Little one, p.1

Little One, page 1

 

Little One
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Little One


  Little One

  Darcy Dawes

  Copyright 2017 ©Darcy Dawes

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organisations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

  She’s out of my league. She should be out of my reach. But she isn’t.

  Too young, too innocent, too wrapped up in the nasty world I reside in.

  I want to touch her, taste her, make her mine. Leave marks on her perfect skin.

  But she’s his little sister.

  I call her Little One.

  Chapter One

  Valentine

  I keep my gaze focused on the road. The leather steering wheel stays steady in my hands. The traffic is light, the road cast under golden beams of light. I’m travelling fast—too fast I suppose—but not fast enough for my liking. A car swings out of a junction and I swerve around it.

  A squeal from next to me draws my attention.

  To her.

  The reason I’m driving like a maniac. Not that you’d ever know it from my expression. I know Gray probably thinks I drive like this every day, like a fucking getaway driver racing from the cops. But I don’t have the most precious cargo in my car every fucking day.

  I risk a look at her and regret it. Against the large leather seats, she’s so damned vulnerable. All pale skin and shaking limbs. She’s not even dressed for a cold night like tonight, wearing a strappy top and short denim skirt.

  “There’s a jacket in the back,” I grunt.

  I hate speaking to her. In the ten years I’ve worked for her brother I’ve kept talking to a minimum. We both know I’m not worthy of a second of her time. Not a criminal asshole like me.

  She remains curled up in the seat, her arms wrapped around her legs. Those goddamn legs that make me forget everything. Even now, when I’m meant to be concentrating on getting her to safety, I can’t resist stealing a look at those endless limbs.

  I hate her sometimes. Hate her for growing into a woman. If she’d have only stayed that young, sweet little thing, I’d never have these thoughts. Never think about those thighs and how fucking perfect for wrapping around my hips they are. Or wonder about the scent between them. I’d never imagine the sounds she might make as I nipped my way up the soft flesh of her inner thighs.

  Even now…even fucking now, when our lives are on the line, I’m getting hard. This is what she does to me. This is how she tortures me every day of my life.

  “Little One, get the coat,” I order gruffly.

  Gray remains still, her gaze fixed on the road ahead.

  I sigh, reach into the back with one eye on the road and fumble for the coat. I pull out the battered leather jacket and fling it at her. She jolts and unfurls slightly to drape it over her shoulders.

  Another shudder wracks her. A pang of sympathy strikes me in the gut—or maybe not sympathy. Maybe regret. Maybe something more. It’s painful, pulling tight at my stomach. I hate that she’s involved in this life. She shouldn’t be. She should be out with her friends, doing whatever it is young women do. Shopping and gossiping and dating boys.

  No. Not dating boys. I can’t stand the thought of those horny motherfuckers near her. Thankfully Gray has never seemed interested in any boys or else I might have to make a few threats. The gossip surrounding her brother probably keeps them all at bay, the fucking pussies.

  Nothing would keep me away if I had a chance with her.

  Not that I do. Not that I want one. She’s a sweetheart. An innocent woman—just. She’s too young, too kind, too everything. And I’m not enough.

  I reach out to touch her arm. Fuck knows, I don’t know how to comfort someone. The last time I held a woman was years ago. When the last one ratted me out to the cops, I gave up on them. Not worth the time or the hassle. After Danny set his lawyers on the cops, everything was forgotten, along with the idea of me ever having a woman I could love.

  Gray flinches at the touch. I glance at where I touched her and curse aloud. I lift my palm and see the sticky blood there. Finn’s blood. I smack my hand against the steering wheel, making Gray jump again.

  She leaves the bloodied fingerprint there, in too much shock I think to even move. I can still feel the heat of the blood under my palms, how it pulsed out of Finn until he faded. Poor kid. Barely twenty and gone. He sure as hell didn’t deserve any of this.

