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Powerless: Chapter 30

Sloane

Cade: Want to come over for a delicious home-cooked meal tonight? Would love to see you!

Jasper: Why are you talking all weird like that?

Cade: Like what?

Jasper: Nevermind. I’ll ask Sloane.

Cade: Are you guys banging yet?

Jasper: Jesus, Willa. Give Cade his phone back.


“No.” I cross my arms over my chest and glare at Sloane from the driver’s seat of my Volvo.

“Yes.” She tips her chin up.

“I’m not staying in the fucking car like a little kid, Sloane.”

“Listen, you got to deal with your shit. I need to be the one to deal with mine.”

I groan and run a hand over my face. “You’re making me sound like some sort of domineering asshole.”

“If the shoe fits,” she says and flattens her lips, giving me a little shrug.

I tip my head back. “I just want you to be safe. I don’t like Woodcock. I don’t trust him.”

“He’s probably not even home.” She glances out the passenger window at the tall glass building over her shoulder. “It’s the middle of the afternoon and he’s a workaholic.”

“And if he is?”

“And if he is, then that’s a conversation I’ll have with him. I don’t need you standing there snorting like an angry bull behind me.”

“I’ll wait outside,” I concede.

“Outside the building?”

“No.” I unbuckle my seat belt and round the vehicle to open her door. “I’ll be outside the door of his unit.”

When I look down into the car, Sloane sighs. But I see her lips twitch. I’d never forgive myself if he laid a hand on her, and I don’t trust the fucker as far as I can throw him.

“Fine,” she huffs out, taking my hand as she steps out.

Without letting go of her hand, I open the back door and pull out the cardboard box we brought with us. We enter the ritzy building and head straight for the elevator. As the doors close, I catch sight of us in the mirrored wall of the small space and read Sloane’s body language. The way she’s tucked herself tight beside me, the way her long bangs have swept down over her face, the way her teeth are scraping over her bottom lip repeatedly.

The woman can dance on stage in front of thousands of people with all the confidence in the world but this has her nervous. These people who were supposed to care about her—supposed to love her—have beaten her down.

They make her feel insecure.

And I hate them for it.

I pulse my hand around hers reassuringly, and her head snaps up.

She catches my gaze in the mirror. “Hi, Jas,” she whispers.

“Come here, Sunny.” I tug her gently into me, turning her into my chest where I can feel her breath on my shirt, feel her heartbeat against my ribs.

It almost doesn’t seem real how we slipped so effortlessly into this new relationship. It feels like we’ve been together all along, and I guess in some ways we have.

“I’ll feel better once I get all my stuff out.”

“You should let me—”

“Jasper, stop. I need to do this for myself. Reclaim my life on my own. You get the hallway, deal with it.”

I squeeze her head again, resting my cheek against her hair. I watch us again in the mirror.

Her bright blonde, my warm brown, her porcelain skin, mine tanner. The way she fits against me and compliments me. It just doesn’t seem like it can be a coincidence.

It seems like something so much bigger than us.

“You’re gonna deal with me peeling those jeans off and eating your pussy in this elevator on the way back down,” I mutter against her head.

She laughs as she rolls her forehead across the dark gray T-shirt that stretches over my chest. “You’re such a caveman sometimes.”

She tenses when the elevator dings and comes to a slow stop at the thirty-first floor. The doors slide open to reveal a small foyer. There are no other doors off of it, just the big sleek one before us.

A security camera resides in the upper corner, the red light blinking at me like a dare.

I toss the box toward the stately entrance and cup Sloane’s head, pushing her up against the wall, crushing my mouth against hers.

The first noise she makes sounds surprised, the second is a moan. Her hands rake up my chest, nails scraping when she drags them back down. Her lips go soft, and her jaw relaxes in my grip.

I have never been able to scare her off. She’s relentless and loyal.

No matter how many people leave me, she never does.

It doesn’t matter what I say or what I do—what I like. She just rises up to meet me. Turns to putty in my hands while I kiss her senseless before sending her into the penthouse she shared with her ex mere weeks ago.


I’ve stood out here for thirty minutes, too tense to even scroll through my phone. Instead, I listen at the door like a total creep, trying to make out if I can hear voices or not. I can hear shuffling, possibly even humming, coming from the unit.

I’m assuming if Woodcock were in there, I’d hear a lot of bitching and moaning.

Keeping myself from barging in there is a Herculean feat. And it’s not even jealousy at this point, or concern for her safety, because I’m almost positive she’s alone in there.

It’s that I’m finding I don’t like being away from her at all. I don’t know if it’s the need to make up for lost time, or if I’m just being a clingy bastard, but I’d rather be in there helping pack her stuff than standing out here overthinking every small particle of my life.

And hers.

I hear the knob jostle and her petite form pops out through the door. She’s struggling under the weight of the box and still manages to look lighter somehow. “Hi!” Her voice is bright, a little breathy.

Rushing forward, I snag the box out of her arms and press a quick kiss to her lips, feeling desperate for her. Relieved. I want to whisk her away, back into the bubble that was just the two of us on the road.

Yeah, everything in our personal lives was shit at the time. But it was us, alone. Not all this other stuff to deal with.

“All okay?” I ask.

“Yeah.”

“He wasn’t there?”

“No.” She shakes her head briskly, reaching forward to press the elevator button. “Just me, burning through there to find my stuff. It’s funny . . .” She glances over her shoulder at the door.

“What?”

“I just . . . I thought I was going back there to get my stuff. That I needed my stuff. But as soon as I walked in there, I wanted to be back out here. With you. Hell, I didn’t want to be here at all today, and I told myself I’d only grab the things that were important. The things that meant something to me. So I walked around looking for them but . . . I didn’t find them.”

“Did that asshole do something to your stuff?”

“No, no. It’s just . . . nothing in there means anything to me. I’ve lived there for a few months and I’m attached to nothing. There was nothing . . . important. Not a single memory of my time with him that I wanted. People say I’m overly sentimental, but I couldn’t find a single thing in there to feel sentimental about.”

Fuck, that’s sad. I don’t like Sterling but Sloane is a different story. And to hear she was living a life that held so little meaning to her fucking hurts. I slide my spare hand over the small of her back reassuringly. “So what am I holding in this box?”

“Oh, that? Yeah. I ended up getting every single thing that was mine and cramming it in there.”

I snort. “I thought none of it mattered?”

She lifts her face, looking like royalty as she tips her chin all high and regal. “It doesn’t, but I’m not leaving a single piece of myself in there. Not my favorite chips. Not a toothbrush. I want to disappear from his life. Just poof,”—she snaps her fingers—“gone, like I never existed in that penthouse. For a while, I felt like he deserved an explanation. But I don’t think he does anymore. That was the only closure I needed.”

She takes a small step closer to me, which is all the confirmation I need. Deep down I know it was never really a choice between the two of us.

But it feels good to be chosen all the same.

It also feels good when I slide my hand down and take a big handful of her Levi’s-clad ass while winking over my shoulder at that red blinking light. Because I know Sterling Woodcock will check these tapes.


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