Felix looked at her cell as a text buzzed through, and she read the message without any regard for breathing.
Hey baby. Just got to Miami. I'm sorry about last night. I know things got weird. I'll call soon.
She didn't want to talk to Andy. She didn't want to hear his voice. It would only make her wish she hadn't left their lovely home in the suburbs, but she couldn't go back. Not after what happened.
"You okay, Felicity?" Ryan watched as she reread the text.
"It's Felix, now. I haven't gone by Felicity since high school."
"Okay, Felix. You look like you could use a drink. Can I offer you a water, or a beer?"
"Water would be great, thanks."
"So, do you want to tell me why you're here?"
Ryan pulled a plastic bottle out of the fridge and walked back with it. He hadn't taken his eyes off her, which meant he had his cop radar on. Felix took a long drink of water and started her completely improvised speech. "Well, it's that age old story of girl meets boy, and girl doesn't know what the hell she's getting into until it's too late and she's sucked into a web of illegal activities."
Ryan took a seat and stared across the table at her. She remembered he had the kind of face that could sell cologne, with intense brown eyes that dissected everything they landed on. Right now, they were dissecting her. "What kind of illegal activities?"
Felix wiped her hands on her jeans. Were her palms sweating? That was always a dead giveaway. "He's a hacker, but he associates with... Well, for lack of a better moniker, henchmen."
His lips parted as he bobbed his head, and Felix imagined his cop radar going ballistic. "How long have you been involved with this guy?"
"About three years. Off and on at the beginning when he was commuting from Cambridge to Chicago. I've only known about the illegal activities for one. The last year has been the most difficult, but I've occupied myself with some long distance mentoring for the university, and I engage in a little boxing."
It took Ryan a minute, but when he finally stopped gaping at her like an animal at the zoo, he spoke. "I'm sorry, but I can't quite wrap my head around something. Why would an intelligent girl like you stay with someone who threatens people for a living?"
Felix tried to keep the scowl off her face. She knew her story made her sound like a crazy bitch. "He doesn't threaten people. His friends do. And I said it's been difficult."
"So, what made you run now? I assume that's what you're doing or you wouldn't have ended up on my doorstep asking for help. Did something happen to trigger it?"
Felix clenched her jaw, which distracted her from biting her lip. "You could say that. I caught him having sex with another woman. Then, the next thing I know, she's dead in our bed." Her hands started to shake as she splayed them on the table. "Now I'm wondering if I might be next. I should never have bolted."
"Don't second guess yourself, Felix. You went with your gut, and our guts are usually right about things. Do you think he followed you?"
"No. He and one of his asshole friends skipped town to lay low for a while. That's when I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and run like hell."
She glanced down at her phone. The screen had gone black, but she knew it would be lighting up soon, and she would have to answer it and pretend everything was okay when it totally wasn't.
"Can you tell me where and when this murder took place?"
"Huntridge, at about seven-thirty last night. I didn't ask the guys where they took the body."
Ryan searched her face with his x-ray vision. What was he trying to find? Did he suspect she was lying? He stood and walked to the living room window, opening the curtains and staring through the glass. "Is that your Harley parked on the street?"
"We need to move it."
PLAYLIST SONG: Easier To Run by Linkin Park
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Inked and DangerousRomance
Felicity Taylor has a beautiful mind and a future with promise, until something happens to blow it all to hell. How does she respond? She gets inked, buys a Harley, and teams up with a bunch of crooks, not necessarily in that order. Ryan Clark is a...