Yes, my heart was definitely bleeding.

He was still full of shit.


He pulled the picture from my face, folded it, shoved it in his wallet and shoved his wallet in his cargoes saying, “That was the day I was shipping out and that was the last time I saw them.”

“I caught my husband f**king my sister,” I reminded him.

His eyes locked to mine. “Yeah, babe, that sucks but you need to wake up and get over it.”

Was he insane?

“You’re unbelievable,” I hissed.

“My wife and kid were murdered in a drive-by, Gwen, when I was thousands of miles away. What happened to you sucked but do not stand there and throw that shit in my face when it in no way, in no f**kin’ way, compares.”

“You’re right, it doesn’t. Absolutely. It doesn’t. That doesn’t mean what you said to me doesn’t hold true.”

“And what’d I say to you, babe?”

“You said to me, I didn’t take the risk in giving myself to you that meant I was saying you weren’t worth the risk. And that holds true the other way around. What happened sucked, Hawk, beyond sucked. I’m pissed at you and my heart still bleeds for your loss. But even so, you’re standing right there saying I’m not worth the risk.”

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I knew my point was made when I watched as his face freeze into a blank mask and I took that opportunity to walk right around him, go back to my bags and heft them up. Then I stomped to the door.

At the door I turned to see his eyes on me, his face still frozen in that mask.

“Tack’s boys’ll be in here to get the rest and don’t stop them. You want this to end, you release all of me.”

His face unfroze and it did this in order to gentle and watching his beautiful face gentling was like a punch in the gut.


“Gwen –” he started.

I shook my head. “No, you said what you had to say. And you proved my point. I have no f**king clue how to live my life. I’m not special to you no matter what my instincts and those butterflies I got in my stomach every time I saw you before we became us, but mostly after, told me. And you’re not special either, precisely because you made me feel like shit, again, and I listened to my heart, followed my instincts and allowed it to happen. The decisions I make are whacked. Point made. Lesson learned. I can’t trust my gut so I’m going to live in my head. Lucky for you, we’re over and you don’t have to watch me doing it.”

Then I turned, dropped a suitcase, grabbed the knob, opened the door an inch, picked up my suitcase and kicked the door open further then I struggled through it carrying my suitcases and leaving Cabe “Hawk” Delgado behind.

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Disappointed in You

“It’s safe to say, Tack, I’m a little freaked out,” I announced from behind my blindfold.

“Just a little longer, peaches,” Tack replied.

I was in an SUV. Tack didn’t only have a Harley, he had a big Ford Expedition. About five minutes ago, when we left the highway coming from his house and hit Denver, he pulled over and talked me into wearing a blindfold. He had a surprise for me and he’d been so nice the last week, I accepted the blindfold even though it freaked me out.

The last week at Tack’s had been like being on a mini-vacation. It might make me selfish, and an idiot, but when you needed time to get your head together after you’d had your heart broken by a commando, hanging at a mountain hideaway with a biker was a good way to heal.

During my mini-vacation I also took a timeout from Dad, Meredith, Cam, Tracy and Leo. I explained this briefly and they retreated, albeit unhappily. Troy called and I didn’t take the call. I knew either Cam or Tracy had informed him of the state of play and I knew he was feeling for me but I couldn’t face that. Elvira called too, several times, and I didn’t take those either for reasons that didn’t need to be explained.

Tack’s boys took my desk and desk shit to my house but my computer and suitcases to his. They set up my computer in his office. I spent my days working and tidying his office. Then I cleaned his house. On day two Tack took me to the grocery store, we stocked up with a mountain of food for his mountain hideaway and I started to cook fantastic meals for when he got home that took ages to prepare. This included desserts and lots of them.

If I wasn’t working or cooking, I read. At the grocery store I bought five romance novels and at Tack’s house I curled up in his big, slouchy couch and lost myself in someone else’s daydreams. I couldn’t be in my head, not just yet. This was because for the last year and a half most of my daydreams centered around Hawk and I didn’t know where to go from there because I never intended to hope for my perfect man ever again. So I needed new fodder for my daydreams and dreaming of being alone, planning hiking excursions and starting a ferret rescue didn’t do it for me.

I started my days wrapping up tight and sitting in the cold on Tack’s deck staring at the view while drinking coffee and battling the ache in my heart.

I ended my days in Tack’s bed.

Day one and two, I did this alone. Day three, when I had dinner alone, went to bed when the house was empty and he came home late, he joined me. He didn’t do it the same as Hawk. He didn’t touch the small of my back, turn me into him and kiss me. He also didn’t curl into me, hold me close and hitch my leg with his. Instead, he rolled me to facing him then he dropped to his back and tucked me to his side.

I should have pitched a fit or moved to the other bed. But because I was Gwendolyn Piper Kidd, and thus a stupid idiot, I didn’t do either of these. I rested my head on his shoulder, curled my arm around his belly and fell asleep.

Tack slept with me every night after that and came home for dinner every night too. I didn’t argue, I didn’t discuss; I just went with the flow. I didn’t have it in me. I couldn’t say I wasn’t a smartass when he was around, I was because that was me and I knew he liked it but I just kept doing it. But I also didn’t give him any in or any vibes he could misinterpret. I didn’t flirt. I just was me.

Except, of course, letting him sleep with me.


He mostly gave me my space, giving me my days and being there at night but not in an invasive, predatory way. He’d kissed me once, waking me up doing it. It wasn’t a tongue touch kiss, it was a kiss, tongue, heat and arms locked around each other. It sent a stronger electric bolt through me with other, no less strong, definitely sharp bolts searing through specific parts of me. It wasn’t a Hawk kiss which made me lose my head and my control but it was a freaking great kiss.

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