Home > The Faintest Spark (Roadmap to Your Heart #1.5)

The Faintest Spark (Roadmap to Your Heart #1.5)
Author: Christina Lee

One Month Earlier

Malachi

 

 

* * *

 

Sawyer stood across the room with a haunted look in his eye, a shaky hand raking through his hair, wet from the shower.

“Spoke to Fish—it’s all taken care of.” My voice startled him out of his trance, and his fingers worked to adjust the large shirt across his shoulders. I had lent him some clean clothes from the extras I kept at the compound, and though they didn’t exactly fit his smaller frame, it was better than the visual reminder of the terrible night we’d just had. “It’s over now, yeah? ’Bout time you got some rest.”

He shivered, his arms wrapping around his midsection. I took a step forward unable to curb my protective instinct. I’d gotten to know Sawyer through this ordeal and understood how much it had taken out of him. He’d shown up in weeks past with a similarly troubled look in his eyes—once after a particularly brutal night with Jake the Snake. I didn’t know what went on between them, didn’t particularly want to, but one thing was certain—that bastard didn’t deserve to breathe the same air.

And now he never would again.

“I won’t…I can’t…” he muttered, turning away from me. He wanted to appear strong and I got it. But he had assisted his club in bringing down the Asylum and in the process helped the Disciples exact revenge as well. I could never repay what he did for us, and though Smoke and Vaughn didn’t quite understand all the shit he put up with to nail that bastard, they would soon enough if I had anything to do with it.

Just not tonight. Tonight, we needed to lay low. We’d definitely feel the effects for weeks to come.

“Shhhh…” I closed the distance between us, not caring how it’d look to anybody who might walk in. I was consoling one of our own. He might’ve been from another club, and he might’ve been a man, but at that moment I didn’t give a rat’s ass.

My fingers curved around the back of his neck, snapping him out of his stupor.

Sawyer stared directly into my eyes, and I wasn’t sure what he saw right then, but maybe I provided an anchor for him because his shoulders unwound just a fraction. His gaze briefly traveled down to my lips before sliding back to my eyes, and fuck if that didn’t stir the faintest spark inside me. I didn’t understand what it meant, but I felt the need to pull him into my arms and comfort him. Make it all better.

“It’ll be okay, yeah?” I said around a parched throat. “Come’ere.”

When I tugged him toward me, his head sank to my shoulder. I could feel his warm and heavy breaths through the material of my shirt as my heart jackhammered in my chest.

“You were good. So good.” Almost felt like I was talking to a child, but I knew he needed this. Sure, Sawyer was only fifteen years my junior, but he probably wouldn’t get this from his own prez. Fish had enough to deal with, and I didn’t get the sense that he understood the gravity—let alone the ramifications this’d had on Sawyer. Especially given his family history.

I felt the wetness from his lashes against my neck before he sucked in a breath, and his lips came to rest against my throat. My jaw clenched as a shiver traveled through me.

Yanking himself away, he swiped once at his eyes and squared his shoulders. “I uh, should go find Fish.”

“Not tonight,” I replied with more force than I meant to. “He knows you’re here with us. Let’s get you to bed. You’re in no shape to be on your bike.”

His eyes traveled over my shoulder to the single mattress in the corner. He glanced at me, to the closed door, and finally nodded as if deciding he’d be safe. As he padded toward the cool sheets, I reached for the whiskey bottle I had brought in just moments before. I screwed open the lid and filled the two shot glasses on the side table.

“It’ll help you sleep,” I said, handing him the amber liquid.

We downed the shots in unison, both wincing at the burn.

“Fuck,” he mumbled as he lay down, pulling the blanket over his shoulders and shutting his eyes. I hovered over him, making sure he was comfortable before I made my way to the door.

“Mal.” Sawyer’s voice was soft, hesitant, and when I turned, his eyes were focused on me.

I stepped toward the bed. “What do you need, Sawyer? Want me to stay for a while?”

His cheeks heated and his eyes darted away. Instead of waiting for a response, I sat down on the edge of the bed so there’d be no question I was up to the task. “I’ll be right here until you fall asleep.”

My hand hovered above his head for a long moment before I finally took the plunge and touched his hair. It was thick and dark as ink—a stark contrast to his colorful sleeve of tattoos and piercing indigo eyes. I glanced at his plump red lips and the thin nose ring that gleamed against the glare of the nightstand lamp.

A deep sigh rumbled in his throat when my fingers burrowed deeper into his scalp. As I pushed a stray curl behind his ear, I wondered what in the hell I was doing touching a man like this. Especially since he was from another club.

Sawyer’s hand shot up and trapped my fingers against his head. Encircled my wrist and brought it down to his mouth. His lips brushed over my knuckles, stinging my skin. “Thank you. Just…thank you.”

Holy shit. I held myself steady as a current of electric energy jolted my very core.

When he shut his eyes and fell into a restless sleep, I had trouble swallowing the boulder lodged in my throat. I fought the urge to lie down and hold him all night. What the fuck was wrong with me? That sort of impulse had never before entered my brain about somebody under my keep, let alone about a man.

I shot to a standing position before I had any more messed-up ideas. Reaching for the whiskey bottle, I backed out of the room.

 

 

Two Weeks Earlier

Sawyer

 

 

* * *

 

I woke up in a cold sweat again. Fuck. When I glanced at the clock, it wasn’t even midnight. Damn. I had come home from a long shift at the garage and collapsed. I’d been working extra hours to keep my mind from wandering and still slept like shit. The nightmares didn’t help. Jake’s sadistic voice, his cold hands on my bare hips, that final fateful night.

My fingers hovered over the keys on my cell as I considered texting Mal. He’d been the one I’d turned to in this whole mess when I needed to talk, and though he’d told me his door was always open, I didn’t want to abuse the invitation. Last time I saw him was a few days ago when I drove over to the compound with some of the Scorpions for a barbecue. He was all business then as we discussed the fallout from taking the Asylum down. I tried not to think about how his fingers had been in my hair in that back bedroom while the guys debated whether or not the other clubs were buzzing about it.

“They called a meeting for all the heads in Woodale in a couple of weeks,” Fish had announced.

“Exact reason why we need to stay connected and on the same page,” Mal had said and when his eyes snagged on mine, it almost felt like a physical caress. He was the only one who really knew how affected I was by all of this. No way I’d want to appear weak in front of my own brothers and my prez. Though it was certainly dangerous to have shown my vulnerability in front of Mal. But somehow, I didn’t think he’d use it against me or rat me out. He’d treated me like I was one of his own throughout the whole ordeal. And sometimes like I was a kid. I didn’t like it but I appreciated the support.

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