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Dance In My Heart

Chapter Eleven

Candice looked at the clock and a flutter of excitement twisted in her belly. He’d be here in an hour. She laughed at herself as she examined her reflection. Wearing a little black mini-dress and new spiked heels, she put the finishing touches on her up-swept hair style.

Perfect make-up.

Fabulous Hair.

Sexy new dress.

She was as ready as she’d ever get.

She checked her watch. He’d be here in fifty-seven minutes.

Her cell-phone chimed from inside the new Pratta bag she’d bought on impulse as she’d shopped for her dress and shoes.

“Lincoln, here.”

“Miss Lincoln, it’s Celeste.”

Candice’s stomach dropped to her knees. Something had to be wrong. “What is it, Celeste? Is Hawk alright?”

She hated motorcycles. The image of his broken and bleeding body sprawled across the highway flashed in front of her eyes.

“Eya’. Yeah. I mean, he’s not hurt or anything. Well, he tried to call his brother, but he’s not home, and he called me but I don’t have any money.”

“What’s wrong, Celeste? Why does Hawk need money?”

Silence ensued as Candice waited for any response.

Finally, she heard a sigh. “He’s in jail. His bail is five thousand dollars.”

“Jail? What happened? Is he okay?”

“I can’t really tell you that. I don’t know exactly what happened. I’m worried about him, Miss Lincoln. He never does anything to get arrested for. He’s a good boy.”

Candice answered without hesitation. “I’m on my way, Celeste. Please, tell Hawk I’m coming. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

She clicked off the phone and grabbed the keys to her new rental car. Jail? What happened? Why was he in jail instead of picking her up to go dancing? She barely knew him. Maybe he wasn’t the upstanding citizen she thought he was. Maybe he was a criminal and she was a fool.

She dismissed the imaginings as impossible. It must be a misunderstanding. She climbed behind the wheel and revved the engine to life.

It was a three-hour drive to the small town outside the reservation. She planned on making it in less than two.

~* * *~

“Your bail has been posted.” Carl unlocked the cell door.

Hawk sat on a metal cot covered in a drab green blanket, leaning his back against the wall and resting the back of his head against the hard, gray cinderblocks.

Celeste must have finally reached Jake. He couldn’t wait to face his little brother. He looked forward to it almost as much as he looked forward to the lobotomy he direly needed.

He pushed himself off the cot and left the cell. “Carl, I’m sorry about this.”

“You have a crystal clear record. Mitigating circumstances. I’ll talk to the prosecutor and see what we can do.”

“Thanks, man.” Hawk reached out to shake Carl’s hand before he opened the solid metal door which led to the lobby of the small jail. He’d been here many times, but always on the other side of the bars. He shook his head. “I’m sorry, anyway.”

“Take care of yourself, Mike.”

The door creaked open, but instead of meeting his brother’s expected face, he saw Candice’s concerned expression.

She looked amazing. Her long legs, accentuated by black, strappy high heeled shoes, revealed themselves in sheer black stockings beneath a sheath of black fabric. Her bare shoulders peeked from the thin straps of the low cut dress. But more than her physical appearance, her very presence comforted him. He hardened instantly.

“What are you doing here?”

“We had a date, remember?” She smiled through her obvious worry.

She took a step toward him.

His embarrassment moved down a notch as he opened his arms and accepted her embrace. One thing was missing from her expression. Nowhere in her eyes did he read judgment.

“What happened, Hawk?”

“What did you hear?”

“Nothing. For all I know you failed to pay a parking ticket. But considering I just maxed out a brand new credit card on your bail, I’m thinking it’s more than that.”

He cringed. She’d done that for him? Five grand was nothing to sneeze at.

“I’ll pay you back.”

“I don’t care about that. I know you will. Now tell me what happened?”

“Later. Can we just get out of here? I have a stop to make, if that’s okay?”

“Sure. Anything.”

They left the jail together. When he draped his arm over her shoulder she gasped. “Hawk? What happened to your hands? Oh my God.”

“Later, okay?”

He gave her directions to Mary’s house.

“Do you want me to go with you?”

“No. I won’t be long. I just want to make sure Mary’s okay.”

Candice watched from the car as a young girl opened the front door of the trailer. Her face puffy from tears, she grimaced at Hawk. The sound of her voice echoed all the way to the car, but the words were lost in the night. Candice narrowed her eyes. A man appeared behind the girl and ushered her back into the house. Hawk spoke to the man for a few minutes and then he too moved back inside.

Hawk stalked back to her and climbed into car. He said nothing as he stared straight ahead.

“What happened?” she asked, not really expecting an answer. Who was she to him anyway? It wasn’t as if she were entitled to an explanation.

