Dream Life(4)

By: Becca Van

It wasn’t their handsome appearances that had intimidated Shyann but the air of authority the three brothers wore comfortably like a second skin. While she hadn’t been overly self-conscious, Shyann wasn’t full of confidence like the three Tremaine men seemed to be.

And after what had happened eighteen months ago, her self-assurance no longer seemed to exist.

Shyann was scared to the point of paranoia, but she had good reason to be.

When she realized where her thoughts were heading, she quickly pushed her uncertainties aside. Work had become her only anchor, her safety harness, and she latched onto it like the lifeline it was.

After placing the last book on the shelf, she walked through the aisles, making sure everything was set up for Monday morning and the library’s first day of business.

Shyann was excited about being the manager of the library, since she’d only been an underling in Athens, and she was looking forward to working with whomever the mayor had hired to help her out.

She expected Monday to be busy since fliers had been sent out to all the local residents in the mail as well as stapled to lamp posts and taped in shop windows. Shyann just hoped that she and her aide were going to be able to cope with the influx.

When she’d finished walking through the aisles, Shyann went behind the service counter, logged out of the computer, and shut it down. A smile curved the edges of her mouth as she hurried toward the front door and the security alarm. There was no need for her to worry about the back door because she’d locked that after she’d received the last delivery of books this morning.

She didn’t care if anyone thought her overly cautious, but she wasn’t about to be caught unaware from someone sneaking in the back. A shiver of fear skated up her spine, and the hair on her nape stood on end. She shuddered as goose bumps raced over her skin, and warily glanced about the empty building. When Shyann realized what she was doing, she mentally rolled her eyes and took a deep fortifying breath. There was no way he could possibly know where she was because she’d taken every conceivable caution she could think of before leaving Athens.

He’d be a fool to come out of hiding. The authorities would no doubt have wanted posters circulating regularly across the country.

She pushed her fearful thoughts aside, turned the interior lights off, armed the alarm, and hurried out the front door. After making sure the door was locked, she glanced about the empty parking lot, and for the first time since arriving in Slick Rock, she wished she hadn’t sold her car. She was so tired she was almost asleep on her feet and would have loved to have gotten into her car and driven home. However, that wasn’t possible since she’d sold her vehicle for cash as well as for safety reasons. She didn’t want him being able to track her down through her license plate.

Shyann slung her purse over her shoulder and started walking.

Her mind was totally blank as she put one foot in front of the other. She was too exhausted to think or to take in her surroundings. She didn’t even notice she was about to walk by the diner since she was on automatic pilot, and she certainly didn’t see the three men standing in front of her. That was until she slammed into one of them.

She raised her sore gritty eyes to the person she’d walked into, an apology on her lips, but the words fled from her mind when her gaze locked with a pair of masculine green eyes filled with concern.

“Are you okay, Shyann?” Raiden asked as he steadied her by wrapping an arm around her waist.

She nodded and tried to convince herself to stop leaning against his big, warm, hard body. When she noticed Raiden was intently scrutinizing her face, she lowered her gaze and tensed in preparation to pull out of his embrace.

Raiden nudged her chin up with a knuckle. “You look exhausted. What have you been doing?”

“Working,” she replied softly as she straightened before stepping back.

“Where do you work, Shyann?” Brigg asked.

The way he asked his question hadn’t been a query at all. Brigg had practically barked out his question as if he was a drill sergeant commanding his troops. She took exception to his tone and authoritative attitude. “Here and there,” she replied evasively.