Town of Chance: Fight for Freedom(5)

By: Dixie Lynn Dwyer

“So, what the hell is going on?” Max asked them.

“You tell us, Max,” Kenneth replied. He wasn’t going to be so nice if Max knew what danger Shelby was in and didn’t share it with them. He knew that they cared for her and wanted to make her their woman.

Max raised one of his eyebrows at Kenneth. “Excuse me?”

“What he means to ask is whether or not Shelby has confided in you about her past and the possibility of any trouble she could be in?” Bender asked.

Max took a sip from his bottle of Bud and then looked around them. “She hasn’t told me anything, but the fact that she uses her mother’s maiden name for all her documents and her paychecks from you, Kenneth.”

“Her mother’s maiden name?” Kenneth asked, learning this for the first time. Granted, he had an office assistant that handled payroll and such, but she never mentioned anything about Shelby’s name being different.

“So it’s Walters not Cummings? We all assumed that maybe they had different fathers because of how Caroline described their mother to Hunter and the guys. Shit, I didn’t even know that,” Kenneth said to him.

“This is what I know. Shelby was involved with a bad relationship with some guy. Things ended and she left him. There were no other details, no indication that he was after her or wanted her back. But obviously he scared her enough that she changed her name as precaution. It’s actually hyphenated. I didn’t push for more information at the time because she was going through enough with Caroline being abducted and then killing Cameron and of course C.J. being shot. I told her that we would get together and discuss things after everything settled down. I suppose now is as good as a time as any.”

“We think so, too. We’ve tried getting her to talk to us, but she isn’t cooperative,” Bender told Max.

“Have you considered that maybe she doesn’t the feel the same way about you guys that you feel about her?”

“No fucking way. We’ve kissed her and she’s kissed us back,” Kenneth told him.

“Well, not me,” Sam added.

“She gets all scared. She’s come straight out and said she doesn’t want us but it’s a lie.”

Max squinted his eyes and then exhaled.

“Something is definitely holding her back. Let me see what I can find out. But if she says that she’s not in any danger, there’s not much I can do.”

“We understand. Then we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing and keep letting her know how we feel and keep watching over her,” Sam said, but Kenneth didn’t think he had that much patience. He was a man used to getting what he wanted when he wanted it. Like that night in his office, when they were alone and she looked so sexy and smelled so good. When he saw her massaging her neck, it was an opportunity to touch her, and to maybe help her feel the attraction they shared. He had to kiss her, and despite her eventually pushing him away, it was a kiss that knocked him for a loop, and he knew he wanted more. Hell, he wanted all of her. The icing on the cake was that his brothers wanted her, too, and that never happened.

I’m not giving up and if need be, I’ll do some investigating myself.

Chapter 1

Shelby was in a bit of a panic. She’d avoided talking and meeting with Max all week, and here it was Friday and she knew she couldn’t dodge him any longer. So when Cynthia, another paralegal from the office, complained about having to drive into Charlesburgh three towns away to drop off documents and other items at the county courthouse there, Shelby looked at it as an opportunity. By doing that delivery for Cynthia, she could eliminate the opportunity for the stares and small talk from Kenneth she dodged all week, and she could get out of work early and skip meeting with Max. She would worry about talking with Max over the weekend. She needed to get herself mentally prepared to meet with Shayla, the new therapist she started seeing, at her office in Cambridge tomorrow.

She exhaled as she gathered her things and prepared to leave. Her hope was to get over her fear and the anxiety Skip caused. It had been two years since she left him, and she had to start living and believing even if he did find her—that was if he was looking—she would be able to handle it. The thought alone had her shaking, and she dropped the small cup of paper clips on the rug in front of her desk. She bent down to pick them up, her mind on Skip, on the scars he caused, on seeing the therapist, and avoiding Max and the guys and getting the heck out of here.

“Let me help you with that.” She gasped and nearly lost her footing as she squatted, but Kenneth caught her arm. He pressed close and put his arm around her and his hand over hers and some paper clips on the rug.

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