Chicago Heat(10)

By: Jordyn Tracey

She considered his words. “So you think they rushed it?”

He shrugged. “Or she was just a bitch.”

“Yikes.” Fawn frowned. “If you think that, what do you feel about me?”

He kissed her, which wasn’t an answer, but Fawn accepted it. She didn’t want to know how he felt about her. Not right now. She wasn’t sure what she felt yet. She wanted to be intimate with him if only to test whether they’d last. That made zero sense, but it was what occupied her mind of late. The fact that she had little understanding of her wants regarding men was probably why she had so many issues with them.

“So how did it all go wrong?” she asked to encourage John out of his funk. Over the last couple of months, she’d learned a lot about him. If he was in a dark mood, getting him talking—about anything—did the trick to snap him out of it. Even if the subject wasn’t pleasing, John’s mood would lighten with conversation.

“It started when Kal wanted to get a position with homicide. She thought it was too dangerous. They argued all the time, nonstop.”

She wrinkled her nose. “For real, I’m not too happy that you’re in homicide. It is dangerous with criminals issuing threats to you guys or killers coming after you because they don’t want to be caught. But that’s your life. You chose it, and I can’t change that.” She’d already been impacted by his job with him being called away on cases during their dates. John always made up for it in the sweetest of ways. She loved that, so she didn’t mind the interruptions. Like she said, it was the danger that made her afraid. Maybe Janice wasn’t as strong as Fawn considered herself to be. “I’m sorry. I sound like I’m defending her. I’m not. I don’t even know her.”

“You’re right. You don’t.” She gasped and would have pulled away from him, but he tugged her closer. “I’m sorry. That was uncalled for.” He kissed the top of her head while she leaned on his chest. “She thought getting pregnant would keep him from applying for the position. That was a strike against her. She didn’t want Kevin for himself. She wanted him as a tool to manipulate Kal.

“Anyway, it worked. Kal didn’t join homicide, but that didn’t matter because eight years later, after Janice was busy leaving Kevin with friends and neighbors while she went out too much and drank at every opportunity, Kal was killed in a routine stop. A guy ran a red light, turned out to be wanted, and pulled his gun on Kal. My brother died at the scene.”

He closed his eyes. Fawn squeezed him as tight as she could, knowing his heart must be breaking all over again. She stroked his back and uttered soothing words she hoped would help. While she couldn’t know what it was like having a sibling because she’d been adopted as a baby by an older couple, she did know what it was like to lose someone she loved. Her parents had passed five years ago, and she’d been devastated.

“I’m so sorry, John.”

“I know,” he said in a quiet voice. “I…We were close, he and I, talked about everything. He said his world revolved around her, and he wanted to do everything he could to make her happy. ‘She is a good woman,’ he said. Like hell!” John cried. “She came to the funeral with Kevin. She didn’t even have the decency to buy him a suit for saying good-bye to his dad. And then afterward, she asked if I could watch him while she took care of some business. I felt Kevin could use a break from her and said yes. I didn’t know that was the last time I’d ever see her again.”

John broke from her hold and walked a few steps away. He stretched his arms over his head, flexing the muscles of his back. How she enjoyed looking at him. Then something clicked right then. If things never developed between her and John, into something more serious, she wanted to be able to say later, that they explored every avenue. She’d like to sleep with him, but would this be his turn to draw back? He’d taken a couple vacation days, mostly for Kevin’s sake, but he’d made time for her today as well. This was the best opportunity as work would not interfere. Plus, this afternoon, Kevin had gone with Mrs. Cecil to her grandson’s birthday party. John had told her Kevin wouldn’t be back until six at the earliest. It was three-thirty.