Legend (Page 28)

Reese.

And it dawns on me.

She is with them.

I look at her and search her face to see if she knows who I am.

She knows.

I fought with Tate tonight and he can’t not know. Everybody knows by now.

I can see wariness and concern in her eyes, concern for what, I don’t know.

It’s not concern about me. Can’t be.

She glances past my shoulder at Tate and his wife, and I realize, it’s concern about them knowing she knows me.

Loss.

You can’t lose s**t you don’t have.

But in my mind I had some sort of . . . attachment to looking for her every day. I feel like I just lost a fight I didn’t even know I fought.

And I lost it to Tate.

“Mavewick!” I hear again, and I feel a tap on my thigh.

I look down again. “Hey, little buddy.” I fist-bump him before I can catch myself. I look at Reese, and she’s amused and surprised seeing that. I edge my hand back. A tight black top covers her upper body, and dark-wash jeans cover her legs. It’s hard to breathe right.

There’s something about this girl. What the f**k is it about this girl? I can smell her, a sweet flower scent, and feel her. She’s under my skin. I’m boiling in jealousy that she’s with Tate. Jealous she’s living with him, holding the hand of his kid. Rooting for him.

Jesus, how come my body always knows when she’s in my space?

Her purse slides down her shoulder and I impulsively grab it.

“Oh, it’s fine,” she flusters.

I sling it over my shoulder reluctantly and signal for her to walk past me. “After you.”

“Mavewick, come celebwate.”

“Can’t, buddy.”

I watch her as they walk next to me.

Every inch of my body is beat-up but the pain is gone now. The pain is gone except the new one in my crotch.

I’m attracted to her round little face, her heart-shaped mouth, her firm little legs, the softness she has going on in all the right places. The shade of blue in her eyes. She calls to me on the most primitive level. She’s in my f*****g veins. This girl.

I grab her waist and keep her close to me as we shuffle out into the crowd.

Her breasts press into my chest. I inhale for control, but my mind’s f*****g running a thousand miles an hour. The blood rushes south. Impossible to get enough blood supply to my brain. Her hard little nipples press against the flat of my chest. It’s impossible to stop thinking of those firm, round breasts and how great they feel. I’m getting all lathered up just thinking of getting my hands on them, squeezing and teasing them with my fingers, tasting them. I’m betting her nipples are as pink as her lips, and I want to softly smother them with my mouth and suck on the tips until my jaw hurts.

My dick is in pain and my balls hurt big time. The fact that she smells great and that I seem to lately be replaying our conversations in my head doesn’t help.

The crowd clears and Racer starts running for his dad, who’s watching us narrowly. Reese starts after Racer, but I catch her wrist.

“Wait,” I softly command.

She looks down at my hand, and I force my fingers to uncurl and let the f**k go. My jaw aches when I clench it but I can’t loosen it up, not my jaw, not my fists at my sides, ready to crush something. I don’t know what frustrates me more. Who Reese is, or who I am.

I want to say something, but I can’t seem to know what. It’s Reese who speaks first.

“You’re not Parker the Terror’s son.”

Our eyes meet and hold. “No.”

“Your father is Scorpion.”

“Yes.”

She says nothing after that. As if there’s no more to say.

EIGHTEEN

WHO I AM

Reese

“Why did you let him bait you?” Brooke asks Remy.

We’re in the SUV on our way back to the hotel and the tension after Maverick hasn’t at all dissipated. Pete, Riley, and Brooke have all been sending Remy covert, confused glances, and I haven’t been able to get past the moment Maverick took my wrist and stared into my eyes, looking raw and frustrated.

Racer is asleep in his car seat. It seems that she’s finally asked what the team has been wondering. Everyone except me, because I’m drowning—drowning—in my own thoughts so much I cannot breathe. I’m just staring out the window at the Denver streets, wondering who sewed up the cut above his eye, which looked freshly open and swollen again.

And remembering what it felt like to have his strong arm around me in the park and lay my head on his chest and smell the soap on his shirt. Oh god.

Remy just shoots her a smile with Racer’s same dimple, except he has two.

“He’s Scorpion’s spawn!”

He laughs softly and clenches his hand around the back of her neck. “He’s a puppy, Brooke. Oz is not what he needs, and no one else will give him the time of day.”

She sighs.

“What did his father do?” I blurt out.

I’m all wound up from what I’ve been hearing. All I know is that him being Scorpion’s son is not good. Pete and Riley threw out words like “corrupt” and “poison” like I’ve never heard.

And then I saw him in the lobby, his cheekbone a little purple and a cut above his eye, and all I know is that he’s the same Maverick from the park.

I’m sad.

I’m sad with hopelessness and helplessness, wondering if this means the end of the bone-deep, soul-deep things Maverick makes me feel.

Remington looks at me with interest after my question. I’m sure he knows I know Maverick, beyond tonight. That Maverick and I have . . . well, I don’t know what we have. But it means something to me. Maverick means something to me.