Kelly stumbled back, her face pale and horrified. What had she just done?
Byron caught her arm to help keep her from falling. “Whoa.” he said. “My apologies, I didn’t mean to startle you.”
Kelly gained her footing and tried to smile at him. This is just great; the first time she leaves through her front door since moving in and she runs into and curses a cop to be obsessed with her. What a lovely morning so far.
Byron couldn’t believe how beautiful she was. Even when she looked terrified she was the most angelic creature he’d ever seen. He couldn’t stop smiling.
He reached out to hand her the gift he’d brought. “I got this for you.”
Kelly tried to calm herself as she took the gift with a questioning look. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” said Byron. “I hope it’s the right one. It’s kind of difficult to tell which thing you’re looking at through shop windows when I’m keeping my distance.”
He let the words run from his mouth and prayed that she wouldn’t react poorly to them. He really wanted for her to come with him willingly. Happily.
Kelly smiled at the bluntness of his statement as she untied the bow and un-wrapped a slim velvet box. “I appreciate the gesture all the same.”
Inside the box she found the silk wrap she had admired in a store she couldn’t afford to shop in and her mouth dropped open. She slid her fingers gently across the silk, in awe of its smooth texture.
Byron could tell she loved it. And she hadn’t even flinched when he said he had been watching her. He adored her more and more with each passing minute.
“It’s perfect.” she said. She closed the box and turned to take it inside and hide it. She couldn’t bear the thought of losing it to the riffraff that lived all around her.
When she started to close the door his anxiety kicked in. He worried that she might shut him out but when she motioned for him to come in instead, he let out the breath he didn’t realize he’d been holding.
Once inside, Kelly locked the door behind them and walked to a bench seat under the window she used to come and go. She removed the cover and pillows to reveal a locked lid then walked over to the small couch and reached under it. She pulled out a chisel and sat it on the table next to her, then began removing the contents onto the floor.
Byron was intrigued. He didn’t think it was the best hiding spot but he decided to just watch her without commentary. He knew that most of the apartments had these hidden storage chests, which meant all of the residents were aware of them; and that the locks were easily broken or picked. Surely she knew that too.
And what’s the chisel for?
For the first time he questioned her intelligence. That is until she pulled out cheap looking clothes, shoes and costume jewelry he knew she’d never worn, and used the chisel to pry the bottom out of the chest; then reach in and pull out a high quality security briefcase. It was the kind that only the owner could get into. He was impressed again.
He examined the smooth edges of the bottom of the trunk while she tucked the wrap into the brief case. He wondered what tools she had used and marvelled at the precision. How had she removed it without breaking it? There were no chips or cracks in it anywhere.
Kelly secured the wrap and turned to find him examining the trunk bottom. He had the cutest wrinkles on his forehead when he concentrated. She giggled and he turned to see her looking at him. His expression turned bashful. It was incredibly attractive.
Kelly lifted the brief case in front of herself and asked, “Should I even bother with putting this back in there?” as she indicated the trunk with her eyes.
Byron met her eyes with his and shook his head, no.
“Good then. Let’s be on our way; I’m starving.” she said.
She replaced the bottom of the trunk and all its previous contents, closed and locked it; then grabbed the brief case and headed toward the door. “I assume you’d prefer to leave through the front door.”
Byron shook his head to indicate his agreement as he slowly made his way over to join her.
His mind was reeling with excitement. She was leaving with him at her own insistence! He had hardly even spoken to her! His elaborate planning had been rendered completely pointless. He was officially in love and couldn’t wait to take his lady home; after feeding her, of course.
As they made their way into the hall, he held out his hand for her brief case so that he could carry it for her. She handed it to him without hesitation. He wondered what she had in it that had to be kept safe while internally rejoicing over her trusting him with it.
On their way to his car, he realized that she hadn’t packed anything. She hadn’t gone into another room or even looked around to make sure she wasn’t leaving behind anything important or to say goodbye to the place. She had just left without so much as a backward glance. She was clearly accustomed to moving a lot.
Once in the car, he turned to ask her where she wanted to go to eat. Before he could speak though, she named their favorite café. All he could do was smile as he started the car and drove that way.
They ate mostly in silence; which he appreciated. He hated talking while he was trying to eat; he liked to enjoy his food. He had always hated the habit of his exes talking and asking questions during meal times.
He especially hated when he had to try to chew his food while keeping them from choking because they insisted on crying too; like the talking wasn’t bad enough.
All of that was ancient history now though. His new lady was so many leagues above the others, they’d need a plane just to catch a glimpse of her feet.
He looked up at Kelly who was taking her time chewing as she looked out the window. When she saw him watching her she just smiled. No awkward laughing or covering her face or stupid questions. He would worship her forever.
When they finished eating and were headed to the car, Byron reached over and grabbed her hand. She smiled and laced her fingers through his. When they reached her car door, he stepped in front of her to block her path.
She looked into his eyes and waited for him to make his next move.
“Do you want to go for a walk in the park?” he asked.
He didn’t know where that had come from. He never walked in the park and he had certainly never walked with his exes in the park. He chalked it up to not being ready to release her hand just yet.
“Maybe tonight.” she replied. “I like to walk the park at night when it isn’t so busy.
He was disappointed and completely baffled. A beautiful woman walking in the park at all was dangerous enough, let alone at night. Was she crazy?
He had seen her in the park at night before, of course, when he was watching her but it never occurred to him that she enjoyed it. He had figured it to be out of necessity.
Kelly saw his disappointment and could tell his thoughts were racing. Respectable women didn’t walk in the park at night. She was tempted to stay silent and see what he would do next but he looked lost which she was willing to bet wasn’t a look he wore often.
She moved in close to him and took his other hand. She leaned in to whisper in his ear. “I am eager to go home and be alone with you.”
His bodied stiffened and his demeanor became serious. He led her hands up to his shoulders, placed one of his hands on her hip and the other around the back of her neck and pulled her in to kiss her.
She didn’t resist him, even though the kiss was lengthy and they were in public. She had gone right along with him until he decided to break the kiss. He had to have her now.
He released her and helped her into her seat then quickly made his way to his own. He cranked the car, put it in gear and looked around before pulling out of the parking spot and saw them.
It was a group of men in the alley across from the café that he knew to be bad news. They were currently under surveillance for suspected drug trafficking, among many other things; some of which involved beautiful young women.
He looked over at Kelly who was giving him a look that sent heat through his body. She was so focused on him that she didn’t notice the looks on the men’s faces.
Byron was torn. He wanted to get out of the car and annihilate the group for daring to look at his lady in such a way. But she was currently in need of him and he didn’t want her to see his violent side on their first date.
He gave them a seething look and drove away. When he looked in his rear-view mirror, he saw them laughing. He laughed too.
They would definitely see each other again; soon. And he would deliver the consequences of crossing him while they begged for mercy he didn’t possess.
*Thanks for reading!*
End of Story 3- Part 1
Copyright©2019 Jennifer Treece