Saint drove up to Sienna’s country house and pulled into the drive. He sat staring, thinking for just a moment. He didn’t want to scare her when he went up to the door. Saint wanted to wrap his arms around her and never let her go, tell her that she would be safe, Danny would be safe. But, he didn’t think she would believe him.
Since the blowup with Danny two days ago, Sienna was the only thing on his mind. When she wouldn’t let him in yesterday, since she’d run away from him, from Danny, he’d panicked. When they say the eyes are the windows to the soul, Sienna’s soul was bleak. Her eyes were a vast ocean of pain, breaking waves cutting into the sand at shore, each slice digging deeper and deeper eroding the shore’s strength.
He closed his eyes and thought of Sienna when she was under him, how she had responded to him, how she had screamed for him in her pleasure. Saint would show her what they could have together, show her a future where he would cherish her heart.
He saw the front curtain move as he got out of his truck. Even if Saint couldn’t convince Sienna, at the moment, of what they were to each other, he knew she wanted him in her life. He took the porch stairs two at a time, and she opened the door before he reached it. A smile came to his face when he saw the skin tight dress she was wearing for him, but then he frowned when what greeted him appeared forced somehow.
“Hi,” Sienna said. She didn’t move so he walked into her personal space, grabbed and lifted her chin as he took her mouth with a gentle brush of his lips.
“Maybe we shouldn’t go,” Sienna said in an abrupt whisper. She tried to pull away, but he pulled her closer.
“You need a distraction, so I’m taking you to dinner, the little Italian place off Main downtown. You promised.”
“Right,” she responded looking away, but he turned her face back to his.
“Mm, hmm.” He kissed her soundly. “Grab your purse.”
They didn’t say much on the ride to the restaurant, but he glanced at her often just to be sure she was okay. Saint kept his hand on her in some way, caressing her hair, drawing a finger down her cheek, or keeping a hand on her leg. Her dress had ridden up when she’d gotten in the truck exposing her legs. It was a difficult thing to keep his need for her in check. He’d almost decided to turn the truck around, take her back to her place, and show her how he could make her feel loved, with his mouth, his hands, and more. He let his eyes wander every few seconds, enjoying the sight of her.
He pulled up to the front of the restaurant all too quickly, got out, helped her down and walked her to the door. “I’ll be right back after I park my truck. She smiled at him, and he couldn’t help but pull her in for another quick kiss that stirred his blood and made her eyes flare with heat. Her fingers dug into his biceps as he deepened the kiss one second longer. Then he made himself pull away.
“Mmm. That was nice,” Sienna said before Saint watched her eyes shutter. She looked away. He was getting to her, and it flustered her. He smiled to himself.
Once he had the truck parked he returned to Sienna. His eyes narrowed. Something was wrong, her body was stiff and her movements choppy. “Are you alright?”
Sienna whirled around. Saint caught her before she stumbled, grabbed her arms and held her close. Her hand went to his chest.
“You scared me.”
“What’s going on?” Saint wrapped his arm around her and stared into her eyes. She shook her head and didn’t answer.
“I thought I saw someone.” She tried to look away. “Never mind.”
He held her gaze with a finger on her chin. He finally nodded and gave her a little squeeze. “Come on. Let’s have dinner.” He moved her to the small hosting stand. Saint would address her scare later.
“Hey, Taz,” Saint said.
“Hey, Mr. Paulson. This way.”
Taz led them to the patio outside Sienna looked to him. He said, “Taz is an intern at Paulson’s.” He whispered in her ear. “He’s a good kid, starting out on scholarship this year through the local vocational school; a scholarship created in my sister’s name. It’s for kids who’ve overcome addiction.” He shrugged. He didn’t want to talk about his sister tonight.
“Just like you requested,” Taz said.
Sienna lifted an eyebrow when he helped her toward their table. “We have the whole patio to ourselves?” There weren’t any other place settings on the other tables.
The atmosphere was nice. Outdoor heaters staved off the chill brought on by late July in Michigan. He felt the goosebumps on her skin when they first stepped out of the warm restaurant. Nights below forty were more frequent than they had been just a few weeks ago. But, he could tell Sienna hadn’t expected all this. Good, he thought. Candles lit their area, the glow bounced their silhouettes off the stone walls, soft music played in the background, and the mood, he saw, captured her attention. He enjoyed the soft smile on her face as her shoulders relaxed. Taz smiled and set the menus on the table, and Saint pulled out her chair and kissed her neck below her ear. Just his nearness made her breaths come faster. He enjoyed her response more than he thought he could.
“I’ve noticed something about you,” Sienna said, tilting her head when she spoke the words.
“What’s that?” he asked as he sat down opposite her, but still close, intertwining his fingers with hers. Taz stopped back at the table with bread and a bottle of wine he preselected. She tried to pull away, but he held firm. She shook her head. He was determined to make this date special, and he hoped she believed it, believed in him. Saint wasn’t going to leave her.
“You have this habit, Saint, of helping people. A lot. Going out of your way. Don’t you worry people will take advantage?”
“Some people are worth it.” Saint brushed his lips across her knuckles. He watched her eyes widen in surprise and a shiver race across her body. Her eyes went heavy lidded. Saint would make her shiver much more, later.
