Home>>read Ross 03 Leave Me Breathless free online

Ross 03 Leave Me Breathless(56)

By:Cherrie Lynn

He grinned. “For such a long time, you didn’t want to hear ’em anymore. I’m afraid your break’s over, though. We’ve got work to do.”

In more ways than one. “I’m ready.”

Chapter Twenty-Four

Mezzanine Music wasn’t a place Macy ever had reason to visit. Hopefully that would never change, because after today, she might be banned for life.

“What does she drive?” she asked Candace over the phone, staring at the building as she sat in her Acadia and mustered her nerve.

“Actually, I don’t know.”

No way of determining if Raina was working today, then, without going in to find out. Cornering the girl at her job wasn’t the smartest way to handle this; she knew that. But there weren’t any other options. She didn’t know where she lived, and neither did Candace without asking someone and blowing the whistle on Macy’s plan. Besides, any meeting with this girl needed to be at least somewhat public so Macy didn’t end up decapitated in a ditch somewhere.

She smirked at the thought, absently surveying the large windows of the music shop. No sign of multicolored hair in there. “There’s a big Dermamania flyer in the window.”

“Yeah, Brian and the owner are friends. We trade advertising. He got Raina the job there when she first moved to town.”

“Is there anyone Brian isn’t friends with?”

“My parents?”


“Are you sure about this?”

“No, but what else am I going to do? I’m hanging up now.”

“Good luck. If I don’t ever hear from you again, I love ya.”

“Tell the detectives who I was meeting.”

“Got it.”

Well, here goes nothing. She left the safety of her car, unwilling to sit there long enough to see if the girl ever ventured outside for a break or a smoke or something. If she was even working.

And she was. As Macy pulled open the front door to a pleasant-sounding chime, Raina glanced over from the counter at the end of the large room, and Macy had the intense satisfaction of seeing her expression deflate a split second before the accustomed sneer appeared. It really was an unattractive look for such a pretty girl, but she didn’t give a shit. She would feel sorry for Seth, but it was his own fault for putting up with it as long as he had.

“What do you want?” Raina’s whiplash question turned the heads of a couple of guys checking out the guitars hanging on the wall.

“I’d like to have a word with you.”

Raina extended her arms to indicate their surroundings, giving Macy the “Hello?” voice as she said, “I’m at work right now?”

“I realize that. So let’s set up a time and place for later—public, please—and I’ll leave.”

“No. I don’t have anything to say to you.”

Macy crossed her arms. “That may be, but I have plenty to say to you. I can say it here and now, if you like. I bet I can say an awful lot before I get thrown out, and probably things you don’t want anyone to hear.”

A long-haired guy stuck his head out the door behind the counter, frowning at Raina and looking Macy up and down. “Is there a problem?”

Must be Brian’s friend. But she wouldn’t name-drop; she’d reserve that in case Raina said there was a big freaking problem and to throw Macy out on her ear. Surprisingly, she didn’t do that, blowing out a gusty sigh instead. “I need a few minutes, Dave. Is that all right?”

“Take it outside.”

Raina made barely an effort to walk around Macy as she headed for the front door, knocking into her shoulder. Such class. But she had accosted her at work, so maybe she wasn’t much better. And she’d told Seth she had left the fighting-over-a-guy thing behind in middle school. Ha.

Granted, she hadn’t been around Raina many times, but she struck her as the kind of girl who had a constant air of exasperation about her, as if the world and its annoyances were exhausting. Now was no different, as she walked to the edge of the building and turned to face Macy. “All right. Talk.”

“You’re going to tell me what happened in that room. The truth.”

“Oh, really. Hearing the gory details about me sucking off your man turns you on or something?” Her lips curled in a catlike smile. “Mmm. It does me, just thinking about it.”

“See, here’s the thing. I don’t believe you. So unless you convince me otherwise right now, I really have no choice but to go with what he says. He says you’re a liar.”

“Yeah, he would, wouldn’t he? And you’re full of shit, because you know I’m right. It’s like I told you. He’s got a hard-on for girls like you, maybe, but he knows where to come when he wants to get fucked. Do you need another demonstration?”

