Secrets & Lies (Roughshod Rollers MC 3)

Page 42

When the elevator stops, my hands start to shake. I take in several deep breaths and then I walk down the hallway. Several numbers flash past my vision, but all I comprehend is that they’re not the ones I want. It seems like I walk forever before I finally come to a stop in front of a door. It’s the same as all the other doors in the hallway, but Grant is behind this one. My heart pounds in my chest, and I reach up to knock.
It’s a timid sound, almost as though it doesn’t want to be heard, but I hear movement from within straight away. Grant opens the door within seconds, his eyes hard and his expression impassive.
He doesn’t look surprised to see me. It occurs to me that Kyle would never have sent me to his friend without “warning” him, especially after everything that’s happened between us. I want to be angry at Kyle, almost feeling like he’s led me into a trap, but, instead, I’m reluctantly impressed at the strength of the bond between Grant and his friends.
“Hi,” I say.
“You did come,” Grant says, sounding unimpressed. “What do you want?”
“To talk,” I say.
“There’s nothing to talk about,” Grant says, turning away.
Terror seizes me. No, I can’t just let it end like this, not after everything. I got here; I might be three years too late, but I’m still here.
“Please,” I say, reaching out before I can stop myself and catching the sleeve of his shirt. “Please, I know I have no right to ask this, but…please.”
Grant stares at me. I don’t know what he sees but, after a moment, the look in his eyes seems to soften ever so slightly.
“You’re soaking,” he grunts. He sighs. “You better come in. I’ll get you a towel.”
Maybe the rain was there to help me then. I draw in a deep breath and follow Grant into the apartment. I’m here now. There’s no backing out this time.
Chapter Fifteen
I should have told her to go away. But it’s dark and raining outside, and she’s already soaked through. That, combined with the pleading look in her eyes, makes me relent when nothing else could. So, reluctantly, I step back and lead her into my apartment, just knowing that I’m going to come to regret this somehow.
“Take a seat somewhere,” I tell her. “I’ll get you a towel. Do you want coffee?”
“If that’s okay,” she says quietly.
She’s acting shy now. No, it isn’t just an act, she’s always been a little shy and quiet, lost in the crowd of the larger voices that made up my friends and I. I sigh.
“Yeah, I wouldn’t have offered if it wasn’t,” I grunt.
I stalk away before she can say anything else. Having Jessica in my apartment is the last thing I need right now, but I can hardly send her away. Maybe I should call a taxi for her? But it will just be a waste of money if she won’t go.
She’s made the effort of coming out here at nearly eight o’clock at night. Even though I don’t want to, I should at least hear her out before telling her to go home. Though, speaking of her home…
“Where’s Owen?” I call to her, my head in the cupboard as I find one of my warm, thick towels.
“With our babysitter,” she calls back. “I’ll have to introduce you to Hazel. She’s wonderful and she really loves Owen.”
A babysitter? It makes sense that Jessica would have called on the services of a babysitter without anyone else to help her.
“You don’t really need a babysitter now,” I say, grabbing a warm blanket for good measure and making my way back. She’s sitting gingerly at my table, not wanting to get the couch wet. “There’s two of us now, and Allison and Kyle if they’re around.”
“I considered that,” Jessica says with a nod of thanks as I pass her the towel. “But I don’t want to lose Hazel. She’s really helped me a lot. Besides, there will probably be some days that you’re unavailable or I need to be somewhere. Having a babysitter is still a good thing, even if I don’t ask for her as much anymore.”
I shrug. Who am I to demand that she fires the babysitter she’s obviously fond of? It doesn’t really matter to me one way or the other, and what she’s saying makes sense.
I watch her rub the towel through her hair. Her fingers snag on some knots and she curses as she tries to dry as much water out of her clothes and hair as possible.
“I’m so wet,” she sighs. She glances at me. “I know it isn’t appropriate…but do you mind if I put my clothes in your dryer? I can just wrap up in the blanket.”
I imagine Jessica being in my apartment, wrapped only in a blanket, and I cough, feeling warm all of a sudden.