Read Billionaires, Bad Boys, and Alpha Males Online

Authors: Kelly Favor,Locklyn Marx

Billionaires, Bad Boys, and Alpha Males (3 page)

“Why?”

He looked at her,
just a glance, but she was again struck by how undeniably gorgeous he was.
 
In other circumstances, a different time
in her life, she would have been happy to be in this situation with a guy like
Elijah.
 
But right now, after the
night she’d had, she only felt nervous and exhausted.

“Look, I can take you
as far as New York City,” he told her.
 
“I’m going that way anyhow.
 
I happen to know for a fact that you can catch a bus from there that
will take you to Orlando for eighty bucks.”

A thrill of
excitement raced through Caelyn’s body.
 
If he was telling the truth, then she could actually do it.
 
Sure, Orlando wasn’t Sarasota, but it
was damn close.
 
Just a couple of
hours away.
 
For eighty bucks, she
could do it.
 
It would hurt her
pocketbook, but she could make it.

She couldn’t help but
smile for the first time all night.

Elijah grinned in
return, although his eyes were back on the road now.
 
“So, which is it—that shitty old
McDonalds or New York City, kid?”

“My name is Caelyn
and I’m pretty sure I’m about your age,” she replied.

“You didn’t answer my
question.”

She pursed her
lips.
 
“You think there will be a
bus to Florida before night time?”

“Probably.”
 
Elijah moved the SUV into the middle
lane, hitting the gas until they were cruising along at about 70 mph.
 

Caelyn sat back in
her seat and tried to calm her racing pulse.
 
She couldn’t quite understand it,
because she was no longer afraid that he was going to try something on
her.
 
But nonetheless, she was still
riding an adrenaline rush.

A few times she
glanced at him surreptitiously, pretending not to really be trying to look at
him.
 
Stealing glances, her entire
body was creeping with warmth and her lower belly was tingling.
 

Slowly, it dawned on
her that she was enamored of this strange boy.
 
Maybe it was because he was mysterious,
or perhaps because he was helping her in a time of need.
 
All Caelyn knew was that she wanted to look
at him, she wanted to hear his voice.
 

But another part of
her sensed that there was more to Elijah than he was letting on in his simple
interactions and his casual demeanor.
 
She knew that if she ever truly got to know him, she might wish she’d
never laid eyes on him in the first place.

 

***

 

Somehow, she’d fallen
asleep in the car.

It was surprising,
given how fearful she’d been and the fact that Elijah was a total stranger with
unclear intentions.
 
And yet, after
they’d been on the highway for a while, Caelyn had found her eyes starting to grow
weary and heavy.

She’d begun drifting,
startling awake, trying to keep alert and ready for anything.
 
But every time she looked over at
Elijah, something about him made her feel relaxed.
 

He would never hurt me.

She didn’t understand
how she could know such a thing.
 
Why couldn’t he hurt her?
 
She
knew nothing about the guy.

But her body had
known, it seemed, even if her mind was suspicious.
 
Eventually, Caelyn must have simply
given in to the weariness and exhaustion that were the result of everything
that she’d gone through that evening.

When she first opened
her eyes again, Caelyn could tell that Elijah hadn’t noticed she’d woken
up.
 
He was driving along, humming
quietly to himself.
 
The radio was
playing softly, and she realized that he’d probably put it on very low volume
so as not to wake her.

It was touching in a
way, she decided.
 
He was trying to
be careful, trying to be nice to her.
 

She kept her eyes
half-closed so as to continue watching him without his knowledge.
 
It was voyeuristic and perhaps a little
bit wrong, but she couldn’t help herself.

Something about
Elijah was mysterious and enigmatic, and she wanted to know more about
him.
 
Any glimpse she could get
would help her understand that extra little bit.

Caelyn continued to
pretend to be asleep, letting her head loll a bit as the car jostled slightly
on the road.

Suddenly, Elijah’s
eyes locked on the rearview mirror and his expression changed to one of
alarm.
 

There was a loud
WHOOP! WHOOP! sound from behind them, and Caelyn snapped her eyes open, turned
to look behind her and find a police car approaching quickly, its lights
flashing.

“Shit,” Elijah
whispered.
 
His strong jaw settled
into a tight line, and he put his blinker on and slowed down, pulling over to
the side of the road as the cop pulled up right behind him.
 
The police car was just sitting there,
and there wasn’t any movement at first.

“Were you speeding?”
Caelyn asked Elijah.

“Nah,” he said.
 
“Well, maybe just ten miles over the
limit.”

“So you
were
speeding.”

He gave her an
exasperated look, like he couldn’t believe anyone would consider ten miles over
the limit the same thing as speeding.
 
“Just let me handle this,” he said.
 
His eyes went back to the rearview mirror.
 
“I should just hit the gas and leave
this douche in the dust,” he mused.
 

“You’re joking,
right?” Caelyn asked, her stomach suddenly churning.
 
He didn’t sound like he was joking.
 
Visions of a high-speed chase danced
through her head, along with a trip to the police station, where she’d be forced
to call her mother and confess everything.
 
Only this time she wouldn’t have just run away from school.
 
This time she’d have been arrested with
a strange boy.

