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“Don’t fight me, not with those guys watching,” he whispers against my lips and my body stills.

“Good girl.” He mumbles lifting his head and tucking my face against his chest under his chin while wrapping his free hand around my back. My heart pounds franticly against my ribcage and I’m sure I’m going to pass out as I listen to car doors slam and an engine start. “They’re leaving the lot now.” He rumbles holding me for a second longer, before letting me go and taking a step back.

“You kissed me.” I know those should not be the first words out of my mouth, but I’ve never felt what I just felt when kissing anyone, and I don’t know what to do with the fact that I swear my world spun when he was kissing me.

“And you kissed me back.” He shrugs before he turns and walks off.

“I did not kiss you,” I hiss at his back, then panic when he walks to my car and squats down so he can reach under the bumper. “What are you doing?’

“Hold on.” He moves his hand around then holds it out to me a couple of seconds later, and I see that he has a small, round, metal device in his palm that’s about the size of a quarter.

“What is that?”

“Tracker.” He drops it on the ground between us then crushes it with his scuffed up black boot.

“A tracker?” I shake my head. “Why is there a tracker on my car?”

“Pretty girl, young, nice body.” His eyes wander over me slowly. “They could get a few grand for you a night or sell you off at auction to the highest bidder.”

“What?” I breathe, sure that I heard him wrong.

“There’s fucked up people in this world, babe, and a lot of them would do just about anything to make a buck. Good news is I’ve been watching them and caught them watching you.”

“Auction me to the highest bidder?”

“Like I said, there’s some fucked up people in the world.” He moves his gaze to my car. “I’ll follow you back to your place and make sure you’re locked in for the night.”

Absolutely not. “I don’t think so.” I take a step back from him then swing my purse around and drop my eyes to it and dig out my cell from the bottom along with my car keys.

“When they realize they don’t have a signal to the tracker they’re gonna come back, and could just follow you.”

“Or this could be some weird set up and you’re in on it.” I narrow my eyes on his. “You playing the savior, trying to make me comfortable, only to turn around and do what you said they were going to.”

His expression darkens and he takes a step toward me. “Do not put me in the same box as those motherfuckers.”

“I don’t know you.” I hold my ground, refusing to cower, even though it’s difficult when faced with all his scariness up close. After a long stare-down, I drop my eyes to my cell, find my dad’s number and press call. It rings once and my body relaxes when he picks up.

“Hey kid what’s up?”

“Are you in Nashville?”

“Yep, are you okay?”

“I’m not sure,” I mumble, then explain to him what happened with the guys and the tracker.

“I’ll be there in five. Go wait in the store until you see me pull up.”


“Love you.”

“Love you, too. See you soon.” I hang up and spin on my heel and head across the lot.

“When is your man gonna be here?” Mr. Scary-guy asks, stepping in sync with me.

“My dad will be here in five minutes.” I peek over at him, and he grunts something under his breath. “You don’t need to wait with me.”

“I know. Still going to do it.” He opens the door to the liquor store, and I stand next to the glass window and watch, hoping my dad hurries up. The man at my side doesn’t say a word, but then again, he doesn’t need to speak for me to know he’s here. His presence is almost overwhelming, and it feels like he’s sucking up all the oxygen, which is making me light-headed.

It takes less than five minutes for my dad to arrive and the minute he pulls into the lot on his Harley, I push open the door, then notice an SUV roll in right behind him.

“Fuck,” my new shadow mutters.

I glance up at him. “What?”

“Nothing.” He walks toward the SUV while I go to where my dad is swinging off his bike.

“Hey kid.” He greets me with a hug that lets me know that everything is going to be okay then asks. “Who’s the guy?”

“I don’t know.” I look at the man in question and watch him talking with the two guys who pulled in behind my dad. I don’t recognize either man but it’s obvious by the familiar way that Mr. Scary is talking to them that they know each other. Both men are around his age and good looking, one with dark blonde hair, clean cut in jeans with a Henley under a vest, and the other wearing an outfit similar to my dad’s and Mr. Scary’s. The second man has longer dark hair and scruff on his jaw and looks a lot like the man talking to him. “You brought reinforcements?”

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