“If you’re so convinced it’s you he wants to spend the rest of his life with, then where is he, Raina? Why isn’t he with you? And if by another demonstration, you mean you’re going to try again to practically sexually assault someone who’s half unconscious, then no, I’m sure none of us need to see that again. It’s kind of illegal, you know.”

Raina’s jaw clenched, her lips trembling. Whether she was about to leap for Macy’s throat or burst into tears, she couldn’t tell. But that look told her everything she needed to know. “That’s not how it was.”

“Wasn’t it? Look,” Macy went on, “I want you to know that I realize you and he went through some really emotional stuff together, all right? I’m not unsympathetic to that. I can see where it would be hard to let go, but—”

“It’s none of your fucking business.”

“He’s my business. He’s no longer your business. It would tickle me pink if you would go back to where you came from, but since you’re not smart enough to know when you’re not wanted, I’m telling you straight, and in language you can understand.” She stepped closer, almost nose to nose with the other girl. “Stay. The fuck. Away from—”

Raina’s arm jerked up. Macy was ready for even that lightning-quick move, knocking her hand aside before it could connect with her cheek, keeping a tight hold on Raina’s narrow wrist. “—him,” she finished. “I might look like a wimpy rich bitch, Raina, but I only look that way. I know people. I’ve wrestled animals bigger than you. And I can shoot.”

Raina fumed, her breathing fast and shallow, her pulse racing under Macy’s gripping fingers. But Macy didn’t think she was mistaking the surprise and the hint of fear in her eyes. “Oh, threatening me now?” She didn’t sound nearly as tough as she had moments ago.

“Nope. Not at all. Just advising against any Fatal Attraction-type retaliation measures you might be considering. Seth always said you’re more bark than bite, so I’m hoping we won’t have to deal with any of that. Because I’m telling you, if you come near him like that again, I will go straight country bitch on you.”

When Raina jerked her hand away, Macy let her, still not dropping her guard. But the other girl only lowered her head and crossed her arms over her chest, looking small and suddenly vulnerable. Her big hair only made her seem that much tinier. Here comes the sob story.

But it didn’t come. When Raina lifted her head, her eyes were wet, but all the fight seemed to have gone out of her. “I want you to leave.”

“I want you to move. And I don’t mean from this spot. I mean far away from us. Go back to where you came from.”

“Are you out of your mind?”

“I know you were only staying here for him, but you don’t have him, and you never will. There’s nothing for you here but a lot more heartache than you already have.”

“What-fucking-ever. Can I get back to work now?”

Macy scoffed, thinking that maybe making the girl lose her job so she’d be forced to go back to whatever she had in Austin wasn’t such a bad idea. But she hadn’t sunk that low. Yet. “As long as we have an understanding?”

Raina’s eyes narrowed. They were some indistinguishable color Macy pondered over for a second before deciding they were simply gunmetal gray. Then the mouth below them twisted. “For as long as he keeps you around, anyway.”

She supposed it was as good an acknowledgement as she was going to get. Nodding, she stepped aside and let Raina walk past her. No way would she turn her back on her at this point. Raina didn’t shoulder-check her this time. Maybe it was a good sign.

She watched until the other girl disappeared around the corner of the building…and finally allowed herself to breathe again.

Now for the hard part.

“That movie fucking sucked, dude.”

“Your face fucking sucks.”

“That was seriously the worst acting I’ve ever seen in a movie that didn’t show tits during the opening credits.”

Brian had to lift his needle to laugh at Ghost’s assessment or risk maiming his client. Ghost grinned, keeping his own focus on coloring inside the line. And off Macy.

He’d been through this shit before; he knew it would get better with time. But at least back then he’d had the luxury of Brooke being gone. As it was, every time the door chimed as someone came in, he dreaded looking up, knowing he was about to suffer stomach-crushing disappointment when it wasn’t Macy, or the utter devastation of seeing her face. His fear of seeing indifference there when the time came—and he couldn’t avoid her forever—kept him awake at night.