Chapter Eight

THROUGHOUT DINNER, OLIVIA explained how Hunter had discovered her apartment door ajar after they had returned from lunch, and upon inspection, how they'd learned that nothing had been taken, but that her bedroom had been trashed. Then she explained the feelings she had that someone was watching her and how Sadie thought she was just imagining things. She, however, didn't think so, and neither did Wyatt, especially after what he'd learned about her past.

Wyatt felt overcome with concern for her as he scooped pistachio ice cream into bowls. He'd sat her down on the couch in the living room to wait on him, and from where he stood, he could see her and found himself looking at her repeatedly. She combed her fingers through her hair then clasped her hands together in her lap, her spine ramrod straight.

She didn't know what to do with herself, it seemed. It had to be strange and nerve-wracking to be in someone else's home, not knowing her way around. He imagined her life could be really tough at times; she didn't need the assholes of the world making it harder for her. It infuriated him to think of a man forcing himself on her and stealing her innocence. He couldn't fathom how anyone could be that cruel to a young, innocent blind woman. It sickened him to his core.

Placing a spoon in each bowl of ice cream, he carried them into the living room and sat down next to her. "Here you go," he said, carefully passing her bowl over to her.

"Thanks," she replied with a pretty smile.

"You're welcome."

Pressing his lips together in a thin line, he studied her quietly for a moment, watching her find her spoon and then slide it into the ice cream. After she brought it to her mouth and slowly pulled the ice cream from her spoon, he asked, "So what do you like to do in your spare time?"

She seemed startled by his question, but recovered quickly, giving him another pretty smile that jumpstarted his heart. "I like to sing and play my keyboard," she told him, piquing his interest. "I also like to listen to audiobooks and watch television."

Watch television?

"Wait, how do you watch television?" he asked before he could stop himself.

She giggled and scooped up another spoonful of ice cream—he still hadn't touched his—slipping it into her mouth and licking it clean. His gaze dropped to her mouth, watching with keen interest as her tongue swept out over her lips.

His groin stirred as he imagined that tongue doing other things. He groaned inwardly, forcing his gaze away from her. Could he not go two seconds without thinking about sex or things related to sex? Apparently not. But he needed to. Olivia wasn't just someone he could sleep around with, as her brother had said, and he was right. Olivia was special.

"Obviously, I don't actually watch television," she said, "but I do like to listen. It's like listening to audio theater. You use sound to determine what's going on. Hunter used to sit and watch movies with me all the time when we all lived back at home with Dad. He'd tell me what was going on in those quiet moments where someone might be sneaking around or whatever, and then we'd watch the same movie later with Sadie—" she laughed softly "—and at those parts, I'd be like 'Hey, look! That guy is trying to sneak inside their house!' and she'd freak out, thinking I could actually see, and run to our father screaming that it was a miracle. She was so gullible."

Wyatt chuckled, amused to hear about her mischievous ways. "Sounds like it. Did she get all upset when she realized she'd been tricked?"

"You mean after the tenth time she fell for it?" Olivia asked, a grin tugging at her lips moments before they both started laughing. "Okay, okay… she only fell for it a few times, but she was pretty upset when she realized what we'd been up to. Dad pretended to get onto us so she'd calm down."

"Sounds like your dad is a cool dude," he replied, finally dipping his spoon into the ice cream.

"Yeah, he is." She smiled, obviously fond of her father. Then, after she eased another mouthful of ice cream between her lips, she asked, "What do you think of the ice cream?"

He snorted. "I haven't even tried it yet."

She gasped, and the sweet sound of her laughter followed behind. "What are you waiting for? Don't be such a sissy."

"Hey! I'm not a sissy!"

"Prove it," she challenged.

"Okay, watch."

"I can't watch, dum-dum," she retorted with a soft giggle. "You'll have to be more creative."

Wyatt stared down at his bowl of ice cream for a few moments, contemplating the best way to prove to her that he wasn't a sissy, and grinned when an idea came to him. Heart racing, he filled the spoon with a big glob of ice cream then brought it to her face, smearing the ice cream against her lips. She barely had time to gasp before he leaned toward her and captured her mouth with his.

With her lips parted in surprise, his tongue dove between them, sweeping through the crevice of her mouth. The exploration was both warm and cold as he tasted her and the ice cream. Nothing had ever tasted so good, and when she whimpered helplessly under the onslaught of his kiss, he almost lost it. He needed to stop before he got carried away, but when he tried to break away, her hand lifted and her fingers fisted in his hair, holding his mouth against hers and pressing her tongue against his.

For an innocent, inexperienced woman, she was quite daring. She wasn't afraid to go for what she wanted despite the risks, which was why he had such a difficult time seeing her as fragile.

"Livvi," he breathed hotly into her mouth.

She moaned in response, but then suddenly squealed and jerked away from him. Confused, he jerked back as well, wondering what on earth had happened. Then he realized he still held his spoon and had unknowingly smeared ice cream on her arm.

