Bound To Him

By: Hannah Ford

(Obsessed With Him, Book Six)

I stared at Colt across the table of the restaurant, searching his face for any sign he might be joking or that maybe I’d misunderstood what he was saying. But from what I could tell, he was completely serious.

“What are you talking about?” I set my fork and knife down. Suddenly, I wasn’t hungry anymore. Caleb’s card sat there on the table between us, but I refused to pick it up – I felt like if I did, I’d be somehow admitting that I agreed with Colt’s crazy request for me to work with the FBI, which I was most definitely not going to do.

“Olivia, there’s no reason for you to go down with me.”

“I don’t understand,” I said slowly, and now my heart was pounding. “You said that you talked to your uncle, you said that he said okay.”

“It’s true,” Colt said. “My uncle agreed that I could buy him out. He’s going to let me buy his part of the business and be the sole owner of Loose Cannons. But that doesn’t mean that the FBI is going to stop digging around.” His eyes were dark and burning, and I didn’t like the look he was giving me. It was grave and somber with just a touch of regret, the kind of look people gave when they were going to tell you something you didn’t want to hear, and when they knew you already suspected what it was they were about to say.

I knew that look. I’d seen it on the faces of countless social workers and foster parents. I hated that Colt was now the one giving it to me. I used to be so annoyed by the cocky self-assured look that was always pasted on his face, but right now I missed it.

“No,” I said. “No. The FBI will stop. Once there’s nothing going on, once you’ve—”

“Olivia,” Colt said, cutting me off. He reached across the table and put his hand on top of mine. “You know it’s not that simple.”

I wanted to protest, wanted to tell him that of course it was that simple, that as long as he just put a stop to whatever was going on at Loose Cannons, that everything would be okay. But deep down, I knew it wasn’t true.

“Why not?” I demanded anyway.

“Because it’s just not.” He sighed. “Look, for you to ruin your life? Over me. I’m not…” He trailed off and I knew what he was going to say. He was going to say he wasn’t worth it, that he wasn’t worth me going down in flames for him. I started to protest, but a look of steely determination overtook his face.

“I won’t allow it.”

“And what if I don’t agree?”

His hand tightened around his water glass. “You will.”

“No.” I shook my head and took my hand from under his, crossed my arms over my chest like a spoiled child who was about to have a tantrum. “I’m not working with the FBI.”

“Olivia,” he said, and now an edge was starting to creep into his voice, a sharp edge that made me realize he wasn’t messing around. And yet I wasn’t going to back down. Now that I’d had a taste of what it felt like to speak my feelings, to not try to dull everything by cutting myself, I wanted more of it. I was feeling things, real things, for the first time, and it was making me high.

“No,” I said. “I’m not doing it. If you want to help the FBI, then you help them.”

“You’re acting ridiculous,” Colt said, raising his voice a little. “Do you have any idea what you’re messing with here, Olivia? This isn’t shoplifting at the Rite Aid one day after school, the kind of thing you can weasel your way out of. This is the fucking FBI.”

My mouth went dry and I felt the first shards of fear pricking at the back of my neck. “I’m not a snitch.”

“Jesus,” Colt said, and now he was really angry. So angry he slammed the glass of water he was holding down on the table loud enough to make me jump. There were a couple of older women sitting over by the other window, and they glanced up from their menus and over at us.

“Be quiet,” I said. “People are starting to look.”

“You think I give a shit?” Colt shook his head and then he was up and out of his chair, taking me by the hand and pulling me up and out of my seat, being careful not to touch the cuts on my wrists.

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