Justice (Creed Brothers #1)(4)

By: K.C. Lynn

My teenage crush for Justice turned into so much more after my first encounter with him. It wasn’t just one of our usual run ins where I would see him in public, and keep my head cast down in fear I would stare at him like a lovesick fool.

This encounter was years later and just the two of us. I was fifteen at the time and had just gotten into a fight with my mother, which is not out of the ordinary but this one was bad. She was even more hateful than usual. I don’t remember what the fight was over but I’ll never forget it because she struck me across the face. It was the first time she ever hit me. The blow had hurt but not as much as her words: “I wish you had never been born!”

I fled the house that night with tears streaming down my face. I wandered aimlessly around town, trying to walk off my hurting heart. My arms were crossed over my chest, shoulders slumped when I walked through a cloud of smoke.

A gasp parted my lips and my head snapped up. That was when I came face-to-face with the guy I had been watching from afar. My tear-filled eyes met his dark ones and my heart stopped beating altogether.

Justice was seated on his motorcycle, parked out front one of the bars on main street. His face was expressionless while his eyes were anything but. They were watchful and filled with knowledge. The intensity of them kept me rooted to my spot.

“S-sorry,” I stammered like a fool.

“You all right?” The question flowed past his lips in a way that had me mesmerized as he drew in another long inhale of his cigarette.

Typically I hated smoking but not at that moment. He made the bad habit look so good.

His perfect lips suddenly lifted in the slightest smirk and it made me weak in the knees, a reaction I had never felt before. It was then I realized I was gawking at him like an idiot.

I shook myself of the spell he cast upon me and finally answered his question. “Fine.”

He quirked a brow at the lie.

Before he could call me out on it, I dropped my head and stepped forward to continue on my way, but he snagged my arm, stopping me mid stride. My skin burned beneath my hoodie from where he gripped me—firm, yet somehow gentle. I looked back up at him, my heart banging around inside my chest.

“You shouldn’t be walking around at night by yourself. Didn’t your parents ever warn you about the bad guys who walk these streets?” Amusement filled those dark eyes of his, the smoke from his cigarette dancing around his face.

Little did he know, my parents were the bad guys.

“I don’t drive,” I told him, my voice barely a whisper.

“Where are you headed?”

I was surprised by the question and wondered why he cared. I also had no answer for him because I wasn’t sure myself.

“I asked where you’re going, Ryanne.”

Every muscle in my body tensed, surprise coursing through me that he knew my name. I licked my dry lips, his hard tone demanding I answer. “I-I don’t know.”

His watchful eyes dropped to my mouth, face passive until he looked up at me again. “Get on.”

“What?” I asked, certain I misheard him.

He passed me his helmet. “I said get on.”

“I don’t want to go home,” I told him, proud of myself for the strength in my voice.

“Who said anything about going home?” He started up his bike, the loud roar vibrating the street beneath my feet. He stared at me, quirking that brow again rather impatiently.

In that split second I made a choice, one that I was equally excited and terrified about. With shaking hands, I put his helmet over my head and climbed on behind him, my arms curling around his hard body. Before I could even fathom the shock to my heart from the contact, the bike rolled forward, starting our journey to god knows where.

My arms tightened, heart jumping in my throat when he merged onto the interstate and hit the throttle. A smile stole my face and a laugh pushed past my lips. It was the most exhilarating moment of my life and I lived it with everything I had in me.

For a while we did nothing but ride, and it was exactly what I needed. Eventually, Justice pulled off into a clearing out in the middle of nowhere. He climbed off the bike, taking his warm body with him, and lit up another cigarette. I removed his helmet from my head, sweeping the hair out of my face. My cheeks ached from smiling so much.

“You look better,” he spoke past the smoke he exhaled.

“It was fun, thanks.”

Awkward silence fell amongst the humid air, his eyes assessing as he gazed at me over the top of his fiery cigarette that hung between his lips.

“Where are your brothers?” I asked.

“Back at the bar.”

“Aren’t they going to be mad you left them?”

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