The Body Finder (The Body Finder 1) - Page 55

“Thanks for clarifying that, Violet,” he said sardonically. “It would be creepy if you got your boyfriend and your father confused.”

Violet practically jumped when he said the word boyfriend. Obviously she’d noticed that they’d gone beyond just friendship, but she hadn’t been entirely sure what that meant for them. Apparently Jay had it all figured out.

But that didn’t mean he could push her around.

“Don’t you get it? Without me, they might never have found this sicko. And now, because of what I can do, he’s done…finished. My uncle Stephen probably already arrested him after we left there this morning.” She was sitting away from him now, angry, and even a little hurt, that everyone made it seem like she’d done something wrong. “I won’t apologize for that. I can’t. I’m glad he finally got caught, and I hope he rots in jail!”

She didn’t even realize that she’d been yelling until she heard a knock on her bedroom door. From the other side, her dad’s soft-spoken voice was laced with concern. “Is everything okay in there?”

She bit her lip in frustration and tried to calm down. She was suddenly self-conscious of the fact that she and Jay were on the bed together, even though they’d been there, together like that, hundreds, maybe even thousands, of times before. And it had never bothered her then, when they were still just friends; but somehow with her father just a few feet away, especially right after they’d been making out, she felt like they were doing something wrong.

“We’re fine, Dad!” she called back, trying to sound cool and composed. And then she glared at Jay for his part in making her shout to begin with.

They listened to the sound of her father walking away, and Violet noticed that even his footsteps were soft and unobtrusive.

There was a long silence once they were alone again. Words that needed to be said, and maybe some that didn’t, were like invisible fireworks exploding in the empty space between them.

Jay was the first to give in.

He reached out and took her hand, wrapping it tightly in both of his. “Look, Vi, I don’t know exactly how to say this, but I don’t want anything bad to happen to you. I don’t think I could handle it if something, or someone, hurt you.” The tone of his voice was still immovable and stubborn, despite the sweet sentiment lurking behind it. He squeezed her hand, though…firmly, as if emphasizing his point. “I know it’s selfish, and I don’t really care if it is, but I’m not gonna stand by and let you put yourself in danger, even if it is to catch a killer.” He eased up on her throbbing fingers, and his voice got all husky and rough again. “I can’t lose you,” he explained, shrugging as if those weren’t the most wonderful words she’d ever heard before. “Not now that I finally have you.”

She felt tears prickling in her eyes, and she blinked hard to try to stop them from coming. She was completely overwhelmed by what she’d just figured out…she’d realized it even before he’d finished talking. She knew what it was that he wasn’t saying while he lectured her about safety.

He loved her.

Jay Heaton, her best friend since childhood, was in love with her. He didn’t say it, but she knew that it was true.

And the part that really freaked her out, the part of it that caught her completely off guard, was that he wasn’t in it alone. Because even though she’d been denying it for a long, long time, it had always been there…waiting just beneath the surface of their friendship. And now that it was out, there was no going back.

And it was so weird to even be thinking it, but……she was in love with him too.


IT WAS ANOTHER RESTLESS NIGHT FOR VIOLET, but this time it had nothing to do with Jay. Well, that wasn’t entirely true, it had a little to do with Jay, but there was something else interrupting her sleep. Something that made her feel unsettled…troubled…that sixth sense that something wasn’t quite right in her world. And even though she had no idea what it was supposed to mean, she had learned not to question her intuition.

She gave a valiant fight, though, tossing and turning, and repositioning herself as she drifted in and out of the uncomfortable slumber. She’d dozed; she was sure that she’d caught little catnaps here and there, because she had dreamed. They were segmented and incomplete, extremely unsatisfying dreams that were cut short before they could even begin, but they were dreams nonetheless.

It wasn’t until well after her digital alarm clock finally said seven o’clock, which to Violet was torturously early, that she reluctantly called off her battle with sleep and surrendered to the fact that she was awake—wide awake—and finally got out of bed.

She should have been ecstatic today. This was the fairy-tale ending she could only have imagined a few short months ago. Not only had she stopped a killer, using skills that no one else possessed, but she finally had Jay all to herself. No more sharing him with all the other girls at school.

And yet, instead of being elated, she felt worn down. Even the absolutely breathtaking possibility of seeing Jay again today had little impact on her washed-out energy level. She was sure that he was half the reason she was so exhausted.

By the time he’d left last night, after spending hours getting to know each other all over again, in ways they never had before, it was nearly midnight, and she was completely sapped. She felt like she’d been through the wringer yesterday…emotionally speaking anyway.

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