Sweet Haven (The Sweet Series Book 2)(7)

By: K.C. Lynn

“It’s all right,” I lie, my hand coasting up and down her slender back. It’s not all right and it isn’t going to be. At least not for that piece of shit.

When minutes have passed, I take a small step back and slip a finger under her chin. “Let me see, Sam.” I keep my voice calm when I feel nothing but rage.

She allows me to tilt her face up, her usual sparkling green eyes now filled with pain and something that looks a lot like shame. That alone makes me want to beat the shit out of the fucker all over again, but even worse than that is the angry red welt that marks her smooth cheek. A mark that she should never bear.

With anger thick in my veins, I keep one arm around her and use my other to dig my phone from my pocket then hit the contact I have for the police station.

“Silver Creek Police Department.”

“I need to report a—”

My phone is ripped from me before I can finish the sentence. Sam takes a step back, ending the call.

“What the hell did you do that for?”

“No cops,” she says quietly, her voice gruff with emotion as she hands me back my phone.

“What are you talking about? You have to report this.”

She shakes her head. “It won’t matter.”

“How can you fucking say that?”

“Because they won’t believe me,” she snaps.

“Of course they will. I saw it happen. You have the mark to prove it for christ’s sake.”

“Will you trust me on this? I know what I’m talking about. I’ve been through this enough times.”

The admission forces another surge of heat through my veins, fury blinding and searing me.

It’s obvious she regrets letting that information slip. Shaking her head, she moves past me to her car door.

“Sam, wait. Don’t go,” I say, coming up behind her.

“I just want to be alone right now.”

I watch as she fishes around in her purse for the keys and notice her hand shaking like a leaf as she retrieves them. So much so that they fall to the ground. “Shit!”

She’s about to bend down to grab them but I’m faster and swipe them up before she can. “I’ll take you home.”

“No. It’s okay. I’ll be fine.” She sniffles, reaching for the keys, but I keep them in my tight fist.

“I’m not letting you drive like this. So you either let me take you home or I’ll call you a cab.”

I’m hoping like hell she lets me take her because I won’t sleep tonight unless I know she made it home safely.

She finally meets my gaze, that ever-present spit of fire I normally see from her now burning in her eyes. I hold her stare, refusing to back down.

She relents with a tired sigh. “Fine, whatever. I don’t have the energy to argue with you right now.”

Thankful for the small victory, I climb in the driver’s seat of her practical, conservative car and try to ignore the peach scent that infiltrates my senses as soon as I enter.

Other than rattling off her address to me, she remains quiet. The entire drive she stares out her window, the back of her hand swiping across her cheeks to eliminate her tears. The silence is probably a good thing, because the more time that passes, the angrier I become.

Who the hell is that asshole to her? It’s obvious he was once a boyfriend, but why the fuck would she shack up with a prick like him? I might not know her well but the Samantha Evans I’ve encountered over the years doesn’t seem like the type of girl to put up with any shit. Hell, just tonight I thought she was going to rip my balls off for the way I gave her a hard time. She had no problem dishing it right back to me. So, how the hell did she end up with a guy like him? And where the hell is her family in all this?

The thought reminds me of the comment Stephanie made to her earlier tonight. She had her back to us but everyone at the table could feel the pain pouring off her. It pissed me off, not only toward Stephanie but also her whole family, and I didn’t need another reason to not like them.

It shouldn’t matter to me. It’s not my business. She’s not my business, but I can’t seem to help it.

As we pull up to her apartment complex, she directs me to her parking stall. Climbing out, we meet in front of her car, and I hand her back the keys.