“Earlier today, I tracked down the man who got that little girl pregnant.”

Candice swallowed past the lump in her throat. “And?”

“I beat him unconscious.”

The words sounded hollow. Whatever rage had driven him to attack the man responsible had been replaced with a dejected spirit and bitterness. The emotions shone through his moist, black eyes as he looked at her.

“Mary hates me, now. That man was her father. He’s a little less bitter, but he’s ashamed of what I did. I can’t blame him. I’m ashamed of myself.”

“She doesn’t hate you, Hawk. She’s probably just confused and hurting. Things will be better tomorrow.”

“I used to believe that.”

~* * *~

Jake rushed through the front door, his face flushed and his breathing ragged. “Where is he?”

“He’s asleep,” Candice answered. “Please, don’t wake him up?”

Jake ran a hand through his hair and sat anxiously on the edge of the chair next to hers. “I just got back and heard what happened. Christ, I should have been here.”

“You didn’t know. And even if you were here, what could you have done?”

“I know. I just can’t believe he did something this stupid. Jesus.”

Candice didn’t know what to think. Was Jake concerned for his brother or not? She pulled her legs on the chair and hugged her knees to her chest.

“Stupid?” Hawk’s voice came from behind her.

Candice turned in her chair and then stood. “It’s late. You should get some more sleep.”

“I’m fine. I can’t sleep anymore. What time is it?”

“One a.m.”

The phone rang, making Candice jump at the unexpected sound.

Hawk stepped toward the phone. “I got it, I have a feeling it’s for me.”

“Adam?” Jake asked.

“How much you wanna bet?” Hawk’s smile relieved her. He sounded a bit more like himself. He checked the caller ID box and laughed as he picked up the telephone. “What a surprise, Adam. And how are you this fine, very early morning?”

Hawk hid the sigh he felt like releasing. Time for the lecture and the cryptic warnings. Having a dream-walker for a brother had been a blessing and curse. Now was one of those curse moments.

“I’m fine. I have a feeling you’ve been better? What happened?”

Now Hawk did sigh, as he related a brief overview of the day’s activities.

“I knew something was going to happen. But I don’t think this is it. You still have a decision to make. But it’s more than an instantaneous kind of thing, like kicking the crap out of someone. It’s deeper and more life-changing than that.”

Hawk threw a sidelong glance at Candice as she curled herself back into her chair. She fiddled with her fingers in her lap, staring absently down as she apparently granted him a moment of privacy.

“You know, bro, for me, getting arrested could be considered pretty damn life-changing. But I’m sure I can handle whatever it.”

“So, when will you know if you’re going to move in with Dad?”

Hawk rolled his eyes. “I’m sure it won’t be that bad. I have friends in high places around here and that sonofabitch deserved what he got.”

“Either way, keep me posted?”

“Of course, bro.”

He hung up the phone and stood behind Candice’s chair. He placed his hands on her shoulders and she rolled her head to one side. He needed to touch her. To know she was real and not some wishful thought. “You must be exhausted.”

“A little.”

“C’mon. I’ve got some sweats you can swim in.”

She followed him to his room and sat on the edge of the bed. His gut clenched as her taste somehow filled his mouth. He wanted her again. He always wanted her. Ignoring the pulse in his groin, he grabbed a pair of sweatpants and a T-shirt from his dresser and handed them to her.

“What am I supposed to do with these?” She refused to take them.

He watched the desire play in her eyes. “Wear them. It’ll be more comfortable than what you’ve got on.”

Suddenly, he felt the veriest of all scum. “Shit, Candy. I’m sorry. I ruined everything, didn’t I? I didn’t even tell you how amazing you look.”

“No, you didn’t,” she pouted, pushing out her bottom lip. He wanted to sink his teeth into it so badly he thought he would choke on his own pride.

“You look amazing,” he whispered instead, his mind suddenly blank. She stole his reasoning as easily as she did his heartbeat.

“Well, thank you very much.” She smiled and turned her back on him. “Now that that’s out of the way, would you mind helping me with my zipper?”

“Are you sure? I really thought you would have gone back to your hotel after you dropped me off.”

“I’m sure, Hawk. I want to be here with you.”

“I’m glad. Finding you here when I woke up was one of the best surprises in my life.”

He slid the zipper down her back and she shucked out of the small dress. She wore a garter belt, thong panties and thigh high silk stockings. He groaned as he wrapped his arms around her and kissed her breathless.

Just one more time. He needed her just one more time.

~* * *~

 

©2006 Romance at Heart Magazine.

Book ©2003 by Margorie Jones.

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