Nadirah Foxx  


Happy Friday! How are you?

We’re a little nippy here in SoCal. Can you believe we had to light the fireplace?

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Part Six


Why was Skeevy Steve following me?

He had the nerve to wave. Part of me wanted to storm across the street and punch him. The other half wanted to run screaming. Seconds later, he took away my options.

“Hello, Joss,” he said, approaching me. “What are you doing here? I thought we were hooking up later?”

I could play things one of two ways. Either tell the asshole to get lost or act innocent. I went with the latter, hoping to find out what he was up to.

“Were we? I must have gotten my dates wrong. My friend is expecting me.” I tried to walk past him.

“Not so fast, Joss. I don’t like games.” He grabbed my elbow and pulled me close. “Tell your friend you were mistaken. You have other plans.”

I swallowed hard and gazed down at his fingers digging into my flesh. He leaned in, and I got a whiff of beer. Play it cool, I reminded myself. Just don’t show your fear. “If I don’t?”

“Then things are going to get ugly for Ronnie.”

He wouldn’t hurt my friend. I wouldn’t allow it. “All right, Steve. Let me just go over—”

“Call her. I’ll wait.”

Damn, damn, damn. I needed to get away from him. Maybe I could say something that would tip her off. Slowly, I removed my phone with my other hand. 

“This is easier if you let my arm go.”

His eyebrows knit together as he cocked his head. After a moment, Steve said, “Don’t try anything.”

“I won’t.” As soon as my arm was free, I dialed Ronnie. 

She answered on the first ring. “Where are you?”

“Hey, Mom came by. She wanted me to come to dinner.”


“Yeah. Threw me by surprise, too. So we’ll go shopping tomorrow. Maybe invite Dave and Debbie.”

“Dave and Debbie?”

“Yeah. We haven’t seen them since that night we got drunk and drove to San Francisco.” I prayed she remembered we got busted during the trip. Ronnie thought the cops looked like a couple from high school named Dave and Debbie.

I disconnected without responding.

Skeevy Steve grinned. “That’s a good girl. Now, give me the phone.”

Rather than risk a scene, I handed it over. “Now what?”

He grasped my elbow and walked me toward a black pickup. There was nothing special about the vehicle. Steve opened the passenger side and pushed me toward the seat.

“You’re serious?”

It wasn’t until he slid back his jacket, and I glimpsed the butt of a gun. Yeah, he was deadly serious.

“I’m getting in.”

Seconds later, Steve steered the vehicle away from the curb and headed toward the main road. 

“Where are we going?”

“Someplace private so we can get to know each other better, El.”

I shook my head, thinking I might have heard wrong. “You mean Joss.”

He slammed his hand on the steering wheel. “Stop. Playing. Games. I know exactly what I mean.”

When I saw the guy earlier, I had my doubts. Seeing him with my mother only deepened those suspicions. Hearing him call me by the wrong name? Just confirmed the guy wasn’t playing with a full deck. Instead of worrying about what he might do, I needed to think about what I could do to get myself out of trouble.

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