Turbulent Desires(5)

By: Melody Anne

His low voice was meant to be soothing, but his words only made her panic escalate. She bit her lip, and instead of taking a much-needed deep breath, she stopped breathing altogether, and those flashing black dots became larger as her head began spinning.

“Seriously, you have to breathe,” Maverick told her.

She felt his fingers settle against her leg and a small squeak escaped her tight throat as she felt darkness trying to pull her under. Before she sank into the abyss, though, Maverick’s strong fingers were gripping her shoulders, turning her toward him, and shaking her.

The motion caused her to take in a deep breath and her gaze unintentionally locked on his worried eyes. The spots that had been dancing in front of her cleared, and she couldn’t turn away.

He said nothing else as he waited for her to process what was going on. The worry she saw in him helped clear up her muddled brain. Still, it took a few more moments before she was able to open her lips.

“Don’t touch me,” she said, her words a harsh whisper.

“You need to be touched, Lindsey. You’re falling apart,” he told her.

The words weren’t said cruelly, more matter-of-factly, but that didn’t stop the wince she felt through her entire body.

“You know nothing about me, Maverick. Just because the two of us had one night together at my best friend’s wedding doesn’t give you the right to try and analyze me.”

She needed to get away from this man and get away fast. She was falling apart. Coming to the funeral had been a mistake.

“This has nothing to do with our night together,” he said, his eyes narrowing the tiniest bit. He obviously hadn’t liked that comment.

“I just want to be left alone,” she told him. She needed to go, but she was trapped between the wall and Maverick.

Twisting her head, she looked behind her. No one was there. She was in the last row of seats. She could vault over it and run through the doors, probably without anyone even noticing.

“That’s what you keep telling everyone, Lins, but I think remaining alone is the worst thing you can possibly do,” he said, his fingers moving against her shoulders in what she assumed he thought was a comforting gesture. It was anything but.

“I needed to say good-bye to Ted. But I’ve done that. I want to go now. Please let me leave,” she said, hating her pleading tone.

Surprisingly, Maverick let her go, but he didn’t scoot away.

“He was a friend of mine too. But I came here to find you since you’ve refused to see me. I want to help you, Lins.”

The sincerity in his voice couldn’t possibly be faked. She wouldn’t claim to know this man, not after only a single night—a very passionate night, but still, only a single night with him.

It was just too complicated. Even before the attack, it had been too complicated. Now it was impossible. Lindsey was broken. She knew she would never be the same again. And being around Maverick, who had more energy and life flowing through him than anyone else she’d ever met, hurt her so much more than the stab wounds that had been inflicted upon her body.

“There is no helping me,” she told him, quiet resignation in her tone.

He winced as if her words were causing him physical pain.

Lindsey couldn’t sit there and keep talking to him. She decided to make a break for it. Grabbing her purse, she stood up, her head going a little light again at the speed with which she did it. But before she could launch herself over the back of the pew, Maverick was standing next to her, his hand once again gripping her arm.

“I’ll walk you out.”

He didn’t let go. He led her from the church just as the organ music began to let the patrons know the funeral was about to start. Maverick said nothing as they exited the giant doorway and then moved to the parking lot.

“Let me go,” she said to him again. He just ignored her as he moved toward his truck and opened the passenger door.

“I need to make sure you get home safely,” he said as he held out a hand, indicating he wanted her to get in.

“I’m not your responsibility,” she said, her anger rising.

She was thrilled at the anger. It was so much better than the constant emotional pain she’d been feeling since the attack. But as soon as it engulfed her, it fizzled back out, leaving her feeling even more empty than she’d felt before.

He didn’t say anything more to her, just waited. And Lindsey was suddenly too tired to keep fighting this man. She climbed into his truck and sat down, her body pressed against the side of the door as soon as he shut it.

Maverick tried talking to her more on the drive back to her place, but she didn’t respond. The day had been too exhausting and she had nothing left in her.

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