Reckless Abandon (November Blue, #2)
Author:Randall, Andrea

Reckless Abandon (November Blue, #2) by Randall, Andrea

 

 

 

For my parents, who have always loved each other with reckless abandon.

 

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

“Stop! Stop!” My voice sounds like record player static as I race toward Bo.

 

“November!”

 

I stop in my tracks. Bo’s lips aren’t moving—the voice is coming from behind me. I turn to see Adrian charging my way with the force of a bull, his arms waving me out of the way. I turn back just in time for the buttons on Bo’s shirt to introduce themselves to my face, and I land headfirst on the pavement.

 

Above me, they collide in a sonic boom of testosterone. Neither seems concerned with the blood pouring from my head. A shadow blackens my view of the fight, and suddenly a bear paw of a hand is in front of my face.

 

“Come with me.” The smoky voice encircles my senses, making my blood run cold and scared.

 

“Get away from me! Bo, Adrian, help me!” I’m a foot to the side of them but they don’t see me, or him. They’re battling to the death; my voice sounds further and further away in my head each time I scream.

 

The paw snares my upper arm, yanking me with it. “Get up.”

 

“Adrian! Bo!” I’m trying to shake free, but the snare tightens and drags me away.

 

By the time they admit there would be no winner of this fight, it’s too late. My screams are going unheard as I’m pulled into the darkness.

 

“Ember, wake up!” a voice beckons from above.

 

Suddenly I am graced with the peace that this is a dream. I let his voice pull me back to reality. My eyes flip open and in one motion I’m seated, trying to regulate my breathing.

 

“Sorry, did I wake you up?” I say to prove I’m out of that hell in my subconscious.

 

“No, I haven’t gone to bed yet. Another nightmare, huh?”

 

I glance at the clock; it reads 10:00 PM. I shake my head at the exhaustion I’ve been ignoring in favor of wallowing.

 

“Yeah, another nightmare. Thank you for staying with me the last couple nights.”

 

“Of course.” He runs his thumb across my chin and disappears to the kitchen, returning with a glass of water.

 

“Thanks, Adrian,” I manage after half of the water is gone.

 

He just smiles and walks quietly back to the living room, giving me time to collect myself.

 

I gulp the water in fury, hoping to flush the nightmares of my last night in Concord from my body; but the S.S. Cavanaugh appears unsinkable in the turbulent waters of my soul.

 

After a few moments and another deep breath, I head to the living room. Adrian sits, flipping through the channels on the TV and settling on ESPN. After driving my soulless body back from Concord, he’s stayed here the past two nights; and hasn’t gone far during the day. My parents wanted to come stay with me, but I asked them for space. They reluctantly obliged. For some reason I felt I couldn’t burden Monica with my mess, so Adrian stepped in and told her he’d stay with me until I felt safe and calm.

 

We haven’t spoken much about what unfolded between McCarthy’s and his hotel room, or between Bo and me. Frankly, we haven’t spoken much at all. He’s worked on his laptop in my living room most days, while I’ve traveled between my bed, bathroom, and kitchen. He’s prepared at least two meals a day for me, and doesn’t scold me like a child when they go largely uneaten.

 

“You OK?” He catches me staring and puts down the footrest on the recliner.

 

“Yeah.”

 

I walk to him and stand for a moment, our knees touching. He sets the remote down and grips the arms of the chair, working me over with concerned eyes.

 

“Em ...” His eyes beg me for something, anything.

 

In one long blink I curl myself onto his lap. His hands hesitate for a moment before resting around my waist. He breathes in the scent of my shampoo as I settle my head on his shoulder. My breath falters against the words brewing in my throat. Adrian notices.

 

He nudges my shoulders, forcing me to sit up and look at him. “What’s going on?”

 

“You called me Blue, Adrian.”

 

“I know.” He swallows hard; this is the first time I’ve brought it up.

 

“You’re the only person who’s ever called me that. That wasourthing,and right there, on the beach, in front of Bo, you called me Blue like nothing had happened. Like no time had passed.” I keep my voice quiet and calm, reliving the memory of his voice against the waves shortly after he and Bo told me about the blackmail. It’s hard to believe it was less than two weeks ago.

 

“I know.”

 

“I hadn’t seen you in four years and we were standing in front of my boyfriend,” I chuckle for the first time in a lifetime, “and, right there, you just blurt it out.”

 

“Were you mad?” A grin tugs caution away from his face.

 

“Furious.”

 

“Ha. You don’t look furious.” He tucks his bottom lip behind his teeth.

 

I shrug. “I was mad that it still made me feel the way it always made me feel.” Heaviness pulls at my chest.

 

“How’s that?”

 

I yawn and set my head back on his shoulder. “Special. Yours.”