Chapter 19: What's Your Motive?

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Alyssa sat by the aisle on the middle row watching a steady influx of chatting students and professionally dressed professors flowed through the door. Someone, Alyssa hadn't seen for about a week—Quinn held the door open expressing pleasantries.

Alyssa was taken aback as she herself received one of his easy smiles and generic welcome and enjoy the forum, something he was no doubt ordered to say by Dr. Young—the head professor in the biology department.

"Is this your idea of a well welcome?" Daniel questioned pulling the hood off his head while staring uninterestedly at the projector ahead that read, The Effects of Parasites in Developing Countries.

Alyssa carefully placed her sunglasses in satchel sitting in her lap, "I didn't invite you." She zipped the bag back up. "You came to spy on me."

"I came to make sure you are safe."

"So, you're my bodyguard?" She guffawed pulling her gaze away from his eye roll. "Please, I'll be better off getting a license to carry." She briefly glanced at the door, noting how handsome Quinn looked in the pinstriped tie and white dress shirt.

Maybe she should've said yes to his date then he'd be sitting next to her instead of her older cousin by four months. If she would've said 'yes' then they'd both be listening to the speaker—a doctor working for the CDC, and afterwards, they'd go to Dawn Ryse and discuss every detail.

"Are you thinking about getting a gun, Lyssa?" Daniel asked twisting his bodying in the chair, draping his long arm behind her.

"This is Texas," Alyssa crossed her legging covered legs as she watched the five rows in front of her fill up. "So, why not?"

She still had a lingering of fear every time she walked out the door. She wished she could low jack Jacob Richard, that why she would know where he was every minute of every day.

You could testify and then you'd know where he'd be every minute of every day, in jail. She ignored her thought of sitting in the witness box.

"Why are you here?" Alyssa placed her gaze on his face, seeing her father in him—unruly eyebrows and shadow of a beard. "For real?" She narrowed her eyes a fraction.

"To be your backup..." He held his neck with a glimpse of regret flickering in his auburn eyes. "Look after you."

"Are you sure?" Alyssa took in a breath, flaring her nostrils. "Is that all?"

Daniel scratched his temple, "Is there suppose to be another reason?"

"Lee is engaged and I don't need you coming here and uprooting her life." She wedged her frigid hand between her thighs seeking the body heat. "She doesn't need the stress...not with her condition."

"Her condition." His posture turned rigid wanting her to continue but when she didn't he urged, "What's her condition?"

Alyssa combed her hands through her silky obsidian tresses knowing she uttered too much. She placed a lock of hair behind her ear taking her time thinking of something to say besides the truth; that Lela had OCD and a routine without drama was the best thing for her.

"A broken heart, Danny." She had a blaze in her eyes as she looked at him, remembering the tears Lela shed when he told her he was leaving nine hours before his flight took off. "You broke her heart and Trevor helped her piece it back together."

"Really...Trevor." He turned his body forward and dropped his back against the cushioned chair. "You don't even like him."

"I don't but my best friend does." Alyssa's eyes stalked Quinn as he made his way to the last chair in the row first row. "So, don't mess it up."

Daniel sniffed, pulling the hood back over his head. "I won't."


Is Alyssa overstepping her bounds, telling Daniel to back off of Lela? Can Daniel be trusted? Will he leave Lela's relationship alone?


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