“You okay?” What a lame question. Of course, she wasn’t okay. Her nephew was with an animal and there was nothing she could do about it. Hell, there wasn’t much her cop fiancé could do about it either. Frank knew he’d taken advantage of her vulnerability even after he promised himself he wouldn’t. He was a number one asshole and should be shot for his actions.
“Yes and no,” she replied.
“What does that mean?” He watched her shuffle toward him with her arms wrapped around her middle. She didn’t look like a woman who had just been given great pleasure by a man who supposed to be able to rock her world. All of a sudden getting married seemed like a stupid idea, but it was too late to back out now.
“I’m just worried about Andy, that’s all.”
He noticed she fiddled with her diamond as she sat down across from him. It had amazed him that it fit so perfectly. Lucky guess on his part. His heart lurched. The idea that she noticed the ring somehow made things a little better. “Ms. Lazzery is there, so it should be fine. If Taylor gets unsupervised visits any time soon, then we should worry.” If that did happen, Frank would have someone there, watching. Maybe he should tell her that someone was there now.
“But he’s keeping something from me. Something about Hannah. I can feel it.”
“I’d have to agree with you there, but we can’t push him too hard. Whatever it is, he somehow thinks keeping it a secret is best for him. Or maybe you.” A kid with a horrible secret could snap in a second. Regardless of the progress Andy had been making, Frank knew something truly terrifying ruled his actions.
“If Taylor ever gets him alone…”
He reached for her hand. It trembled against his. “With me around all the time, Taylor won’t have a chance in hell to get to him.”
“Speaking of all that,” she paused, glancing down at her ring again, “when will all that happen? The wedding?”
Good question and the sooner the better. “I really don’t like you guys being here alone, but until we are married we’re kind-of stuck.” Her fingers gently rubbed his skin. He wondered if it was a mindless reaction to holding hands, or something more.
Why did he want it to be more?
“Would you consider staying at my parents’ house until the wedding?”
“I don’t know. That might be weird and I think I should talk to Andy about moving. I have to make him part of the process.” She let out a long sigh. “This is nuts. We can’t just up and get married.”
“Yes, we can. People do it all the time.” Reaching across the table, he tilted her chin with his thumb forcing her to look at him. “We can get married in my parents’ backyard. Probably next weekend if we want and I can have you moved in that day. It’s going to be all right. Just trust me.”
“Trust you,” she said. “That’s not all that easy for me.” The slight flicker of pain in her eyes hit his conscience hard. He was lying to her, even if he felt it was for her own good. She should be able to trust him. He would do whatever was necessary to make sure the person responsible for Hannah’s death was put behind bars. He would do everything in his power to keep her and Andy protected. Trust was usually based on truthfulness and if he told her the truth, she’d push him away, making her situation even worse.
Making her a sitting duck for Taylor to manipulate, and in the end, destroy her.
“I’d never do anything to hurt you,” he said softly.
“It’s not you.” She pulled her hand away. “It’s your uniform.”
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