The hairs on the back of Neve's neck stood to attention. Someone was here. Slipping her hand under the bag she was using as a makeshift pillow she gripped the knife in her hands until she knew her knuckles were white.
Footsteps, they were coming closer. Her heart raced as she swallowed thickly trying to keep her breathing calm. Ensuring her eyes were welded shut Neve waited until she felt someone crouch down beside her. The goose bumps dusted her body as the warm breath of a person cast over the back of her neck. She stopped the shudder from travelling up her spine, barely.
She was only going to have one shot at this.
Twisting her body the knife wielded through the air until Neve felt it slice through skin. Flipping her bag over her shoulder she jumped to her feet standing with the knife before her. Her eyes adjusted to the light quickly taking in her surroundings.
A man was gripping his arm hunched over on his knees. A grumbling sound came from him, almost a roar. Neve stepped back listening to her instincts. She had probably ruined her chances of getting out of here without a fight. Looking at the exit there were others, three men and a woman, she was outnumbered. They looked like construction workers.
"Put down the knife."
Neve glimpsed at the man she had cut, the breath catching in her throat with the beauty she saw. His eyes, as angry as they shone were enticing. He was pure masculinity but Neve didn't allow herself to loose herself in his green orbs, men were the devil.
"Look, I'm sorry about your arm. I didn't mean any harm, I was startled. I don't want a fight, I just want to leave." She plead.
The man tilted his head blinking several times as he watched her, gauging her next move just as she was doing to him.
"Put the knife down." He repeated in a grumble.
His voice was as wild as he looked. She swallowed as the shudder completely rippled through her body this time, her attempts to stop it a complete fail.
"I'm afraid I can't do that." Her eyes flicked to the four people at the door, they were looking at her with a mix of interest and horror.
"Wow boss, it looks like you got yourself a firecracker." One of them laughed, his brown eyes alight with humour.
"Now is not the time Zeke." The man commanded. He was pure authority.
Neve knew she was in trouble, the man was looking at her with a hunger which both unsettled and scared her. She should have woken up before they got here, she knew this situation was because of her own stupidity.
"I'm only going to say this one more time. Put the knife down or I'll take it from you."
Breathing deeply Neve felt something pass between them, something she couldn't explain. It was like lightning, a sharp bolt of it coming from his body, looking down his torso Neve sighed. The muscles were practically visible through his clothes. She had no chance, she was a woman who hadn't ate properly in weeks. He could probably flick her and she would fall over.
"I'd like to see you try." To her surprise she sounded convincing.
The air was thrown from her lungs as her front hit the cold brick wall, the mans' body leaning into the back of hers. His heat instantly engulfed her like flames. Flicking her wrist the knife fell to the ground, the blade scratching off the concrete. Neve fought with everything she had to free herself from his iron grip. He didn't move, didn't even budge.
"Let me go."
"I'd like to see you make me." He mocked using the words she had as his lips dusted the shell of her ear in a light caress.
She stopped breathing, literally stopped. The mans nose brushed against her hair then down the side of her neck. His chest felt as though it was vibrating as he grumbled into her sensitive skin. She was going to explode with the contact, something inside her didn't want it to end. Neve frowned at that unwelcoming thought.
"What...What are you doing?" Neve whispered trying to calm her racing heart.
"Nothing." He grunted lifting himself back from her like he had been electrocuted. The coldness of the morning air hit her back like a slap.
Taking a moment to compose herself Neve lifted her body from the wall quickly grabbing her bag. The blade of her knife shone in the morning light from the corner of her eye.
"Don't even think about it." He warned.
Neve nodded stepping back from him so that they weren't so close. He was doing something to her she couldn't explain. She had to get out of here. Fast.
"I think it's time for me to leave. Don't worry, I won't come back."
Putting her head down Neve walked to the exit hoping with every inch of life in her body the people at the door would let her leave. They were construction workers, surely she had a chance to walk out of here unharmed.
"Leave? You aren't leaving."
"She isn't?" One of the men fumed at the door. Neve lifted her eyes his anger making her step back. Why were they all so intimidating?
"Maxton, rein it in. I want to see how this plays out." The brown haired man stated, what had the man called him again? Zeke?
"Excuse me." Neve whispered hoping they would move.
"Don't let her leave."
Neve felt the irritation overwhelm her, she turned her hands flying through the air. The man smirked as she looked back at his serious green eyes. That just infuriated her more.
"What is your problem? I needed somewhere to sleep so I bunked here. I'm sorry you got a little scratch on your arm but what do you expect when you lean over someone while they sleep. Now let me leave because you clearly have work to do and I clearly don't need to be here."
"One point to the red head." Zeke piped in.
"Will you shut your mouth." The man she had cut barked.
"Come on Wolff, she just owned you. She has spirit that's for sure."
"Wolff?" Neve frowned.
"That's his name firecracker." Zeke answered with a warm smile.
Neve turned back to the man. Wolff, what kind of name was that? He was watching her with a fascination she didn't understand. He looked like he was fighting with himself.
"You either come with me or I phone the police." She blinked several times trying to process what he had said.
"Come with you for what?" She remarked dryly. "I may look like a wreck, smell like a sewage factory and have nowhere to go but s*x isn't on the cards so get that right out of your mind."
Neve didn't know where she had gotten her courage from. All she knew was that no other man was going to treat her like she was worthless.
