Elite, p.14
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       Elite, p.14

         Part #1 of Eagle Elite series by Rachel Van Dyken
 
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  “So…” The nodded his head awkwardly. “I’ll just be on my way. Say hi to your old man for me, will ya? He still having trouble with—”

  “—Thank you.” Nixon shook the cop’s hand and walked him back to his car. “Have a good night.”

  The cops brows furrowed, but he did exactly as Nixon said and drove off. This time there weren’t any sirens. Just crickets and lots of mooing.

  Nixon turned around and grinned. “Well, that didn’t go as planned.”

  “Oh really?” I crossed my arms, suddenly a bit chilled since I was missing my jacket. “And how was it supposed to go?”

  He crooked his finger and like a love drunk reject. I stumbled into his arms, and he kissed me softly across the lips. “Hmm.” His hands tangled into my hair. “Like this.” He chuckled when I let out a small moan. “And a bit like this.” His hands slid down to my butt, lifting me against him. “And a lot like this.” His tongue plunged into my mouth.

  I felt something buzz against my thigh. What the heck? Nixon froze and pulled away. I swear my mouth felt naked or something. The warmth of his lips was absent, and I found my body remorseful over the fact that he wasn’t pushed against me anymore.

  “Shit, I um…” Nixon glanced at his phone. “I have to take this, hold on.”

  His eyes got a little crazy as if he couldn’t believe his phone had actually gone off, but what did the guy expect? I mean, he did bring it with him.

  He walked a few feet away from me and leaned against the fence. “No. That’s impossible. Not until tomorrow.” He glanced over at me.

  I offered a weak smile. He gave me a tight one in return and then cursed into the phone. Straining to hear, all I could make out was another language. Was he doing that so I couldn’t understand him? After a few seconds where I thought he was getting ready to punch one of the cows in the face, he hung up and stalked over to me.

  “We have to go.”

  That was it. No kiss, no hug. Nothing.

  “What the heck? No please this time?” I grabbed my jacket off the ground and dusted it off before putting it on, while he made quick work of cleaning up our little picnic.

  “Not this time,” he grumbled. “It’s more of an order. As in, get your ass in the car before I do it for you.”

  Horrified. I was frozen in place. “W-what?”

  “Get. In. The. Damn. Car. Now.” Every word was said with such irritation and anger that my eyes welled with tears. Biting my lip, I nodded once and jumped into the car.

  The trunk slammed and then he was in the driver’s seat mumbling to himself. I scooted as far away from him as I could. What was wrong with me? Minutes ago we were making out and well on our way to doing more, and now he was pissed all over again. It was like my worst fears were coming true. Was my fairy tale ending going to be Nixon having the last laugh? I closed my eyes and willed the tears to stay in. What if it was all a set up? And like an idiot I fell for it, fell for his charm just like everyone else.

  “Hey.” Nixon reached across and grabbed my hand. “I’m sorry about…” He hit the steering wheel. “Damn. I’m just sorry I freaked out. But we needed to get out of there.”

  “But it’s your property,” I pointed out in a shaky voice.

  “Which the cop had no problem explaining to his other little friends who were out patrolling tonight.”

  “Whatever.” I shook my head. “I don’t even know why that matters? Why would you care? It’s not as if they were going to come watch us make out too!”

  At that, Nixon laughed. “I wasn’t worried about them, Trace.”

  “I don’t understand.”

  “Protection. I promised to protect you, right?”

  I nodded.

  “So, trust me. What I’m doing right now? This is me trying my damnedest to protect you. Okay?”

  “Yelling at me and ordering me around is protecting me?”

  “I said…” Nixon pinched the bridge of his nose. “I said I was sorry. You’re right. I shouldn’t have been so rude, but we needed to get out of there, like fast.”

  Biting down on my lip to keep from saying anything, I simply allowed it to fall silent in the car. Once we got closer to the school I noticed two suburbans turn onto the street and get in front of us.

  Nixon’s hands clenched the steering wheel until they were white. His eyes darted to the rearview mirror.

  I turned around in my seat.

  His arm came flying across my chest holding me in place. “Don’t look.”

  Okay, now I was freaked. “Nixon, what aren’t you telling me?”

