Home > Forsaken (The Secret Life of Amy Bensen #3)(12)

Forsaken (The Secret Life of Amy Bensen #3)(12)
Author: Lisa Renee Jones

Her bravado, which I’d seen in the bedroom earlier, flares into a full-blown glower now as she taunts me. “They say you’ll do anything for money.”

The words send a slicing blade of hard, brutal guilt right through my heart. “Who exactly is ‘they’?”

“Does it matter who? Is it true?”

“I find what no one else can, for a cash price, yes.” I move without thinking, grabbing her and pulling her to me, driven to escape the truth in her claim, to find the reality behind her lies. My fingers tunnel into her hair, tugging none too gently, bringing her mouth to mine, where I linger long enough to murmur my own accusation. “But money isn’t what you’re offering, now is it? And like I told you: If you offer, I won’t decline.”

She presses weakly against my chest, her hand flat over my heart, which has been bleeding for six years straight. “I offered you nothing,” she hisses. “I’m not his whore, or yours.”

“Prove it.” My mouth comes down on hers, punishing, hard and full of demand, my tongue stroking against hers, and she tastes like bittersweet temptation, like she is Eve and I am Adam, desperate for the poison apple. I don’t trust her. I still want her. I taste her again and again and she doesn’t respond, but I expect her to hesitate, to make this look good. And then it comes. Her moan and a soft swipe of her tongue against mine. It ignites passion in me, but it infuriates me just as much. I tear my mouth from hers and set her aside, having the answer I sought: She’s Sheridan’s bitch. And I tell myself knowledge is power. Taking by choice, not seduction, is power.

“That meant nothing,” she whispers, hugging herself, her breath coming in fast, hard pants.

If only that were true, I think bitterly. “We both know that’s the biggest lie of the night.” I reach inside one of the duffel bags and she cringes, as if she expects another gun, when actually I’m removing the cell phone inside instead, along with a battery I slide into place.

“It proves nothing,” she whispers again. “It means nothing.”

She sounds like she’s trying to convince herself, but we both know that she’s trying, and failing, to convince me. I shift the truck into Drive and pull a fast U-turn. She reaches for the door. I hit the brakes and grab her arm. “Don’t make me tie you up.”

“Do you have the cylinder?” she demands. “Tell me I’m going through this for a reason.”

“If I did, I’d make sure it wasn’t found by anyone I didn’t want to find it, and no one could fuck me good enough, or hard enough, to get it. Ask Meg, Sheridan’s last bitch. She tried and failed. That’s how I ended up there with you tonight. As for Sheridan, that bastard can go fuck himself—he’ll never get that cylinder.” I pause, my teeth grinding together. “If I had it.”

“I don’t know Meg. I’m not trying to seduce you. And I know you don’t fully believe I am, either, or I’d already be tied up.”

My jaw clenches and unclenches, several beats passing as I stare at her, wishing like hell she wasn’t right. But she is. I have doubts about her guilt that I can’t afford to entertain. Releasing her, I put the truck in motion and accelerate again, feeling more of that nuclear-quality energy radiating off me—and apparently she does, too, because she zips her lips. She starts to move toward the door, and I grab her arm again, shoving the bags to the ground and then dragging her to me.

My hand clamps down on her inner thigh and her left hand that seems to still be wrapped around a tissue. “Just let me go,” she pleads. “I’m resourceful. I’ll figure it out without you.”

“That’s not what you said an hour ago.”

“We were in East Austin and I’m in heels and a skirt with no phone and no resources. Of course I needed help. I’ll figure it out from here.”

“You’re right. You will.”

“What does that mean?”

“You’ll find out.” I accelerate again, a plan in my mind. It’s then that I realize her knee is bleeding, along with her hand. I don’t comment, and I tell myself I don’t give a damn. I don’t give a damn. There is only one thing on my mind right now, and that’s my sister’s safety. I’m not losing my sister.

THREE

FAR TOO AWARE of my hand still on Gia’s leg, I navigate the truck onto I-35, and it takes all of my willpower to resist the urge to call Jared, one of the few people I’ve trusted in the last six years, to check on my sister. Instead I slide the cell phone into the pocket of the door, not about to give Gia ammunition to use against me or risk putting Amy on the radar any more than I did by trusting Meg in the first place.

“Ouch,” Gia hisses, punching my hand with her fist. “You’re cutting off the circulation in my leg.”

I blink as I realize that I’m squeezing her leg hard, and now I’m back to thinking about the blood on my palm. “Go back to your side of the truck,” I order, releasing her. “But don’t even think about going for the door.”

“The last thing I want is to greet the pavement with my face,” she assures me, scooting to the side. “I thought you wanted to get rid of me.”

I don’t reply. I have no intention of explaining myself and giving her time to adjust to my plan. I’m done talking. It opens the door to mistakes I can’t afford to make. Not with Sheridan and every oil tycoon across the world after what I have in my possession. Probably a few from the coal industry, too. And then there’s the CIA, the worst fuckers of them all outside of Sheridan.

   
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