Turbulent Desires(6)

By: Melody Anne


When they reached her apartment, she didn’t even question the fact that he knew where she lived. It had been nearly a year since Stormy’s wedding to Maverick’s brother Cooper.

Lindsey had fallen hard for Maverick and had spent an amazingly passionate night making love to the man. He could really make love like nobody’s business. It had been the greatest night of her life. But she’d known in the morning that it couldn’t continue.

Stormy was like a sister to her and Lindsey would see Maverick at too many social gatherings for them to have a casual affair or, even worse, get in a relationship that could end very badly.

So even though the man had pursued her, she’d resisted. Now, she didn’t want anyone in her life—ever again.

“Lindsey—”

“Please just respect me enough to leave me alone,” Lindsey told him as they reached her front door.

A flash of different emotions ran through Maverick’s eyes, but Lindsey was relieved when resignation settled on his face.

“I’ll give you some time. But I know you need me. I’ll be back.”

He stood there as she entered her empty apartment and shut the door. She leaned against the door as his footsteps retreated. Lindsey sank to the floor as the day settled in on her, and she wept into her hands.

Time would do nothing for her. Lindsey didn’t think there was anything that would ever sew up the wounds in her soul—not even Maverick Armstrong.





CHAPTER TWO

One year later



Lindsey knew she needed to move. She couldn’t allow fear to define her. But even knowing this, she sat in the bright window seat as the sun continued to rise higher in the sky, its piercing summer rays mocking her dark mood.

Soon she would find joy in life again. She’d had plenty of time to recover, but the thought of just going on as if nothing had ever happened didn’t appeal at all. She wasn’t yet ready to face the real world. Heck, she could barely face the guesthouse and the hospital she dreaded going to. Even after a year had passed, each night before bed she roamed the small cottage triple checking that all the locks were securely in place before she attempted to fall asleep. The lights were never turned off.

She wanted—needed—to feel normal again, but she wasn’t quite sure how she was supposed to accomplish that. Trusting people and venturing back out was something she knew she needed to do, but she couldn’t quite manage to talk herself into living life normally again.

There was a knock on her door before she heard the key in the lock and then watched as the knob turned. Even though she knew it was Stormy, since she was the only other person to have a key to the cottage, her heart still thundered as she watched her barrier against the world begin to push open.

“I have donuts, coffee, and homemade granola bars just to add a healthy kick to the meal,” Stormy said as she walked into the room carrying a tray.

Her heart still thundering, Lindsey gave her best friend a smile, or at least the shadow of a smile, which she hoped was at least somewhat convincing. She slowly began to calm down.

“Thanks, Stormy. You know you don’t need to keep waiting on me hand and foot,” Lindsey told her as she accepted the cup of coffee and curled her legs up under her on the window seat.

“Showing up with snacks isn’t waiting on you. It’s being a good friend,” Stormy assured her as she settled on the next cushion.

“Well, you do bring good snacks, but I feel bad when I take you away from the baby so much,” Lindsey said with a sigh.

“I love having you here, and you never take away time from my family because you are a part of it,” Stormy told her. “And I’m trying to give you space. You know I would much rather you stayed in the main house, but at least you’re close enough that I can sleep at night,” Stormy continued as she reached out to pat her hand.

Without meaning to, Lindsey flinched back, instantly feeling terrible when her best friend’s eyes shone with hurt, yet understanding.

“I’m sorry,” Lindsey mumbled.

“Don’t apologize. I get it,” Stormy said.

But the reality was that no one could understand what she was going through. Not even another victim of assault. Each woman’s experience was unique. Lindsey considered herself a strong person, but since the attack, she couldn’t stand to be touched.

Lindsey didn’t say anything else to assure Stormy she was okay, because what else could she say? Nothing.

“Are you feeling okay today? You seem a bit paler than normal,” Stormy said, but this time she didn’t reach for her, thankfully.

“I’m fine. I promise,” she said, a bit too loudly and with false enthusiasm. She winced at the patient look on her best friend’s face.

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