Perfectly Protected (Addicted To You, Book Three)
Author:Covington, Lucy

For the millionth time, I had the urge to just kiss her already and be done with it.

 

But I held back. I wasn’t going to let my emotions get the best of me. And I certainly wasn’t going to drag Lindsay further into the darkness of my world by getting romantically involved.

 

But aren’t you already pulling her in? Isn’t she already being exposed to the darkness?

 

No. This was different. This was more like…a friendship. We were friends.

 

And as long as I could keep her at a distance, she would never be hurt.

 

Besides, maybe this little journey into my part of the world would set her straight.

 

She’d soon find out that hanging out with me was no picnic, it wasn’t like some TV show where everything was perfectly choreographed and even the bad guys had great hair and perfect teeth. She was going to get a glimpse at the real world, and I had a feeling she wouldn’t be coming back for seconds anytime soon.

 

This would be another chapter in Lindsay’s continuing education, and one night in the projects would be worth a year in those stupid ivy-league classes.

 

At one stop, a group of young knuckleheads got on the train. They were probably in high school, not even that much younger than us. They sat down a few feet away and started talking a lot of trash. Swearing, bragging, and generally making their presence known to the entire car.

 

Across from them, an attractive woman and her boyfriend sat, looking rather uncomfortable.

 

“Honey. Sweetie.” One of the teenagers yelled at her. “You fine, mami.”

 

The woman looked down nervously. Her boyfriend put his arm around her, but didn’t say a word in response.

 

“Your man is shook,” someone else said. “I would take good care of you, girl.

 

You know you want to come over here with us.”

 

The couple didn’t respond. The teenagers were laughing hysterically at their own bad jokes.

 

Lindsay was tense. I could see it in the stiff way she was sitting. She was closer to the group of guys, so I took her hand. “Come and sit on the other side of me,” I told her.

 

Gratefully, she got up and moved to my left, so I was now between her and the rowdy group.

 

As she moved, she caught the group’s attention, as a few of the guys eyeballed her, staring obviously at her ass.

 

I made sure to look right at them, and one of them opened his mouth to say something and then seemed to think better of it. I held his gaze for a while, making sure to send the message with my eyes. One word out of you and I will make sure it’s the last word you speak for a long time.

 

The group of boys didn’t speak to us again, and in fact, they seemed to settle down, getting off a couple of stops later.

 

Before long, it was just Lindsay and I in the train together, the car vibrating on the tracks as we rolled through the tunnels beneath the city and then emerged once more above ground.

 

The T rolled to a stop and I got up from my seat. “You ready?” I said.

 

Lindsay stood up too. “Ready as I’ll ever be,” she said.

 

“Good. Come on, then.” I led her outside and onto the platform.

 

The streets were almost empty in the immediate area of the train station. The buildings around us were shadowy and dark, and they loomed menacingly, as though the citizens within were watching us and judging from behind the darkened windows.

 

We started to walk, our footsteps echoing loudly on the street as we hurried towards the destination.

 

“How far away is this place?” Lindsay asked, after a moment.

 

“Close. You’ll wish it was a lot farther away, once we get there.”

 

“Oh, that’s comforting.”

 

“I’m not trying to comfort you—I’m preparing you.”

 

She didn’t say anything to that.

 

And then, just like I’d predicted, we drew into the Ames Projects and the main drag where they did all the drug and prostitution business. Where it had once been completely quiet, all of a sudden there were cars cruising slowly by, and people on the corners, or sitting on front stoops with menacing eyes.

 

People called out to us as we walked by.

 

“What you doing here, girl?”

 

“You need some dank, brother?”

 

I looked at Lindsay, saw the fright in her eyes, and immediately grabbed her hand again. “Don’t look at them, don’t respond. Just keep walking, I won’t let anything happen to you.”

 

Most of the people ignored us, but every so often someone would make a comment. There were women in skirts that just barely covered their ass cheeks.

 

Sometimes a car would pull up and they would engage in quick negotiations before the woman would get into the car and it would pull away.

 

The street was alive, thriving with its own illegal brand of tourism and business, and money was being exchanged all over the place.

 

We were getting closer to the abandoned house where I figured Gilbert had gone to get high. Once he’d purchased the heroin, he’d be wanting to shoot up as fast as possible, and this house was the most obvious location to do it.

 

“I wish I had a gun,” I said out loud, not meaning to.

 

Lindsay glanced at me. “Why would you want that?”