There’s nothing I can do to change it. But I can pay Beth a visit and quiet her.
My keys jingle as the ignition turns off and the soft rumble of the engine is silenced.
Wiping a hand over my face, I get out of the car, not caring that the door slams as my shoes hit the pavement. The neighborhood is quiet and each row of streets is littered with picture-perfect homes, nothing like the home I grew up in. Little townhouses of raised ranches, complete with paved driveways and perfectly trimmed bushes. A few houses have fences, white picket of course, but not 34 Holley, the home of Bethany Fawn, also known as the woman who keeps raising hell at the Red Room. More recently she’s been calling the cops and demanding answers. She’s the woman who blames Carter for her sister’s untimely death. Her sister Jennifer, a girl we met in the Red Room weeks ago. A girl in a mess she couldn’t get out of, with a drug addiction she couldn’t kick.
I know all about wanting someone to blame and looking for answers to questions that don’t make any difference once you have them. Bethany’s hurt and angry, but she won’t find any answers from us. A simple warning should scare her off.
The skin over my knuckles tightens and the cuts from a few nights before crack open, sending a pain shooting up my arm. I welcome the seething reminder that I’m alive.
Knock, knock, knock. She’s in there, I can hear her. Time passes without anything but the sound of scuttling behind the door, but just as I’m about to knock again, the door opens a few inches. Only enough to reveal a peek of her.
Her chestnut hair falls in wavy locks around her face. She brushes the fallen strands out of her face to peek up at me.
“Yes?” she questions and my lips threaten to twitch into a smirk.
“Bethany?” Her weight shifts behind the door as her gaze travels down the length of my body and then back up to meet mine before she answers me.
The amber in her hazel eyes swirls with distrust as she tells me, “My friends call me Beth.”
“We haven’t met before… but I’ll happily call you Beth.” The flirtatious words slip from me easily, and slowly her guard falls although what’s left behind is a mix of worry and agony. She doesn’t answer or respond in any way other than to tighten her grip on the door.
“Mind if I have a minute?”
She purses her her full lips slightly as the cracked door opens an inch more to cautiously reply, “Depends on what you’re here for.”
My heartbeat gallops, trotting faster in my chest as the anxiety rises. I’m here to give her a warning. To stay the hell away from the Red Room and to get over whatever ill wishes she has for my brothers and me.
It’s a shame really; she’s fucking gorgeous. There’s an innocence, yet a fight in her that’s just as evident and even more alluring. Had I met her on other terms, I would do just about anything to get her under me and screaming my name.
The swirling colors in her eyes darken as her gaze dances over mine. As if she can read my thoughts and knows the wicked things I’d do to her that no one else ever could. But that’s not why I’m here, and my sick perversions will have to wait for someone else.
I lean my shoulder against her hard walnut front door and slip my shoe between the gap in the doorway, making sure she can’t slam it shut. Instead of the slight fear I thought may flash in her eyes as my expression hardens, her eyes narrow with hate and I see the beautiful hue of pink in her pale skin brighten to red, but it’s not with a blush, it’s with anger.
“You need to stay out of the Cross business, Beth.” I lean in closer, my voice low and even. My hard gaze meets her narrowed one, but she doesn’t flinch. Instead she clenches her teeth so hard I think they’ll crack.
With the palm of my hand carefully placed on the doorjamb and the other splayed against her door, I lean in to tell her that there are no answers for her in the Red Room. I want to tell her my brother isn’t the man she’s after, but before I can say a word she hisses at me, “I know all about Marcus and the drug and why you assholes had her killed.”
My pulse hammers in my ears but even over it, I hear the strained pain etched in her voice. Her breathing shudders as she adds, “You will all pay for what you did to my sister.” Her voice cracks as her eyes gloss over and tears gather in the corners of her eyes.