A sudden POP! from the street below was followed by car alarms. It made Riley jump and she shut her eyes, though she composed herself as quickly as she could. He could see her fear from the way her body trembled, he felt it hanging in the air between them. Her hair was a jumble of waves cascading behind her back and it felt soft in his hand as he brushed a lock off her left shoulder. She flinched from his touch and Ashe felt his throat tighten.
“It’s only a car backfiring,” he whispered and Riley nodded, opening her eyes again though she kept her gaze on a spot in the middle of his shirt.
For the next few minutes, Ashe circled her. The exhaustion he’d felt earlier was gone. Anger still coursed through him but there was relief, too, like a heavy weight suddenly lifted from his shoulders. Knowing what he was didn’t guarantee that she’d stay with him, but at least there would be nothing hidden between them.