Shade's Fall

Page 10


Shade talked for a few minutes longer before ending the conversation, walking toward Lily. Georgia’s face behind Shade’s back changed into one that made Lily agree that they were made for each other, and then she felt guilty for wishing Georgia on anyone. The woman wasn’t in the least way nice, and while Shade wasn’t the friendliest person, he had always watched out for her.
“What has you looking so guilty?” Shade asked.
Lily, as always, tried to be honest. “I was thinking that you and Georgia would make a nice couple.”
Shade’s face closed off. “Really?”
“That’s when I felt guilty. In case you didn’t know, she’s really not a nice person.”
Shade gave Lily a look she couldn’t interpret. “I think I can handle Georgia,” he said, walking to the door of the factory and holding it open for her.
“That’s good to know. Then I think you should go for it. She obviously has a thing for you,” Lily said helpfully.
Shade stopped in his tracks. “Lily, have I given you the impression I want to be your BFF?”
Lily followed behind Shade’s quick strides, trying to hide her hurt feelings. When he opened the door to the basement, waiting for her to enter, Lily avoided his eyes as she went inside.
“I’ll go get changed,” Lily said, heading straight to the restroom. It didn’t take her long to get changed, but Shade still beat her, already working out on the weights.
He paused when she entered the room, his eyes going to her new workout outfit. Shade didn’t say anything, but Lily could tell he didn’t like her choice of clothes.
The black leggings were several sizes too large, and the top was spandex but was also too large with long sleeves.
Shade placed his weights down. “Come here.”
Lily moved toward him.
Shade spent the next hour with her weight training, making sure the hand that had been broken started with minimal weight.
“Two more, Lily.” She was lying on the bench, lifting weights, when Shade’s hand went to the inside of her thigh.
“Keep your legs straight.” Shade’s hand guided her leg to where he wanted it.
Lily stiffened, almost dropping the weight.
“Keep your arms steady.” His hand glided up the length of her arm, steadying it.
Lily forced herself to straighten her trembling arms then almost dropped the weights when his hand lay flat on her stomach. The thin material of her shirt was no barrier against the warmth of his hand.
“Breathe, Lily.”
Lily took a deep breath then released it. She was beginning to feel surrounded by Shade.

“That’s enough for today.” Shade straightened, standing above her.
Lily felt him take the weights from her as she hastily got to her feet. She was thankful that the awkward experience was over.
“Two days a week we’ll work on weight training. The other three we’ll work on your defense moves.”
“That sounds good,” Lily said, not looking at him as she picked up her workout bag. “I appreciate your help, Sir.” She made herself refer to him the way he expected before she went to the door, not waiting for him, but she was very aware of him watching her as she made her way to her car.
Lily drove home, debating calling an end to their workout sessions. Her hand constantly snapped the rubber band against her wrist all the way home.
At dinnertime that evening, she was loading the dishwasher when Beth gasped. “Lily.”
She looked at her sister, seeing her horrified look, then looked down at her wrist. It was an angry red and was becoming inflamed.
“What have you done to yourself?” Beth exclaimed, becoming upset with tears in her eyes.
“Nothing,” Lily demurred, continuing to load the dishwasher. “I hadn’t even noticed that I was doing it.”
“Something must have upset you. What was it?” Beth asked.
“Nothing. Honestly, I don’t understand it, either,” Lily said truthfully.
Beth took a deep breath. “Okay, but next time be more careful.”
“I will.” Lily didn’t miss the concerned look that passed between Razer and Beth.
She had to get herself back under control, she thought, glancing down at her wrist. Whatever was triggering her anxiety had to be faced. She couldn’t keep avoiding it. Sooner or later, she was going to have to face her fears. Hopefully, she wouldn’t lose her mind when she did.
Upstairs, she changed into her pajamas, turning off her light but leaving the bathroom light on.
The wind blew against the window and Lily shivered. The wind was picking up, yet she didn’t worry about it. There had been no storm warnings posted.
Snuggling under her covers, she curled onto her side, letting her mind go back to the dinner that evening. Beth had looked so happy with Razer. The love Beth and Razer shared was special. Lily knew she would never find happiness like her sister; however, she would be satisfied if she could find someone to share her life with and have children. She wanted several children, though she feared the likelihood of finding the perfect father didn’t exist.
Lily was certain that everything that she loved was eventually destroyed with the exception of Beth. She was the one constant in her life. If she was ever taken away, Lily didn’t know what she would do. She was the one person that kept her rooted and sane.
Lily knew that even when she was in college, all she had to do was call and Beth would be there.
God help her if the day ever came that she wasn’t.
Chapter 4
She was able to calm her nerves by Friday, relieved that the weekend was almost here. The day was spent working steadily. She didn’t even let eating lunch with Shade faze her. Lily had managed to start loosening up around him slightly since she was spending so much extra time with him every day.
Jewell and Bliss were laughing and cracking up, making jokes as they worked next to each other. Lily noticed that Georgia didn’t say anything to the two women; in fact, she seemed to be trying to get friendly with them. While both women were always friendly to her, neither made any real attempt to become better acquainted.
After lunch, Lily went into the back room and was trying to straighten the seeds when several packs spilled out. Leaning over, she was attempting to put them back when the door opened and Gaige came in.
“Need some help?”
“I think I’ve got it under control,” Lily replied. She always felt uncomfortable when he was around. He inevitably managed to make her feel dirty when he looked at her.
Before she could rise up, his hand slid under the hem of her dress, sliding against her bottom. Lily dropped the seeds she was holding to the floor, jerking away from his touch.
She didn’t say anything as she quickly went to the door.
“Hey, I was just joking,” he uttered.
As soon as the door clicked behind her, she started shaking; however, her hand managed to slide into the pocket of her dress to pull out her phone. Praying silently to herself, she pressed Beth’s number and put the phone to her ear, aware of Bliss, Jewell and Georgia looking at her strangely.
Shakily, she managed to begin the walk to her workstation, becoming more and more upset that Beth wasn’t answering. She needed Beth when the darkness was about to hit. Beth could talk to her and calm her down.