"Oh, crap," he said, laughing as he took her bowl and placed both his and hers on the coffee table. "I am so sorry. Don't move. I'll go get a towel."

Once he retrieved one, he sat back down and gently wiped the ice cream from her arm. "Was that creative enough for you?" he asked, smiling as he lifted the towel to her mouth. Her face flushed bright crimson, and he wasn't sure if it was because of his question or the fact that he was so intimately cleaning the ice cream from her lips.

"Yes," she answered, one corner of her mouth rising. "You're officially not a sissy."

Chuckling, he set the towel down and passed her bowl back over to her. "Thanks," he said. "You know, it wasn't half bad, but I might only be saying that 'cause I was kissing you at the same time I was trying it."

"Well, now you have to try it without kissing me."

"That's not going to be as much fun," he couldn't help pointing out, and he received the greatest reward—her laughter. He had the sudden intense desire to spend the rest of his life making her smile, laugh, and moan. It scared the hell out of him.

Grabbing his bowl from the coffee table, he tried to push away his thoughts as he took a bite. The ice cream really wasn't that bad, but it definitely wouldn't become a favorite of his unless her lips were wearing it. Where was a desk when he needed one to bang his head against?

"So… you can sing and play the piano?" he asked.

"I can play the piano, yes," she replied, "but as far as singing goes, I don't know that I'd say I'm very good at it. I just enjoy doing it."

"If you don't think you can sing very well, I guess if I ask you to sing for me, you'll say no."

"Correct," she confirmed, though she did smile at him. He'd bet money she'd sing for him one day. And he'd also bet money she'd sing wonderfully.

"What do you like to play?"

"Classical and my own stuff, mostly."

An eyebrow lifted curiously. "Your own stuff? That sounds awesome. Would you play for me sometime, maybe?"


A smile formed on his face, pleased that she would play for him sometime. He looked forward to hearing some of her stuff. Hell, he looked forward to just seeing her again. She made him feel good inside. She made him realize what he'd been missing all along—a good woman in his life.

The conversation faded into a comfortable silence as they finished their ice cream. Afterward, he carried their bowls into the kitchen, rinsed them out, and loaded them into the dish washer.

"Would you like to watch television?" he asked once he sat back down.

"What time is it?"

His heart took a nose dive—he didn't want her to leave yet—but he still glanced at his watch and said, "Almost nine. Do you need to go?"

She shook her head. "No. I told Sadie I'd be home by ten, though."

"I'll make sure to get you home by then," he promised, glad that she would be staying a little longer. "What did Sadie think about you coming over here? She made it pretty clear that night at the pool that you can do better than me."

"She didn't approve, but it's not up to her who I date," she said before taking his arm, pulling it around her, and pressing close against his side. "And I don't agree with her that I could do better."

His heart began to pound, especially when she rested her head on his shoulder and smoothed her palm against his chest. He had no doubt she could feel the hard thump-thump beneath her palm, but she didn't say anything about it.

"Or you, for that matter," she added.

Right. He'd agreed with Sadie that night because he'd felt like she could do better. He'd been with numerous women. She'd never been with a man by choice. If they were clothes, he'd be dirty and she'd be clean, and dirty and clean clothes didn't go together.

"You're a good man, Wyatt," she murmured softly.

He fumbled for the remote and clicked on the television. "How do you know?" he asked. "You barely know me."

"I get a good vibe from you," she told him.

An eyebrow shot up at that. "A good vibe?"

"Yes. I get good vibes and bad vibes, depending on the person."

"Are your vibes ever wrong?"

Through his peripheral vision, he watched her eyebrows scrunch together. "Do you want the good vibe I get from you to be wrong, Wyatt?"

"No," he said, sighing heavily. "I'm sorry. I just… I feel like you could do better."

"Really?" She lifted her head from his shoulder, as if to look at him, though she couldn't see him. "You fixed one of my favorite foods for dinner, you tried an ice cream that you thought was yuck, you asked about things I like to get to know me, and while you did steal a kiss from me, you haven't tried to get me into your bed all evening."

"The evening's not over yet," he joked.

She laughed and smacked his chest playfully. "Be serious."

Lifting a hand, he gently ran his fingertips under her chin then lightly grazed her bottom lip with the pad of his thumb. She visibly shivered. "I like you, Olivia," he said softly. "You're beautiful, snarky, daring, and a little bit mischievous, it seems." He chuckled, lightly tapping the tip of her nose. "And you make me feel good. I'm really glad you agreed to come over tonight."

She smiled warmly. "Me too. I've really enjoyed your company." Her palm pressed into his chest, her fingertips rubbing into his skin through his shirt. "And I like you too, Wyatt."

"I think you just like my sloppy kisses," he teased, wrapping his fingers around the back of her neck when she started giggling. Her giggles slowly faded, however, as he tugged her closer, bringing their mouths just a mere inch apart. He could feel her raspy, excited breaths against his lips and her fingers twisting around the material of his shirt, desiring his kiss as much as he desired to kiss her.

