Tease (Page 38)

Tease (Take It Off #2)(38)
Author: Cambria Hebert

She let him pull her back and he looked her over. So did I. There didn’t appear to be any damage that I could see.

“Did he rape you?” Adam asked, his voice hard.

“No!” she said sharply, then collapsed against his chest.

“It’s a good fucking thing. I’m going to kill him,” he said, his voice deadly calm. It was actually kind of intimidating.

Roxie started to cry harder and Adam swore beneath his breath. “I didn’t mean to scare you. Calm down. I’m not going anywhere.”

He continued to talk to her, trying to soothe her. I wandered around, letting them have some privacy (for some reason it seemed like I was intruding on a private moment), looking for missing items or anything broken. Everything looked exactly the same as when I left.

Even my jar of rice was still sitting untouched on the kitchen counter.

“Cops are on their way,” Cam told the room when he hung up his phone. He walked over and shut the front door, locking it for good measure.

Roxie’s sobs had quieted and Adam was still cradling her in his lap. “I shouldn’t have sent you home. This wouldn’t have happened,” he said.

“We would have had to come home sometime,” I told him.

“You girls shouldn’t be living here alone,” Adam snapped.

“It was him,” Roxie murmured.

“Him who?” I asked, going around the couch to look at her.

“Craig. It was Craig.”

Adam let forth a string of cuss words that should have earned him an award. Even Cam let a couple loose as he sat in the only other chair in the room besides the couch.

“So that was Craig that was here?” I asked, trying to make sense of it all.

She nodded. “I think so.”

“You think he was trying to scare you?” I asked.

“I don’t know. Maybe.”

“Roxie, are you sure it was Craig? Did he say something to you?”

She made a frustrated sound and her grip on Adam’s shirt tightened. “No, he didn’t. I don’t… I’m not sure. But who else could it have been?”

Who indeed?

Still, it was clear Roxie was scared. And it was clear it was Craig she was scared of.

Adam and I exchanged a look. “Roxie,” I said, wetting my lips with my tongue and sitting on the couch beside them. “Was Craig ever…? Did he abuse you?”

She started crying again and buried her face in Adam’s neck. His arms tightened around her.

I would take that as a yes.

Adam’s eyes were hard as he stared over her head at the wall.

“Why aren’t you at the club?” Cam asked Adam.

“Because she looked really bad when I sent her home. I was worried about her driving so I wanted to make sure she got home okay.”

A few minutes later, there was a knock on the door. I got up to answer it, but Cam waved me back as he pulled it open, his body tense. When his shoulders relaxed, I knew it was the police.

“Police are here,” I told Roxie.

“I don’t want to get them involved,” she said, wide-eyed.

“Why?”

“It’ll just make him angrier.”

Adam’s hand clenched into a fist at Roxie’s back. “You need to talk to the cops, Rox.”

“Ma’am.” A tall lanky officer came into the room. “We’d like to talk to you about what happened here tonight.”

Roxie nodded and climbed off Adam’s lap. She straightened her yoga pants and T-shirt and faced the lanky cop and the stocky one coming up behind him. “I’ll tell you what I can. It all happened so fast.”

We all listened to her repeat what happened and then repeat it again. The more she talked, she became even less sure it was Craig. She didn’t see his face, and he didn’t even yell at her (apparently he always yelled at her). I could see the fear in her eyes, but I also saw a little bit of doubt. It was the doubt that worried me most.

The police officers were still asking her questions when Cam opened the front door and looked outside. I went across the room and glanced around the open door.

“Are you leaving?”

“Get back inside,” he said gently. “No, I’m not leaving.”

“What are you doing?”

“You have a broom? I’ll sweep up this glass from the busted bulb.”

I went into the kitchen to get the dust pan and brush and gave it to him. “I can do that in the morning.”

“I don’t want you to get cut.”

I leaned in the door frame and watched him sweep up the glass from the light of the kitchen and living room. My eyes scanned the parking lot as he worked, looking for shadows within shadows, looking for anything that might indicate if someone was out there… watching.

Once the glass was cleaned up, he tossed it away and placed the dustpan back in the kitchen. I was still standing in the door, staring outside. “Come away from there.” He spoke quietly, taking my hand and pulling me away from the darkness.

He closed the door behind me and grazed his knuckles down the side of my face. “Don’t be scared.”

“I’m not.” My eyes went to Roxie talking to the police. What if they couldn’t prove it was Craig? Would they just leave him out there so he could come back?

“We’d like to take your statements,” the stocky officer said as he came up behind Cam and me.

By the time we both gave our statement and Roxie finished answering questions, it was really late and I was exhausted. Roxie was pale, had dark circles under her eyes, and when she lifted her water to her lips, her hands shook.

“You should go to bed,” I told her, handing her a bottle of Motrin to go with her water.

“I’m not sure I’ll be able to sleep.”

“I’m staying tonight,” Cam told her. “You girls won’t be alone.”

She nodded.

“I’m staying too,” Adam announced.

Roxie and I both turned to look at him. “You’re going to sleep here tonight?” I asked.

He nodded. “I’ll take the couch.” He glanced at Roxie. “Just in case anyone needs anything.”

Roxie visibly relaxed at Adam’s announcement, so I figured it was a good idea. I found a couple extra blankets and Roxie gave him a pillow off her bed. Cam and I said goodnight as Adam was using his phone to check in at the club.

After I washed my face and brushed my teeth, I went into the bedroom to change. I tossed my dirty clothes in my laundry basket and pulled on a pair of striped boxers and a purple tank top. Cam was in the bathroom, and I waited for him by going to my vanity and picking up my brush, running it over my hair and smiling at the glimpse of the reflection of the bracelet Cam gave me.