  His arm jerked back as he gripped the steering wheel and took a hard right. “Nothing you need to know… yet.”

  I glanced into the side mirror and noticed a similar suburban tailing us really close. The windows were tinted so it was impossible to see inside. My breathing picked up speed the minute I saw a window open and a gun attached to an arm come out.

  “Um, Nixon. Nixon… The car behind us, they have guns. Nixon they have guns!”

  “Shit!” Nixon reached into the console and pulled out a black gun. Holy crap, I was officially in my own T.V. drama. “Trace, I need you to lay low. Can you do that? Just lean down in your seat, alright, sweetheart?”

  Trying not to cry or pass out, I leaned as far down as I could while still staying buckled in my seat. Nixon took a hard left and another hard left. The car behind us sped up. The guy’s face appeared from the car, and something looked vaguely familiar about him. We weren’t close enough to see them though. Nixon was driving like the devil. Something that would have made me laugh if I wasn’t afraid we were going to die.

  “Trace, how are ya holding up? Talk to me, Trace.” Nixon’s voice wasn’t worried. He sounded calm, which in turn calmed me, but only a bit.

  “I’m… fantastic.” I clenched my hands together and sighed.

  We hit a bump. Or at least I thought it was a bump, but when I looked into the side mirror I noticed the car behind us was trying to hit us.

  “Are they trying to kill us?”

  “Possibly. I’m guessing they just want to see who I’m with and why I’d go to such lengths to hide you.”

  What the hell? “Why are you smiling?” I screamed.

  “Because, we’re almost to the school. They know we’re on our way and no chance in hell are those guys coming within a hundred feet of the place. We’re almost there, sweetheart.”

  The car jolted again. I screamed.

  Nixon turned the car hard, causing it to screech under the pressure and speed.

  “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh!” I closed my eyes. This had to be a dream. This couldn’t be real! “I’m going to die a virgin!” I blurted and then began to truly hyperventilate.

  “What?” Nixon shouted.

  “A virgin,” I repeated as I greedily tried to suck more air into my lungs. “I’m going to die a virgin! I’m going to die without ever going overseas! I’ve never even been naked in front of a man before! Oh my gosh! I’m never going to have kids! What if I want kids? What if—”

  “Trace…” Nixon tried to interrupt me, but it was like I was watching my body freak out and couldn’t stop talking.

  “Nixon, you have to promise me that if we live through this — and that’s a giant if, considering we’re literally trapped between two death machines — you have to take my virginity. Take it!”

  “Trace, I don’t think this is the time to—”

  “Promise!”

  “Trace—”

  “Promise me, damn it!” Well, it was official. I had lost my mind. I clenched my eyes tighter as our car ripped through something and then sped over bumps large enough to be people.

  “Crap-crap-crap!” I covered my face with my hands, and suddenly the car skidded to a stop.

  I peeked through my fingers.

  Nixon was coolly setting his gun back into the console and opening his window as he gave a rundown of what just happened to the security guard.

  Shaking. I wasn’t
sure I could move, let alone speak. Did I just beg Nixon to steal my virginity?

  Horrified. I clapped my hands over my burning face all over again.

  The car moved and we drove in silence.

  Finally, we pulled to another stop and Nixon turned off the car.

  I still refused to look at him or take my hands off my face. He was going to have to use the Jaws of Life on my hands. No chance in hell was I going to—

  “Hey!” I shouted when he pulled my hands free of their grip.

  I closed my eyes again. Maybe if I couldn’t see him, he couldn’t see me? You know, like when you play hide and seek when you’re little?

  “Trace.” Nixon’s voice held little humor so I opened one eye then two. “Are you okay?”

  “No.” I shivered. “I’m not okay! We could have died! Who were those people? Why did they have guns? Is it like this all the time when you’re out and about in public! What the hell, Nixon! I need answers!”

  “As well as a volunteer…” Nixon chuckled.

  “Come again?”

  He burst out laughing. “Yes.”

  “Yes, what?”

  “My answer.” He winked. “Just name the time and place. I’ll be there.”

