Home > Deacon (Unfinished Hero #4)(3)

Deacon (Unfinished Hero #4)(3)
Author: Kristen Ashley

It was then I stopped thinking we weren’t making such a good decision about renting a cabin to this guy and I was thinking maybe I hadn’t made such a good decision about Grant.

The man took the key and turned to leave.

This prompted me to take another step to him and call out, “You need a receipt?”

He looked over his shoulder at me. Right at me. Right in my eyes. And instantly, I got another shiver.

He didn’t do a top to toe. He didn’t even give any indication he understood I was a human being, much less a female one.

This, too, was unnerving.

I couldn’t say I looked like a pageant queen but I wasn’t entirely hard on the eyes. I had all the right parts in relatively right proportions in all the right places. I wasn’t statuesque and striking. I was five foot five. I had black hair. It was long and thick, though you couldn’t really tell that right then as I had it up in a messy bun at the top back of my head.

But I’d lucked out and got my mother’s eyes, unusual warm brown ones that weren’t dark brown or light, but something in between. They came to a dip on the inner corner and flared out large with long lashes that, if I used mascara on them, it would make my eyes look huge. I always thought they were exotic and beautiful and felt I could say that because they were my mom’s, not mine, just a gift she’d given me. I also thought that because all my boyfriends said my eyes were what made them notice me.

That and my lips, which were very full to near puffy, and they were all mine, not my mom’s. My sister didn’t even have my lips, something she informed me sucked. She got Mom’s eyes too. But she didn’t get my lips (or I didn’t get hers, seeing as she was older than me).

Last, I had a C-cup and it was my experience most men appreciated a C-cup.

This man didn’t.

No. Instead, he held my eyes and jerked his head once in a negative, turned, and walked out of the house.

Grant closed the door after him.

I looked to my boyfriend to share that I wasn’t entirely comfortable with all that had just transpired but I didn’t get the chance to say a word.

He lifted his hand and jabbed his finger at me.

“No fuckin’ microwaves, Cassidy. You buy that shit, you install it. Now I’m goin’ to town and gettin’ a fuckin’ drink.”

That was when I stood on the faded, threadbare (but still pretty) circular rug in my foyer in my little house by a river in the Colorado Mountains and watched as my man did just that. He grabbed the keys to his truck and walked out the door.

He grabbed his keys and walked out the door right in the middle of a discussion about our business, which was a huge part of our lives.

He grabbed his keys and walked out the door right after a huge, terrifying man checked in to cabin eleven, leaving me alone on our property with said huge, terrifying man. A huge, terrifying man that even Grant couldn’t miss was huge and terrifying.

He still left me.


I stood staring at the door, my stomach sinking because I knew that I’d taken a massive risk, sinking my savings into these cabins. Cabins the owners were so desperate to get rid of, the price was right, as in cheap, as in scary-cheap. Cabins they were so desperate to leave, they left every stick of furniture, every rug, every picture on the wall, in the cabins and the house. Cabins I took on, moving to another state where I knew no one. Having to fix them up, knowing how to paint a room but not much else.

But what I was realizing, too late, was the biggest risk I took, the risk that looked like it would fail, was the risk I took on Grant.

* * * * *

Late that night, I sat on my side porch with my feet up on the top railing, a beer in my hand, the sounds of the river rushing along the rocks to my left, the night air cool on my skin, my eyes trained through the thick trees to the dim light I could just barely see coming from cabin eleven.

It was late and Grant wasn’t back.

But scary guy was awake and doing something in cabin eleven.

I just hoped he wasn’t building a bomb or planning to overthrow the government, whereupon he would (again hopefully) fail spectacularly but I would be dragged in front of the cameras as the hapless cabin owner who stupidly rented him his headquarters to plan and carry out his dastardly deeds.

On that unhappy thought, one of a bazillion I’d had since Grant left, I took my feet from the railing and moved into the house. It was time for bed. Something I’d been getting into alone far more frequently the last couple of weeks.

I walked through the quiet house. My quiet house. An old, narrow, but somehow spacious, two story, three-bedroom, two and a half bath Victorian farmhouse that was a couple shades above dilapidated, but fixed up would be sublime.

I did this trying to think of all the ways I intended to fix it up (eventually). Something that I’d find exciting. A project I was raring to take on (after the cabins were done, of course). Something I preferred to think about rather than Grant being a jerk or the guy in cabin eleven scaring the crap out of me.

It was dark. I was alone. And try as I might (and I tried), I couldn’t stop the pain nagging at my heart that indications were very strong that things weren’t going to work out with Grant. We’d been together over a year. I was sure about him. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t have dragged him to Colorado. I wouldn’t even have asked. I would have gone it alone. Maybe not then, at twenty-four years old with no idea what I was doing, but eventually.

He’d promised to help. He’d said he was all in.

To make myself feel better (in other words, to give Grant excuses), I told myself all of this was new. It was a change. We’d only been there six weeks. We were both still getting accustomed to our new home, our new business, our new lives, and even ourselves, as we hadn’t lived together back home.

Maybe Grant turned into a dick when he was in an unknown situation and as things settled he’d go back to being my sweet, affectionate, loving, awesome boyfriend Grant.

I walked through the house, turning out lights, locking up, but when I went to the foyer to turn on the light to welcome Grant home (whenever he chose to come home) my eyes caught on the register.

It was new. Mom had bought it for me and gave it to me five minutes before Grant and I got in our packed cars and hauled ourselves up to Colorado. Mom giving it to me had made me laugh and hug her, and only when I was in my car, following Grant in his truck, did I let myself cry.

I saw from four feet away that we were still on the first page and there weren’t many names on the lines.

I moved closer and looked at the name on the last line.

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