Desperately Devastated (Addicted To You, Book Nine)
Author:Covington, Lucy

And then I thought of what Carter would say when he found out, after everything that had happened with Adam’s flowers, that now I was bringing a guy with me on a business trip.

 

“You can’t come with me,” I said. “It would be really unprofessional. What would I tell them?”

 

“You’d tell them that you belong to me, and that I have a temper and I don’t give a shit about anything, and I’m coming to make sure nobody tries to fuck with you.”

 

“Oh, yeah.” I rolled my eyes even though he couldn’t see me. “That would go over well.”

 

“Look, I’ll stay under the radar. No one will even know I’m there.”

 

I hesitated. “Of course they’ll know.”

 

“I won’t sit near you on the plane. I’ll meet you at the hotel later, when nobody else is around. I promise to stay completely out of your way—Carter and Dr. Flatface won’t even know I’m there.”

 

“It’s Dr. Klaxton.”

 

“Whatever. Just say yes.”

 

I hesitated, and his voice slipped into that flirtatious tone he used when he wanted to get his way. “Come on,” he said. “You know I can’t fall asleep without you. Are you really going to deny a guy his sleep?”

 

“I wouldn’t want to,” I said, smiling.

 

“Not that we’re going to be sleeping anyway,” he said huskily.

 

Heat pulsed through my body, all the way from my toes to my fingers. “Okay,” I said finally, knowing that this was a really, really bad idea. “As long as you promise you won’t make a scene or anything.”

 

“Never.”

 

“Fine,” I sighed, wondering how badly I was going to regret the decision. “You can come.”

 

 

 

 

 

JUSTIN

 

 

I stood in the supermarket parking lot and looked down at the bags of groceries in my hands. Four plastic bags bursting with all the things that I’d thought I’d need to cook Lindsay a dinner that would knock her socks off.

 

Now, they were just bags of junk. Trash, as far as I was concerned.

 

A voice in my head told me I was being silly.

 

It’s still good food. You can eat some tonight, save some for leftovers. Maybe Wyatt will eat some of it. Or Gil might come over—he would love a home cooked meal.

 

But none of that meant much to me. My stomach was curdled, my appetite gone, and I was annoyed. I’d thought that tonight could have been a really nice night, a chance to show Lindsay a different side of myself. Now that chance was gone.

 

Instead, I had to get home and make arrangements to fly to New York to be with her.

 

Why are you putting yourself through this? Why are you putting her through this?

 

I didn’t want to answer that question. I thought of Lindsay’s face, especially her smile, and those eyes…there were more than enough reasons to go to New York, whether I liked it or not. And I didn’t like it. Not one bit.

 

I started back toward my apartment, and now the weight of the bags wasn’t as light as it had been when I’d imagined I was cooking Lindsay a romantic meal. Now the bags felt heavy, like I was hauling bricks.

 

A couple of blocks from the supermarket, I passed an older homeless guy that I’d seen around town before. “Spare some change?” he asked.

 

I slowed my pace and stopped in front of him. He had long, stringy gray hair and very few teeth. His jeans hung down around his too skinny waist. “What do you need the money for?” I asked.

 

His blue eyes met mine and he concocted a smile. “I ain’t eaten all day.”

 

I smiled back. “Well, partner, you’re in luck then.” I handed the bags to him and he looked at me with confusion.

 

“You serious?”

 

“Hell, yes. You want the food or not?” I said. “There’s good shit in there.

 

Prosciutto, salami, cheese, mushrooms, Godiva chocolates, all kinds of stuff.”

 

He started scrounging through the bags, pulled out a box of rigatoni. “I can’t do nothing with this,” he complained.

 

But I was already walking away. “Give it away, then. Sell it. Do whatever you want, man. It’s all yours!”

 

I didn’t bother to listen to his response. If he was as hungry as he claimed to be, he’d be happy with the amount of usable food I’d given him for free. If not, he could probably sell a few things and make enough to get a bottle of Jack Daniels or whatever he wanted for his fix.

 

It felt good to have unburdened myself. Even though I’d spent a lot of money— money I couldn’t really afford—I was mentally and physically lighter now that I’d given the food away.

 

But the good feeling didn’t really last. As I got closer to my apartment, my thoughts returned to the federal agents that had visited me. I’d called the numbers on both business cards and left messages for each agent, but so far nobody had gotten back to me.

 

I still couldn’t believe that I’d somehow gotten pulled into this mess, and I was sick of thinking about Quarry and his stupid, corrupt gym. Leaving my old coach had seemed like a good decision at the time, but looking back, I’d had nothing but trouble ever since then.