Elijah didn’t
answer.
 
His eyes were still glued
on the rearview mirror.
 
Finally, he
turned to her.
 
“Whatever I say, you
just go along with me.
 
Understand?”

“What does that even
mean, go along with whatever you say?”

“Listen,
Caelyn.”
 
His dark eyes grew
intense.
 
“I’m not messing
around.
 
You go along with whatever
I say, no matter what.
 
Got it?”

She didn’t like his
tone of voice and she didn’t particularly understand his instructions
either.
 
“No way.
 
I’m not just going to do whatever you
say because you say it.
 
That’s
crazy.”

There was the sound
of a door opening, and when Caelyn craned her neck to look, the officer was
slowly getting out of his car.

Elijah looked at her
and shook his head, then leaned across her and opened the glove
compartment.
 
He reached into the
glove box, and she could see his heavily muscled forearm and a dark flash of
tattoo ink on his upper bicep as the sleeve of his t-shirt rode up.

Something about his
proximity, the nearness of him—made her a little weak.
 
She caught her breath, but inhaled just
enough to smell the clean scent of shampoo and soap and maybe some cologne.
 

And then he’d gotten
his registration and was rolling down his window as the police officer
approached the driver’s side door.
 
“License and registration,” the cop drawled in a tone of voice that
indicated an unpleasant mood.

Elijah was instantly a
different person.
 
His whole
demeanor had changed.
 
He had been
scowling a moment ago, but now he was smiling.
 
“Morning officer,” he said, as he handed
over the registration, then dug into his pocket, took out his wallet, and
fumbled briefly until he found his license.
 
He handed that over as well.

The cop glanced down
at Elijah’s license.
 
“Mister
Daniels, do you realize how fast you were going just now?”

“I’m really sorry
sir.”
 
Elijah put his hand on
Caelyn’s thigh.
 
His hand was strong
and warm, and instantly her skin began tingling. “Me and my girlfriend got to
chatting and I must not have noticed that I was going too fast.
 
We’ve been on the road for a bit, and
she was trying to keep me alert.”

The officer nodded,
but his mouth was pulled down into a frown.
 
He looked into the window and saw
Caelyn.
 
They made eye contact and
she tried a friendly smile, but the cop was having none of it.
 

“Where you two
headed?”

“Florida, sir.
 
Taking a little road trip, get some
R&R.”
 
Elijah flashed another
smile and his hand softly rubbed her leg.

Strangely, Caelyn
found that she wasn’t at all bothered by the physical contact.
 
In a bizarre way, she thought that she
was actually enjoying this little charade—and that made absolutely no
sense at all.
 

The officer glanced
into the back seat.
 
“You need to be
careful around here.
 
Lot of
accidents on this road last year.”

Elijah nodded.
 
“Yes sir.
 
You’re right, sir.”

“Well, I’m going to
have to give you a ticket,” the officer sighed.
 
“Please stay put.”
 
He left the car and walked slowly back
to his cruiser, got inside.

Elijah watched him go
in the rearview mirror.
 

The smile was gone
from his face.
 
His eyes were
completely transfixed, and he absentmindedly wiped the back of his hand across
his mouth.

Caelyn was wondering
what on earth had gotten into him.
 
Maybe he was worried about how much the ticket would cost.
 
Or maybe he was concerned because he had
outstanding tickets for other things…

She decided not to
say a word for now.
 
The tension was
so strong that she felt her stomach tightening as if a cord was being wrapped
slowly around her insides.

The time seemed to
draw out.
 
After what felt like
nearly half an hour (but had to be much less), the officer got out of his car
and came back to the driver’s side door.
 

Elijah’s smile and
easy demeanor were back in evidence again.
 
“Hope you took it easy on us, officer.
 
We need that extra money to go
parasailing.”

The policeman didn’t
return the smile.
 
He handed Elijah
back his license and registration.
 
And then he handed him a ticket.
 
“I gave you a ticket for exceeding the speed limit.
 
You can contest the ticket if you wish,
or you can simply pay by mail or online.
 
Please take it slow and be careful getting back on the highway, okay,
Jake?”
 
He patted the hood of the
car softly.
 
“Oh, and have fun in
Florida.
 
Remember to wear
sunscreen.”

“Yes, sir.”

Had the policeman
just called Elijah by another name?
 
Caelyn felt like maybe she’d misheard.
 

After the cop walked
away, Elijah breathed a deep sigh of relief.
 
He gave Caelyn the registration.
 
“Would you mind putting this back in the
glove compartment for me?” he asked.

She took it and
looked at the name on the form.
 
It
clearly said Jake Daniels.

She opened the glove
box and put the registration inside.
 
Of course, everything inside the compartment was neat and stacked,
totally orderly, just like the rest of the SUV.
 
She closed the glove compartment, her
heart racing, as Elijah started his car and slowly pulled out into traffic.

“That was fun, huh?”
he asked, glancing at her like nothing was amiss.
 
That it was just every day that he got
pulled over by cops and lied to them about who he was.

She didn’t answer at
first.
 
Her mind was spinning,
trying to make sense of how strangely Elijah had behaved about being pulled
over for speeding.

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