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Chapter 128: "Should we run?"

"I really could take those," Andrew said, motioning to the tray of coffee cups that Shivaughn was carrying.

"So now you don't think I'm capable of carrying coffee?" she said, though she made clear that she was teasing.  "I might not be the world's greatest surfer, but I spent more than enough time bussing tables at my folks' place."

Andrew smiled.  "Okay, okay.  And here I was trying to be chivalrous."

The light changed and they began to cross the street.  The hospital was another block away.

Shivaughn took her time crossing, letting Andrew move a few steps ahead so she could get a good look at him from behind.

Admit it, she said to herself.  You just want to stare at his ass.  So what if she did?  The man looked mighty fine in a pair of jeans.  She suspected the view would be even better without the jeans

"Coming, my dear?  Or are you enjoying the view too much?"

Shivaughn blushed furiously when she realized that Andrew had turned his head and caught her checking him out.  She hurried to catch up to him on the corner.  He held out a hand as she stepped onto the curb.

"Maybe you should walk in front of me for a little bit," he said with a good-natured smile.  His eyes sparkled in the bright sunlight.

Shivaughn rolled her eyes.  "I think you've seen enough, Andrew Donovan.  Don't think I missed the way you were ogling me yesterday during our 'lesson.'"

"I did not ogle," Andrew replied in a slight huff.  "I . . . I watched with appreciation.  Great appreciation."

"And close appreciation, I bet."  Shivaughn could not help but laugh.

"I pay attention to details.  What can I say?"  He joined in her laughter.

They began walking again.  She could tell Andrew was watching her out of the corner of her eye, and her heartbeat quickened.

That was hardly surprising.  She had felt a strong attraction to him from the moment they met.  His constant attention and flirting showed he felt the same.  Some of it, she suspected, was an attempt to deflect his concern about his mother, but she could tell a lot of it was real.  Shivaughn expected it was just a matter of time before they acted on their impulse.  She just wondered how long it would take and whether she should force the issue.

They started to cross through the covered parking lot to the hospital entrance when Andrew spoke.  His voice was low, for only Shivaughn to hear.

"We're being followed," he said.  "Don't look around."

Shivaughn felt the air catch in her throat.  Followed?  By whom?  "Should we run?" she whispered.

"No.  We're fine."  She saw something flash in his eyes.

Andrew stopped short and extended his arm to block her path.  She spotted the reason.  Two men were approaching them.

"Get behind me," Andrew said.

Shivaughn complied and he turned slightly, forcing her back against a pillar.  To their right were the two men she had just seen.  To their left, she now saw two other men -- the ones Andrew must have spotted following them.  All of the men were young and African-American.  They all wore blue shirts.  Shivaughn may have been from the rural south, but she knew enough to recognize gang members.

"We don't want trouble," Andrew said, his voice remarkably calm.  His arms were extended out and back, on each side of her.  She could not see his face, but from the way his head was moving, she could tell he was trying to keep tabs on all four of the men.

"Too late," one of the men replied.  "You caused us too much trouble already."  He smiled, exposing a couple of gold teeth.

Andrew responded.  "I don't know what you're talking about.  I don't even know any of you."

"But we know you, English."  The man stepped closer.  "Collier was ours and the Rollin' 60s don't take shit from nobody, 'specially no weak-ass white dude."

Andrew's voice rose sharply.  "What the bloody hell are you talking about?"

Shivaughn noticed that the two men on their left had stepped closer. 

The man facing Andrew grinned again.  "He don't 'bloody' know.  That's dumbass shit.  Collier.  His road is ours.  Everyone know that after Vincent capped himself.  But he don't do us no good with you goin' and bustin' his face."

For the first time, Shivaughn saw the knife in the man's hand.  "Andrew," she whispered nervously.

He said nothing, but she could see the muscles in his shoulder and neck tense.

"I'll make you a deal, English," the man said.  "You tell me who paid you for that beatdown on Collier, and we won't mess up that pretty face of yours."

"What about this fine thing here?" one of the men to Shivaughn's left asked.  "She's tight."

"Leave her alone," Andrew said sharply.  Then his voice lowered.  "You really don't want to fuck with me, mate."

The men all laughed.  "We got four on your ass," said the leader.  "And I've got this," he added, waiving the knife in front of him.

"Andrew, please," Shivaughn said.  She was shaking, but she was more worried about him.  They would kill him.  "I don't want you to get hurt."

Andrew chuckled.  "Save your concern for our friends.  They'll actually need it."

