Not Looking for Love: Episode 7 (A New Adult Contemporary Romance Novel)

BOOK: Not Looking for Love: Episode 7 (A New Adult Contemporary Romance Novel)
5.34Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Title Page


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Other books by Lena Bourne

A Note From the Author


Lena Bourne


Not Looking For Love: Episode 7


Lena Bourne

Kindle Edition

Copyright © 2015 Lena Bourne

Kindle Edition, License Notes

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold

or given away to other people in any form or by any means. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

That went well.
And it really did. Just seeing Gail on the bridge felt like no time had passed at all, like we had just said goodbye yesterday. And once she was in my arms, I knew I could never walk away from her again. I was an idiot for ever trying. That knowledge was cemented into my brain as soon as our lips touched.

Which is bad.

I had every intention of just meeting Gail on the bridge last night and letting her down easy. But I failed at that too. And I’m not sorry, not even a little bit, which is possibly the worst part.

I call Amber on the way back to my apartment, tell her she can leave now. I could just dismiss her when I get home, but it feels wrong seeing her now, with Gail's smell still on me, the memory of last night so clear it's like I haven't left the hotel room yet.

The roads are pretty empty and I'm back home within half an hour, opening all the windows to get rid of Amber's sweet perfume, along with the stench of the million cigarettes Greg must've smoked here in the last couple of months.

I do try to sleep, and given how physically exhausted I am, I should be able to. But each time I close my eyes it's the same damn picture. Gail crying over her father's dead body, just as Mike stabs her in the back twice. I know why it's so fucking clear. It's how my mom died in Mike's arms, and it's how Gail dies in every one of my fucking nightmares.

I should've made her understand how dangerous it was. Should’ve stayed away. Not spent the night with her.

But the moment I saw her waiting for me on the bridge, her eyes wide, craning her neck this way and that, looking for me, all possible objections, all rational thought just fell away. Left no trace. And kissing her, staying the night was so wrong, yet still the most right thing I've ever done. How's that even possible?

I give up on trying to sleep by ten AM, consider going for a run or something, to get more tired. But I'm actually dead tired, mostly from having no fucking clue how to solve this. And to make it worse I'm already looking forward to tonight and seeing Gail again. Because that's how messed up my mind is. That's how selfish I am.

Greg calls at eleven, which is odd since he knows I'm usually sleeping then. My fingers, my whole body are actually stiff as I pick up, since it can't possibly be anything but bad news.

"Vlado wants a meeting to start planning shit. Better get up," he barks into the phone. I feel like Greg's just dunked my head in a bucket of icy water, but my brain's not any less foggy for it. I go through with this, I'm one step closer to prison. I don't, and I'm probably dead.

"Meet you downstairs in fifteen," I mutter and hang up, take a really quick cold shower, which doesn't help. The garage is like entering a sauna. All that rain yesterday clearly did nothing to change the way things are. And I hate how that's all blending with me and Gail getting together last night. We've changed precisely nothing. Only fucked it up worse. Opened the wounds that were healing.

Who the fuck am I kidding
? Nothing was healing, and it never would have.

"Did you sleep at all?" Greg more barks than asks me when I join him. I catch my reflection in a car window, shocked at how dark the bags under my eyes are.

"Don't worry about it," I say, and wait for him to unlock his car. I'm not driving today. Mostly because in my tossing and turning this morning, Plan Suicide started to once again seem like the most promising one. But I made a promise to Gail too. And I can't go back on that.

"You at least had fun with Amber last night?" Greg asks, looking at me like he won't believe me if I said yes.

So I just shrug and adjust the AC so freezing air is blowing in my face. It's time to wake up. The smoke from his cigarette is making me nauseous.

Greg hums along with the song playing on the radio.

"You seem in a better mood about this job," I say, turning the volume down. "I'm actually not. It's fucking suicide. Or at least, career busting shit," he says and turns the volume back up. "But I like that song."

