Home > Kian(16)

Kian(16)
Author: Tijan

Sliding into my side of the booth, I didn’t ask. I grabbed his cup of coffee and put some creamer in there.

“Hey.” He dropped a newspaper he’d been reading. “That’s mine.”

“Not this time.” I placed my phone onto the table.

Snark’s gaze fell to it, and the issue about the coffee was dropped. He pointed to it. “That’s how he contacted you?”

“He texted me.” I slid the phone to him.

He picked it up and read the text before writing down the phone number and giving it back. “That was it?”

I opened my mouth, ready to tell him about the visit, but I couldn’t. The words died in my throat, and I lifted the coffee to take a sip instead. What was I doing? Even though the liquid was likely burning my throat, I didn’t feel it. I was withholding information from him, information that I knew he would freak out about if he knew. Gripping the mug tighter, I forced myself to lower it back to the table. I couldn’t tell him. But why? Why couldn’t I do it?

“Jo?” His eyebrows lifted. He folded his hands in front of him on the table and pinned me down with his gaze. “Was that it?”

“Yes.”

His eyebrows furrowed. “You sure?”

My throat felt pinched, and I swallowed painfully. “Isn’t that enough? You said he’d get in touch with me. Wh-what should I do if he gets in contact with me again?”

“Like if he tries to see you?”

I glanced away. “Yeah. What then?” My fingers curled tighter around the mug.

“Well then, we’d have a different situation on our hands.”

I swung my gaze back. “What do you mean?”

“That boy sliced and diced your foster father. He’s a whole different creature than what the media has said he is, and his team knows it. He knows it. And you and I both know it. If he does find you, do not talk to him.”

I jerked my head up and down. “Okay.”

“You’ll let me know if that happens?”

My eyes fell down to my lap. It was like he already knew. I could hear the suspicion in his voice…but, no, there was no way he could know.

I put my phone into my pocket. “I will.”

He pointed at where I had put the phone. “Do not text him back.”

“I won’t.”

Reaching over, he took my coffee back. “This is mine.”

“Okay.” I let out a soft laugh.

A waitress came over with her pad and pen ready. As she asked for my order, I looked to Snark, and he nodded. He said, “Go ahead. Get something to eat, and I’ll give you a ride back home.”

“Really?”

He rolled his eyes. “It’s too damn late for you to be traveling alone anyways.”

“Thanks.” My lips twitched, a grin forming, as I gave my order.

When the waitress left, Snark didn’t bring up the text message. He didn’t push to see if there was anything I was holding back, and I was thankful. Leaning back in the booth, I relaxed for the first time all day.

It wasn’t until he pulled into my alley when he brought Kian up again. His hand was resting on the steering wheel, and I’d just unbuckled my seat belt when he asked, “You sure there’s nothing else?”

“What?” I had started to reach for the door, but dropped my hand back to my lap.

His eyes were pinned on me, and he sat there, mulling over something in his head, before his eyes narrowed. “You can’t lie to me.”

“I’m not.”

“He’s going back to prison. He’s going to try anything possible to make that not happen. This is your future we’re talking about.”

“I thought you said his team wanted to do that.”

“Jo, if you think he’s separate from his team, you’re crazy. That boy is the one who will be sitting in a cell again. Not his lawyers or his folks. Him. I just hope he doesn’t do anything stupid.”

My lungs stopped working for a moment. “Stupid?”

He shook his head. “He’s been evaluated. Do you want to know the logistics of what they found?”

My mouth went dry. “What?”

“Just don’t let the image on-screen fool you, and don’t romanticize what he did. He killed for you, but he’s had two years to think over what he did. He threw away his future while you got a new one. That would sting even Mother Teresa.” He gestured to the door. “Now, go on, and do the ninja thing you told me about. Crawl up the wall.”

“What am I supposed to do now? Just live life normally?”

“You do that. Me? I’m going to pay his folks a visit tomorrow. I think all contact will be cut off after then.”

That was good. That was a relief.

After I said good-bye, I climbed up the fire escape and then slunk through my bedroom window. I should’ve been happy after hearing that from Snark. Kian would stay away, for sure, after Snark saw his parents.

Yes.

That was a good thing…

“What’s up with you and Jake?”

I knew that question was coming. I’d been prepared for it over the last month, but Erica had been quiet on the topic.

Then again, she’d been coming home so late that I wasn’t sure if she’d come home half the time. She was always up and back at the office by the time I’d get back from partaking in my new guilty indulgence. A new coffee shop had opened up a couple of blocks away, so I’d begun walking there in the mornings to get a latte to start the day.

   
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