The more he actually thought of having Christie and Raine with him, it sounded like a really good idea. He couldn’t think of having one without the other. Raine was just as important to him as Christie was, and having one without the other was out of the question.
“I need you to be focused, Luiz. I hate to be an asshole here, but our enemies are always there.”
“I thought we killed all of them.”
“That’s the thing about enemies, they are everywhere, and it’s next to impossible to get rid them all. Someone will get through the cracks, and we all have to be careful if that ever happens.”
“We can never leave, can we?”
“No, we can’t. We have a job to do. All of us have a responsibility here. We were young and foolish to think we can walk away. Death is our only way out,” Donnie said.
“What about our families, Donnie?” he asked. None of them knew that he had just as much to lose as everyone else.
He had a little girl who was almost taken from him before. He didn’t want to think of life without her.
“We protect them together. Unlike our parents, we band together. We know our parents only put up with each other. We’re partners in this. We’ll fight to the bitter end.”
“You make it sound so easy.”
“I’m supposed to, right? It’s what I’m trying to do.”
For the first time Donnie sounded tired, weary, and fed up.
“Yeah, I just, I don’t want to be fighting with my best friends for this to work, you know? I love you guys like you were my own brothers,” Donnie said.
“You’ll always have us, that I can promise you.”
“You sure you don’t need to talk to me about anything? I’m here if you need me.”
“I’m sure. I can handle everything, I promise.”
After another few minutes, Luiz closed his cell, turning it off. They had enemies everywhere. Was there a chance that any of them were watching him? Watching his family? He’d killed everyone who knew about Christie and Raine. There wasn’t a chance of them being killed, he hoped.
One week later
Raine laughed at Bradley’s joke. Xander had arranged for her to go out again, and of course they had both gone to the fair. She wished she had been able to bring Christie, but neither of them wanted to cause any trouble with Luiz. He had every right to have a say in his daughter’s upbringing. She had done everything she could to forget about the one kiss she’d had with Luiz. It didn’t help that the kiss had fed her erotic dreams, and now it always went further in her dreams.
“Not really. Just stating a fact. You know, Xander and Christie could have come as well. We could have made this a whole family thing.”
“It’s fine. Christie’s … not feeling well.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
Christie hadn’t been feeling well since her father had forgotten to go to her school. She hated seeing her little niece all heartbroken, and it was Luiz’s fault.
“It’s fine. Xander said he’d watch her, and he pretty much shoved me out of the house. I’ll take her some candy, and when she’s better, she’ll be fine.”
“You’re a really good auntie.”
“Thanks. I only do what I’m sure a lot of other people do. Take care of family.”
She sipped at her milkshake, as they walked around the fair. Bradley was a really sweet guy, only she saw him as more of a friend than anything else. Her body didn’t come alive when he was close, nor did she mind if she never saw him again.
“They’re all character traits that are strong.”
“Great, I have strong character traits.”
“It’s not a bad thing. Crap, I’m ruining this date.”
“You’re not ruining anything. Don’t worry. Everything is fine, more than fine. It’s really good. I’m having a lot of fun.”
“Good. I do want you to have fun.” He stepped in front of her, and she really didn’t like the look in his eye. The way his gaze kept moving to her lips, and going back up again. She wasn’t an idiot, and knew what was going on in his mind, and yeah, she wasn’t going to deal with that, not yet, not today.
“Look at that, a giant teddy bear. How is your shooting?” she asked, rushing past him to look at the ghastly giant bear. The thing was huge, and ugly, but it had stopped him from kissing her.
Why make him stop?
Let him kiss you, and then you can stop thinking about Luiz’s kiss, and think about something far better.
If Bradley’s kiss is far better, which it probably isn’t.
“My shooting isn’t that great. Let’s see what I can do.”
Providing no more kisses happened, she was happy.
“You can do this,” she said, tapping his arm.
Smooth, Raine. Real smooth.
For the next hour she kept Bradley busy trying to win as much as he could. She won a few bears, and other than that, he wasn’t the best shot. For a second she wondered how good Luiz would be. With his line of work, he had to be good with a gun.
Bradley pulled up outside of her home, and she was so relieved to finally be there. “This is me. I had a really great time,” she said.
“I want to take you out again.”
“Wow, so soon,” she said. “Aren’t you bored with me?”
“I like you, Raine. I really do.”
“Oh. That’s nice.” She was really killing this. “Tell you what, how about I call you when we can go out again. I really want to make sure Christie is okay.” She was going straight to hell for using her niece to get out of the uncomfortable predicament.
“Of course. I’m so sorry.”
She climbed out of the car, grabbing her goodies. “See you later,” she said.
This time she didn’t linger on a goodbye, and she rushed into her home, slamming and locking the door.
“Have fun?” Xander asked.
“No, not really. It was a fucking nightmare to be honest.”
“Wow, cursing as well.”
“I’m done with the whole dating thing. I keep expecting Luiz to show up. Hey, is he good with a gun?”