  Gray’s brother will sort this. He’s ruthless. It’s why he has enemies. Though they’re fucking idiots if they think killing Finn and nearly wiping out the rest of us including his sister would make him give up. No, Danny will scour the earth until he finds the guys responsible for Finn’s death and he’ll make sure they pay.

  In the meantime, I have to keep Gray safe. That means not touching her and not scaring the shit out of her.

  I’ve done a crappy job of both of those so far.

  I wipe my hand down my jeans and clear my throat. “It’ll be okay, Little One.”

  The nickname I’ve always used for her makes her snap her head around. I’ve known her since she was seven. I might not have had deep, meaningful conversations with her, but I’ve been there, watching her grow into a far too beautiful woman. Even now, with her face pale from shock, just looking at her hurts.

  It hurts because she’s so stunning and it hurts because I shouldn’t even be thinking of her that way. She’s Danny’s little sister. She’s everything I’m not. I don’t even feel worthy of being in her pretense most of the time. And I know Danny wants to keep her as she is. Young, innocent, with a whole life ahead of her. Danny might be a scumbag criminal but he’s always made sure she never got wrapped up in this shit. Until today.

  But I’m going to take her away from it all. We’ll hide out until I get word that it’s over and then Gray can go back to her sweet little world of looking forward to college and becoming whatever the hell she wants to.

  Whoever shot Finn and tried to take out the rest of us at Danny’s garage will pay. I know Danny will make sure of that.

  “V?”

  That one syllable is shaky and like a knife to the gut. Sometimes I imagine what it would be like to hear my full name on her lips. A name she doesn’t even know. V. That’s what they all call me.

  “What is it, Little One?”

  “Where are we going?”

  “My place.”

  I keep my attention on the road and swing a right, tearing through a red light. The sooner I get her away from the danger, the better.

  My neighborhood is a far cry from the one she lives in. I’ve got money but I don’t use it. I’m better off in a place like this anyway. A girl like Gray, however, wouldn’t stand a chance.

  Prostitutes gather on the street corners, there’s derelict buildings everywhere. Gangs hang out in the alleyways and methheads are found too often dead in the gutters. It’s a place for assholes and losers. Suits me just fine.

  I hate that Gray is here, though. Innocent, naive Gray. I can see her body stiffen as we drive deeper into the neighborhood. She knows her brother’s involved in some shady stuff but he keeps her shielded from it as best as he can, locked up in his high-security mansion and sent to the best private school. Gray’s life is one of privilege and protection. She’s Danny’s best achievement in life. And she sure as fuck doesn’t belong anywhere near me.

  I park on the street and scan the road. We weren’t followed, I know that much, but whoever has it in for Danny would love to take a shot at Gray
. What better revenge than to kill his baby sister?

  Not going to happen, though. I’d take a thousand hits for her.

  “Stay there,” I order, not that she looks like she’s going to move. She’s still motionless in her seat, all wide eyes and long limbs tucked under her arms.

  The gun nestled in my back pocket provides some comfort as I climb out the car and move to her side. Yanking the door open, I jerk my head toward the building.

  “Come on.”

  She hesitates so I take her arm. Not roughly but with enough force that it gets her moving. The horror of everything she’s seen has frozen her and as gentle as I want to be, there’s no time. I have to get her to safety.

  Checking behind us, I lead her into the building and up the stairs. I check for any forced entry into my apartment but all is clear. I’d say that whoever is after Gray and Danny would have to be suicidal to come near me but anyone coming after Danny must be fucking insane. I’ve been at his side for ten years, since I got out of the special forces. I know what he’s like. Revenge comes easily to him. In fact, he enjoys it. No one with any sense messes with Danny.

  My apartment is as I left it. Blinds drawn, spotless, and barren. I’ve never been one for owning much shit. Aside from a couch and a coffee table, there’s nothing else in the living area. And I’ve never let any woman get close enough to try to change that.

  Truth is, Gray is the first woman I’ve ever let in here.

