Previously: Grace struggles to figure out what is going on with Piper and decides to ask Connor for help.
Connor’s face remained grave for all of two seconds before it morphed into a smirk as he looped his arm through hers and steered her away from the door, down the steps and out of the building, all while she tried to ask him just where they were going. Not that she really expected an answer now.
He never answered her. He broke away from her to lean against a sleek, black motorcycle, tossing her the helmet that had been resting on the handlebars. “No,” she scowled at him, planting her feet, her arms across her chest.
“There is no way I am getting on that deathtrap toy of yours.” He chuckled in response, patting the seat, “Good luck walking, darling, it’s a couple miles away.”
Just where did he intend on taking her? She had asked for his help, not a road trip! The way he looked at her when she put on the helmet with a sigh, he might as well have won the lottery.
“My lady,” he swung one leg over the bike, holding out his hand to guide her onto the back. “I will kill you if we die.”
“That’s physically impossible, Grace. I thought you were supposed to be the smart one,” he quipped, looking back at her from over his shoulder.
“Hold on tight.” There was no need to tell her twice. She held on for dear life, her arms wrapped around his torso, her hands clinging to his flannel as he raced down the streets of campus carelessly until she knew they were no longer on university grounds.
“Home sweet home,” He came to a rolling halt outside an apartment complex, offering her his hand.
She walked past him instead, gazing up at the building in front of her before looking back at him. “Home? Are you kidding me?”
He shrugged and gestured for her to follow, leading her into building and down the hall, where he guided her into his apartment where her eyes flitted across the spacious living room.
It was the opposite of what she expected from him, with a beige theme to the furniture and maroon walls, a grand piano sitting in the left hand corner.
She was torn out of her observations by Connor waving his hand in front of her face, walking around her to stand in front of her, taking up her field of vision. “Earth to Grace, are you still alive in there?”
“Are you a child of a freaking billionaire or something?” She spoke without thinking, realizing a second too late that she had taken a hostile tone with him.
“If that’s what you want to believe.” He didn’t elaborate further on the subject, instead gesturing toward his couches. “Make yourself at home.”
Grudgingly, she sat down, watching as he did the same, leaning forward with his elbows on his knees, his chin resting on his hands.
“So, how do we help Piper?” She wanted to get straight to business, without the distractions that Connor seemed to be a master at presenting.
“Oh, there is not much we can do for her, I’m afraid,” he answered with a shrug, “You, however, are a different story. Grace, where are you from?”
“What does that have anything to do with this?” She was beginning to think that she should have listened to Sam. What if this guy was trouble? What exactly had she gotten herself into?
“Just curious is all,” there was that look in his eyes again, like he was searching for something within her as he held her gaze, his mouth a thin line, neither smiling or frowning.
“Tell you what, let’s make this more interesting. I ask you a question and, once you give me your answer, you can ask me a question in return.”
“Fine, I’ll play your little game,” at least then she could figure him out, find out whether the rumors were true … or if there was something darker hidden in the secrets of the mysterious stranger that sat across from her.
He grinned at her like a beaming ray of sunshine, as if trying to appear innocent. “Great! Now, first things first, how long have you been on campus?”
“A semester and a half, almost a full year now,” She replied, rolling her eyes with her arms crossed against her chest. “Why do you live this far off campus? What’s with the big fancy apartment?”
“What do you think?”
“That you are an arrogant prick who lives off daddy’s money and is the local heartbreaker, like the rumors say,” she growled, glaring at him.
This wasn’t helping Piper. This wasn’t helping anyone, just who the hell was Connor anyway? He did not seem fazed in the least by her anger, instead smiling and tilting his head to one side to look at her from a different angle.
“And where are you from?” “What does that have to do with anything?” Her hands clenched, her knuckles white, her fingernails digging into her skin. She was sick of this and it had only just begun. “Everything.”
“Stop being so vague and just tell me!” Her scream echoed, the lights had extinguished as if they were simply candles to be blown out. She waited for him to say something, anything at all to break the silence — anything but the question she couldn’t answer.
It should be simple, so very simple to just tell him what he wanted; yet, each time she searched her mind for the answer it eluded her. Where was home? Where was she from? Why couldn’t she remember?
“It’s worse than I thought.” Connor murmured. She had not noticed him stand, but now he paced the room, his face pale, full of concern. His shoulders shaking and his hands clenched, he turned to face her again. “Grace, I need to you to tell me everything you remember. Everything, understand?”
She nodded numbly, barely aware of what was going on.