Face to Face

Face to Face by CJ Lyons

Book: Face to Face by CJ Lyons Read Free Book Online
Authors: CJ Lyons
Tags: Suspense
cradled against her head. "It won't be long. We'll have the clinic running and you'll be saving lives right and left."
    Her arms tightened around him. What the hell was wrong with him? He was losing it, letting King get his goat like that. She'd only been trying to help someone in need. It wasn't her fault there was a gang war brewing in this neighborhood.
    "Your patient, is she all right?"
    She nodded, pulled back enough to tilt her face up to his. "Mother and beautiful baby girl did fine, thank you very much." A shadow crossed her face and he guessed there was more.
    "King said some kid got hurt?"
    "Tagger. Fell and broke his arm. He's all right. In a way it's for the best. He's going into foster care—at Ed Castro's."
    Drake smiled at that. Ed's wife would soon straighten Tagger out. He was glad the kid wasn't seriously hurt. He liked his artwork. Would like it better if it wasn't on the side of his building, but the kid had style, a natural flare. Banksy meets Van Gogh.
    Hart stepped back, her gaze skimming over him with appraisal. He felt a flush of shame as he remembered his momentary lapse of reason, flirting with Monica Burns earlier.
    "You ready to talk yet?" she asked, hands on her hips.
    Drake grimaced. He hadn't fooled Hart. Not at all.
    "I'm sorry," he began. The thought of the photos he'd received this morning clamped his jaws shut before he could continue.
    "Good start. Want to tell me what about?" 
    "I'll tell you after we get to the Lake," he hedged. Once he got her to safety, his head would be clear, he could think straight. Most importantly, she would be far away from his stalker.
    "I can't go." 
    His chin jerked up at that. "You have to. We need to get out of here–"
    "I can't. Not this weekend, at least. Maybe–"
    He was reduced to begging. He didn't care. "No. Tonight. Now."
    "It has to do with Pamela, doesn't it?" Her hands circled around his waist, snugging him against her body, sharing her warmth, her strength with him.
    He held her tight, pillowing his face on her hair again, inhaling her scent, imprinting it on his memory. Lace curtains billowing in the breeze, vanilla and cinnamon, splashing barefoot through puddles after a summer shower. This was the essence of Hart. No amount of dirt or grime could mask it, not from him.
    How could she stand to be with a fool like him? A man who'd been careless before with fragile feelings offered to him, even if they had been offered by a deluded, unbalanced woman. 
    More than ever he regretted his poor judgment. The irresponsible, immature recklessness that had led to the mistakes he'd made with Pamela. It was easy to blame it on the drink, but Drake knew the real fault lay within himself. His shame over the man he'd once been now left him nauseous, as if he'd been contaminated by some bilious disease.
    As if he might contaminate her by staying close. Selfish bastard, he berated himself. This is your fight, not hers. You need to finish what you started .
    "Pamela died a year tomorrow," he told her, moving away from her comfort. She followed, placing a single hand on the small of his back, letting him know she wasn't shrinking from his words. That he allowed her hand to remain shamed him further. "Someone has gone to great lengths to be certain I don't forget that fact."
    "Strange letters? Threats?" she asked.
    He looked at her. Maybe he wasn't as good at hiding his emotions as he thought. "How did you know?"
    "Tony Spanos told me he was getting them too. Said he thought they came from Pamela's sister but he couldn't prove it, couldn't track her down."
    A surge of anger flared through him. Spanos talked to Hart about this? What the hell was the man thinking, dragging her into this? He almost told her what Jimmy found, that Spanos was his number one suspect. Stopped himself just in time. Hart considered Spanos a friend, casting suspicion on him without proof would only drive a wedge between them. Exactly what Spanos wanted.
    She was silent for a moment.

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