My window shuddered as it was pushed up. A few seconds later, Indy climbed through and crossed the room to my bed. I opened up my sheets and she climbed in, nestling her face into my shoulder as I secured my arms around her.
“Are you okay?” I asked when she was settled.
“I hate him,” she said. “I hate him and I wish he was dead.”
I released her and sat up, turning on the lamp.
“He’s your daddy, Indy.”
She looked at me, her eyes dark and her jaw set.
“You saw what he did, Cade. He hit my mama, right there for all the MC to see.” She sat up. “And not one of them did anything to help her. Except for you.”
“They were surprised.”
“They were cowards!” She glared at me. “They think it’s okay to do that to their women. Because they’re scum and I hate them all.”
“They’re not all like that.”
“Why are you sticking up for them?”
“Because they’re good people.”
“Hitting women is not okay, Cade.”
“Hey, I know that. I’m not saying it’s okay to hit women. Ever. I would never raise my hand to a woman. And neither would most of them.”
“Oh, yeah? How would you know? Huh? How do you know what goes on behind closed doors?”
I tilted my head to the side. “Are you telling me this has happened before? That your daddy is hitting your mama.”
“You live next door, Cade. How can you not know?”
I reached for her hand. “I didn’t! I swear. When did it start happening?”
She looked away and shrugged. “A few months back. I mean, he’d come close a few times when they argued. But he actually went and did it last fall. I didn’t see it. Just saw the bruise on her cheek the next day. I had heard them fighting the night before and put two and two together.” She shook her head. “I confronted my mama but she denied it. Said she’d walked into a wall.” Her shoulders sagged, and when she looked up, I saw the tears welling in her eyes. “They used to be so in love—so crazy for one another. So affectionate. So happy. But my daddy has turned mean, it’s like I don’t even know who he is anymore.” She shrugged and looked away again. “Now it seems all they do is fight.”
I took her hand in mine. I had noticed how different Jackie Parrish had become since Bolt’s death. He had turned mean.
I reached for her but she stiffened.
“Hey, I would never . . .” I stopped when she lay back down and turned away.
“As soon as I can get away, I’m leaving this goddamn town,” she said sharply.
I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t want Indy to leave. I lay down beside her and wrapped my arm around her waist. If she wanted to leave, then I wanted to leave, too.
I pulled her close and murmured into her hair. “Then we’ll leave together.”
She didn’t say anything. She just reached around and pulled my arms tighter around her. I could feel her heartbeat against my arm and it made me sleepy again.
“Good night, Indy,” I whispered.
We fell asleep, like we had a thousand times before, wrapped up in each other and safe.
But when I woke up, something was different. My body felt strange, and as I slowly came out of my dreams, I came to a sudden realization.
I’d had a wet dream.
Alarmed, my eyes flew open as a fleeting pleasure receded and stark humiliation took over.
“Are you okay?” Indy asked sleepily.
She felt for me, but her hand brushed the soggy sheet. I lurched away.
“Cade?” She sat up, confused by my reaction and the sticky sheet.
Humiliation ripped through me. It would only take her a few moments to realize what had happened.
I raced to the bathroom praying I didn’t run into my mom or dad, or worse, my brothers. But it was early and the house was still and quiet.
I closed the door behind me and leaned against it, squeezing my eyes closed.
Did I have wet dreams often? No. Not if I jerked it. But Indy had been hanging out with me more and more and the opportunity never . . . arose.
There was a small tap on the door and I knew it was Indy.
“Go away,” I whispered harshly, my cheeks still burning with embarrassment.
“Please open up,” Indy begged softly.
“No. Go away.”
I wanted the floor to open up and suck me down to hell.
“Please, Cade. Talk to me.”
“I said go away.”
There was a pause. Would she do as I asked and leave me alone?
Of course not.
“Cade Calley, if you don’t open this door, I’m going to start hollering.”
I sighed. Great. Just what I needed. Indy waking up the entire house.
I grabbed a towel off the side of the bathtub and wrapped it around my waist, then opening the door, I hustled her in.