Home > Hidden Away (KGI #3)(16)

Hidden Away (KGI #3)(16)
Author: Maya Banks

The problem was, she hadn’t thought. She’d reacted. She’d allowed emotion to overshadow common sense.

“I’ve changed my mind,” she blurted. “I don’t want to press charges.”

Ignoring the constable’s open mouth and Garrett’s frown, she bolted from the station, cursing herself with every step. The door banged closed behind her as she hurried onto the street. Garrett caught up to her before she’d even made it a block. Though he didn’t touch her, he stepped in front of her, effectively halting her in her tracks.

A scowl darkened his face. “Hey, what happened back there?”

She tried to step around him but he blocked her escape. “Nothing, okay? I changed my mind.”

“You’re going to just let him get away with that?” Garrett demanded.

She blew out her breath as rage curdled her veins. “Look, my preference would be to let the little bastard rot, but I can’t afford to draw attention to myself.”

She closed her eyes. Damn it, but she was a walking disaster today. Nothing was coming out right. She may as well have told him everything about her situation. She’d already slipped up and told him her first name. But that was okay. Sarah was a common enough name, and her neighbor didn’t strike her as the type to get chatty with the locals.

“Okay, I get that.”

Garrett’s deep voice washed over her, soothing her fraught nerves. To her surprise, there was no reprimand in his voice. Just an intimate gentleness that made her shiver.

“Why don’t I walk you home?” he offered. “Since I’m going the same way and all.”

She hesitated for a moment, lips pursed in concentration. Then she realized how ridiculous she was being. They were going the same way. They’d end up walking together whether he was officially escorting her or not.

She relaxed and offered the most convincing smile she could muster. “I’d like that. Thanks.”


GARRETT kept pace with Sarah as they hit the center of town square. “Want to take the beach path back?”

She nodded and turned toward the coffee shack, leaving him to follow. He kept just a step behind her, taking the opportunity to study her up close. She’d been scared out of her mind when he’d pulled the ass**le off her in the alley. She was still scared. She put on a brave front, but she was pale as death and her fingers shook uncontrollably.

He needed to get on the sat phone and talk to Resnick asap, but his first priority was making sure she was safe. More than that, he wanted to give her a chance to calm down and rid herself of the haunted look.

Something had happened to her beyond the day’s events. He knew that look. He’d seen it in his sister-in-law’s eyes more times than he cared to remember. Sarah had flinched when he’d touched her in the alley and she’d made it a point to keep her distance at every opportunity. Someone had hurt her.

All he knew was that she had barriers around her like most people wore clothes. She had a don’t- touch-me air that enveloped her and reflected in her frightened gaze.

Even though Sarah hadn’t pressed charges, and he understood why, he had no intention of allowing the little bastard to get away with what he’d done. He’d let Resnick deal with the ass**le.

They walked in silence and he didn’t attempt to break it. He wanted to come off as concerned but not intrusive. Gaining her trust was going to be more difficult than he’d thought, and he had to tread lightly or risk scaring her away.

When they reached her cottage, she took a step toward her porch but then stopped and turned around to face him. He sensed that it took a lot of courage to stand there in front of him. She looked as though she wanted nothing more than to run for her cottage and bar the door. But she stood there, bottom lip pinched between her teeth and she leveled her gaze directly at him, her light green eyes catching the light and warming.

“Thank you again,” she said in a low voice. “I know you think I’m nuts, but thank you for everything you did and for walking me home. And ... for not forcing the issue back there.”

He offered a casual smile and shrugged as if it didn’t matter to him one iota what she decided. “You’re welcome. Glad I was in the right place at the right time.”

Not wanting her to feel awkward, he broke away first and headed toward his own cottage. Right place right time. He nearly snorted at how easily that fabrication had fallen off his lips. He’d tagged her as soon as she left her cottage. It had only taken him twenty minutes to return to his place, change and head into town after her.

He let himself into the house and went immediately for the sat phone. He called Resnick first and relayed the events along with the name of the constable and Sarah’s attacker. In half an hour, Resnick would know his dick size and the last time he took a shit. If there was anything Garrett needed to do, Resnick would tag him later.

His next call was to Sam, and he waited impatiently for his brother to answer.

“How goes the babysitting?” Sam asked.

“Just a hello works,” Garrett said sourly.

“But not nearly as fun. What’s up? Everything okay in paradise?”

Garrett rummaged in the fridge with one hand and pulled out a beer before diving back in for sandwich fixings. “It’s not bad. Got some fishing in. Been working out, doing some swimming. Not a bad vacation.”

Sam muttered something indecipherable, and Garrett grinned, knowing it would irritate Sam that Garrett was on a tropical island while Sam was stuck home on pins and needles waiting for his daughter to be born.

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