Home > Who I Am with You (Unexpected Heroes #1.5)(4)

Who I Am with You (Unexpected Heroes #1.5)(4)
Author: Melody Anne

After a few moments he pulled back, feeling better than he had in months—in years, actually. His life was in chaos right now, and he didn’t know what he was going to do next, but one thing was for sure—he was finally going to see where these sparks between him and Taylor would lead.

When her eyes fluttered open and she looked into his burning gaze, he smiled, knowing that the two of them were destined to be on this path, even though they hadn’t come together again under the best of circumstances.

She smiled back at him and then lifted her hand, and he waited for her caress. Instead, she pinched the skin on his chest, hard. Recoiling, he gaped at her, stunned.

“Don’t think you can take what hasn’t been offered,” she said, then turned and walked away.

She was in the cab of her truck before his shock wore off, and he made it to her window just as she got the vehicle started.

“Come on, Taylor. Don’t you want to extend our touching reunion?” he said, shock gone, his attitude back.

“Take that trip to hell I suggested earlier.” She threw him a mocking smile, then slammed the truck into gear and peeled away, barely giving him time to back up so his feet wouldn’t get run over.

He stood there on the shoulder of the road and watched until her taillights disappeared, and then he jogged back to his truck and jumped into the cab, grateful for the warmth.

“Don’t think I’ll give up that easily,” he muttered aloud as he shifted into gear and took off down the asphalt.

He and Taylor had a story to finish, and he knew that the telling of it was going to leave them both gasping for air.

“No. I don’t need for you to baby me all the time!” The hurt on her mother’s face made Taylor feel instant remorse, and she backpedaled—a little. “I’m sorry, Mom. It’s just that this is frustrating. I’m not some helpless little female who needs everyone to continually act like I’m broken.”

“I know, darling, but you can’t imagine how frightened your family has been since the accident,” Maggie said, wringing her hands.

“I hate that I scared you, but I’m fine. I’m already feeling better. It’s just going to take a little more time before I’m allowed to race again.” Taylor paced the large country-style kitchen.

“You can’t possibly be thinking of going back, Taylor. The doctor said you were lucky this time, but if you receive another brain injury, it could leave you catatonic,” Maggie gasped.

“Mom, every occupation has its risks. Are you constantly giving Hawk lectures about running into burning buildings? Because I can sure as hell tell you that if a building is on fire, I’ll be running away from it.”

“There’s no reason to swear, Taylor.”

“Mom . . .” Taylor was so tired of being lectured.

“I’m just concerned about you,” Maggie told her daughter.

“You’re not concerned about the boys, and they have far more dangerous occupations!”

“That’s different, Taylor . . .”

“Why? Because Hawk and Bryson are guys, and I’m just a measly girl?”

“No, honey. I don’t think you’re any less capable than either of your brothers.”

“Yes, you do. I’ve always been babied no matter how many times I prove myself. I have won championships, Mom. I’m good at what I do. Bryson faces danger every day with bad guys who want to shoot him down, and Hawk could be buried alive in the wreckage of a burning building, but you don’t give them nearly the amount of grief that you give me.”

This was an argument Taylor had repeated with her parents time and again. She was tired of it, but until they accepted her for who she was, she’d continue to argue with them.

“I give them just as many lectures on safety as I give you,” Maggie huffed, refusing to back down.

Walking up to her mother, Taylor threw her arms around her. “I love you more than anyone else in this world, Mom, but I can’t stay here any longer. I feel like I’m suffocating.” Though Taylor didn’t want to hurt her mother, she needed desperately to get away from her childhood home. She’d never be treated as an equal here.

“It’s too soon for you to be on your own. Besides, you gave up your apartment,” Maggie pointed out.

“Don’t remind me. I had to give it up because I could barely walk when they released me from the hospital, but I’m doing much better now. I love you to pieces, you and Dad, but can you honestly tell me that you would want to go and live with your parents again after being out on your own for six years?”

Maggie said nothing for several moments, and then her shoulders sagged the slightest bit, and Taylor wanted to back down, but she knew if she did then she would never get to regain her independence. And she really, really needed to feel strong again.

“Well, if you must go, why don’t you go and stay at Bryson’s cabin?” Maggie asked. “It’s only an hour’s drive out of town, and you can have peace and quiet. And I can still be there quickly if you need me.”

Taylor pulled back from her mom, her lips turning up in a brilliant smile. “That’s a great idea, Mom. I don’t have an income at the moment and I don’t want to go through all my savings, but this can give me some time to figure out what I’m going to do next. I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of it already,” she said, her mind already calculating what she’d need.

Her brother Bryson had a great hunting cabin out in the forest, about thirty miles down a winding gravel road on the outskirts of Sterling. Taylor wasn’t the most outdoorsy person, but if it would get her away from people trying to baby her, she would deal with Mother Nature.

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