“Gemma?” Nash said to get my attention. “I can get you some dry clothes. They’re some of my spares, so they’ll be too big, but they’ll keep you warm.”
I gave him a curious look and a mischievous smile. “Are you trying to get me naked?” I teased. “Because that won’t work as well as you think.”
Nash sputtered, and I could have sworn I saw his cheeks flush in the dark. He looked at the floor and cleared his throat. “I––”
I laughed. He drew his eyes back up. “I’m kidding. If you have clothes to spare, I’d love to have them.” Feeling eyes bore into the back of my skull, I turned again. “That is, if Sawyer won’t rupture a blood vessel over it.”
Nash coughed to hide his laugh. Sawyer was less than amused. “You like to push people’s buttons?”
I shrugged. “Everyone needs a hobby.”
“Well, your hobby almost got you raped tonight.”
I stiffened, my body recalling the pressure of Morris’s weight pinning me down, the rancid scent of his breath, the feel of his rough hands squeezing and twisting my chest, the oily slickness of his tongue on my face. His promise to continue where he left off.
“I had it under control.”
Sawyer stared at me. “Didn’t look like it.”
“Fine. I would have had it under control. Better?”
“I don’t believe you.”
“Good, because I never asked you to.”
“Come on,” Nash stepped forward, placing himself between us. “Gemma, we just weren’t expecting to see you. This street is usually empty.” He turned to his friend. “Sawyer, take it easy.” Glancing between us again, he sighed. “Look, we’ve had a rough night. Why don’t we all relax, get something to eat, and just talk, okay?”
He looked at Sawyer when he said this. Nash didn’t think I was a threat. I knew immediately that he was my target. My stomach clenched at the thought and I had to look away.
Silent, Sawyer grabbed a lantern and crossed the ship toward the boxes. Nash turned to face me. I lifted my gaze and fell into those dark brown eyes.
“I'll get you some clothes and food,” he promised.
I smiled, and played my part.
“Finally, someone who knows how to treat a lady.”
Nash laughed softly, a sound that warmed and comforted me.
I hated doing this.
As he turned to walk away, I clutched his hand. Nash looked back at me, directly meeting my eyes. “Thank you, Nash,” I whispered.
He squeezed my hand, then let go and walked away. Sighing, I sat down near the cluster of lanterns. I peeled off my soaked jacket, turning my back on my two marks. I unstrapped my unused knives then wrung out the bottom of my shirt to make it seem like I wasn’t paying attention to what they were saying. They were quiet, but not quiet enough.
“She shouldn’t be here,” Sawyer insisted. I quickly wrapped my weapons in my waterlogged jacket. No reason to make him trust me even less.
Nash’s sigh was short and aggressive. “Seriously, Sawyer, what is your problem with her? She was a victim. Why can’t you cut her some slack?”
There was a pause. I wondered if it was to glare at Nash.
“You’re asking me that? Really?”
It was Nash’s turn to be silent. “She doesn’t know, and I’m not going to tell her.”
Sawyer let out a tired breath. “Maybe, but if she finds out, you think she’ll keep playing nice? She has an attitude already. I don’t want to keep making enemies.”
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