After She's Gone (West Coast 3) - Page 94

“I can sleep down here?” she asked, motioning to the couch.

“If you don’t watch any more trash TV.”

“Okay, Daddy,” she mocked.

“Or you could come upstairs.”

“With you?”

“Definitely with me.” His smile was an invitation and she wondered what it would hurt. They were married, not that their marriage was the crux of her hesitation. They’d slept in the same bed last night. Nothing had happened between them, except for the fact she’d felt more secure and safe than she had in months.

But now there was a tiny gleam in his eye, the hint of sexuality that stirred a response in her. It wasn’t the sex itself that scared her, it was the emotional devastation that was sure to follow any intimacy.

It had happened before.

“I think I’ll stay down here.”

His lopsided grin became more pronounced, as if he knew exactly what she was thinking. “Suit yourself.” He found the sleeping bag and pillow in the front closet again and tossed them onto the leather couch. “Hud will keep you company. But if you change your mind, you know where to find me.”

He pushed away from the doorjamb, walked to the front hallway and locked the door, then headed up the stairs, his boots ringing on each step and echoing in her heart. Should she just quit fighting it? Follow him up the stairs? Forget about all the pain of their short marriage? Actually start over as he’d suggested?

Biting her lip, she eyed the leather couch and the sleeping bag and pillow lying on the cold cushions. The rain was beating a soft tattoo against the windowpanes and she told herself she was just being stubborn. A night in Trent’s bed did not a commitment make. Nor would it compromise any of her

moral standards, whatever they may be. Sleeping with Trent’s body curled next to hers wasn’t some kind of sin or sign of weakness. It didn’t mean that she’d decided to throw out all of her convictions or suspicions. It wasn’t as if they were in a battle and he’d won.

It was just comfort.

Well, and sexual attraction.

She glanced over at the sleeping dog. Though Hud didn’t appear to open his eyes, he thumped his tail. “Sorry, Buddy,” she said, heading for the stairs where she intended to follow her husband. “You’re on your own tonight.”

She was on the third step when her cell phone beeped, indicating she had a text. Pausing, she saw that the text was from Brandon McNary and that her battery life was low. She couldn’t remember when she’d charged it last or if she’d even packed her charger in her hurry to leave LA.

.ru in PDX?

She considered not answering and didn’t respond immediately. Another text came through.

need to see u. ASAP! info on AK

Cassie’s pulse jumped. Information on Allie? Now? Bullshit. But she didn’t want to just brush him off. He was the last man Allie was involved with, and maybe he knew something he hadn’t imparted earlier.

She replied: coffee tomorrow am?

The response: now. Important.

She typed: I’m in Falls Crossing. Then she added: With Trent.

McNary replied quickly: come alone.

Cassie: What is this?

McNary: if you want the info meet me at Orson’s at 11:30

Cassie: Sorry. No cloak and dagger cryptic crap for me.

McNary: You’re the only 1 who can help.

Cassie: I’m not.

Tags: Lisa Jackson West Coast Mystery
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