“Just one kiss. Come on, now. Don’t be a tease, girl.”
“Get away from me!” I yelled again. “You’re hurting me.”
He growled and shoved me back. One hand wrapped around my throat while the other went for the space between my legs.
“You fucking prick tease,” he growled.
I squirmed and thrashed about, bringing my knees up to stop his hand from getting between my thighs.
Stop!” I screamed.
Suddenly, the driver’s door was ripped open and Tommy’s hold on me disappeared as he was yanked out of the car by a big, muscular arm.
“The lady said stop!” Boomed a strong voice.
It was Cade.
I flew out of the car in time to see Cade throw Tommy up against the back door. It was raining hard now, and fat raindrops splashed against his big arms, and made his white t-shirt cling to his broad chest. Tommy’s head snapped to the side as Cade put his fist in his jaw, once, then twice. Then he grabbed the front of his shirt and pulled him close so Tommy’s face was inches from his.
“You stay away from her,” he yelled. “You stay away from my girl.”
To make sure Tommy understood, Cade smacked him right across his face again.
“Cade!” I ran around the car and put a hand on his arm. “He’s had enough.”
Tommy wobbled on his feet and slumped against his car.
Cade turned to me. “Are you okay?”
Rain battered against my face. I nodded. “I’m fine.”
He turned back to Tommy and shoved him into his car. He leaned in menacingly, “You come near her again, and I’ll finish you.”
Slamming the door closed, he turned to me and grabbed me by the arms. “Are you sure you’re okay? Did he hurt you?”
I shook my head. “No, I’m fine.”
He took my hand and pulled me through the rainy parking lot. Puddles splashed beneath our feet as we ran for his car. We climbed in, and when the interior light flicked on I could see how soaked we both were.
For a moment, we said nothing and weirdness hung between us. Then Cade suddenly started to pound his palms against the steering wheel.
And for some stupid reason, I started to cry.
Cade stopped and turned to me. “Oh, Angel, don’t cry. Please don’t cry.”
Angry at myself, I wiped them away.
“Just take me home,” I whispered.
When Cade didn’t move, I turned away and looked out the window. A few moments later, the car engine ignited and the lights in the parking lot began to move as we pulled away and drove toward home in silence.
A wall of anger went up between us.
I was angry at Tommy for being a rapey jerk, and angry at myself for not seeing it earlier. I was angry that he had even thought for a moment that I would give it up to him in the front seat of his father’s car. And I was angry at Cade for being with Mallory, and Jane, and Julie, and God knows who else! Knowing they got to enjoy the warmth of his arms around them when he pressed his lips to theirs. But most of all, above everything else, I was angry at my stubborn little heart for falling for the boy I could never have because we were only ever destined to be best friends.
Cade was angry, too. Because Tommy Baker was an asshole who didn’t understand the concept of no. And it was only a guess, but I was pretty sure Cade’s head was filled with images of what Tommy would have done if he hadn’t been there to stop him. He was gripping the steering wheel until his knuckles were white. And when I glanced over at him, his jaw was set and his dark brows were pulled in to a scowl.
I wanted to reach over and touch the sharp contour of his jaw. I wanted to put my lips on his and kiss him until we were both breathless. I wanted him to do the things to me that he did to Mallory, and Jane, and any other girl. I longed for his kisses. Sometimes it felt like my heart would stop beating just from the longing, and I had to force my mind to think of something else. I turned away. My heart sank. He would drop me home and then spend the rest of the night with Mallory.
To my surprise, Cade suddenly pulled over to the curb, and for a moment we sat in complete silence, many unsaid words and intense emotions filling the space between us.
“I want to kill him,” he said, facing straight ahead. His jaw ticked and his fingers still gripped the steering wheel, even though we were parked. He looked at me. “Why the fuck did you go out with him in the first place?”
I looked at him in disbelief. Anger bubbled up from my achy chest and flew out my mouth. “Oh, so now I deserved it? Is that it? Are you saying I was asking for it?”