  Arms wrapped around herself, she stands in the middle of the barren room and eyes the bare walls and empty space. The strappy yellow top she wears is like a splash of sunshine that illuminates the dingy shadows of my apartment.

  I curl a fist. She doesn’t fucking belong here. Danny better make whoever forced her into this situation pay.

  My leather jacket still hangs from her shoulders. Her chocolate hair is spread over the leather, a little wild but shiny. That jacket is going to smell like her and I don’t know how the hell I’m going to cope with that. Maybe I’ll have to burn the fucking thing. I’d recognize her scent anywhere and it’s like a trigger to me. One sniff of her coconutty fragrance and I’m thinking of those long, golden legs, those high little tits that are probably going to grow still and that slender waist that I could practically wrap my hands around.

  “This is your home?”

  I nod.

  She tucked her lip under her teeth. “I’m not sure what I expected but…”

  I lift a shoulder. “I’m never here. Doesn’t seem like much point in furnishing it properly.”

  Not to mention I have no intention of settling. Ever. I know what happens when you get comfortable. Everything gets fucking ripped away from you.

  “Sit.” I motion to the sofa.

  A tiny tremble runs through her body but she does as she’s told. I like that. No arguments, no fighting me. She knows she’s in danger as much as I do and thank fuck she isn’t being some stupid woman who thinks she knows how to keep herself safe better than I do.

  Of course her obedience would be useful elsewhere too. In bed perhaps. Or on the couch. I could get her to spread her legs. Pull down her panties. Show me that pretty cunt.

  I draw in a breath through my nostrils and turn away into the kitchen. Pulling out a bottle of whiskey, I pour myself a generous glass and a small shot for Gray. I take it over to her and she wrinkles her nose.

  “It’s good for the shock.” I force it into her hand and watch until she sighs and throws it back.

  She shudders and makes a face. “Yuck.”

  “You’ll be thanking me in a minute.”

  “What happens now?”

  “We’ll stay here for tonight then I’ll take you to a safe house out of the city.”

  “There’s a safe house?”

  “Of course.”

  She peers up at me. “Can’t you sit down? This is hurting my neck.”

  And I’m probably still scaring her. I’m not exactly a small guy. Six foot two and built. I sit hastily, feeling like a monster next to her. She’s so damned petite and beautiful. Everything about her screams innocence from her dark, curly lashes, her big, almond shaped eyes, and the few freckles across her nose. I’ll be damned if I haven’t wondered if there are more freckles on her body.

  “I didn’t know my brother had a safe house.”

  “He has several.”

  She places her head in her hands. “I had no idea.” The words are muffled. “I didn’t know anything. God, I’m so stupid.”

  I put a hand under the jacket and rub her back gently, feeling the notches of her spine and the warmth of her skin through her top. I grit my teeth as that usual fight for control burns through me. Why the fuck did she have to grow up to be so beautiful, so appealing? I’ve never wanted anyone like I want Gray. Never. And I’ve had enough sexy women throw themselves at me but none of them compare to her.

  “Danny did his best to keep you away from all that shit,” I tell her. “What happened tonight was the reason why.”

  “I knew he was hardly an innocent guy. I knew about the cars…at least sort of. But I didn’t think he was the sort of guy who people would want to kill!” She lifts her face away from her hands and turns to look at me. “Who would want to kill him?”

  I shrug. Many people. Rivals. Cops. FBI. You name them.

  “It doesn’t matter. Danny will get them.”

  “Will he be okay?”

  “Yeah.”

  “Will we be okay?”

  “I won’t let anything happen to you, Little One. I promise.” I move my hand from her back. If I keep touching her, I don’t know what I’ll do and when I said I wouldn’t let anything happen to her, I meant it. That means protecting her from me too.

  I eye her profile. Poor little Gray. She has no idea what she does to me.

  “Are you hungry?”

  She shakes her head. “I don’t think I could eat even if I wanted to.”

