23| Protective and Possessive

147K 3.8K 779


The apprehension that had been building up inside of me since I'd gotten out of bed this morning was back with a vengeance as I carefully tucked the pastry James had brought me into my handbag, choosing to save it for later so that I could share it with Luke and Lexi when I got home. It was the kindest thing anyone had done for me in the longest time, and in knowing that, it just made this whole thing even weirder.

I didn't really know why he had gone through the trouble of apologising to me, especially considering the equal parts of blame that could have been shared between us, and the violent price he had to pay for touching me in the first place—but what I did know was that it was more than what I deserved.

Freddie had punched him—he had punched him for doing exactly what he had asked him to do, and even though he hadn't seemed too bothered by it, I knew it was all my fault.

I should have been the one apologising to him, and yet—in the handful of encounters we'd had together, I had learnt that James was nothing like his brothers when it came to the harsher parts of life.

Unlike Freddie, he was patient and sympathetic—but most of all he was kinder to me than anyone had been to me in this vicious place.

Maybe it was because I hadn't seen the darker side to him yet, but something inside of me was convinced that it was in his nature to be forgiving. He didn't hide behind his anger like the rest of them did, instead he was straightforward with his emotions, and I had seen them written all over his face when I'd asked him to be my friend.

I thought things had been complicated enough when I had to deal with Freddie and his mood swings, but now this—

Even if I ever thought I had a chance of eventually getting out of this place, I knew I was double fucked.

It was clear James had some sort of feelings for me and I hoped he would get over them before we created an even bigger mess together—but even still, maybe it was better for me to keep him by my side. After all, I would need some sort of safety net once Freddie got bored of me.

Regardless—this day wasn't off to the best of starts, but at least it was better than yesterday. At least I was still in my clothes, standing behind this bar instead of being cornered by three members of a murderous gangster family.

And at least I hadn't had a gun pointed at me yet.

Unless I just jinxed it.


If my luck had anything to do with it, my early morning encounter with James would be the easiest part of my day.

I cradled the cup of coffee he had gotten me in my hands, sighing in relief when it warmed my palms. The contents of it were still piping hot, and I took comfort in knowing that at least he hadn't been waiting long for me—not that it mattered anyway.

"There's a load of dishwashing left over from last night, you should get started on that." Dave startled me, my heart jumping in my chest as I flinched under his heavy command.

He was leaning against the bar, staring at me in that lewd way of his. I was starting to think he liked the act of ordering me about, but I didn't care this time as I shuffled quickly out of his sight. He might have just given me one of the worst jobs in this place, but little did he know he had saved me from a worse fate.

All I had to do was get through this day without seeing him, but it wasn't like I had much choice in the matter. The thing about working the front of the bar was that you couldn't really avoid anyone—not that trying to hide from one of your bosses was the best solution to any problem, even if they weren't a gun-wielding gangster. But it was only a matter of time before he appeared out of nowhere like he usually did, and thankfully for the most part of this morning, I was stuck in the kitchen and out of sight.

Kiss Me DangerousWhere stories live. Discover now