The Ghost (Professionals Book 2)(14)

By: Jessica Gadziala


With that, he turned his back.

And waited.

And waited.

Until I felt so uncomfortable, I finally did what he said. I undressed, watching him to make sure he was facing forward, then forcing myself into the shower.

He must have heard the shower curtain pulling. “See. You can do it,” he told me. “You want me to hand you some of your shit?” he added, making me realize I had hopped in without even so much as a bar of soap.

“If you don’t mind,” I said, shoving my hand out of the shower curtain. It was only a couple seconds before I felt my bottle of shampoo land there. Once I put that down, conditioner. Then soap.

“The fuck is this skin conditioner shit? You need that too?”

I did.

And, for some unknown reason, I felt weird about needing it. But I stuck my hand out anyway.

“Chicks need too much shit,” he added, handing me my razor and shaving cream. “How the fuck do you get anything else done with all this grooming?”

“We get up earlier,” I suggested, going through the motions of showering somewhat self-conscious about the process, so rushing through it more than usual. “Would you prefer we stop shaving our legs?” I asked, smiling when I heard no response from him. If there was one thing a man - in my experience - loved, it was the feel of silky legs wrapped around them. And seeing as we ourselves loved the feel of the sheets on our freshly shaven skin, I totally got that.

I turned off the water, quickly slathering the skin conditioner on before reaching for the towels. Plural. He had given me two. One for my body, one for my hair. The man clearly had experience with women.

“See?” he asked when I pushed the curtain aside and stepped out. “You did it.”

I did.

Though, if I were being completely honest with myself, I think the only reason I could was because of that gun in his hand.

“Thank you,” I said, meaning it, feeling weird about being there in a towel that barely fell mid-thigh. And a towel wrapped around my hair. It wasn’t my best look, and I knew it.

“Don’t mention it,” he said, tucking the gun away. “I’ll drag in your bag,” he added, leaving in an odd rush.

When he came back, he rolled the bag in, refusing to look at me for some reason.

“When you’re done, we can talk about the next step.”

With that, still not looking in my direction, he was gone.





FOUR





Gunner





The fuck was that about?

Not the forcing her to shower thing. I had meant to do that. That was completely necessary. It was easy for trauma to become full-on PTSD after an event like that. She’d end up like that chick from that Psycho movie who could never shower again. I didn’t want to let that happen on my watch if I could help it. I had seen too many men go through things overseas, come home, carry that shit with them forever, leading to their loved ones leaving them, or the men choosing to abandon them, or - more often than I cared to even think about - leading them to eat a bullet.

I didn’t want that for her.

She’d done nothing to have to live with that for the rest of her life.

Some fuckhead forced it on her.

It wasn’t fair.

I wasn’t normally someone who gave a shit about fair. Life rarely was. Everyone who had been born in this world has had something happen to them that was out of their control, that sucked, that forced their life in another direction.

Hell, my job was dealing with many of these people.

Sure, some were criminals who had pissed off other criminals, and needed to disappear.

But just as often, it was innocent people caught up in an ugly situation.

Sloane had done what society believed was the right thing - tried to get a murderer off the street. And in return, she had to leave her entire life behind.

That sucked.

But why I gave a shit was beyond me.

I had just been thinking about that when she had come out of that shower in nothing but a towel.

It was a shocking change for her.

Being that bare.

Not because she wore a lot of makeup or dressed like the Amish or anything, but because everything she did wear from her makeup to her simple jewelry to her very particular type of dress, she wore like a shield. It was part of an image she wanted to project.

Bare?

It was all gone.

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