"If you're so sure, why doesn't Vlado see it that way?" I ask. "Besides, I'm sure he's too powerful to be brought down by something small like this job."

"You think so, do you?" Greg asks. "That just goes to show how little you know about him. Which is how he likes it, so I don't blame you."

The fog is finally starting to clear from my brain, though Greg's not exactly making a lot of sense.

"He got Mike out of prison, and the psych ward. For something that should've been a done deal," I give the first example that pops into my head. Or rather, the one that's always there.

"It's not that hard to corrupt a judge," Greg says, sparking up a cigarette. "You don't exactly have to be Godfather for that."

"He got him out of the psych ward pretty easy too," I won't let up.

"That's even easier," Greg says, laughing as he exhales, smoke billowing from his mouth and nose. "No, Vlado came to this country like thirty years ago, and he's done well for himself, but in the grand skyscraper of things he's still on the first floor, maybe second, know what I'm saying?"

"I actually don't," I counter. Vlado seems as connected as they come.

"There's millions to be made on the fringes of this business. Your older brother proved it himself," Greg says. "More can be done, if you're a cold calculating bastard like Vlado. But trust me, him gone is like a drop sucked from the ocean. Easy to do, no lasting harm."

That's kinda what happened with Derek, but I don't let that sad thought linger.

Greg starts whistling again. I haven't seen him this carefree since I met him. I let the silence drag for the rest of the way, and he doesn’t break it either. If Vlado’s small time, me and Gail could maybe just run. But I can’t ask her to give up everything for a life on the run with me. Even if she did offer it last night. It’s too much of a sacrifice, one no one should make for another.

Greg turns sharply and breaks hard in front of the warehouse. I noticed none of the fucking way here.

"Vlado going down would make you happy?" I ask, but it's more of a statement.

He glares at me, his hand frozen on the car key.

"Best not ask me that again," he says and turns off the engine.

And it should be a threat, but it really doesn't sound like one. I let him walk ahead of me. I don’t know what made me ask that question, and now I’m nearly paralyzed with fear, hoping he won’t tell Vlado.
Way to fucking go!
For four months I’m super careful about what I say, and now when it really matters, I start fucking it up immediately.

Mike squints at me through hooded, bloodshot eyes as I enter the meeting room. Vlado comes over, shakes my hand, and claps me on the back. His eyes are sparkling ice, and his lips are curled up in that half grin he always wears like he’s the friendliest guy on earth. I don't spare Mike more than a glance, the irrational fear that he'll be able to read exactly what Gail and me did last night fogging my brain again.

I let Greg explain what we learned during our stakeout of the target, only offering the information he forgets to mention. There's no trace of his dire prognosis for the mission as he explains his take on it, but I'll never puzzle his change of heart out. I hope it also means my question before won’t go any further.

For the rest of the meeting, I just listen to them all plan, say what I have to say, and try not to think about seeing Gail in a few hours. I’m failing miserably, and I’m glad
I wore my baggy pants today, because my hard on would not go over well in this company. I do my best not to let it any of it show on my face.

Two hours later we all have our orders, and I'm leaning against the warehouse wall, waiting for Greg to finish his talk with the others.

Mike saunters over, looking a little diminished in his black pants and shirt, now that it's too hot to complete the ensemble with the leather jacket. My stomach clenches into a tight heavy ball, no matter how hard I try to keep my mind on other things.

"So, Vlado finally brought you in on this job?" I ask once he's close enough to hear. The last time we spoke, Mike was begging me to convince Vlado to do that, but I refused.

"He was gonna the whole time," he counters. "I just wanted to see how much I could expect from you as my brother."

I spit on the ground about an inch from his feet. "You've been trying to see that for awhile now. The answer's still jack shit."

He chuckles, folding his arms across his chest. "After all I've done for you?"

BOOK: Not Looking for Love: Episode 7 (A New Adult Contemporary Romance Novel)
5.34Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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