  Oh my gosh. He didn’t mean…

  “It would be an honor.” He bit down on his lip and happily hit the steering wheel. “I mean, I would love to be the one guy going into uncharted territory and…”

  “Shut up! Just shut up!” I clapped my hands over my ears, convinced they were so red they were going to literally fall from my head. “Oh my hell. I’m so embarrassed.”

  “Hey, that was a real bonding experience back there,” Nixon whispered as he neared my face and then very gently removed each hand from my head and kissed the inside of my wrist. “And don’t worry… we’ll wait until you’re ready.”

  “You’ll be waiting a long time…”

  “It’s not like you didn’t,” he retorted, and before I could come up with a snappy reply his lips were crushing mine — devouring was more like it. Instinctively I wrapped my hands around his neck.

  “Now is good too.” He groaned as I opened my mouth to him.

  A knock jolted us away from one another.

  I turned around and was immediately face to face with Grandpa.

  An entire day early.

  Pointing at me with a frown on his face.

  And make that two of my most embarrassing moments in one night.

  Chapter Twenty-one

  Grandpa did not look pleased. In fact, if people’s stares could set clothes on fire… Nixon would be doing the stop, drop, and roll right about now.

  We both faced him like teenagers who just got caught making out. Which, to be fair, was kind of true considering I was only eighteen. But still, I didn’t think of Nixon as being in college. Maybe it had something to do with him being so protective? Or adults being afraid of him? Or the gun? Yeah, the gun probably did it too. Grandpa would have a stroke if he knew the truth.

  Not that I knew the truth either.

  But I’m pretty sure it had to be bad. I mean, why else would people be chasing Nixon and pointing guns out of their cars? I was surprised how well I was handling everything, but at that moment my embarrassment was trumping my fear… which was probably a good thing.

  “Hey, Gramps, you’re early.” I gave him an awkward hug and waited for the yelling to start.

  He hugged me and then shot daggers at Nixon. “You.”

  Uh oh. Grandpa didn’t know who Nixon was. He had no idea that cops called him Mr. Abandonato, and that women nearly fainted in his presence. He didn’t know this world, so he didn’t know that narrowing his eyes at Nixon was like a death wish.

  “Me,” Nixon repeated. “Great to finally meet you, Mr. Rooks.”

  “I didn’t catch your name.” Grandpa crossed his arms refusing to shake Nixon’s hand.

  “Really? I could have sworn you knew it already.” Nixon was almost chest to chest with Grandpa now. Crap. They were going to kill each other. I tried to step between them, but the minute I moved, both of their arms shot out and pushed me gently out of the way.

  Weird.

  “I’m old.” Grandpa let out a hollow laugh. “Tell me again, what’s your name… son?”

  Nixon’s jaw flexed. “Nixon Abandonato. But most people around here just call me sir.”

  “You’re too young to be a sir.”

  “And you’re too old to be protecting your granddaughter.”

  “I’ve been protecting her my entire life.” Grandpa poked Nixon in the chest, but Nixon didn’t budge. “And last I checked I don’t take orders from a mere child.”

  “Maybe it’s time to let someone else protect her.”

  I raised my hand and cleared my throat. “Um, just FYI, I’m standing right here, and I have no idea why you guys are being such idiotic men right now, but I really want to go inside. I mean, I did almost just die back there.”

  Grandpa’s nostrils flared. Without warning he reeled back and punched Nixon in the face.

  I groaned into my hands. “Grandpa, he saved me. He—”

  “He…” Grandpa pointed at Nixon. Blood was gushing from his nose. “Is bad news, Tracey! I don’t want you seeing that boy anymore!”

  “No!” I yelled. “Why are you being like this? Grandpa, I miss you. I haven’t seen you in weeks, and you just punched my boyfriend in the face! Are you insane?” Whoops. I may have dropped the boyfriend word too soon. Nixon probably thought I was so stupid. One date did not mean we were boyfriend and girlfriend.

  “Boyfriend!” Grandpa wound up his arm to punch Nixon again, but this time I stepped in front of my bleeding date, making Grandpa drop his hand. “Trace?”

