Home > Heart Lines(6)

Heart Lines(6)
Author: A. A. Dark

“Yes. I—Wait. What?”

A chuckle was followed by a tinge of red filling his face and neck. It made me even more uncomfortable.

“It was a small crush. I was hoping to get to know you better, but I was pretty shy back then and well, my schedule kept me pretty busy. Then, my leg. I guess I lost my chance.”

“Sure did.”

Boston’s smile faded at my look.

“We were all pretty busy back in those days. What brings you to Rockford? Are you still in Chicago?”

“I am. I’m here for work. We’re in the middle of building the new bank, downtown. I actually, uh,” more color washed over his neck as he cautiously eyed Boston. “I saw you on the news during my last trip here and promised myself when I returned, I’d look you up. You know, see how your life has come along. That sort of thing.”

“How’d you know Anna would be here at the gym?”

The suspicion in Boston’s tone had Cody’s mouth opening as he fumbled with words.

“I-I didn’t. I’m at the motel across the street. I happened to be coming back from work when I saw you about to go in. I almost didn’t get the nerve to come over but,” he shrugged. “I thought I’d at least come say hello.”

“We’ve been here for two hours,” Boston said dryly.

“Have you had dinner, Cody?”

Boston stepped back taking me with him. I unhooked my arm, throwing him a look to be nice. The one he returned had caution all over it. He was trying, I could see that. I also saw claim where it couldn’t belong.

“We talked earlier about getting pizza. Would you like to go with us?”

“Oh.” Cody looked between us, stopping on Boston’s glare. “Actually…”

“Boston doesn’t bite. Do you?”

At the warning in my tone, Boston took a deep breath, forcing the fakest smile I had ever seen.

“No. No biting. But I will draw blood if I need to,” he whispered, grabbing my gym bag to double over the one he carried. Fingers slid through mine as he turned to glance behind us.

“Come along. We’d love to have you.”

“Shotgun. Coby, you should be okay fitting in the back. Unless, of course, you’d prefer to just meet us there.”

“Cody,” I corrected. “And don’t be ridiculous. You can drive. I’ll just sit in the back with him so we can catch up.”

I gestured with my head for Cody to follow us out of the gym but saw his resistance. It stirred my own. When Boston took my keys, I could barely take another step at the wounded expression he threw me. It shot right through my core, nearly grounding me in my tracks.

“Where are we going?”

“Mario’s.” I forced. “It’s a few blocks over. You still want to come, right?”

I broke from Boston’s hold, heading to the back door of my SUV as Boston popped the back and threw in our bags. My stomach was flipping with not wanting to go through with this, but isn’t this what friends did? What normal people would do? I’d spent my entire life dissecting everyone around me. I couldn’t just ignore him and tell him to go away.

“I, uh.” He moved in closer to me, lowering his voice as Boston walked around to the driver’s side door. “Truthfully, I went to the hot dog place down the street when I was trying to find the nerve to come over. Maybe I could get your number instead?”

“Oh.” I tried to hold my smile as a little relief washed through. “Of course. I have a card in my purse. Although, don’t call the station. I don’t work there anymore. My cell is listed.” I opened the passenger door, reaching over to grab a card out of my purse, and shut it behind me. His lips peeled back exposing a perfect, if not eager, smile as I handed it over.

“Great. I don’t have to work until ten tomorrow morning. Would you happen to be free for breakfast?” He paused, looking back towards the driver’s side. “Maybe a midnight snack? The hotel has a great rooftop patio. You can see all the lights of the city,” he whispered. “It’s very beautiful, just like you.”

Midnight snack? The words repeated in my head. Did he mean a hookup? A date? I couldn’t do dates. I sure as hell couldn’t have sex with him if that’s what he was implying. With Boston, I was mostly safe from that part of life. I could joke or be friends. Sure, lately I was reacting to him differently, but it was Boston. I knew him. I cared for him. But…Cody? A date? To have sex with a stranger?

The bigger picture swept me with nausea. Betrayal was overwhelming, but to whom? Did I even know anymore?

“I’m sorry.” I found myself moving towards the front passenger door again. Panic was edging in and I knew what that could do. I wasn’t safe here. There was nowhere for me to hide. No shower for me to escape to so I could cry it out in private. “Boston and I are going out of town on a case soon. We have lots of planning to do. We might even be gone by morning.”

“Can I give you my number too, just in case?”

My head nodded, but I was starting to sweat again. I found my hand reaching backwards to open the door, as my other hand trembled through reaching for Cody’s business card.

“It was good seeing you, Anna. Call or text anytime. I hope to hear from you soon.”

Like a fool, I still nodded. Even as I slid into the passenger seat, I nodded. Like a broken jack in the box, my head bobbed up and down and there was nothing I could do to stop it.



“What did he say? I missed the last part. Bastard was being all secretive.”

“Nothing. Let’s go.”

“No. He said something. You’re as white as a ghost.”

I swallowed back the guilt and anxiety trying to get a grasp on the reality of my life now. Braden was dead. He wasn’t coming back. These things were bound to happen with men. I had to stop hiding behind Boston, or what normal people would do, and accept that. But then there was Boston, himself. I feared what I felt, and I couldn’t deny whatever it was was growing by the day. It was a need. A yearning so intense, it was almost impossible to fight.

“Anna, what did he say?”

“Nothing. He already ate. He was wondering if I’d be interested in breakfast instead.”


“There’s more you’re not telling me.”

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