  “You’d better get some rest then. You can take my bed and I’ll sleep on the couch.”

  “I—”

  “Take the bed, Little One. I’ll find you something to sleep in.”

  Biggest mistake of my life, I know, but I can’t let her sleep in a skirt and top.

  I lead her through to the bedroom. It’s almost as bare as the living area. A king-sized bed and a chest of drawers are the only furnishings.

  “The shower is through there if you want to take one.” I pull open a drawer and she sits on the bed.

  How easy it would be just to push her back. To lift that skirt and run my fingers down the line of her panties. Would she be wet? I’d lick her through the material and get that little clit all swollen just to make sure. Then I’d plunge my dick in her virgin pussy. Christ, I can practically feel it now, tight like a glove around me, new and unused.

  Jesus. I draw in a breath through my nostrils and throw a t-shirt her way. What a sick fuck I am lusting after a virgin. And I know she is. She’s never had a boyfriend. She’s completed untouched.

  I ignore my clothes. I’ve got a bag packed for emergencies and there’ll be plenty of stuff at the safe house. For tonight, I’m staying dressed in case we need to move quickly.

  “V?”

  I pause in the doorway. “Yeah?”

  “I’m scared.”

  She should be. Stuck for who knows how long with me. A man not good enough for her who can’t seem to remember that she’s practically young enough to be my daughter.

  “Don’t be,” I lie.

  Chapter Two

  Gray

  How V can sleep I don’t know. I stare at the ceiling then toss onto my side. The bed is comfortable and the sheets are expensive. I’m not sure if I can’t sleep because of what happened today, which was so, so horrible, or because I’m in V’s apartment.

  I know he earns plenty working for my brother. They all do. So why does he live in this awful place with no furniture but expensive bedding? He’s such an enigma.

  I take a breath and close my eyes t
o focus on the darkness behind my lids. Problem is, when I do that, flashes of today come back to me. We were at my brother’s garage, about to go home. Just a normal school day.

  I frown to myself. What will they think when I don’t turn up tomorrow?

  They certainly won’t think someone was trying to kill me and my brother. There’d been gunshots, so many gunshots. Then that man had been killed, one of the newer ones. He’d only been a few years older than me. There’d been so much blood. I heard him take his last breath.

  Gripping the sheets, I urge the visions to go away. They do and I’m left with the image of V’s hand on my arm, leaving bloodied fingerprints. Then of him sitting next to me, rubbing my back. He won’t understand what he does to me. What he’s always done to me. I think I first noticed him when I was about fourteen. Too young to be noticing a guy his age. But he had all those muscles and that dark, too long hair. He was dangerous and sexy, and everything I could ever want.

  My breathing never fails to quicken around him and then he looks at me sometimes, and I forget to breathe. His eyes, so dark that they’re almost black, have this way of burrowing deep inside me. Sometimes I feel like he actually sees me. For just a short moment, I’m not Danny’s sister or some school kid. I’m a woman with needs and desires and he recognizes that.

  But those looks vanish quickly and I’m left feeling stupid for even imagining a man like him could be interested in me.

  The sheets smell like him. Soapy and clean. I inhale the scent deeply and tug the t-shirt tight around me. How many women has he fucked in this bed? What does he do to them? I shouldn’t be thinking things like this. I shouldn’t be imagining this stuff but the ache between my legs is building as I think of myself in their place, running my hands down his back and letting him take me over and over. I might be a virgin but I’ve seen enough porn to know what to expect. All I know is that the moment V touches me, it sets me alight. I can hardly imagine what it would be like if he touched me all over.

  I roll onto my other side with a huff. How am I meant to sleep when I’m here? Lying in his bed? It’s impossible. I should feel scared, I think. I mean someone wants to kill me. I was for a while but I’ve forgotten how to be now. Being near V scrambles my head and makes me an idiot. God, he must think I’m so stupid with how tongue-tied I get around him.

 
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