Home > Pulled Under (Walker Security #2)(5)

Pulled Under (Walker Security #2)(5)
Author: Lisa Renee Jones


Oh God. I’ve just sprayed Asher.

 

 

Asher rotates and flattens himself against the wall next to me. Instinctively, I follow, stepping in front of him. His eyes are shut, and even in the shadows of the dimly lit, deserted street, I can see the pain etched in his face. “Asher, I’m so sorry. I didn’t know it was you. I was alone and—”

“Stay away from the fumes,” he orders, his voice a deep rasp, and his eyes are watering to the point that it looks like he’s crying, when he’s not. “They fan outward,” he adds.

“I’m fine,” I say, not sure how he’s worried about me right now.

“You’re not fine.”

I have the mace in my hand and I hastily shove it back into my purse and zip it. “What can I do?” I ask looking left and right, down rows of concrete, old buildings shuttered for the night or just plain vacant, but there is no one in this area this time of night. “There’s no one to help,” I say. “I don’t know what to do. How do I help?”

“You don’t,” he says, huffing out a breath and blinking several times before he gives up opening his eyes. “It—will—pass.”

“How do you know? What if—?”

“I know.” He squats down, pressing his hands on his knees, lowering his chin to his chest. “It’s passing.”

I squat, but I’m already too off-balance as it is, clearly or I wouldn’t have sprayed him, and I just give in and settle on my knees. “Asher—”

“It’s passing,” he breathes out again, but as he sucks air in, it’s with a horrid wheezing sound.

“It’s not passing,” I say urgently. “You can’t breathe.”

“Give me a few minutes,” he says gruffly, lifting his head and actually opening his eyes. “It doesn’t affect me like other people.”

I blanch. “What? How would you know that? Do you make a habit of sneaking up on women and getting maced?” The accusation is out before I can stop it, that part of me just trying to survive going on defense. I regret it instantly, but it’s too late. He reacts before I can retract my words.

“Jesus, Sierra. I was going to walk you the fuck home.” He stands up and leans on the wall, his head resting against the hard surface.

“I’m sorry,” I say, scrambling to my feet, fighting the urge to touch him, when his clothes are contaminated and I shouldn’t be touching him anyway. “I’m jumpy on these streets back here and we just met. But you don’t deserve that and I shouldn’t have said it.”

His phone rings, and somehow he actually reaches into his pocket and pulls it out, but when he looks at the screen, he makes a frustrated sound. He lifts his head and looks at me, the whites of his eyes burned red. “My vision is shit right now,” he says, holding it out to me, the glow of a streetlight illuminating the pain in his handsome face. “Who is it?” he asked.

I glance at the caller ID. “It says… ‘Dickhead’.’”

He apparently likes whoever Dickhead is, or feels obligated to talk to this person, because he answers the call immediately. “Blake,” he bites out. “You’re on speaker.”

“Why do you sound like you have a stick up your ass?” Blake asks. “And why the fuck am I on speaker?”

“Before you say anything else,” Asher warns. “Sierra, from the bar, is with me.”

“Make me understand,” Blake says. “Why am I on speaker with Sierra from the bar?”

“I got maced,” Asher says, his voice gravelly. “I don’t want the residue on my phone.”

“Fuck.” Blake curses dramatically. “What happened? Who the hell maced you?”

“Me,” I say. “But I didn’t know it was him.”

Blake is silent two beats and then barks out laughter. “Holy fuck. Way to be a smooth operator, Ash. Holy fucking hell. How bad is it?”

“Tear gas,” Ash replies as if that answers the question, his voice not as gravely now.

“Ah well, hell, man,” Blake says, “You’re good, right? Luke told me your boys were hit with that shit in training so many times it’s now like drinking a cheap shot of tequila. It burns hard and fast, and then you beg for more.” I can’t help it. I have to ask. “Who is Luke and what training?” I ask, but I’m ignored.

Asher responds with a pained laugh as he lowers his chin to his chest again. “Yeah, man. I’m smelling daisies right now and doing it without a water supply.”

“You gotta find some water to at least rinse your eyes,” Blake says, bypassing my question for admittedly, and obviously, more important matters. “I can’t get a car and clothes to you for at least thirty minutes.”

“I’m not going in a public place with the residue all over me,” Asher says. “Send a pick up. I’ll ride in the back and I’ll wait right here.”

“Where is here?” Blake asks.

“I live in this shithole of a neighborhood,” I interject despite the many reasons I shouldn’t do what I’m about to do, but I have to help. I did this to Asher.

Asher lifts his chin and looks at me, a chill in his stare that wasn’t there before my accusation despite my spraying him with mace. There is also surprise, and thankfully far less pain than even minutes ago. “I’m two blocks away,” I say, doubling down on my offer, and my apology.

“Problem solved,” Blake says for him. “I need your address, Sierra.”

“I have to buzz you up when you get there,” I say before dictating the street and apartment number.

“Got it,” Blake says. “I’ll make sure you get clothes, Ash. Sierra. He’s more valuable than you know. Try not to kill him before I get there, will ya?” He doesn’t wait for a reply. He disconnects.

And I immediately try to make peace. “Asher—”

“You sure you want me in your apartment?” he asks, speaking almost normally now. “I might be a stalker who makes a habit of attacking women on the street.”

“I’m sorry,” I say again. “I’m very edgy for reasons that have nothing to do with you.”

“I’m standing right here, sweetheart. I’m pretty sure it has at least something to do with me.”

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