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

“Let’s get out of here and get some food.” He brings our glasses to the kitchen and meets me at the door. My lower back catches fire as his hand guides me down the stairs.

 

We drive to the restaurant in silence, and are seated by a beautiful waitress that Adrian ignores. It begins to dawn on me that in a little over twelve hours I’ll be face-to-face with Bo.

 

“I’m a little nervous about tomorrow,” I offer before Adrian can analyze my face.

 

“I’m sure you are. I would be, too. Well, I kind of am.” He sips his water and then folds his hands in front of him.

 

“What are you nervous about?”

 

“I don’t want him to bug you with apologies. You will be there for business, and I don’t want him screwing you up.”

 

A twinge of annoyance takes over. “I can handle my shit, thanks.”

 

“No, Blue, that’s not what I meant. You know what, let’s just enjoy tonight.” His smile breaks down my anger, and our eyes rarely leave each other for the rest of our meal.

 

When Adrian drives me back to my apartment, he insists on walking me up the stairs. He’s always walked me to my door, even in college, despite his friends who would drop their girlfriends at the curb.

 

“Tonight was nice, Adrian.” I don’t know why I’m whispering.

 

He closes the space between our bodies with a hug.

 

His lips graze the top of my ear as he talks. “I had a great time too, November.”

 

I take this opportunity to inhale the cologne from the dip above his collarbone. “You smell good.”

 

Adrian pulls back slightly and lifts my chin with his thumb. Our eyes lock and I swallow hard. His lower lip twitches as his eyes flash with recognition. Heat surges through me in response. Out of nowhere a pang in my chest reminds me that my heart is still in emotional ICU somewhere between Concord and here. A sigh of resolve takes over, dousing my insides with cold water.

 

“See you tomorrow.” Adrian smiles and softly presses his lips against my cheek before heading down the stairs and to his car.

 

 

 

*

 

 

 

“He wants in your pants, November.”

 

I wonder if it’s easier for her to say shit like that while she’s driving so she doesn’t have to look at me with a straight face.

 

“Monica, we’ve been over this. If he wanted in my pants that bad, I’m sure he would have figured out a way to get there when he was stayingat my apartment.”

 

“He’s good. He’s greasing the wheels.” She chances a glance sideways, just to see me shake my head.

 

“What wheels, Monica? I’m not with anyone, neither is he. We’re just spending time together ...” Those butterflies are making it hard to concentrate. Though, I can’t be sure how many are stamped with Adrian and how many are stamped with Band-Aid.

 

“Do you have feelings for him again, or are you just using him as a distraction?”

 

I’m honest. “I don’t know. Last night was the first time in five years we’ve had dinner without pretense. It was nice. It felt comfortable.”

 

“He’ll be there today, too, right?” She purses her lips.

 

“Yes. I can’t believe you made me leave this early,” I say in an attempt to shift the focus off of Adrian. I didn’t tell her that today is his last day with DROP. If I tell her that, she’ll know I care.

 

As Concord comes into view, my pulse quickens. I dry my now-sweaty palms on the hem of my skirt and look out the window.

 

“Are you OK, Em? You look pale.”

 

“Can you pull over here for a second?” My cheeks are hot and my mouth is dry. I need air.

 

Monica pulls over on the quiet county road, and I open the door and throw up what little breakfast I managed to eat.

 

“Em ...” Monica’s hands never leave the wheel. It’s like she was expecting this.

 

I swish some water around my mouth and spit the rest of my nerves onto the side of the road and get back in the car. I take a cleansing breath and turn to Monica, who is still watching me with suspicion.

 

“Well, now that that’s over with, let’s get to it. I’ve got a band-aid that needs removing.”

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Four

 

 

 

“That’s Rae’s car.” I tilt my chin to the lone blue Saab in the DROP parking lot.

 

Monica speaks through clenched teeth. “Should we wait here for Bo to show up—if he’s going to show up?”

 

“First, he probably won’t be here today -”

 

“No,” Monica interrupts, “he said he wouldn’t be at the meeting. He didn’t say he’d ditch work all together. Is he ten years old?”

 

“Relax, Monica! I need to talk to Rachel anyway, regardless if Bo shows. I haven’t talked to her, and she’s tried to call me ...” I unbuckle my seatbelt and get out of the car.

 

“I’ll wait here.”

 

“Thanks.” I shut the door harder than necessary and focus on my pace toward the building.

 

I reach the door and shakily grasp the handle, reminding myself that Rachel was the victim of Bill and Tristan’s scheme—I just fell into the middle. As soon as the door shuts behind me, her voice sings from an office at the end of the hall.

 

“Hello?” I hear her chair move and her feet heading toward the door. “Is that you, Bowan? I thought you weren’t—” She stops when she reaches the door and sees me, still standing by the entrance. I resist the urge to turn it into an exit.