Paradise Found: Cain (Paradise Stories Book 2)

Paradise Found: Cain (Paradise Stories Book 2) by L.B. Dunbar Read Free Book Online

Book: Paradise Found: Cain (Paradise Stories Book 2) by L.B. Dunbar Read Free Book Online
Authors: L.B. Dunbar
state.
    “Besides the fact you latched onto him when he picked you up off the dance floor? Or the familiarity of you calling him Cain?” I winced at her teasing words. I vaguely remember tripping, falling forward, but never hitting the ground. He had saved me.
    “Or maybe it was all the Internet searching and denial of anything Cain Callahan?” Lucie laughed.
    “You let me be kidnapped to his room?”
    “I didn’t have much of a choice. He can be rather charming, and he seemed pretty confident that you would want to be with him. He assured me he would take care of you.” Lucie wiggled her eyes in a suggestive manner, implying I would get more than I required in the way of assistance.
    “I was drunk!” I shrieked.
    “Weren’t we all?” Lindee mumbled. She had remained quiet through my interchange with Lucie, but my attention shifted to her. The expression on her pale face was a mirror image of mine. She looked sad. I felt defeated. I was passing from that nervous energy of a morning hangover into full-fledge exhaustion. I didn’t want to think anymore.
    “Did he do something he shouldn’t have?” Lucie quietly questioned. I almost berated her concern for too little too late, but the guilty look on her face told me that it was slowly occurring to her things could have gotten out of control because I was drunk.
    “No,” I sighed. “No, he wouldn’t do that to me.” I hung my head, shaking it back and forth at my own admission. Cain Callahan might have been a lot of things I didn’t know, but one thing I was certain of: he wouldn’t take advantage of an unwilling woman. More than willing had been the very adjective to describe me when we first met.
    “So you do know him?” Lucie asked softly, a hint of teasing returning. I took a deep breath and sat up straighter, resigned to my confession.
    “Yes, actually, I do know him.” I glanced at Lindee Parks, her eyes questioning mine. I hadn’t admitted this fact to her before, even though I eventually learned who she was. She had been the girlfriend of Montana; the fighter Cain had killed.
    “How do you know him?” Lindee asked, her voice a quiver. Her face showed a flood of emotion and memory over her old lover’s death came to her. How could I answer? I couldn’t tell the truth. All I really knew about Cain was that he was my husband.
     
     
    We were a quiet group as we took our flight back to Silicon Valley and Preston University. Lindee seemed deep in her own thoughts about the weekend. We’d lost Elma Montgomery, who left suddenly this morning with Abel Callahan. Lucie was her exuberant self, joined by Lindee’s cousin, Maggie. I didn’t really know Maggie. I’d only met her through Lucie. As I was having difficulty following or maintaining any conversation, Lindee and I were exiled to sit together on the return flight, while Lucie and Maggie sat across the aisle.
    I hid from Cain the remainder of the morning, not that he came looking for me. He hadn’t returned for me before; I shouldn’t have expected him to search for me again. I’d made my escape, and I tried to sigh with relief, but the truth was: the exhale of air hurt. My heart felt like shards of glass were piercing it with each release of oxygen. The pain I had endured the first time he left me, without making any contact after that weekend a year ago, had been something I’d never known, and promised myself I wouldn’t ever feel again. I was so wrong.
    “It was such an awful thing to witness,” Lindee said, breaking into my thoughts. She was looking out the window, but her comment was directed at me.
    “Excuse me?” I didn’t know Lindee any better than I knew her cousin. I’d only met her when I returned from Italy and discovered Lucie was living with Lindee and Maggie in a campus apartment. My own apartment was a studio off campus. I spent most of my time with my books, realistically, and I preferred to live alone. While I didn’t personally know Lindee, I knew of her;

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