He moved so swiftly, Shivaughn did not even have time to respond.  Andrew's foot connected with the leader's wrist, sending the knife skittering across the ground.  An elbow followed, slamming the leader in the face.  Shivaughn thought she saw a flash of gold fly through the air.

As the leader fell to the ground, Andrew spun back around, jumping between Shivaughn and the men who had stepped close to her.  Another kick struck one of them in the side.  He stagged backwards, clutching his ribs.

The other man charged forward, but Andrew grabbed him and they both twisted around, just in time for the last gang member's punch.  It connected with the jaw of the man in Andrew's grip.  His eyes rolled back in his head.  Andrew left him fall to the ground.

"Andrew!" Shivaughn shouted as she spotted the man Andrew had kicked come racing toward him from behind.  He began to turn, spotted the man, and ducked under his punch.  Momentum propelling him forward, the man ran right into Andrew's shoulder.  He twisted, easily flipping the attacker.  The man landed hard on his back, groaned, and stayed down.

There was only one gang member left.  His face was a mask of terror as Andrew turned back to face him. 

In a menacing voice, Andrew said, "You can take your mates and get out of here or I can break a couple of your bones.  Your choice."  The man backed away.  "Smart lad," Andrew said.

The leader was still on the ground by Andrew's feet.  He cupped his mouth and nose, both of which were bleeding profusely.  He started to slide away, but Andrew stepped toward him.

"Nobody paid me anything, mate," he said.  "I've got no horse in this race.  But you come after me or anyone I know again, and you'll wish I went this easy on you."

He turned and glanced at Shivaugn, then put an arm around her and led her past the defeated gang members.  The men made no attempt to stop them.  Still, she could tell that Andrew was moving quickly, even though he attempted to appear nonchalant.

There might be others, she realized.  Some of them might have guns.

"Hurry," Andrew said in a low whisper.  She could hear his ragged breathing, even though he appeared to have hardly broken a sweat in taking out the men.

Quickly, they wound their way through the parking lot until they saw the sliding glass doors of the hospital entrance.  Almost there, she realized.

Shivaugn realized something else.  Her heart was pounding and she was breathing almost as hard as Andrew was.  She also felt a heat and pulsing sensation between her legs.  She gasped, shocked and almost embarrassed at how aroused she was.

They reached the doors, which slid open, and stepped into the safety of the hospital corridor.  Andrew stopped and turned to face her, his eyes full of concern.

"Are you all right?  They didn't touch you, did they?"

He's worried about me? Shivaughn thought, her heart pounding even faster as she looked into his eyes.  "I . . . I'm fine," she stammered.  She reached out and touched his arm.  "How?  How did you do that?"

Did I really ask that? she wondered.  That was about the dumbest thing she could have said.  Not that she could say what she really wanted to.

"It's nothing," he said.  He looked her over.  "I guess the coffee's a loss."  Shivaughn was surprised when he motioned to the empty cardboard tray in her hand.  During the fight, she had not even noticed losing the cups.

Like we need caffeine right now, she thought.  Her breath was still coming fast and she could feel the adrenaline pumping through her.

"Forget the coffee," she said, stepping closer to him.

"Shi--"

She cut him off with a hard, forceful and demanding kiss.  She pressed her body tightly against him.  At first, she felt him tense up in surprised, but then he began to respond.  His kisses were as hungry as hers.  Her hands buried themselves in his thick, wavy hair and she forced her tongue past his lips, tasting him.

She wanted him so badly.

"Ahem!"

They broke apart and she blushed again, realizing that they were being watched by several nurses and a couple of people in the waiting area near the doors.  She groaned inwardly as Andrew pulled away. 

"We'd better get upstairs," he said.

Unable to think of anything to say, Shivaughn just nodded.  Then she felt a wave of shame.  Andrew's mother was in surgery and they had just been attacked for no reason she could discern.  And here she was trying to jump him in the middle of a hospital.  Sheepishly, she followed him to the elevator and they took it to the third floor.  Eventually, they reached the waiting room.  Caroline was knitting, Bo and Marlena were talking softly, and Jeannie was reading a casebook on defamation law.  Jeannie spotted htem first.

"Hey, where's my latte?"  She then gave them a suspicious look.

Shivaughn exchanged a glance with Andrew, who sighed.  "Yeah . . . about that.  We had a little bit of an incident on the way back."

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
May. 29th, 2011 12:12 am (UTC)
interesting twist!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )