He watches me unamused, not finding me as funny as I find myself. I start to think he’s not going to answer but then he does. “Cade Walker.”
Figures, even his name is sexy. I study him a minute before nodding. “It suits you.” Instead of saying ‘thank you’ he continues to stare at me. Seriously, what is it with this guy? “Well, it’s nice to meet you, Cade. My name is Faith Williams.”
He catches me off guard when he barrels out a laugh, but there’s nothing funny-sounding about it. “Of course it fucking is.”
I flinch from his brash words and harsh tone. Instead of being insulted, I try to figure out what it is about my name that bothers him. Then I think about his reaction to my necklace and my mission trip. “You have something against God, Cade Walker?”
It takes him a few moments before he answers. “Nope! Can’t have a problem with something you don’t believe in.”
I’m not offended by his answer, I respect everyone’s beliefs, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t saddened by it. He clearly has a lot more problems with God than just not believing in him.
“Your ankle doing better?” he asks, standing.
Well that’s a very apparent dismissal. I find myself disappointed about not getting to talk to him more. Although I really don’t know why, since he hasn’t been all that much fun to be around.
I nod, and right when I’m about to stand he puts his hand out for me to take. I look up at him, surprised by his gesture. His usual hard gaze is a little softer as he waits for me to accept it. What a very confusing man.
Reaching up, I put my small hand into his big one, and again I’m struck with that same feeling I had when he touched my leg. It’s a feeling that is foreign to me, but I like it… a lot. As he pulls me up, I get a whiff of his clean, masculine scent and it takes every ounce of willpower I have not to lean into him. I am seriously losing it. He releases my hand quickly, clearly not having the same problem that I am at our close proximity. I try not to let that sting too much.
“Um, well, thanks again… for everything.”
Turning, I start limping to my guitar when he calls out to me, “Hey, Red.” I ignore the tiny shivers I get at my nickname from his deep, sexy voice and turn back around to face him. “Make sure you don’t come back here. Especially by yourself.”
Again I find myself wondering why he cares. “Sorry, but I plan to come back here every night until I see Aadil. This is the only place he knows where to find me.”
He gets angry, not liking my response. “You can’t be here by yourself, it’s too dangerous. Why don’t you fucking understand that?”
Instead of getting upset by his surly reply I give him a bright smile. “Well then, maybe I’ll see you again after all, Cade Walker.”
Leaning down, I start packing up my guitar and my heart beats wildly as I feel him watch me the entire time. When I stand back up, I glance over my shoulder and see him glaring at me. Rather than being offended, I give him another bright smile and a little wave before I walk away.
Oh yes, I have a feeling tonight will not be the last I see of Cade Walker. At least I’m hoping it’s not.
You are a fucking idiot, Walker. I berate myself the next night, as I walk closer to the one woman I swore I would never go near again. I believed her when she said she would be coming back here. The chick is clearly not bright enough to bring someone with her.
At least I keep telling myself that’s why I’m coming back. No way is it because I can’t get the sexy redhead out of my head. Jesus, if I thought she was beautiful from a distance that’s nothing to how she looked up close. Everything about her is beautiful; her lightly sun-kissed skin is smooth and flawless. She has a very small spatter of freckles across her perfectly shaped nose, which you can only see if you’re close enough. Even her voice, when she isn’t singing, is fucking beautiful. It’s so unique; I have never heard anything like it before – soft and sweet, but strong. She is perfect, except for one thing… one very big thing.
I grind my teeth as I think about that fucking necklace around her neck. It really pisses me off that even after knowing everything I do about her, and what she believes, I still fucking want her. That right there goes to show just how fucked in the head I am. This girl is the complete opposite of anything I would ever want, but my body seems to feel differently.
I have never met another girl like her. When I was a total dick and yelled at her, instead of getting scared like most people do, she got mad and gave it right back. The girl might be sweet and innocent, but clearly if one pushes the wrong buttons she becomes a little spitfire. Which only made my dick harder than it already had been. Then, to top it all off, I caught her fucking openly staring at me with appreciation while I examined her ankle, and the blush that stained her cheeks… Jesus. It took every ounce of control I had to restrain myself from ripping her clothes off and finding out just where that blush ended.
My thoughts come to an abrupt halt as I come up to the clearing and spot her. She’s leaning against a tree with her head tilted back, while strumming her guitar. Like usual, at this time in the evening, the sun has started to set and casts a glow on her that makes her look as innocent as I know she is.
Knowing I have no choice, I walk toward her, because now that I have met her, if I stayed back in the trees I’d be even more of a fucking pervert. I know I should stay far away from this girl, more for her sake than mine, but I just keep telling myself it’s for her protection.
Her eyes are closed when I reach her, but she knows I’m here. “Nice to have you back, Cade Walker.”
My dick twitches at the sound of her soft voice speaking my name. Opening her eyes, she trains her innocent emerald gaze on mine, and graces me with a beautiful smile. I push away the feeling that tries worming its way into my chest.
Grunting, I sit down next to her, but not too close. This chick has proven to be fucking dangerous to me. “Don’t get too excited, Red, you didn’t leave me much choice, since I knew you would be by yourself again.”
Her smile expands. “It’s nice to see you too, Faith,” she responds sweetly.
I stare at her blankly, completely unamused by her sarcasm, but I’m also glad she isn’t offended that I’m being an asshole. “I take it the kid hasn’t come back?” I ask, changing the subject.
She shakes her head sadly. “No. I’m really hoping he comes tonight. I’m very worried about him.”
I look away and decide not to add my thoughts on the subject. There are many reasons why the kid might not come back, none of which will make her feel any better.
I feel her eyes on me. “You don’t dress like a soldier.”
I lie back on the dead grass with my arms behind my head. “I never said I was.”
“But you said…”
“I said, ‘something like that’.”
She pauses for a minute. “Hmmm, okay, so what? Special operations? CIA? The Navy? A Marine?” I quirk a brow at her and she smiles. “My grandfather was a Marine. I don’t know much but I know a little.”
“I’m surprised he would be okay with his granddaughter traveling to a place like this.”
She shrugs. “He was concerned and so was my father, even though it’s his church I’m with.”
My head snaps to hers so fast I almost get whiplash. “Your father is a fucking minister?” I didn’t mean for it to come out so harsh.
She tilts her head and studies me, which I fucking hate. “He’s a pastor, yes.”
My stomach sinks with dread. Oh fuck. Is she not as innocent as I thought? Has he done shit to her? I clench my jaw against the rage that pumps through my body at that thought. Calm down, man, this shit is not your business.
“There’s something I’ve been wondering, Cade. How does a man who fights for his country and saves lives, not believe in God?”
“Don’t paint me in a good light because of my career choice. There’s nothing good about me.”
“I find that hard to believe for a man who has a very honorable job.”
I shake my head at how naive she is. “I’m actually the perfect person for my job: I have no family, I’m not scared to die and I have no problem killing people who deserve it.”
One would think that after I just told her I don’t care about killing another person she would question me further, but no, instead she has to pick the one fucking thing I loathe to talk about. “You have no family?”
I ignore the sorrow in her voice. I don’t need pity, there’s nothing sad about it. “Nope!”
“What about your father?”
“Oh, I’m so sorry.”
“Don’t be, I’m not.”
I feel her eyes boring into me but I still don’t look at her. “And your mother?” she asks carefully.
I shrug. “I don’t know and I don’t care.”
“That’s enough questions!” I snap, not wanting her to ask any more. I immediately feel like shit when she flinches.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to pry.”
Instead of acknowledging her apology, I switch the subject. “Tell me, what is it with you and music?”