Saved By The Lumberjack

Page 22

“I’m the guy who saved her life when she ran away from you. And I’m the guy who’ll kick your pathetic ass if you don’t stay away from her.”
Roger laughs, but it sounds forced, and there’s fear in his eyes. He knows he doesn’t stand a chance against Burke. So instead, he focuses his attention on me again. “You’re such a slut, Daisy. You run from me, right into the arms of another man?” He leans over the counter and I shrink back. “You know why that is? Because you can’t be alone. You’re pathetic. You can’t survive without a man. And once that one’s done with you,” he gestures at Burke, “you’ll be nothing again. He’ll figure out soon enough that the only thing you have to offer is decent cooking skills and an average pussy.”
Burke makes a strangled sound, and before I can do or say anything, his fist connects with Roger’s jaw. With a cry of pain, Roger falls to the ground, and within seconds Burke is on top if him, pinning him to the ground. He slams his fist into Roger’s jaw again. “Don’t come near her ever again. If you do, I’m gonna fucking kill you. You understand?”
Roger groans, dazed by his pain.
“Do you fucking understand, you piece of shit?”
Roger nods, his unfocused gaze on Burke’s face.
Burke straightens up and drags Roger to his feet. “Now get the fuck out of here and don’t ever show your ugly fucking face again.”
I keep my eyes on Roger’s limping form until he’s out of the café, and then I turn my gaze to Burke. “Thank you,” I say, my voice rough.
“Don’t thank me,” he says, his voice gruff. “I don’t deserve your thanks.” He hangs his head. “I came here to apologize to you. I—”
Annie clears her throat. “How about you guys talk in the apartment?” She gestures around the café, and I realize people are staring. Not that I can blame them.
I nod. “Follow me.”
As Burke follows me up the stairs into my apartment, my heart hammers in my chest. I can’t make sense of my emotions. I feel relief, joy, sadness. All at the same time.
I unlock the door and Burke follows me inside. Neither of us says a word until we’re in the kitchen.
Burke sits down opposite me. Somehow, I find it hard to look at him. “As I said, I came here to apologize.”
“Apologize for what?” I cast a glance at him, and the sight of his clear blue eyes cuts me to my core.
“For the way I treated you. I—” He rubs the back of his neck and sighs. “Before I came to pick you up, I ran into Sylvia,” he says. “She’s—”
“Your ex, I know.”
He blinks. “Marianne told you?”
I nod.
“Well, anyway, she had a baby and… It’s my brothers.”
“It’s normal that seeing her stirred up some feelings,” I say, my voice tight.
Burke shakes his head. “It wasn’t because of her—well, not really. It just reminded me of my brother’s betrayal. But I realized something,” he says, not taking his eyes off me.
“What’s that?”
“Sylvia and my brother don’t matter anymore. You’re the only one who matters. And I want to build a life with you. I want to wake up next to you every day. I want to come home to your smiling face. You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me, Daisy.”
It takes a few seconds for his words to sink in. “Then why did you treat me like that?”
I won’t let him off the hook so easily. I’m in love with Burke, and part of me wants nothing more than to fall into his arms and hold him close, but I can’t do that. Not yet.
“Because… I thought you wanted to leave. And it hurt me.”
“Then why didn’t you just talk to me? Why were you so damn cold?”
He rubs the back of his neck, looking contrite. “I’m a fool. I’m so sorry, Daisy. I just—it’s hard for me to talk about my feelings.”