NEED TO KNOW by Susan Tuttle

Now for the conclusion of Need to Know…

Quinn’s skin cooled when Noah pulled his hands away. What would have happened if he hadn’t been here? 
“Want me to call your sister?”
She froze. “No.”
His eyes narrowed in on her.
“I—I’ll call once we’re inside.  Can you grab my purse?”
The officer stepped in.  “Your purse still here?  Wasn’t this a robbery?”
Quinn’s stomach dropped.  Noah watched her closely. 
“Quinn?” he asked slowly.
Why did this have to happen?  She’d had a fresh start here. No one knew who her father was.  She could just be normal.  It was why she’d denied her father when he insisted on putting a body guard on her.  Once he found out what happened, he’d be furious, she’d have a body guard, and Noah wouldn’t think of her as a normal friend anymore.  She winced.
“She needs some pain killers, and I’ve got to get that wound cleaned and stitched.  You can speak with her once I’m through.”
She smiled her thanks.
A half-hour later her head dulled to a low throb as Noah worked from behind.
“You’re down a couple strands of hair.” His warm tone spoke in her ear.  He was in full-fledged doctor mode.
“I figured.  How’s it look?”
“Inch wide gap, not too deep.  I’ve just about got it closed.”
Silence descended again.  Finally he snapped off his gloves.  “You’re all set.”
Quinn slowly rolled onto her back and scooched up into a sitting position.  Noah leaned against a counter, watching her. 
“You ready to tell me what happened out there?”
She looked down.
“Are you in some sort of trouble, Quinn?”
Here went nothing.
“They wanted money.”
“You told the officer it wasn’t a robbery.”
She looked up at him.  “Ransom.  My father’s Robert Cummings.”
He stiffened.  His head tilted and his eyes looked her over from top to bottom.  “As in Robert Cummings, the billionaire who owns half of Los Angeles and may run for a Senate seat?”
“The one and only.”
“But your name—“
“I use my mother’s maiden name.”
She turned away from his stunned look.  “There’s a lot you don’t know about me.”
Noah bit back his reply.  A lot?  How about her entire life.
Her emerald eyes shone with unshed tears. 
“Why didn’t your father have a body guard with you?” he asked.
“I didn’t want one.”
“But you need one.”
“Noah, I just want to be normal for once and toting a body guard with me every where doesn’t exactly scream ‘normal’.”
“No, it doesn’t.  But your safety is worth more than that.”
She turned on him.  “You don’t understand.  People find out who I am and they change.  Either they are so intimidated that I never see them again, or they become friends with my money instead of me.  I’m not letting him put a guard on me.”
 Heat turned his gut.  “Apparently there’s a lot you don’t know about me, either, Quinn.  The top of that list is not letting people I care about get hurt.”
“It’s not your decision.”
Their stubborn gazes locked in a silent battle. She may think she could win, but no way was he letting her.
“Call your sister,” he said and strode from the room. 
Two days later, Quinn sat in the quiet hospital chapel.  Her stitches itched, but her head didn’t pound as much.  Her heart, on the other hand, ached. 
Word of who she was spread through the hospital.  People looked at her like she’d grown an extra head.  A few suddenly wanted to be her best friend.  None of that hurt as badly as Noah’s silence.  She’d not seen or heard from him since he’d stitched her head.  In the quiet of his absence her heart spoke.  She was in love with the man.  How and when that happened, she didn’t know.  But the moment before he almost kissed her in the garage replayed over and over in her mind. 
The chapel door swished open behind her.  She didn’t even look.  Her newly acquired body guard would stop any threat that may walk in.
Her father’s strong voice pulled her around. 
            “Daddy!  What are you doing here?”
“My daughter was attacked.  You didn’t think I’d come?”
She hugged him.  “I told you not to.  You were in Europe.”
“You’re more important than any business I could ever have.  Besides, I had pressing matter to attend to here.”
Apparently she looked confused because he smiled.  “That would be you, dear.  I wanted to see where you live.  Make sure you’re cared for adequately.  I’m still not fond of you living on the other side of the country from me, but I can at least make sure you’re watched out for.”
No surprise there.  She nodded to the back of the room.  “I already have the guard from the company you hired.  He hasn’t left me once.”
“Oh him?  He’s just temporary.  I hired your permanent body guard today—a young man who sought me out for the job.”
The chapel door breezed open again, and Noah came striding towards them.
“Quinn, I’d like you to meet Noah Kingston.” Her father’s eyes twinkled at her.
“Huh?”  It was the only word in her arsenal right now.  She looked back and forth between the two men.  “No offense, but you know he’s a doctor and not a body guard, right?”
Her father’s laughter filled the room.  “I think I’ll let you two talk.” 
Noah slid into the pew next to her, his eyes on hers.
“My body guard?  How exactly did you sell him on that one?”
That smirk of his played over his face. She almost leaned in and kissed it off his face, but he spoke before she could.
“The Army paid for my college.”
“Yeah?  And being a member of the ROTC qualifies you?”
“No.  But I think the fact that I was an Army Rangers medic who served in special forces maybe pushed him over the edge.”
Quinn didn’t even blink.  “A lot I don’t know about you is right.”
He leaned in, his breath tickling her lips.  “How about this one, I’m crazy about you.”
Her heart skipped a beat.  “Really?”
“Really.” His lips lowered over hers in a soft kiss. 
That was all she needed to know.

2 thoughts on “NEED TO KNOW by Susan Tuttle

  1. Great story, isn't it? Congrats on your recent release of PURPLE KNOT, Raquel! Remember to come back and visit on 8/22 for Edgy Christian Fiction Lover's Hot Summer Reads Blog stop here! You just might see one of your favorite books!


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