Closing the distance between them, he brushed his mouth tenderly across hers as his thumb stroked down the side of her neck.

"I think you're the one that likes my kisses," she mumbled against his lips before he could ease his tongue into her mouth, "with how you keep stealing them and all…"

"Stealing them?" he asked, his laughter bubbling out of him. "You're giving them away!"

Releasing her neck, his hand dropped down to her waist to grab her side and tickle her. She squealed and started squirming right away.

"Wyatt!" she cried out through her laughter.

Digging his fingers into her side and making her laugh louder, he grinned until he heard the loud jingle of a phone coming from her… breasts. His gaze zeroed in on them and he cursed under his breath. Just what he needed to be thinking about.

"Your tits are ringing," he pointed out and eased away from her to give her space.

She laughed breathlessly and sat up straight, smoothing her hands down her dress before she reached under the collar of her dress and pulled her phone from her bra. Wyatt watched with a lifted brow and way too much interest.

Completely unaware of his staring—or ignoring it—she pushed her fingers through her hair and brought the phone to her ear. "Hello?"

Wyatt watched her face fall and scowled, damning the caller, whoever it was. It didn't take him long to figure it out, however.

"You asked me to be home at ten. It's not ten yet," Olivia argued with her sister, pausing with a deep frown. "If you want to go out with Jake, then go out with Jake. Wyatt can make sure I get home okay." Another long pause before she sighed heavily. "Fine."

She suddenly hung up on her sister and tucked her phone back inside her bra. Wyatt kept silent and patiently waited for her to speak.

"Sadie wants to go out with Jake so she wants me to come home now," she informed him, even though he'd already gathered that from her side of the conversation.

"Okay," he said, reaching out to rest his hand on top of hers, giving it a squeeze.

"I'm sorry," she mumbled.

He squeezed her hand again, and while still holding it, pushed up onto his feet and gently helped her up onto hers. "It's okay," he promised her. "We'll get together again soon."

That made her smile, which in turn made him smile like a dope.

"Where's my cane and sunglasses?" she asked.

"Over by the front door."

He'd made sure to sit both there after dinner so that they wouldn't be misplaced.

Leading her toward the front door, he stopped once they reached it. "Before you go…" he said in a low, husky tone and pressed his hand against her stomach, carefully easing her back against the door. She gasped right before his mouth descended upon hers.

Her arms snaked around his neck and pulled him closer, her breasts rubbing against him. Deep in his throat, he moaned, his tongue sweeping out over her lips and then between them. She thrust her tongue against his the second it entered her mouth, fueling the lust surging through him. He might not have tried getting her into his bed, but he wanted to. He was not used to restraining himself, but with her, he knew he had to. Not just because of what had happened to her, but because she deserved a man that would wait for her and treat her right.

"Mmm, Livvi, we have to stop," he murmured against her mouth.

"I don't want to," she admitted, her tongue running over her upper lip. "I like kissing you."

His hands smoothed over her hips, imagining them naked and beneath him, ready to take him inside her. Groaning loudly, he forced his mouth from hers and stepped away from her, putting much needed distance between them. She actually pouted at him. God, she was too freaking innocent and too damn desirable. He didn't know how he was going to keep his hands off of her.

"You need to get home," he told her, grabbing both her cane and her sunglasses and handing them to her. "Here are your things, but Livvi? Don't wear your sunglasses around me."

She nodded, still pouting at him. "Okay."

She was lucky he was a good man. The thought gave him pause before he smiled and took one of her hands, easing her away from the door. Turning the knob, he pulled the door open and stepped out, but stopped abruptly when his gaze landed on her door across the hallway.

Before he could even process what he was seeing, Olivia crashed into him from behind. "What the hell, Wyatt?" she questioned him, completely confused.

He couldn't answer her, not right away. His pulse pounded wildly in his chest as he stared at her door, anger and fear surging through him. On the door was a picture of her and Sadie out and about somewhere and holding the picture to the door was a knife going right through Olivia's head. Below it, someone had spray painted 'you'll get yours, bitch' in bold red letters.

"Shit," he cursed softly, glancing both ways down the hallway and wondering how long ago this was done. It could have just happened for all he knew.

"Wyatt, you're scaring me," she said, voice trembling as she gripped his hand tighter.

"Get back inside!" he ordered.


Without another word, he ushered her back into his apartment, shut the door, and locked it.

"What's Hunter's number?" he asked as snatched his phone up from the kitchen counter. He dialed as she told him the number and brought the phone up to his ear. It rang twice before he got an answer. "Hunter, this is Wyatt. You need to get over here, pronto. Someone's left a pretty nasty message for Olivia—" he glanced over at Olivia with concern, watching the blood drain from her face at his words "—and I think she's in serious danger."