Cecily's heart pounded fast as she ran, her brain filled with visions of Diego, her Diego, kissing her cousin. If she hadn't hated Sakira for almost killing her brother she sure did now. Out of breath, she stopped. The night was eerily quiet and she shivered, feeling suddenly exposed. She wasn't far from the house Charles and Johnny shared with some other guys, so she went there and knocked on the door.
Charles answered it. "Cecily? What the hell? Come in."
She went in.
"What do you think you're doing, wandering around at night?" Charles looked angrier than she'd ever seen him. "Are you insane?"
Cecily burst into tears and Charles's expression immediately softened.
"Oh, hey, come here." He pulled her down into his lap and she sobbed on his shoulder. "What happened?" he asked after a while.
She shook her head and stood up.
"Can I get you a drink?" he asked.
"Yes, that would be nice," she said.
"Go sit down, I'll be right out." He wheeled into the kitchen.
"I can help," she said, following him and getting down the glasses.
"White wine, right?" he asked, digging in the fridge.
"Of course." He poured her a glass and then made himself a whiskey, then wheeled over to the table. She sat down across from him.
"I'm beginning to think that no one can be trusted," she said.
"Sparrow break your heart again?" he asked.
"No. I know he cheats on me. It's the one way he's dependable."
"Why do you put up with that?"
She shrugged. "I cheat on him, too."
Charles looked like he was about to say something but took a drink instead. She wasn't sure she wanted to hear it so she sipped her wine and kept her mouth shut.
"You can't run from yourself forever, Cecily," he said finally.
"Who says I'm running?"
He raised an eyebrow at her. "Do you like living like this? Surrounded by people you know you can't trust?"
"Is there any other kind?" she asked, looking at her glass.
"Yes," Charles said simply, "there is."
She looked up slowly and met his eyes. He had gorgeous light brown eyes, warm and steady and--she stood up. "I should be leaving."
"Huh unh. Have to say I disagree with you there."
"Precisely. Come on, let's see if there's an old movie on TV. Your brother'd have my hide if I let you go out alone after dark, so I'm afraid you're stuck here for the night."
"It's awfully quiet," she said, following him to the living room.
"If you listen you'll hear Drew snoring. And Johnny and Dylan are out."
"Oh, Drew. I hate him. He broke Thorn's heart."
"Yeah, a lot of that going around," Charles said cryptically, then flipped on the TV. "Oh, good, I love this movie."
"Charles, it's a chick flick," she said, giggling.
"So? It's funny." He stood up, then sat down on the couch.
"Charles, you stood," she said.
"Yep, the eighth wonder of the world, that's me."
"Yeah, I'll be rescuing kittens from trees in no time. Shh, this is a good part."
She drew her legs up under her on the couch and settled in to watch.Next Chapter