Home > Tail (Portland Street Kings #3)(6)

Tail (Portland Street Kings #3)(6)
Author: Evie Harper


Paulie's only just made it and jumped into his vehicle, while his accomplice is still a good meter off.

When I’m close enough, I spin the car to my left and pull the hand brake. Picking up the gun, I take one steady breath and aim, holding the weapon as still as I can. Squinting my right eye, I take the shot and hit my target, first the left tire and then the right.

Hearing the man still approaching the Mercedes shout a curse, I’m jolted from the thrill of hitting my marks, and quickly, I place the gun on the passenger seat and speed out of the gas station and onto the quiet road.

“Dom!” I shout.

“Highway,” he rasps out breathlessly.

Finding the exit, I turn off, and before I know it, we’re driving in an unknown direction, but at least we’re safe, for now.

 

 

Chapter Four

 

 

Della

Hearing Dom attempting to sit up in the back and grunting in pain, I offer to pull over, but he rasps out a clipped, “No.”

“Were you shot? Should I find the nearest hospital? Holy shit, what do you want me to do, Dom?”

Peering into the rearview mirror, I catch Dom sitting to full height and taking his blue T-shirt off. He moans and curses loudly as he rolls up his jeans and presses his shirt against his leg. “Just keep driving,” he replies gravely.

So that’s exactly what I do for the next thirty minutes. I speed down the highway praying Dom isn’t dying in the backseat from a gunshot wound. When I feel we’re a good distance away, I search out the nearest exit and take it.

Spotting an empty playground, not far from the exit ramp, I turn into the parking lot and switch the car off.

Looking down at my cast, staring at how swollen my fingers have become, I grimace, not wanting to know how much more damage I may have done to my hand.

Noticing Dom hasn’t questioned why we’ve stopped, I glance over my shoulder and catch him, still hunched over, grasping his right leg and staring at me, wide awake but as white as a ghost. “How’s your hand?” is the first thing out of his mouth.

My jaw drops open, and a fluttering begins in my stomach. “Fine, but you look terrible,” I reply, jumping out of my seat and then opening the back door. My eyes follow his arms and land on his blue shirt now partially soaked in blood. It's pressed tightly up against his calf.

“Bullet hole or graze?” I ask in a business-like tone. I’m proud of myself for keeping my voice steady, the complete opposite to how I’m feeling on the inside.

“Graze,” Dom replies with a hiss as he removes the shirt from his leg.

Wrinkling my nose, I recoil at the deep gash showing his flesh and the slowing blood that still seeps from the wound. “Do you have a first-aid kit in the car?”

Dom nods. “In the trunk.”

Grabbing the kit out, I instruct Dom to turn onto his stomach. He does, gritting his teeth in pain.

Kneeling at the back door, I unfold the kit on the gravel ground and begin by folding up the jeans leg and cleaning Dom's wound, as well as the blood off his leg and ankle. He makes no more sounds of discomfort. Only the arch of his back and the whites of his knuckles grasping the seat show his agony.

Unwrapping the gauze and placing it over the wound, I can’t help but stare at the many tattoos Dom has on his back. Even so, only one catches my full attention. It has two hands joined together by rosary beads, and with calligraphy font, the words "This I’ll Defend. Family and Faith." are written below it.

“Can I ask you something?” I ask while beginning to wrap the bandage around his leg.

“Of course,” Dom replies and drags his eyes to mine at the same time.

“Your family, you once told me they kicked you out. That you had nowhere to go but to the streets. Is that true?”

Slowly, Dom closes his eyes and presses his lips together firmly. After a moment, he answers, “No, I had loving parents. They were proud of me. No matter what I did, I had their encouragement and support.”

I freeze bandaging when my breath hitches and tears form in my eyes. Being told the man you love is a fraud is one thing, but hearing the actual words from him is something completely different. I’m surprised my chest is still able to ache after everything I’ve been through. Did I hold out hope? If I did, it was hidden deep inside of myself, and it just shattered to dust.

My lips itch to give my condolences at catching the "had" in his words, to ask if he’s okay. However, the hurt swirling inside me wins out. “So you thought the poor street kids who starved and slept in cardboard boxes would relate to your story?” I finish wrapping his leg and pull it as tightly as I can at the end. Dom grunts in pain and I quickly secure the bandage with a clip, and stand, brushing off my knees. “You knew exactly how to play us, didn’t you?”

Dom turns to his left side and sits up, “Della.” He grunts again, cupping his leg to keep it steady.

The last thing I want is to stand here and listen to more lies, so I slam the back door closed and jump into the driver seat. All I want is to be as far away from Dom as I can get. And to do that, we need to haul ass to Minnesota.

“It was my job. I didn’t know you then.” His defeated tone almost cracks my resolve; almost.

“Save it. It’s my own fault. I should have known better than to trust anyone.” My eyes spot the pain medication. Squeezing my eyes closed for a second and then opening them, I pick up the bottle and throw them at Dom in the back, “You should probably take two of those.”

Taking out my phone, I open my maps app and get directions to Aurora. Two hours away. I start the car and put us back onto the highway. My stomach grumbles and I check the time. It's two in the afternoon. No wonder I'm hungry. All I’ve had was the hospital's terrible breakfast muesli, and I missed lunch altogether.

Moments later, Dom grasps both sides of my seat, and his knuckles brush the backs of my arms. “Everything was a lie… until I fell for you.” Tears prick my eyes, but I refuse to glance at the rearview mirror. He tightens his grip on my seat. “Every look, touch, and kiss were real, and I’m so sorry my mistakes made you doubt that.”

Dom’s tortured tone causes my tears to finally fall. I don’t speak or look back at him. I’m afraid if I do, I’ll crumble back into that girl who was stupid enough to believe him in the first place.

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