I drop my head to stare down at his chest. I run my fingers through his chest hair.
“You mad, Mama?”
“No,” I say simply, because I’m not. This isn’t surprising. Saint is, after all, a computer hacker. I don’t know the specifics but I know he’s pretty good. It had actually crossed my mind a few times already that he might look into my past. I wasn’t hiding that well. I knew I just needed to stay hidden for a little while and give Nick time to move on. That thought makes my stomach clench. Not because he’s with someone else, but in fear for that someone else, whoever they may be.
“You seem a lot calmer about all this than I thought you would be. Is it because you’ve known for a while?” I ask.
“Actually, I haven’t known that long. I wanted you to open up to me on your own—”
“Oh, Saint,” I interrupt, feeling my heart ache at his words.
“It’s fine, Mama, we’re getting there. But when everything happened with Carter and Layla, and you wouldn’t give me the time of day unless it was to try to piss me off. But then again you know I’ll take any attention you shoot my way.” He gives me his cocky grin. I just roll my eyes.
“I had a few drinks one night. Got to missing you real bad. I told myself that if I found out what happened, who hurt you before, maybe I could make it better, and maybe I could find a way to get my Mama back faster.”
My heart squeezes more because I put him through this. He was just trying to make me better, like he tried with his mom.
“I’m so sorry, Saint. I know I’ve got some messed-up shit and I know I can be crazy.”
“Mama, stop,” he orders firmly, gripping my hips. “I don’t want you to change. I love your crazy. Your crazy drives me crazy for you. I couldn’t imagine you without your fire. I don’t want to. You couldn’t be more perfect for me. The first time you opened your mouth, I knew it. You were mine. Better yet, I’m yours.”
I feel another tear slip out.
“I want to get past some of the things I’m still hanging on to.”
“You will. With me.” He sits up and wraps me in his arms, just holding me. “We’re going to kill Nick.”
He says it so matter-of-factly, as if he had just asked me what I wanted for dinner tonight. It takes me a moment to fully process what he’s said.
I push back on his chest so I can look him in the eyes. I can see how serious he is. His eyes look a shade darker now than they did before. More intense “You can’t be serious.”
Saint picks me up off his lap and sets me back down on the bed. He strolls across the room and opens a dresser drawer, pulling out a file. He brings it back to the bed and tosses it down next to me.
“Nick Clint was suspended in high school after a female classmate said he raped her. Seems Nick’s father had some good lawyers and got that to disappear. Luckily I know how to find lost things. In college one of Nick’s girlfriends went missing. She still hasn’t been found. Then he got himself engaged. Before they could ever say “I do,” it seemed she slipped down the stairs and died in the hospital the next day. And then there was you. Your doctor seemed to think you were accident prone.”
I feel my breath catch in my chest.
“Just like the new Mrs. Clint.”
“You see, Mama. The world will be a better place without a man like Nick in it. And I have no problem giving him a little taste of his own medicine. I won’t lose any sleep over putting a bullet through his head. But this is your show, Jeanette. Just remember, monsters of your past are always there lurking in the dark, creeping up on you at night. We can make the monster go away. You can make it go away.”
It’s been a few weeks since she finally opened up to me. Things have been pretty damn close to perfect. After everything got cleared up with Layla and her father, the waters have been calm. There’s just one more thing that needs to be taken care of, and then I’ll know my Mama will be free from all the shit that fucker did to her. I’ll do anything to give that to her. Anything. After that, we can really start a life—pick out a place together, plant some babies in her, and do the normal nine-to-five. I’ll even drive a goddamn minivan if that’s Jeanette’s idea of the perfect little life.
After this final job, I’m out. I’ll be living by the letter of the law. Carter and I have walked some fine lines in the things we’ve done. We’ve lived by a certain code and I’ve always stuck to it, but when it comes to her, there’s no line I won’t cross to give her what she needs.