The Body Finder (The Body Finder 1) - Page 69

“Where’re you going?” she asked, trying not to sound too upset that he was leaving.

He shrugged noncommittally, and Violet had the impression that he was being evasive on purpose. “I have some things I need to do. I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?”

Violet tried to hide her disappointment as he helped her inside, carrying her backpack over one shoulder and keeping one hand protectively at the base of her back, just in case she lost her balance.

He kissed her good-bye, and then kissed her again, and then again. Pretty soon five minutes had passed, and Jay’s mom honked her car horn out in the driveway.

“’Bye, Violet,” he whispered against her cheek, his voice thick with desire. “I love you.”

She watched him leave, still reeling from his kisses.

The night without Jay hadn’t been a total loss…except for the devastating loneliness…and the overwhelming desire to be at the Homecoming Game with all her friends…and the crushing boredom.

She started a book she’d been planning to read. Stopped. Tried another. Gave up on that one too. And finally worked her way down the stairs to hang out with her parents. When they went to bed, which was barely at the crack of ten o’clock, Violet was left on her own once again.

It took some doing, but she finally managed to fix a bowl of microwave popcorn and actually get it to the family room, eventually giving up on the crutches and hopping—carefully—from one room to the next. She was exhausted by the time she reached the couch again. So when the tapping started, so faint that she wasn’t sure she’d even heard it at first, she tried to convince herself that it was nothing.

But it didn’t go away, and in fact it got louder, and pretty soon Violet knew that she couldn’t just ignore it. It was coming from the front door.

She was a little afraid, even though she told herself that she shouldn’t be. There was a cop out there, facing the entrance. And her parents were right upstairs; all she had to do was yell and they’d come running.

She finally got up, which was not a small feat in itself, and decided to at least look through the peephole before deciding whether or not to answer it. She didn’t move quickly, for obvious reasons, and the tapping continued in intermittent spurts, not really getting louder but remaining fairly constant.

Despite self-reassurances, her heart was beating too fast and her mouth was suddenly too dry. She tried to concentrate on sensing anything unusual coming from the other side of the door.

When she finally reached it, she bent forward and looked through the peephole.

Jay was grinning back at her from outside.

Her heart leaped for a completely different reason.

She set aside her crutches and quickly unbolted the door to open it.

“What took you so long?”

Her knee was bent and her ankle pulled up off the ground. She balanced against the doorjamb. “What d’you think, dumbass?” she retorted smartly, keeping her voice down so she wouldn’t alert her parents. “You scared the crap out of me, by the way. My parents are already in bed, and I was all alone down here.”

“Good!” he exclaimed as he reached in and grabbed her around the waist, dragging her up against him and wrapping his arms around her.

She giggled while he held her there, enjoying everything about the feel of him against her. “What are you doing here? I thought I wouldn’t see you till tomorrow.”

“I wanted to show you something!” He beamed at her, and his enthusiasm reached out to capture her in its grip. She couldn’t help smiling back excitedly.

“What is it?” she asked breathlessly.

He didn’t release her; he just turned, still holding her gently in his arms, so that she could see out into the driveway. The first thing she noticed was the officer in his car, alert now as he kept a watchful eye on the two of them. Violet realized that it was late, already past eleven, and from the look on his face, she thought he must have been hoping for a quiet, uneventful evening out there.

And then she saw the car. It was beautiful and sleek, painted a glossy black that, even in the dark, reflected the light like a polished mirror. Violet recognized the Acura insignia on the front of the hood, and even though she could tell it wasn’t brand-new, it looked like it had been well taken care of.

“Whose is it?” she asked admiringly. It was way better than her crappy little Honda.

Jay grinned again, his face glowing with enthusiasm. “It’s mine. I got it tonight. That’s why I had to go. My mom had the night off, and I wanted to get it before…” He smiled down at her. “I didn’t want to borrow your car to take you to the dance.”

“Really?” she breathed. “How…? I didn’t even know you were…” She couldn’t seem to find the right words; she was envious and excited for him all at the same time.

“I know, right?” he answered, as if she’d actually asked coherent questions. “I’ve been saving for…for forever, really. What do you think?”

Violet smiled at him, thinking that he was entirely too perfect for her. “I think it’s beautiful,” she said with more meaning than he understood. And then she glanced back at the car. “I had no idea that you were getting a car. I love it, Jay,” she insisted, wrapping her arms around his neck as he hoisted her up, cradling her like a small child.

“I’d offer to take you for a test-drive, but I’m afraid that Supercop over there would probably Taser me with his stun gun. So you’ll have to wait until tomorrow,” he said, and without waiting for an invitation he carried her inside, dead bolting the door behind him.

Tags: Kimberly Derting The Body Finder
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