The Body Finder (The Body Finder 1) - Page 42

He leaned in, moving toward her, his other arm snaking around to pull her up against him. His grip was tight…too tight… and Violet didn’t like the feeling creeping over her, the sensation that he wasn’t asking her if he could do this. The feeling that this was all out of her control.

The goose bumps that broke out on her arms had little to do with the nighttime chill.

He dipped his head down, and all at once Violet found her voice again. “No, Grady!” she insisted, turning her head away before his lips were on top of hers. “Don’t!”

She tried to duck beneath his arms but his grip tightened, squeezing her even harder against his chest. Her heart felt like it was tripping over itself now, and she was suddenly afraid of where this was going.

He put his mouth against her ear and whispered hoarsely while his lips clumsily caressed her earlobe. “It’s okay, Violet. I won’t tell anyone if you don’t want me to.” He made it sound like an invitation, but the forcefulness of his actions was making it feel more and more like a command. His tongue flicked out and stroked the side of her neck in what Violet feared was his version of seduction.

Violet was vaguely aware of the sound of tires approaching, and she could see headlights getting closer. She thought about calling out for help, but she was also afraid that she might be overreacting.

She was sure she could handle this herself.

Grady tried once again to kiss her, searching out her mouth, and this time she pushed him with both hands pressed against his chest, shoving him back as she tried to crane her head out of his way. “Stop it, Grady. I mean it!” She was surprised that she sounded so strong. At least her voice wasn’t as shaky as she felt.

But he was bigger and stronger than she was, and his hands reached up behind her to the back of her head, ignoring her denials and pinning her in place. When his mouth finally landed on hers, the combination of his alcohol-soaked breath and his brutish unrestrained actions made her quiver sickly beneath him. His lips were moist and soft, but not in the way that Violet would have hoped for in a kiss, and as his tongue tried to find its way into her mouth it reminded her of a warm, slippery slug.

She felt like she was going to puke.

She struggled against it…against him… and her fists pounded uselessly against his chest. She was no longer so sure that she could handle this. She writhed her head away long enough to dislodge his mouth from hers, and she took the opportunity to shove her hands upward, covering her face in an effort to block him.

“Please! Stop!” she cried, hoping that something would get through to him and he would stop trying to force himself on her. She hoped that he would snap to his senses and realize, once and for all, what an ass he was being.

What she really wished was that he would just let her go.

And then he did. But not in the way she’d imagined.

He jerked away from her, and she heard a strangled sound escape from him as his body slammed against the side of his own car. She was pushing so hard against him, trying to keep away from him, that when his arms actually released her, she banged her head on the doorjamb. She heard a loud, dull thud, and then a whimper that could have been any wounded animal.

Violet tried to keep up with what was going on, but her brain still felt fuzzy—muddled—from Grady’s unexpected groping. At first she thought that he must have slipped and fallen, or that maybe she’d shoved him harder than she thought, even though she doubted she could have knocked him down on her own.

When she realized what was really happening, she almost couldn’t believe her own eyes.

Jay was there, and he was standing over Grady, who was now lying in a crumpled heap at his feet. The look on Jay’s face was as murderous as Violet had ever seen on anyone before, and he was clenching and unclenching his fist as he glared violently at Grady.

She looked down and saw that Grady was holding one hand over his mouth, and there was blood seeping from between his fingers. He held his other hand up in surrender. “Stop! Stop!”

Jay seemed to have a difficult time deciding. And then he leaned over, his fist balling up again, ready to strike, as he reached in and jerked Grady forward by the collar of his shirt. “Isn’t that what Violet said to you, you jerk? Didn’t she tell you to stop?”

Grady recoiled, curling up as tightly as he could and pulling his arm around his face. “Please! Don’t—” But he didn’t finish his sentence as his voice cracked vulnerably.

Violet was stunned. Silent and dazed, she could only stand there and watch, a million unanswered questions spinning in her head.

Where had Jay come from? How long had he been there?

And the one question she was afraid to ask: where was Lissie tonight?

She hated the conflicting feelings that plagued her at that moment. She was grateful that someone had saved her from Grady’s unwanted advances, and even more grateful that that someone turned out to be Jay. At the same time she was appalled that he’d punched Grady, and she felt sort of sorry for Grady despite his overzealous hands and mouth. She was also shocked by the undisguised fury she saw on Jay’s face, but she had to admit that she kind of liked that she could stir such a reaction in him. It meant that he cared.

Even if it wasn’t in the way she’d hoped for, he still cared.

She watched as Jay let Grady fall back to the ground. Well, not fall exactly, it was more of a shove, releasing him and making him smack his head against the car as he collapsed backward.

But he wasn’t quite finished with his warning to Grady, and he snarled at him from between gritted teeth, “If you ever…ever… touch her again, I swear to God, Grady, I’ll f**king kill you. Do you hear me?”

Tags: Kimberly Derting The Body Finder
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