Typically in this kind of situation, I would do nothing, but nothing was what always ended up being the absolute worst choice I could make, so I debated between walking outside and tapping on the window or doing the smart thing and calling the police. I settled on a decision that landed somewhere in the middle, deciding to do what fell between completely reckless and disgustingly logical, and let my index finger hit the call button next to Quaid’s name.
I kept my eyes glued to the car and held my breath as the phone rang and rang. I had serious doubts he would even answer, considering the way we left things and at this late of an hour, but he said he wanted to be something like a friend, and I could really use one of those right about now. Besides, he had proven awesome and consistent at offering his help, even when I was convinced I didn’t want it.
I was getting ready to hang up and do the really stupid thing by going outside to investigate the situation myself when his gruff, sleepy, and heavy voice finally came across the line.
“Avett? What’s going on? Are you in trouble?” I heard the rustle of bedsheets and the sound of something being knocked over. The sounds created images of him tangled up and in bed, images that made my mouth go dry and my palms get damp, but his words had my spine stiffening and my eyes narrowing.
“I’m always in some kind of trouble.” And considering I was imagining him naked, which took a little work since I had no idea what he was working with under that suit, trouble was something that never seemed so appealing.
“What kind of trouble are you in?” He was moving around and it sounded like he was pulling on clothes. I wondered if he slept naked and if he was putting one of his impeccably pressed suits back on.
“Um … I’m not exactly sure. I’m home alone and there’s this car parked across the street. There are two men in it and they haven’t moved for the last half hour. I’m probably being paranoid but it’s freaking me out. I wasn’t sure what I should do.”
“Where’s your dad?” His question was practically growled at me and I swore I heard the jingle of keys in the background.
“He’s with my mom. He only spends the night with her a few nights a week. I didn’t want to interrupt them because it could be nothing. I’m trying to be responsible. Do you think I should call the police?”
I peeked out the curtain again and gasped when I saw the glint of the front porch light reflected off of something glass. Someone in the car was peering into the house with a pair of binoculars. There was no denying they were watching the house and me.
“Give me twenty. I’ll call the police when I get there, if need be. They’ll respond faster to my call than yours. Stay inside. Stay away from all the windows and doors. I’ll text you when I get there.” I heard a door slam and the sound of him moving but my brain was stuck on the “give me twenty.” He was coming. He didn’t think I was being paranoid and overreacting, and even if he did, he was still coming and not making me feel stupid for calling him. He was the best almost-friend I had had in a long time.
“Uh, okay … It really might be nothing though.” Nothing, except two strange men with binoculars parked outside of my house watching me.
“Avett.” He said my name with some bite to it and it made me shiver. “You’re the primary witness in a high profile case that has ties to drug trafficking. It’s very unlikely two men parked outside of your house, in the middle of the night, is nothing. Don’t do anything crazy. Just wait until I get there.”
“I’ve retired all my crazy, Quaid. A stint in jail will do that to a girl. Reasonable and sensible are my new middle names.” I was trying to make light of the situation but a shiver of unease was making my skin prickle.
I hadn’t thought about the men in the car being tied to Jared and the illegal things he was involved in. The last time I had a run-in with his associates I’d been beaten and very nearly raped. I knew the way the men he did business with operated. I could happily live the rest of forever without any more exposure to their handiwork. Suddenly, the original idea I had of going outside and confronting them myself seemed infinitely more than foolish and hasty; it seemed deadly and dangerous. It was a damn miracle that I, with my innate need to screw up and pick the worst option, had managed to skip that choice and jump right into the one that involved the hot as hell lawyer coming to my rescue … again.
Quaid grunted at me again and I heard an engine start. It purred with power and rumbled sexily in my ear. “Just stay reasonable and sensible until I get there. Crazy doesn’t need to be retired indefinitely. It does, however, need to learn the proper time and place to make its appearance. I’ll be there shortly.”
I asked him if he needed my address and he told me he already had it from the paperwork he had on me.
He hung up, without saying good-bye, and I stuck my phone in the front pocket of the baggy overalls I was wearing. I looked out the curtain again; this time I was sure the binoculars were pointed right at the window I was looking out. I let the heavy material fall back down and put a hand to my racing heart. I had a bad feeling about all of this.
I should call my dad and let him know what was going on. I should tell him that I was scared and that I wanted to make better choices now so that he didn’t have to save me from myself anymore. I wanted to be my own hero for once. I didn’t want to be the girl that knew she deserved the worst so she never even attempted to show the world or the people that loved her, her best.
I think I held my breath for the entire twenty minutes as I paced back and forth in front of my bed. I didn’t exhale until I heard that same sexy purr that had been in the background of my phone call with Quaid outside my window. I crept along the wall and gingerly pulled the curtains back a hint so I could see what was happening outside. I was directly ignoring the order he gave me, but I’d done about as much smart decision making as I was capable of for one day and my reserves were dry.
A brilliantly red, supersleek motorcycle, which was as opposite as it could be from the massive chrome-and-black Harley my dad rode, pulled to a stop in front of the house. I watched, in shock, as the man sitting on the mini rocket ship swung a leg across the wicked and sexy machine and stared up at the very spot I was standing. I saw the helmeted head shake, and then the black and red protective gear was removed and Quaid Jackson’s messy blond hair was revealed as it glinted in the overhead moonlight.