Home > Fated (Relentless #6)(14)

Fated (Relentless #6)(14)
Author: Karen Lynch

Jordan held up a hand. “Oh, no. It’s called ‘girls’ night’ for a reason.” Her voice grew louder. “And as soon as we can surgically separate Sara from her mate, we’ll bid you gentlemen good night.”

I glanced over at Sara and Nikolas, who were standing beside the SUV, kissing. At Jordan’s words, they broke apart, smiling at each other.

Jordan and Beth walked over to a silver Porsche parked outside. My eyes followed the sway of Beth’s hips until I forced my gaze elsewhere.

Off-limits. Don’t even think about going there.

“Nice ride, Jordan,” Raoul called.

She patted the roof. “It’s a loaner. I’m thinking about getting one for myself.”

Beth went around to the passenger side and climbed into the back. Jordan and Sara took the front seats.

“Don’t wait up,” Jordan called as they drove away.

I turned back to the SUV to find Nikolas watching me curiously. No doubt he’d noticed me staring at Beth, but he wasn’t the type to mention it. That was a good thing because I had no idea what to say.

“Do you think it’s safe to let the three of them out in the city like that?” Raoul asked as we climbed back into the SUV.

“They can take care of themselves,” I said. Then I thought about a club full of men staring at Beth in that dress, and an unpleasant burn started in my stomach.

Raoul scoffed. “I’m worried about the city, not the girls.”

We laughed, and Nikolas and I shared a look.

“You have the receiver for that tracker?” I asked him.

He patted his front pocket. “Right here.”

Chapter 5

Beth

I was quiet when we drove away from the house, happy to let Jordan and Sara carry the conversation. Thoughts and images tumbled through my mind as I replayed that moment outside the garage over and over. Even now, my stomach fluttered when I remembered the heat in Chris’s eyes when he’d looked at me.

Since our talk, I’d caught him watching me a few times, but his expression was always one of regret. He’d seemed sincere when he’d apologized and asked to be friends, and I’d been trying to get my head in a place where I could at least live in the same house with him.

But that look.

“Earth to Beth.”

Jordan’s teasing voice pulled me from my thoughts, and I looked up to meet her laughing eyes in the rearview mirror.

“Sorry. What were you saying?”

Her gaze held mine for a second before it flicked back to the road. “I asked if you are going to tell us what’s up with you and Chris.”

I frowned. “Nothing.”

“Nothing? Right.” She exchanged a look with Sara. “Remember when you told me there was nothing between you and Nikolas?”

Sara nodded. “I believe you said I was clueless.”

“Yeah, well, I thought saying you were full of shit was a bit much at that point in our friendship.” Jordan snickered. “And I was so right about you guys.” Her eyes met mine again in the mirror. “I think our friend Beth’s been holding out on us.”

“I think you may be right,” Sara said.

I let out a strangled laugh. “Are you seriously comparing me and Chris to Sara and Nikolas?”

Sara and I had gotten close in the weeks since I’d arrived in Los Angeles, and she’d shared some of how she and Nikolas had met, bonded, and eventually fallen in love and mated. It was an incredibly romantic story and so far removed from Chris and me that it was laughable.

Jordan lifted a shoulder. “I’m saying you guys have more than a casual friendship.”

“No,” I blurted. “Why would you think that?”

“I don’t know,” Jordan said slowly. “Maybe because of the obvious tension between you two.”

“There’s no –”

“Or the way he looks at you whenever you’re in the same room,” Sara added.

Jordan snorted. “You mean the way he practically devoured her with his eyes back there?”

“He did not.” Heat crept up my neck. “It’s not what you think.”

“But it is something.” Jordan smirked at Sara. “Told you.”

Sara turned halfway in her seat to look at me. “You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to, but you can tell us anything and we’ll never break your trust.”

I clenched my hands in my lap. “I know.”

“The thing is,” she continued, “as long as I’ve known Chris, he’s never shown any interest in Mohiri women. But it’s clear he cares about you from the way he acts around you.”