  “I like him.” I leaned back into Nixon’s frame and sighed as his arm came around me and held me against him. “He even beat up a guy that bullied me. He’s good. And I was going to tell you all about him over dinner tomorrow. Actually, I was going to invite him, but now that you’ve punched him in the face—”

  “Trace.” Nixon’s voice was raspy. “It’s fine. You should spend some time alone with your grandpa tomorrow. Don’t go to class. Take a day off. Really, it’s probably best that you do, all things considering. You had a rough night.”

  Perplexed, I turned in his arms and stared at him. His eyes were ice cold. No emotion was behind them. It was like staring at a statue. “Why are you doing this? Come with us tomorrow, it will be—”

  “It will be best if you do as your grandfather says,” Nixon finished and licked his lips. Blood was still slowly trickling over them. “It was… interesting meeting you again, Mr. Rooks. Be sure to keep an eye out for the shadows tomorrow evening. They’ve been lurking.”

  I didn’t turn around in time to see Grandpa’s face, but he suddenly seemed very old to me as if his wrinkles had taken on enough lifetimes. He looked away. Tears welling in his eyes. “And tonight?”

  Nixon released me. As he walked away he said, “The dove’s existence is not yet known.”

  “What?” I yelled. But Nixon was already jumping into his car and driving off. Grandpa wrapped his arm around me.

  “Are you sure you’re okay, Trace?” he whispered as his hug tightened around my shoulders.

  “Yes, but…” I looked back at Nixon. “I don’t understand.”

  Grandpa chuckled. “He’s an interesting boy, that Nixon. But you cannot see him anymore. It isn’t… smart. You’re such a young girl and—”

  “Gramps.” I pulled out of his embrace. “Did you really come all this way to do insurance stuff and talk me out of dating my boyfriend? Or did you want to spend some time with me?”

  His worried face broke out into a smile. “I wanted to spend time with you, of course.” He walked me to the door of my dorm. “Why don’t you skip tomorrow? I’ll pick you up around eight for breakfast?”

  I nodded. “Grandpa.” I licked my lips. “Things are weird here. They… I don’t know, sometimes I feel like everyone knows
me better than I know me. Does that make sense?”

  “Yes. And I promise I’ll do what I can to clear things up. But not tonight. Now, off you go. It’s late.” He shooed me inside. I watched him walk away into the darkness and pile into a waiting black Mercedes. Weird. He must have been upgraded or something.

  ****

  Two hours later Nixon still hadn’t texted me back. Monroe had gone out with Tex and decided to stay over at his place, whatever that meant. So I was alone and still a bit freaked out. Didn’t help that it was around eleven and I still couldn’t sleep.

  I tried Nixon again.

  YOU GONNA TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED TONIGHT?

  I threw my phone onto the bed and groaned. Finally, two minutes later he responded.

  SURE! YOU OFFERED ME YOUR BODY — I’M FREE IF U R?

  I laughed.

  U R AN ASS AND THAT’S NOT WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!

  If evasiveness was a sport, Nixon would be an Olympian, seriously. Now that I really thought about it, even in the car he had changed the subject to my embarrassment and then kissed me.

  Well, either I was really easy, which could be true considering Nixon does crazy things to me, or he didn’t want me asking questions.

  My phone went off again.

  I’M AN ASS? THAT’S NOT WHAT YOU WERE SAYING WHEN WE WERE KISSING. WANT ME TO COME OVER?

  I stared at the text message. Did I? Grandpa would be ticked, but he didn’t have to know. And I was lonely.

  WILL YOU ANSWER MY QUESTIONS?

  He responded immediately.

  MAYBE.

  I smiled and typed, BRING POPCORN.

  Chapter Twenty-two

  I tried to get into the latest zombie novel I’d bought on my e-reader but every time the author described the hero’s eyes, I thought of Nixon. Every time the couple kissed, I thought of his lips.

  Really, it was pathetic.

  A half-hour after Nixon’s last text, I heard swooning women in my hallway. Okay, so maybe I couldn’t hear them, but I did hear Nixon. He was laughing.

  I sighed held my e-reader close to my heart. I loved his laugh.

  Seriously, someone needed to come in here and smack me with my e-reader. I was acting crazy. I’d known him for what, two weeks? Not even.

 
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