Home > Deacon (Unfinished Hero #4)(9)

Deacon (Unfinished Hero #4)(9)
Author: Kristen Ashley

I swallowed.

Then I kept giving him the information he needed.

“Unfortunately, she was ripe to be attacked because she didn’t turn on the outside light of her cabin. Also, the parking area was unlit. I found that upsetting so I’ve had lights installed in the lot. They’re not overly bright or anything,” I assured him quickly. “But they cut the dark. And all the units have new motion sensor lights outside. This can get a bit annoying, seeing as there are critters out there that set them off,” I admitted. “But if it gets too annoying, you can turn them off. I just thought you’d wanna know, uh…that I’ve lit the parking area. You know, just in case you need to close your curtains or something to keep out the light.”

“A woman was assaulted,” he said slowly when I finally stopped speaking.


“In one of your cabins,” he continued.

“Uh…yeah,” I confirmed.

“Were you here?”


“How badly was she hurt?” he asked.

“Norm and Gladys told me she was beaten up but okay. They saw her the next day. She reported it to the police but Norm and Gladys were the ones who reported it to me. That was, until the police came and asked if I’d seen anything.”

“Norm and Gladys?”

I grinned at him. “You and them are in a club. My only returning customers.”

John Priest clearly did not find his membership in that particular club as exciting as I did. I knew this when his intense look turned into a scowl.

He was scary all the time.

Scowling, he was downright chilling.

Then he added his voice, which was still rumbling, but it was no longer icy. It was vibrating with something I couldn’t read, but what I could read was terrifying.

“A woman was assaulted in one of your cabins while you were here, alone, in this house.”

I decided not to repeat my confirmation and be quiet for once, mostly because it was taking a lot of effort not to pee my pants.

He looked over my head and into my house. Two seconds later, in utter fascination, I watched the scowl fade from his face as the mask of indifference slid over his features and his gaze came back to me.

“I’ll be here three days. Still one hundred?” he asked as if our very recent word exchange had not transpired.

“Yes,” I whispered.

He went for his wallet, gave me four one-hundred-dollar bills, and I gave him his key.

“Have a nice stay,” I said softly as he turned to leave.

He aimed a wintry look at me over his shoulder.

My entire body did a quiver.

He closed the door behind him.

I sucked in a calming breath and didn’t move in order to give the calming part of that breath opportunity to work.

When I was no longer in danger of screaming in terror and fleeing my own property, it hit me that something just happened.

That something was that John Priest let down his guard with me.

And when he did it, if I wasn’t losing my mind, he did it because he was upset at the idea that I might have been in danger.

Nearly two years, half a dozen visits, practically zero conversation, a lot of money exchanging hands, John Priest finally showed a reaction.

And it bore repeating, if I was not mistaken, that reaction was that he was supremely ticked that I had been near danger.

“Whoa,” I whispered to the door and heard Priest’s big Suburban move down the lane.

* * * * *

That evening I sat on my side porch with my feet up on the top railing, staring at the lights from cabin eleven eking through the trees.

Since he’d shown that afternoon, I’d been thinking about it and there was no way around it.

The dude liked me.

First, he kept coming back, and in the beginning the cabins weren’t all that much to write home about.

Now, they needed better insulation and there were ten dozen other things that I wanted to do to improve them. They weren’t luxury. They were definitely nice but they weren’t terribly exciting.

But he kept coming back.

There were lots of places to stay. It wasn’t like the Colorado Mountains were something people avoided.

John Priest stayed at Glacier Lily.

Second, there was no denying the iron control he kept over his emotions slipped that day in my foyer. And he wasn’t upset generally about the state of a world where random women were assaulted in mountain cabins.

He was upset that I was there, alone, unprotected, and violence had been perpetrated on my property.

“Yep,” I whispered into the waning light. “The dude likes me.”

I didn’t know what to do with this.

Suddenly, my thoughts turned to Priest’s hands.

After that, I thought about the fact my vibrator was constantly on charge, that was how much I used it.

What could I say? I was a twenty-six year old woman without a boyfriend but with a good imagination and a healthy sex drive. That kind of thing happened.

I took my feet from the railing, put them to the deck, and heaved myself out of my Adirondack chair (that seriously needed sanding and paint, not to mention a pad, my butt was aching).

I entered the house and went to the powder room on the first floor.

It needed updating. The wallpaper gave me a headache, it was so flowery. The oval mirror over the sink had once been gilded. Now it looked tawdry. And there were rust stains in the sink from a drip that my dad fixed for me when they visited last Christmas. A drip, from those stains, that had to have been ongoing for perhaps centuries.

I didn’t take any of this in.

I looked at myself in the mirror.

I could see my hair. It was down, waving and curling wild and way longer than I used to wear it, since I never had time for haircuts.

I didn’t have on even a swipe of makeup and I couldn’t remember the last time I’d used cosmetics. It had to be months. It could be over a year.

And I was wearing another babydoll tee, this one light pink and in hot pink on the front it said, “Carnal Is for Bikers.” Over that was what could only be described as a stick skeleton man riding a stick motorcycle with a huge, weird, wild grin on his skeleton face. It was from a biker town that was about an hour away. I’d bought it on one of my rare jaunts around the area, one that did double duty of me putting out Glacier Lily brochures and stapling leaflets to bulletin boards.

I loved that tee.

I was also wearing a pair of cutoff jeans shorts. These were faded and I fancied they hung pretty good on me, what with me putting on a bit of the weight I lost after Dick Grant hastened his retreat due to me kicking him out.

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Sinclairs series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
Most Popular
» A Thousand Letters
» Wasted Words
» My Not So Perfect Life
» Caraval (Caraval #1)
» The Sun Is Also a Star
» Everything, Everything
» Devil in Spring (The Ravenels #3)
» Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels #2)