Kennedy is just plain tired. Her long time, live-in boyfriend is lazy, trifling and a cheat. She keeps telling herself that one day she is going to leave, that one day her future will start. But as the years fly by that one day never comes. There is never enough money, never an opportunity. Trudging along her depressing existence, she runs headfirst into her one day in the form of one seriously fine former Marine and hometown hero.
Emory couldn’t explain it. There was something about Kennedy that touched down to his core. It wasn’t just her beauty, but the woman haunting his every thought. It killed him to see her working her fingers to the bone for a man that didn’t deserve her. All he wanted to do was gather her in his arms and make it all better. But how could he if she refused to lean on him, even just a little?
If Emory thought for just one second Kennedy would stay at his place he would’ve seen her settled then gone back out to find Darryl. But he’d known better. The woman had far more pride than sense sometimes. While he loved the hell out of her for it, it could also be frustrating as all get out. He had no idea what kind of damage tonight had done to his chances, but he was in for the long haul. Sieges were things in which he happened to excel.
He waited until she got her room before leaving the car to approach her. And no the hell she wasn’t dragging that heavy ass suitcase up the stairs like she was planning on staying a while. He’d give her tonight, but tomorrow she would be moving somewhere a hell of a lot more secure, even if it wasn’t in with him. Moving quietly behind her, he grasped the bag easily lifting it from her smaller hand.
“Don’t.” He cut her off as soon as her mouth opened. “If you think I am allowing you to stay here by your lonesome, you’ve got another thing coming. I’ll sleep on the couch.”
There was no couch. The room was at least clean, but that was about it. Bare bones to the extreme, there was one hard arm chair and a bed that sagged a bit in the middle. The tub and sink had rust stains, the lone night stand boasted scratches and cigarette burns.
“No.” This wasn’t happening. She was just going to have to suck it up for a night. When he spied a roach making a run for it as soon as she flicked on the light, Emory had seen enough. “Come on.”
Kennedy resisted of course, not that it mattered. He would throw her over his damn shoulder if he had to.
“They won’t give me my money back.” She pulled on the hold he had on her arm, but Emory wasn’t letting go.
“I’ll give your damn money back.”
“No. You won’t.” The mulish quality that was Kennedy made its appearance with a fury. “And this is what I can afford, so this is where I’m staying.”
Like hell. Having fairly warned her, he simply lowered his shoulder, pushed a little into her midsection and swept her up. Deed done. To her credit, she didn’t fight him over it, didn’t make a fuss. Not even when he placed her in the passenger seat of his car, buckling her in and throwing her suitcase in the back seat.
“What about the company car?” she asked, examining her nails as if she could see them in the dark.
“You locked it, right?” He decided against informing her it was her car. Fully paid for and insured up the ass. “Set the alarm, it should be fine.” Then the thought occurred to him. “And what the hell would you have done if you heard the alarm in the middle of night?”
Just as calm as she pleased, Kennedy reached into her purse and pulled out a little twenty-two caliber, holding it careful like she thought it might go off. Unlikely seeing as how the safety was on.
“I’ll be damned.” If he wasn’t head over heels already, he would’ve fell hard right then and there. “And what do you think you’re gonna do with that cute little thing?”
It was all kinds of wrong to antagonize her about her gun, no matter how small and, well…pitiful the thing was. At least she had something. He was damned proud of her for it too.
“Look it’s all I have okay? And where the hell are you taking me. I am not staying at your house Emory Daniels.”
“You are tonight.”