The next morning, Cadence and Scott know they have to find a better solution to her protection dilemma. He plans to contact his boss as soon as possible, to get her around the clock surveillance.
"So, what will they do with me?" Cadence asked suddenly.
"As far as protection? No idea. Sometimes we take a witness to a hotel. Other times, we patrol the neighborhood. Different levels of protection depending on circumstances."
She nodded, sniffling as she cleared her plate. "I want to thank you again, Scott. I know you didn't have to do what you did."
"Can't have my star witness scared and alone, can I?" He stood, bringing his things to the sink.
Cadence turned quickly, finding him directly behind her. She hadn't heard him walk up. She was in tears again. Scott put his plate on the counter and took her in his arms. She pressed her face to his shirt, crying softly. He held her close, stroking her hair and murmuring comfortingly in her ear. Not quite sure how it happened, he found himself kissing her. Mouth closed, at first, nothing special about it. Just an average, friendly kiss.
She opened her lips, her tongue diving into his surprised mouth. That was all the encouragement he needed. They stood there for several minutes, consuming one another. She clung to him desperately as he possessed her. His phone ringing broke the moment. Cursing, he looked at it. Nessa. He answered, trying not to sound as pissed off and horny as he was.
"What's biting your ass?"
"Never mind. What do you need, Vanessa?"
"You not to take my head off. You busy?"
Cadence started away from him. He took her hand, gently, worried she was upset. She pointed to the clock, then the door and he understood she needed to get ready for work.
"I gotta go," he mumbled.
Wide eyed, she nodded. He could tell she was afraid to be left alone.
"I can stay fifteen minutes," he murmured, the phone away from his mouth.
She made rushing motions and ran up the stairs.
"Is someone there with you? Where are you? You're not at your place."
"How would you know that?"
"Cause I'm knocking on your front door with donuts and coffee."
"I'm at a friend's place."
"Ooh, new lady friend?"
"Not like that. If you must know, my witness called me last night, terrified because our fourth floor guy saw her even more clearly than she saw him. She's afraid he'll find her."
"Yeah, my thoughts exactly."
"Okay. Give me the location. I'm on my way over."
"Ocean Sun, apartment Five ten."
"Ocean. . . . Oh, my God! Her place is the floor in between? Jesus, Scott. Why didn't you tell me that? I'll be there in ten. Stay tight. Call the station and tell them where you are so the lieutenant won't bust your ass when you get there."
"Good idea. See you in a few."
He concluded his call to the station as Cadence walked down the stairs. She looked incredible he couldn't help staring at her. She wore a short, gauzy black dress covered in rusty orange and lavender butterflies. Her necklace and earrings were teardrop shaped purple stones in antique gold filigree settings. Her sandals made her about three inches taller and clasped around her narrow ankles. Her golden hair was done in a loose chignon, her makeup minimal.
"Oh, teacher, spank me! I've been a bad boy!" he murmured as she got to the bottom step.
Cadence blushed, feeling his scrutiny. No man had ever looked at her that way—like a dying man seeing his first glimpse of heaven.
"If I took your class, I'd fail the whole year," he said as he took her hand, bringing it to his lips.
"Cause if I failed, I could take you again." It took him a second to realize how that sounded, but decided he didn't care.
Cadence laughed nervously, blushing more as he kissed her hand. His lips moved to hers, kissing her softly, lingeringly. A small sigh escaped her parted lips.
"You look—amazing. . . ."
"Thank you." She gently extracted her hand with an apology. "Sorry. Got to get my things." She pointed to her desk in the corner of the living room.
© 2015 Dellani Oakes