Reckless Love Page 39

I lowered my voice and tried to calm myself. “Why are you here?” I stared into her eyes, which were seriously bloodshot, but she wouldn’t meet my eyes as her gaze pinged around the room, apparently looking for an escape. “Sophia?”

She tried to turn away from me, but I still caught the tears that were filling her eyes.



I’d filled the tub with warm water and lavender essential oil and was trying to calm my nerves when the phone rang. I let it ring for a while, thinking I’d let it go to voice mail and check it later. But the ringing kept going and going, and then, when it finally did stop, it picked up again a few seconds later and started all over again.

I sighed. My phone was in the living room. Who would be calling me anyway? I went through my short mental list as I got up and grabbed my towel. Maybe it was my neighbor Soni. After the last incident with her grandson, I’d given her my number and told her to call me if he ever showed up again. Maybe it was her.

I picked up my pace and snatched the phone from the coffee table. “Hello.”

“MacKenzie, I need you.”

It wasn’t Soni, but I knew the voice instantly. My heart danced. “Yes,” I said.

“It’s Sophia. I need to get her to treatment. Can you help? I’m not sure how to do this.”

“Of course,” I said. “I’ll make some calls. Where are you?”

“We’re on our way to your place. See you soon.” He hung up.

The desperation in his voice caught me off guard. Ian needed me. Sweet relief washed over me. Even if I couldn’t have him the way I wanted him, I was still a part of his world. I’d pushed him away, but some invisible thread had tied us together, at least for now. A sense of purpose pushed me into action and I got to work.

I switched on my computer, threw on some yoga pants and a T-shirt, and began typing.

Finding a rehab center with openings late at night wasn’t an easy thing. Ian’s family could afford to pay, which made things a little easier, but I still ended up calling a handful of places before finally talking one into taking her.

The downside was that the place was a full three-hour drive away.

Ian hadn’t told me anything about the state Sophia was in, though I assumed she was high. When they arrived, I found I was right, although, thank God, she was going to treatment of her own free will.

“Three hours away. Isn’t there somewhere closer?” he asked when I told him the news.

I shook my head. “It’s hard to find a bed at one of these places at the last minute. Three hours isn’t that bad. I can drive part of the way.”

“No, I can’t ask you to come. You found us a place. That’s enough.”

“Oh no, I’m going with you.”

My firm gaze met his. Sorry, buddy, there’s no room for argument. He couldn’t possibly think it was a good idea to drive three hours alone with his coked-up sister. She needed a sitter.

He looked tired; I’d noticed it when he first came in. It was like he’d been fighting so long and so hard, he just didn’t know if he had any more fight left in him. I hated seeing him like that.

I grabbed the backpack I’d packed while waiting for them to arrive and handed it to Sophia. “It’s just a few things that might help.” She looked at me curiously. “We’re about the same size—T-shirts, yoga pants, underwear, and a toothbrush.”

I shrugged as Ian watched me silently, his eyes tracking my every movement. Then I grabbed my purse and took Sophia’s hand. “Come on. I want to do this for you. Please let me help.”

Sophia was quiet, but pushed her arms through the straps of the backpack.

Ian led the way to his car. I sat in the back with Sophia and played as many car games as I could think of before switching to watching videos on Ian’s tablet.

Occasionally I let myself glance up at Ian. I could see in his face that he was exhausted. He needed sleep. But every time I offered, he refused to let me drive. So I sat with Sophia and tried to keep her mood upbeat on the long ride.

We arrived at one in the morning. I’d never checked anyone in for treatment before, but I imagined it would take a ton of time. However, since she was willing to go, they hardly wanted us there at all. They needed Ian for his checkbook, but all the other paperwork could be filled out by Sophia since she was the consenting adult, and we were all but pushed back into Ian’s car, and found ourselves back out on the road again by one fifteen.

We’d hardly had time to say good-bye to Sophia before they whisked her away. She’d hugged her brother and he’d whispered something that made her smile, then she’d walked away clutching the backpack I’d given her.

Ian let me drive on the way home. He tried to get me to listen to music, but I feigned a headache so we could leave it off in hopes that he would get some sleep. Thankfully he did fall asleep about a half hour into the ride back, leaving me awake with my thoughts.



It was four a.m. when I finally pulled into Ian’s garage. I found his usual parking spot and turned off the car. He lay back in the passenger seat, eyes closed, looking so peaceful as he slept.

I hated the idea of waking him and forcing him back into the reality of the situation, so I sat there, barely breathing, and let my eyes adjust to the dim light from the garage that crept in through the window, painting his face in shadows.

His straight nose, full lips, and the way his dark eyelashes rested against his cheeks was hypnotizing. Ian was the epitome of masculine beauty. His white T-shirt hugged him in a way that made his body seem even more godlike than usual. I licked my lips and admonished myself for wanting to trace my fingers over his chest.

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