Home > Charged (Saints of Denver #2)(6)

Charged (Saints of Denver #2)(6)
Jay Crownover

Panic hit me like a truck. What if he called my dad and my dad told him he’d had enough of his problematic daughter and her endless nonsense? What if he couldn’t love me anymore? Jail I could survive; losing my father for good, well, it would be the end of me.

Without thinking I jumped to my feet, which had the chains on both my hands and my legs rattling loudly, and two uniformed officers hurried into the room. I was about to make maybe the worst decision to date but I couldn’t stop the words from sliding off my tongue.

“Don’t call my dad!” Recklessness, thy name was Avett Walker.

The attorney turned around and looked at me like I had grown a second head. He didn’t say anything as the officers moved to either side of me and told me to calm down.

“You can’t call my dad.” The words sounded as panicked and as desperate as I felt on the inside.

His broad shoulders lifted and fell in a shrug like he really couldn’t give a shit that he was about to ruin my life … which was saying a hell of a lot considering where I was.

“I have to.” He sounded bored and impatient with my outburst.

I narrowed my eyes at him, and that vortex of awful, which I always seemed to be smack dab in the center of, started to spin faster and faster around me.

“Then you’re fired.” I saw the cops exchange a look as my rushed words had the blond man turning fully back around to look at me. “I don’t want your help. I don’t want anything from you.”

Finally, there was something other than indifference in his gaze. There was surprise, maybe a hint of admiration colliding with a huge splash of humor in the pale depths.

“Sorry, Ms. Walker, but you didn’t hire me, so that means you don’t get to fire me.” That grin of his, which should be registered as a deadly weapon, flashed across his face again as he watched me, and then he was gone.

I looked at the cop that was closest to me and frowned. “That’s not how it works, is it? If I want a new attorney, I get one, right? The state will give me one, won’t they?” I was babbling uncontrollably.

He shrugged. “We aren’t here to give legal advice, lady, but there’s no way in hell, if I was in your shoes, that I would be handing Quaid Jackson his walking papers. The rumor is that the guy could get the Grim Reaper acquitted of murder if he had to.”

Quaid Jackson.

I was struck dumb by him and by the situation. I couldn’t deny that his looks and overall demeanor had sort of left me starstruck. His name, like the man it was attached to, was unusual, sophisticated, and impossible to forget. It rattled around in my head, along with the million and one other things I had done wrong in order to get to this point.

After Quaid was gone and the officers had the shackles off my ankles, I followed them back to the cell and swore softly under my breath when I noticed that gremlin-girl was gone but psycho-wife remained. She was sitting on one of the bunks hunched over and sobbing uncontrollably into her hands. She sounded like a suffering animal and I knew it was only going to take a few minutes for the noises she was making to have my head pounding. It was going to be another sleepless night and not because I was turning over and over in my head what my dad was going to say when Quaid called him.

I shot the cop on my right a look as he opened the door to the cell for me to go through. He shook his head and muttered so that only I could hear him, “The husband served her with divorce papers and a bill for the car and the house. It’s gonna be a long night in lockup.”

That was putting it lightly.

As the barred door slid shut behind me, I stuck my hands through the slot so the cuffs could be removed. It was all very Orange Is the New Black, but far less entertaining. I silently prayed that I wasn’t here long enough to draw any more parallels like that one.

I made my way to the opposite wall of the tiny cell and propped a shoulder up against the hard cement wall. I pushed some of my faded pink hair out of my face and winced when my fingers brushed over the bump that was between my eyes. I hissed out a sound of pain and met the bloodshot and watery eyes of the woman across from me.

I leaned my head back against the wall and stared up at the industrial ceiling transfixed by the fluorescent light as it buzzed above me.

“When I was little, my dad used to tell me that bad decisions made for good stories. He told me that while I was crying in the hospital, getting a metal plate in my arm, after I fell out of a tree he told me not to climb. Again, he told me that when I crashed my first car, which he said I wasn’t ready to drive during the winter. He also told me that when he caught me smoking my first cigarette and it made me sicker than a dog.” I tilted my head back towards the woman who was still crying, albeit silently now as she watched me intently. “He was right. All those stupid things I did, even though he told me not to, led to some pretty good stories over the years, and I’ve always appreciated the battle scars that serve as constant reminder that Daddy does indeed know best.”

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