I stared at her, not sure how to respond to hearing Chris didn’t date Mohiri women. I’d gone out of my way not to hear about his extracurricular activities in the last four years, so I had no idea about his love life.

“He’s not interested in me, at least not that way. Trust me on that.”

Jordan turned the wheel, and the Porsche suddenly swerved into the parking lot of the French restaurant where we had reservations. A few minutes later, we were seated at a corner table, ordering appetizers.

As soon as our waitress left us, Jordan leaned in, giving me an expectant look.

I sighed in defeat. “I told you guys I was an orphan and that I lived at Longstone since I was six. What I didn’t tell you was I nearly died in an apartment fire. A warrior saved me and brought me to Longstone.”

Jordan’s eyes widened. “Chris?”

“Yes. I don’t remember much about my first days at Longstone, except him. Rachel, my guardian, told me I was traumatized when I came in and I wouldn’t let anyone near me but Chris. She took me to her home, and Chris stayed with us until I felt safe with her. He even slept in a chair in my room for the first few nights.”

Sara put a hand over her heart. “That’s so sweet.”

Jordan nodded in agreement.

“Eventually, Chris had to go back to work. He’d come home every few months, but he didn’t stay with Rachel and me. I used to get so excited when I heard he was coming for a visit, and he’d always spend a whole day with me. When I was a kid, we’d play games and do fun things. I grew out of that, and he showed me how to fight and let me hang out with him when he trained. Those were some of the best days of my life.”

The waitress returned with our beverages, and we ordered our meals, so it was a few minutes before I could continue my story. Now that I’d begun, I wanted to tell Sara and Jordan the rest of it so they’d understand why there would never be anything romantic between Chris and me.

I took a sip of water and set down my glass.

“I think I was thirteen when things changed for me. Chris came home one day, and the next thing I knew, I was crushing on him. He had no idea, of course. By the time I was sixteen, I was head over heels in love with him. I thought all I had to do was wait until he noticed I was no longer a little girl.”

“Did he?” Jordan asked.

I pressed my lips together and shook my head.

Sara laid a warm hand over one of mine. “What happened?”

“I told him how I felt.” I winced. “It didn’t go well.”

I looked down at my hands as I remembered that day. Had it really been only four years ago? It felt like a decade had passed since then.

I smoothed down my hair for the last time and knocked on Chris’s door. I couldn’t believe he was finally home after an eight-month job in South America. He’d missed my sixteenth birthday by one day, but having him home was the best gift I could have asked for.

The door opened and Chris stood there, his hair damp like he’d just gotten out of the shower. He stared at me in surprise for a moment before he smiled and reached out to pull me into a hug. I was so happy to see him I didn’t make much of the fact that the hug was quicker than usual.

“Look at you,” he said when he let me go. “You grew up on me. When did this happen?”

I beamed at him, my heart near to bursting. “While you were running around the Amazon.”

He moved back to let me into the small apartment he used when he was home. I sat on the couch, and he disappeared into his bedroom for a few minutes, returning with a small box wrapped in tissue paper, which he handed to me.

Hot Series
» Vampire Academy Series read online
» Crossfire Series read online
» Fifty Shades trilogy read online
» Kate Daniels Series read online
» Black Dagger Brotherhood Series read online
» Cassandra Palmer Series read online
» Rosemary Beach Series read online
» Sea Breeze Series read online
» Too Far Series read online
» Shatter Me Series read online
» Thoughtless Series read online
» Marriage to a Billionaire Series read online
Most Popular
» Drawn into Love (Fluke My Life #4)
» Nightchaser (Endeavor #1)
» Right Where I Want You
» Tangled Like Us (Like Us #4)
» Be the Girl
» Playing for Keeps (Heartbreaker Bay #7)
» If I Only Knew
» Vengeance Road (Torpedo Ink #2)
» 99 Percent Mine
» Free (Chaos #6)
» Work in Progress (Red Lipstick Coalition #3
» Moonlight Scandals (de Vincent #3)