Don't Look

By: Jessa Kane


I’ve taken so long to answer, Mick’s eyebrows are drawing together. “Hailey.”

“Yes,” I blurt, wings flapping in my chest. “Bring me home.”

Mick smiles and shakes his head, like he can’t believe it. “Crawl into the front seat and stay there.” He kisses me hard on the mouth. Twice. A third time. “I’ll run back in and pay for the drinks.”

“Okay.”

We fix my clothing and with one last, long look, Mick leaves the car—engaging the lock before closing the door behind him—and disappears into the bar. I climb into the front passenger seat, the black leather cool and inviting on my flushed skin. I’m not sure why I pop open the glove compartment. Maybe I’m just curious what a man like Mick finds important enough to keep with him when he leaves the house. Turns out, the answer is…a badge and a gun.

Panic closes in on me from all sides.

Fed. Mick is a fed.

Does he know I’m Ivan Stepanov’s daughter? Is that why he’s showing so much interest in me? No…no, I pursued him to the bar. On top of that, I haven’t been allowed in public since I was a child. There’s no chance he would recognize me if I’d ended up on law enforcement’s radar. Plus, he couldn’t have been faking. I felt every touch, kiss, word in my bones. They were genuine. Mick is genuine.

I cross off the possibility that Mick knows I’m Stepanov’s daughter and focus on the more real, more terrifying reality. If I’m seen with a fed, my life is as good as over. My father would never believe in the coincidence and I know too much. I know enough to put him away forever. Not that I’d get the chance. I’d be dead first.

Tears fill my eyes as I glance back at the bar. I have to get out of here. If I tell Mick the truth, he’ll either insist on protecting me or ask me to provide evidence against my father. Both of those options end with me dead—and Mick, too.

The claws of fear sink deeper into my neck at that possibility. At this big, protective man being hurt because of me. We can’t be seen together. I have to get away—

Keys.

I twist around and snatch the keys out of the backseat foot well, where they landed when Mick and I started kissing. Moving fast as I can, I slide into the driver’s seat and start the engine, trying desperately to remember the last time I was in a car. How it was operated. God, I hate being helpless. I can’t even drive.

I’m propelled into motion when Mick walks out of the bar. His stride breaks when he sees me in the driver’s seat, the engine running. Or maybe it’s my expression that makes the color drain from his face. Whatever the reason, I have no time to dwell on the wrenching pain in my chest. I operate in survival mode, moving the stick into drive and hitting the pedal, speeding away from the curb.

“Hailey!”

I’m surprised Mick’s bellow doesn’t shatter the glass. As I turn the corner at the end of the street, I see him running after me and begin to sob. But I keep driving. I keep driving, because I have no choice.





CHAPTER THREE




Mick


I’m going out of my fucking mind.

Where the hell are you, Hailey?

It takes everything inside me not to roar that question over my panoramic view of Los Angeles. I haven’t slept in a week. Not since I tasted the girl of my dreams, held her in my arms, made promises to her…and then lost it all. I lost everything when I’d barely started to believe she was real.

I pace back and forth on the balcony, my fists aching to smash the glass railing into a million pieces. It’s my fault she took off. There’s no question about that. When I walked out of the bar, she looked so scared. What kind of man speaks to a virgin the way I spoke to Hailey? Even being held prisoner by her father was more appealing than a man three times her size wanting to get inside of her. Why couldn’t I have been more patient?

Yeah, I made her come. Made her twist around and whimper, her eyes wide like she had no idea what was happening. And that’s part of the problem. I introduced her to sex way too fast. Christ, I didn’t even let her finish her drink before I dragged her outside the bar to get my hands on her. Worse, if I went back in time, I’m not even sure I could control myself enough to be more patient the second time. She…spelled me. Pulled me under. I’m still under.

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