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Oh, but she still wanted to be mad at Chase.
And when he looked at her, she glared at him. It might have been wrong, but it still felt good.
He frowned. “I think we can leave … quietly. They both seem to be downstairs. We should be able to open the window and jump without them seeing us.”
She gulped tension down her throat. Two kinds of tension. The one she felt low in her belly from Chase touching her, and the other kind. The kind that said they weren’t out of the woods yet—they could still get arrested for breaking and entering. It didn’t matter if the window had been open.
On her hands and knees, she followed him out of the closet. As she rose up, her gaze shifted up to his butt, his cute muscular butt, and she blushed again.
He carefully and quietly lifted the window then looked back at her. “Jump to the right, out of view of the front window. Stay behind the trees, and head to the car. I’ll be right behind you.” His words came so low she barely heard them.
She did as he said, and landed to the far right of the window. She made it to the line of trees. The sun had already started to rest in the west. The golden light caught on the red and yellow leaves and made them look even brighter.
Adrenaline took her another few steps, then she stopped. She hadn’t heard him land. She looked back. Chase wasn’t there. Where the hell was he?
One. Two. Three. She was giving him to ten, then she was going in after him.
She got all the way to nine when he finally appeared at the window and leapt out, landing on his feet a good ten feet away from the view of the window.
Together, they made their way through the small patch of trees to the road. When Della spotted the blue Camaro, she could almost breathe.
“What took you so long?” she asked.
“Get in, and I’ll tell you.”
And that’s when Della noticed the bulge under his shirt. “You took something!” she seethed. “They’ll know, damn it. They probably have everything in that room memorized.”
“It was in the closet, behind some shoe boxes. I don’t think they even knew it was there.” He pulled out a small book. “I think it’s a diary.”
Della instantly thought of Miranda and her diary. Sure, Della had teased her about wanting to read it, but she wouldn’t have. Those were private.
“That wasn’t yours to take,” Della said.
“If it helps us find Natasha and Liam, I’ll gladly take any hell you want to give me for stealing.”
Della fought with her conscience, debating if he’d been right or wrong, then decided she probably would’ve done the same thing. But for some reason that didn’t stop her from feeling as if Chase had done something wrong.
Maybe she was just still angry at him about other things. Things that involved them on a closet floor. Oh, yeah, that had been so wrong.
They got in the car and Chase raised the top to make them less noticeable, and took off. As they passed the house, a man and woman were outside the house looking up at the open window. They zipped past, but Della did notice the man standing beside Natasha’s mom wasn’t the man in the family picture. Nevertheless, seeing them outside told Della just how close they’d come to being caught.
Too close.
*   *   *
“You getting anything helpful?” Chase asked fifteen minutes later, She hadn’t spoken since they’d left Natasha’s neighborhood as she read through the diary.
“No,” Della said. “It’s normal stuff, and it dates back almost two years.” She looked down at the handwritten notes from Natasha’s diary.
Another two minutes passed when he asked, “Do you want to talk about it?”
“The diary?” she asked, but she honestly knew what “it” was. Or at least, she feared she did.
“You’re giving me the silent treatment. So let’s just talk about it.”
She hadn’t purposely not spoken to him. She’d been busy reading Natasha’s diary, and feeling guilty for doing it. And then, trying to figure out why her aunt had been calling Natasha’s mom.
There was a connection. One she’d assumed had just been Chan. But if Chan’s mom was calling Natasha’s mom, it had to be more. Della was going to have to figure out what that was. But how, without going to see her aunt? Without making her father furious at her?
“Did you hear me?” he asked.
“Yes and no.”
“What?” he asked, confused.
“Yes, I heard you, and no, I don’t want to talk about … ‘it.’”
“You can’t be pissed at me about that.”
“Sure I can,” she seethed in a low voice.
“You’re not being fair.”
“Where did you get the idea I was fair?”
He chuckled. “Hey, you had your hand on my ass and I’m not mad at you.”
“Well, that just says which of us has a better handle on this. Because you should be pissed. Fondling strangers isn’t—”
“We aren’t strangers.” He glanced back at the road, but not before she saw the laughter in his eyes. A few seconds later, with his humor gone, he added, “We’re bonded. Sooner or later, you’re going to have to accept that.”
She started to tell him she’d never accept it, but she didn’t even know if it was a lie. So she just kept her mouth shut. Oddly enough, that seemed to bother him more than anything. She tucked that info away for another day.