They ordered another bottle of wine and entrees, and conversation flowed. The food was incredible. It was nice sharing a meal with her, letting her know how it could be. Trusting him, he hoped.
Saint listened to Sienna tell him about her jewelry designs and how Megan had convinced her that together they could make a go of Twisted Metal. Her face lit up and that made him smile. The joy there, and that she shared it with him, was special. She asked about the speedway and his classes. He didn’t bring up how he included Danny in his new class, but skirted around the fact it was him.
“A new kid started with the class today. Or rather, I signed him up myself.” He smiled thinking about the glee on Danny’s face.
“There’s something about this kid that just…” Saint stopped to gather his thought. “He’s intuitive when it comes to motorcycles. It’s like he can see what’s going to happen before it happens. When I showed videos about how to handle the bikes on blacktop, when I stopped the video, asked them questions about what might happen next, he knew the answers. The kids amazing. He reminds me a little of Chris when Chris and I first started riding.”
She frowned. “How old is the rider?”
“Don’t you need a parent’s consent for him to be in your class?
He laughed and brushed off her concern. “I’ll get permission. Don’t worry. He comes around the track all the time.” Luckily she didn’t ask any more questions.
Throughout dinner, he made sure he touched her in some way, her hand, a brush of his leg against her, or the touch of his fingers on her cheek in a soft caress. He tried everything to make her more aware of him. He even insisted on feeding her dessert. With each bite of the crème brulee, she took, his cock grew harder.
“Mm,” she purred with the last spoonful of sweet custard. “Delicious.” She licked her lips and he almost groaned.
They walked out of the restaurant, he pulled her close and kissed her hard, their bodies aligning, his arousal pressing painfully for more room. He would take her to his bed tonight and show her that he loved her. And he knew it deep in his soul that he would never let her go. Sienna was his forever. Convincing her was the only obstacle.
“I’ll be right back.” He tapped her neck with a soft kiss and took off toward the truck.
Heading back toward the restaurant he saw Sienna stumble. A woman shoved her. Sienna hit the side of the building.
“What the hell!” Saint jumped out, and got to Sienna just as the woman’s fingers dug into Sienna’s skin.
“Mom, stop! You’re hurting me. Stop. Please, stop.” Sienna’s fear was a physical thing all but casting a net around the whole area, he could almost feel it. Saint grabbed the woman’s arm and pulled her hard. The movement strong but controlled. He didn’t want to hurt the haggard woman. The old woman turned her glare onto him, Saint saw the dark inset eyes, the anger, the addiction that pulled her flesh tight to her bones, the decay, the holes in her skin. It was all too familiar.
“You have to get it for me, Sienna. I need it!” The woman screeched pointing a finger at her. “You owe me this!”
Sienna took a step toward her mother, to do what he didn’t know. He did know he wouldn’t let this person hurt Sienna. He pulled her back into his body turning her becoming a protective shield.
“You get it for me,” the woman yelled as she backed away. Her eyes looked everywhere and nowhere, her body twitched making her clumsy. “I’ll be waiting. Just like I told you.”
“Mom.” Sienna struggled in his arms to go after the woman.
“Mom?” Saint’s heart broke as she tried to move from his arms still.
When the woman was out of sight, Sienna crumbled. He lifted her and set her in the passenger seat, got himself in and pulled off the curb. “Your mother?”
“Yes,” she said, her voice so small he barely heard her.
“How long has she been addicted to drugs?”
“Since I…since, I was a kid.” The tears came now. “But she never tried to hurt me before.” He took her hand and didn’t let go. Her voice droned on now. “I’d see her with prescription bottles.” She paused. “She hurt herself at work. I don’t know exactly how, but it was bad. She needed the pills she said.” Wiping her eyes, she continued. “I noticed the orange bottles more and more. That’s when I started to go to Megan’s more. She’d started to blame me for everything. Dad started to…he started to hit her more.” She sucked in a breath, and it wavered as she let it out. “When she started not to come home sometimes, he blamed me like she blamed me for all their problems.” Saint gripped her hand harder and thought he knew where this was going. “When he didn’t have an outlet with my mother that’s when he started in on me. And then she didn’t come home at all.”
“She left me with him. I haven’t seen her until tonight.”
Sienna looked up at him and looked around. They had reached Paulson’s a few minutes ago, and hadn’t noticed. He got out and once again helped her out of the truck and took her up to the loft. He moved her with ease, drew her down on the sofa and onto his lap. And let his head fall against her neck snuggling where he knew she liked it best.
“What, what are you doing?” she asked him.
“I’m taking care of you.”
“But why? Why would you want to be with me after seeing what I came from? She didn’t think I was worth anything, why should you?”
Saint twisted her around, so she faced him. He didn’t give her time to pull away. Her dress inched upward and he pulled her in flush to his growing arousal. He kissed behind her ear, stroked her hair, wrapped it around his fingers drawing her head back to get better access to the bare skin near her collarbone. He bit her gently and then replaced his teeth with his tongue, to ease the sting. She whimpered.
“Why?” He kissed her quick and hard. Her eyes opened when he pulled gently on her hair, and she stared at him. “Because,” he said. “I love you.”
“No.” she gasped. “No,” she said again. “I’m not worth it.”
“You so are,” he said and dove back in to show her just how much he meant what he said.