doing out here?" she asked, frowning as she looked past him at the closed door. Was that crying she heard?

"Elizabeth realized that I really don't need therapy and decided to sign off on my sheet," Tristan said as he took her hand into his and gave it a gentle tug, pulling her to her feet.

"She signed off? I thought she said that she couldn't do that," she murmured distractedly as Tristan put his arm around her.

"Mmmhmm, I guess she realized that I really didn't need therapy," he said with a shrug as he continued to guide her towards the front door.

She heard a door slam open behind her and realized that she did indeed hear crying. She looked over her shoulder just as Elizabeth hurried their way, wiping frantically at the tears that were streaming down her face.

"You're a bad man, Detective Black!" she cried out in that annoying voice of hers as she hurried past them and practically ran out of the building.

"Why am I such a loser?" a man yelled as he raced past them, burying his face in his hands as he sobbed hysterically. She looked up at Tristan who smiled down at her, acting as if a man hadn't just run past him screaming and crying at the top of his lungs.

"What was that about?" she asked with forced casualness as yet another man ran past them, this time sobbing into his phone. When he spotted Tristan, he stumbled to a halt and just as suddenly turned around and ran the other way.

"I have no idea what you're talking about," Tristan said with a straight face and heaven help her, but it took everything she had not to smile.

"Why don't we stop by the coffee shop and grab breakfast?" he suggested as he held the door open for her.

"You're not going to tell me what just happened, are you?" she asked with a sigh.

"I really think it would be for the best if we pretended that this never happened."

"It's probably for the best," she agreed on a sigh. There were some things that she really didn't want to know and how Tristan scared the hell out of a room full of people with anger problems was definitely one of them.

Chapter 21

"I think I'm gonna be sick," Shayne grumbled as Tristan pointedly ignored him and focused on the woman sitting across from him.

Was he smiling like an idiot? Probably. But he just didn't care. For the first time in his life, he was happy and it was all thanks to the woman trying to work as she tried even harder not to smile. He watched as she chewed on her bottom lip, clearly trying to hold back a beautiful smile.  He wondered if she was as happy as he was.

Probably not.

For years he'd been living in his own personal hell as he struggled to stay away from her. Every day was worse than the last and if he caught a glimpse of her, it was like having his heart ripped to shreds. Now that was all over. She was his and he planned on doing whatever it took to keep it that way. Now that he knew what it felt like to make love to the woman he loved, hold her and simply be with her, he wasn't about to let her go.

The other aspect of his existence was going to be a slight problem, but he was done with letting it rule his life. She was his life now. She was all he ever wanted, ever hoped for and he wasn't willing to live without her. Now that she was his, he couldn't help but feel regret for all those years he'd wasted. They could have been together. They could be married now, have a family of their own, but he'd pushed her away. He would never do that again.

"Stop," Marty said, her lips tugging up into a pleased little smile even as she did her best to focus on her work.

"Stop what?" he asked, smiling as he watched her.

"Making me gag, lad," Shayne offered helpfully, but Tristan ignored him as he continued to gaze at Marty.

"Watching me work," she said, trying to sound firm, but he wasn't buying it.

"Sorry," he said, chuckling as he forced himself to focus back on his work, but not before he glanced at his watch.

They'd been working all morning and he still had a ton of shit to do, but they needed to take a lunch break soon so that he could look into a few things since he promised Hank that his investigation into the disappearing women wouldn't interfere with his other cases. If he was going to get anything done, he was going to have to do it during his lunch breaks and after work. He'd bring Marty along with him if she wanted to tag along.

He'd make it quick so that he could focus on her, but in the back of his mind he had to wonder if he was making a mistake. Instead of taking her along to investigate fancy restaurants, perhaps he should focus on taking her to one, but this was important, he reminded himself. When this was over, and he prayed that this would end soon, he'd more than make it up to her.

"Do you feel like joining me on a working lunch?" he asked, chancing a look up to find Marty watching him as she thought it over.

"Will there be an actual lunch during this working lunch?" she asked teasingly.

"I think I can manage that," he said with a wink.

"Okay," she said with a sweet smile as she returned her attention back to her work and making him rethink his plan to work through lunch. Perhaps he should take her back to his place for a quick-

A hard knock on their office door interrupted that rather intriguing thought, but that was fine since he knew that they had tonight, and if he had a say about it, every night after that.

"Yes?" he said, not bothering to look up from his paperwork.

"Detective Black?"

He looked up to see Jonathan, a seasoned patrolman, standing in the doorway, holding a folder in his hands.

"Detective Black, I have an arrest that you might want to look at," Jonathan said, reminding Tristan that he needed to focus when he was at work and keep his mind off of all the things that he wanted to, and would, do to Marty.

With a nod, Tristan stood and took the folder from Jonathan. "What do you have for me?" he asked as he opened the folder and looked it over.

"Twenty year old kid got kicked out of college, came home, and decided that he was going to raise a little hell," Jonathan explained as he folded his arms over his chest and leaned back against the doorframe.

"Looks like he had a hell of a night," Tristan murmured as he looked over the list of complaints against the kid, vandalism, assault, resisting arrest, trespassing, possession of a narcotic, and sexual assault on a young woman.

Well, it looked like he was going to have to work through lunch to clear this up. It also meant that he was going to have to put in a few more hours into the investigation of the missing women than he’d planned. Hopefully, he’d be able to cover the five restaurants and restaurant supply stores that he had on his list tonight and still have time to spend with Marty.

Tags: R.L. Mathewson Cursed Hearts Fantasy
Source: www.StudyNovels.com
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