His Wicked Ways

His Wicked Ways by Joanne Rock Read Free Book Online

Book: His Wicked Ways by Joanne Rock Read Free Book Online
Authors: Joanne Rock
Tags: Category, West Side Confidential
know if you’d like a closer look and I’ll be sure to accommodate you.” Bending, he scooped up his bag and reached for her hand. “Right now, we need to get the hell out of here before somebody finds us.”
    Or before Vanessa jumped this guy’s bones—regardless of where he stood in terms of the law.
    “Do you have a car nearby?” She moved to follow him, Converse squeaking on the gymnasium floor. Night had fallen while they’d talked, and already she felt squeamish about heading out onto the streets in this part of town.
    “Private underground parking.” He led her through a darkened front lobby and down a back corridor full of paint cans and spattered scaffolding. “One of the perks of revamping the place myself.”
    Arriving at an elevator bay, he opened the doors and inserted a pass card in the panel to access a basement level. Vanessa held her breath as the electronic doors swished shut behind them, sealing them in the private, close quarters. She didn’t need to catch the male scent of him, her senses already too attuned to his movements, his body.
    “You think the rec center is going to make a difference around here?” Determined not to think about the fact she’d just recently had her hand on this guy’s crotch, she concentrated on how they were going to get out of the Bronx.
    She’d seen so many fights on these streets from the safety of her bedroom window growing up. Her grandmother had raised both Vanessa and her sister since their teenage mom had been more interested in getting high than taking care of her kids. Which was just fine with Vanessa since Nana was the coolest lady in their housing complex, with a good job at the local dry cleaners and a knack with tools that made all the tenants vie for Nana’s help with repairs the superintendent ignored.
    But even Nana, a major kick-ass grandma, had taken every precaution never to send her girls out of the house alone. The South Bronx—especially in those days before urban renewal—was a damn scary place to live.
    “Why would I waste my time building this place if I didn’t think it was going to help?” Alec shrugged, palms up. “You think I’m an idiot? I know what it’s like here. But if the center gives five kids a safe place to hang out and grow up, I think that’s making a pretty damn big difference.”
    She hadn’t expected that kind of clear-eyed thinking from someone who must have dumped a small fortune into a facility that would be covered with graffiti and crawling with homeless people in less than six months.
    The elevator chimed as it reached the basement, the doors sliding open to the dank, stale air of an underground garage. A small fluorescent light blinked on a cement pillar between the only two cars in the small area. Two other spaces remained vacant.
    “A Mercedes and a Ford Focus.” Vanessa eyed the two vehicles, the S600 sedan shouting money and the Ford quietly announcing practicality . “My guess is an uptown guy like yourself needs the Mercedes.”
    “They’re both mine.” He pressed a button on his key ring and unlocked the doors on the big sedan. “You want me to give you a lift somewhere? If you drove up here, you don’t want to stay parked on the streets overnight.”
    Her heart drummed in her chest at his choice of wording. They might be working into the night, but she definitely didn’t need to categorize her time with him as an “overnight.” No sense giving her long-slumbering libido any false hope since she planned to squash it with all due haste.
    “I took the subway.” She hadn’t wanted to drive out here today since the locals had a knack for picking out police automobiles, even the unmarked vehicles. She’d planned on calling a patrol car to pick up Alec if she’d been able to talk him into coming in for questioning.
    It might not be wise to go anywhere with him, but seeing him with those kids tonight—trying to make a difference in their lives—had squeezed something unexpected

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