“Is that your building up ahead?” David asked.
Isla sat up straight. There were two big news trucks outside her building.
A horn honked and she realized the light had turned green. The traffic was heavy and there was no way David could move to one of the outer lanes before they stopped at the next light.
“Why are they here?” She sank down in her seat and wished she’d brought a hat or something.
“Just be cool. We’ll drive by and head someplace safer,” he promised.
The car rolled another few feet and that was when someone noticed her. The camera crews turned like predators scenting an easy meal and they were all over the car. They swarmed all around the Audi and she heard the click of a button as David checked to make sure the doors were locked. Knuckles rapped on the windows and suddenly people were shouting questions. If there was any thought that this was some kind of a mistake, it was tossed away as they started shouting her name.
“Isla, what do you have to say about Trey’s incarceration? Is it true you were his lover and he killed his wife for you?”
“Isla, how much money will you get if you manage to help keep your lover out of jail?”
“Did you know Trey planned to kill Portia? Or was that a surprise? Did you help him set her up?”
“What?” She couldn’t believe what they were asking.
“Don’t acknowledge them.” David’s words came out in a hard tone. “Don’t even look at them. Stare straight ahead. Give them nothing. Don’t you dare let them see you cry. Keep your face as blank as possible.”
“An insider said someone else was in the penthouse that night,” a reporter said. She was in a form-fitting suit, a wireless microphone in her hands. “Was that you? Were you there when Trey Adams killed his wife, and did you help him clean it all up?”
She started to turn, but his hand came out, stopping her.
“Not a word.”
“But she mentioned a witness.” If there was a witness, shouldn’t they get that name?
“Their witness is very likely some crackpot who called into the station. Look out the front window and stop reacting right now, Isla. You can’t give them anything to use. And don’t cry. You can cry all you like when we get someplace safe.”
They kept yelling their questions and the day was crashing in on her. This was how her life was going to be. This would always taint her.
“Noah? I’m going to need Drew’s place. Can you call and have it prepped?” He had his cell phone pressed to his ear. “Of course it is. No. That won’t be a problem. Yeah, we have a press invasion at Isla’s. Same old, same old. Thank you.” He moved the car forward an inch, but the reporters were standing in front as well. His jaw tightened and he dialed the police. “Yes, there’s a car surrounded by reporters on Fifth outside the Tranor Building. It’s holding up two lanes of traffic. Thank you.”
“What do we do?” She hated the fact that her voice was shaky.
“We wait for the cops and pray my temper holds because I would really like to mow down a couple of reporters right now.” Despite his words, he put the car in park. “When we get to our new destination, I will be filing several suits against a couple of media firms.”
Somehow the fact that he was brutally angry calmed her down. He was here with her. “I don’t think you can sue them.”
“I’ll find a way.” His hands were tight on the steering wheel.
“Well, right now all they have is me looking confused and staring out the front window. I think we’ll be okay.”
“You want to give them something else to talk about?” His voice had gone husky, his eyes still on the reporters in front of them, but his jaw had softened slightly.
“What would that be?”
He was silent for a moment as though thinking about what he was going to say next. “They think you’re involved with Trey Adams. Show them you’re involved with me.”
Her heart rate ticked up and it wasn’t all about the situation they were in. “Seriously? I thought we were trying not to make news.”
He finally turned her way and his lips curled up in a grin. “I’m boring. If you’re having an affair with me, you’ll be boring, too.”
“That might be the worst line I’ve ever heard.” Even with the barbarians at the gates, he made her smile.
“Is it going to work?”
“Hell, yeah, it is.”
“Let me lead.” He reached over and put his hand on hers, drawing it up and bringing it to his lips. He kissed her hand and then held it to his chest as though giving her comfort or taking it for himself.
As though? No, she felt so much comfort in the touch of his hand. She leaned in and let her head find his shoulder. Under the thin material of his shirt, she could feel his heart beating against her palm.
Sure enough, the reporters were documenting every move they made.
“It’s going to be okay, Isla. This is going to go away and life will be back to normal again,” he whispered.
Those weren’t the words she heard though. She heard what his heartbeat was telling her. I’m a rock. You can hold on to me and I won’t break. You can count on me.