By: Alexa Riley

“Butch! What the fuck? You’re just going to let this lying cheating bastard take me?” She starts kicking her feet again, and I slap her ass. I’m trying to get her under control before she tries to buck off my shoulder and I land her ass on the hard blacktop.

“Call me in the morning, Joey.” Butch gets back in his car and takes off, but Josephine still yells until she realizes he’s gone.

I go to the passenger side of the cruiser and place her on her feet, caging her in. She bucks against me, trying to free herself. She’s hitting at my chest while tears stream down her face. Each verbal blow she lands is a direct hit to my heart.

“I fucking loved you! But I was just some dirty secret to you. Not good enough to take out in public. Not good enough to meet your parents.”

When the fight finally leaves her body, getting all of what she was holding in out, she sags against the car.

I drop to my knees in front of her, my hands engulfing her narrow hips, looking up as she looks down at me. The moon makes her big green eyes seem brighter than normal, and my heart aches twice as hard.

“You were right about my dirty secrets.” She starts to push my hands off her hips, but I just hold her tighter. “They are my secrets that I’ve been trying to hide from you. I didn’t want them touching you. I don’t want them anywhere near you.”

“I don’t believe you.” Her words say one thing, but her eyes fill with hope. Her hands come to rest on my shoulders, and I’m thankful she isn’t trying to push me back with them.

“I hate my father and can‘t stand to be in the same room as my stepmother.” I don’t let her know it’s because the woman has been trying to get in my fucking pants for years, something that makes me want to throw up, but I don’t want to make my girl jealous. Jealousy eats me up when it comes to her. Fuck, last week I got jealous of the goddamn straw in her drink, and I don’t want her to have those feelings. I want her to have no questions about what she is to me, or that I’d ever give another woman the time of day because I wouldn’t. Hell, women haven’t even been on my radar for years. I poured everything into my job. Until her. She turned my world upside down.

“That may be true, Law, but I saw you with another woman. You were holding her hand.”

“She’s with the FBI.” Her fingers tighten on my shoulders waiting for me to continue. “I’ve been building a case against my father, and she’s part of it. About a year ago he asked me to come back here to Springfield and run for Sheriff. At first I told him no, but he kept pressing. Then the FBI reached out to me, told me that things around my dad didn’t smell too good. I didn’t like that one bit. I just wanted to wash my hands of him, but I’d heard him talk about my sister. About roping her into coming back here, and I knew then he had plans to get her under his thumb. We may have never been close, but I couldn’t let him do that.”

“I went on the date tonight as a decoy. Go out to dinner, then back to my dad’s for drinks. I’d distract good old Dad and my stepmom while Debra, my fake date,” I emphasize ‘fake’ so she gets the point, “went to snoop around a little. But that all went out the window when you wouldn’t respond to my text messages.” I tell her even though I don’t care that the plan went to hell. I’ll find another way. Josephine is my number one priority. Not the cons my dad has been doing to move himself up in life.

“I blew your case?”

“Fuck the case,” I growl, because that isn’t the issue here. “Josephine, my sweet Josephine. Think of all the ways I’ve worshiped your body. Made love to you every night. You’re it for me. Nothing else in this whole world matters if I don’t have you.”

“Law.” Her eyes fill with tears again, but I can tell I’m getting through to her. Her beautiful face has gone soft. It’s the same face she gives me when I tell her how utterly sweet she is, and she tells me there’s nothing sweet about her, which is utter bullshit. She’s pure sweetness. A sweetness that only I get.

“Did you mean it?” I ask her. Her words still rolling around and around in my head.


“When you said you loved me. Did you mean that? Do you still love me?” Her words ripped through me when she threw them at me in anger. I want them back. Need them. We’ve never said them to each other before, because I didn’t want to push. I’d pushed her so much already that I hadn’t wanted to add to it. And to be honest, I wanted them from her first. I had done so much to get her. Gone after her hard and just taking over. I wanted this to be something she gave me.

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