Bold Tricks(10)

By: Karina Halle

“Oh, so that’s what happened?”

I inhaled quickly though my nose, trying to keep from panicking. “I didn’t set you up. He found out! You have to believe me.”

He sighed and looked back at me but all I could see were the lights of the motel in the reflection of his glasses. “I believe you, Ellie. I believe you.”

“But you think I should stay with him?”

“If you don’t trust him either, then you know we can’t leave him alone. We’ll wake up and the car will be gone with all your stuff. He’ll abandon us. I don’t care what he says. There is no way that he needs us to do what he wants. He’s got connections … we’re just being allowed to tag along and I don’t know why.”

I almost stamped my foot. “But I can’t stay with him!”

“Obviously if I do, one of us will end up dead. At least for you it’s as natural as wiping your ass.”

I glared at him. “Why are you doing this?”

He shook his head, as if to himself, and kicked a stone that went skidding across the dry soil of the lot. “I’m doing what needs to be done. It doesn’t mean you have to sleep with him, Ellie. Just keep an eye on him. I’ll be stationed outside the door anyway.”

I walked over to him and placed my hands on his firm chest. “I want to stay with you.” I bit the bullet. I didn’t care.

He peered at me, his Adam’s apple bobbing as he swallowed hard. He opened his beautiful mouth, about to say something then abruptly closed it for a few moments. “He’s coming.”

I stepped back and took my hands off him.

Javier appeared around the corner and came marching to us with a smile on his face. “Well I got us our rooms. Uno, dos and tres.” He gestured to the first three to our left.

Ugh. Sharing a room with Javier would be a nightmare but Camden did have a point. I didn’t trust Javier and knew he was capable of screwing us over at the best opportunity. Staying in separate bedrooms this early in the game would be the perfect opportunity for him to up and leave us. Javier’s alliance only went to his sister, not to Gus, and the fact that he was even agreeing to help us at all said a lot. Unfortunately, I didn’t know exactly what it said.

“I’m staying with you,” I quickly said to Javier. I didn’t bother putting on an act, smiling or acting coy. He’d see straight through me anyway.

He raised his brow. “Is that right, angel? And to what do I owe your angelic company?”

“Because you’re both the same,” Camden filled in. He stepped forward and quickly swiped the key out of Javier’s hand. “You’re meant for each other.” He took off for his room, his back straight and proud. My heart both lurched and ached at his words, how badly he was brushing me off, how ill he thought of me.

Javier was surprised and loving it. He turned to me, mouth slightly agape. “Wow. Something tells me he was trying to be insulting.”

I couldn’t even fake a smile. “Which one is our room?” I asked, feeling sick as the words came out.

He grinned at me, all snake, no conscience. “Whichever one I choose, angel. Have you got all your belongings?”

Normally I would have brought out everything from the trunk but there were an awful lot of lives in there, an awful lot of stuff. With me keeping an eye on Javier all night, it was probably safe.

I shook my head. “It’s fine.”

He smiled again, especially as Camden shut his door to room number one.

“Let’s take numero tres, si?” Javier asked. “More privacy.” He grabbed my hand and led me toward it though there was nothing gentle or warm in his touch. Those days were over. I was back to dealing with the spurned Javier, the hunter and the sadist.

He opened the door and flicked on the lights. A few cockroaches skittered underneath the bed, and moths darted to the threadbare light fixture hanging from the ceiling. The room was as run-down as I’d ever seen and for one twisted second I was glad I wasn’t sleeping there alone. In the next second, though, I was reminded that the company of insects was preferable to his.

He closed the door behind us and put his hand at my neck, holding me there, and leaned into my ear. “Do you want top or bottom?”

I stiffened for a moment then rammed my elbow back into his gut. “Fuck you.”

He let go of me and coughed loudly, still trying to smile. “You should be glad I’m giving you the option, angel.”

“You’re a sick pig.”

He straightened up and shrugged. “It’s what you liked until about, oh, twelve hours ago. Tell me, angel, what is it about that boy that makes you forget who you really are? Is it the tattoos, because you know I have those.” He quickly shed his linen shirt and stood bare-chested before me, the tattoo of his mother’s name on his inner arm. He turned around slowly, making sure I saw the large cross going down his spine. “Or is it those horrible glasses of his. You know, I can look like a fucking idiot if I really wanted to.”

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