"s*x, as appealing as that would be wasn't what I had in mind." He challenged. "You come with me, have a warm meal and shower then you are on your way." Neve raised her eyebrows.
"I don't think so Wolff." He narrowed his eyes at her tone, he looked slightly impressed if she was reading him right.
"So you would rather go to jail."
"Of course not, I would rather just walk out of here and never see you again." She spat back.
Neve stepped back as he walked towards her, his large muscled body approaching her with a haste she couldn't escape. Her back hit the solid brick wall as his arms encased her between them. The goose bumps came back with a force she wasn't prepared for.
"That's not an option. What do you have to loose? It's only a meal and shower. You could certainly use one." She would have smacked him if she could move. "And for the record if this was about s*x, then I'd already be deep inside your body and you would be loving it."
She let out a harsh breath from behind her teeth slightly stunned by his words. Why did she have to react to a complete stranger like this? It infuriated yet intrigued her. He was rough, wild and completely different to any man she had ever seen.
"One point to the boss." Zeke voiced.
"Arrogance, such an attractive feature." Neve pushed him back, her sarcasm seemed to have stunned him.
"What's it going to be?" Wolff questioned having recovered quickly.
"Don't make it sound like I have a choice when I don't. You want to throw me a pity party then go ahead. Don't expect me to be thankful. I didn't ask you to feed me, I didn't ask you to let me shower. You offered."
Storming past Wolff Neve pushed her way through the bodies at the door who this time let her pass. Nobody was going to think they were doing her a favour. The sooner she went with him, the sooner she could get away. She could only hope that he wasn't a psychopath although something in her heart told her that he was no such thing. Standing out in the muddy grass herself Neve sighed as she turned back to the old building.
"Are you coming or what?"
Wolff appeared within seconds his eyes narrowed. They looked different, lighter, like the calm before the storm. Swallowing thickly she let her guard come up. She repeated over and over in her head that he wouldn't affect her. She had control over her body, she now had control over her life even if to the world it looked completely chaotic.
"We will take my truck." Neve nodded walking towards where he had pointed. "Maxton drive ahead of us, ready my cabin for a guest."
"This isn't a good idea." The man replied looking at Neve like she was a deadly virus.
"I didn't ask for your opinion, now go and that is an order." Wolff demanded, Maxton left with a string of curses flying from his lips.
Stopping at the truck door looking at the grass all around them Neves' eyes flicked to the trees. She could make a run for it, the chances of him catching her were high but she could try. If she made it to the trees she had a chance of loosing him. The groan of the truck door made her jump.
"You run, I catch you. Don't waste both our time."
Wolff held the door open looking frustrated. Neve just sighed entering with the knowledge that this man had to be the most annoying person on earth.
When he entered and started their drive Neve took a chance to really look at him, he was gorgeous. You could tell he spent most of his time outside with the tan coating his skin. His face was stern, his sharp jaw only adding to his look of authority. Neve frowned watching his pouted lips, slightly parted as they drew in air. The more she looked at him, the more questions swam around her mind. They all seemed to come back to one.
Why was he helping her?
"Stop staring." Neve blinked not bothering to reply or deny that she had been.
Her eyes cast out the window to the thick trees they past, they reached into the sky trapping them from what seemed like the rest of the world. The Scottish Highlands really were beautiful.
"Are you from the military." Neve wondered aloud.
Wolff shuffled in his seat like he had done for the past ten minutes, he looked agitated which was strange. He offered to help her not the other way around.
"You just have that aura."
"Hmm." He replied slowly. "What is your name?" It wasn't just a question, more of a statement he expected to be answered.
"Where are we going?" Neve asked ignoring his words.
As the ride went by in silence Neve began to worry, her nerves bubbling in her stomach. The trees were getting thicker, taller and she didn't have a clue where she was. Her hand slipped to the truck door holding onto it like a lifeline.
"Please don't." He gripped her other hand bringing her attention completely to him, he looked different, vulnerable.
"I honestly mean you no harm. I just don't like knowing you are out there yourself. All I want to do is help, you can have a meal and shower like I said then you can leave. I know what it's like to have nobody and please don't worry, I won't let anything happen to you." He smiled sadly.
"I'm not worried." She affirmed.
"Yes. You are. I can smell it." He murmured.
Neve didn't question him on what he was saying. All she knew was that inside she had began to relax, maybe it was his soothing voice or the fact that she could sense he was genuine. It was like she could read him. Maybe she was going insane. They fell back into silence for a while as he let go of her hand taking his warmth with him. This whole situation was insane.
"Sorry?" Wolff frowned looking at her with those pale green eyes in confusion.
She sighed. "Neve, my name is Neve."
"It suits you." He smiled.
"I should hope so, I've had it for a while." His smile only grew wider making the corners of Neve's mouth tilt into their own grin.
She instantly frowned. How long had it been since she had smiled, months. When you loose everything you don't have much to smile about.
"I like your sarcasm." Neve turned her eyes instantly meeting Wolff's.
"I've had that for a while to."
Wolff laughed shaking his head. The rest of the ride they didn't speak, it wasn't awkward like it should have been. Neve felt a comfort sitting with him, like a silent communication lay between them that she needed the silence to think or just to enjoy someone's company.
She didn't know his intentions, she didn't have a choice other than to guess what they could be. Inside she hoped he was a good person but she knew that hope was often peoples downfall. Hope usually ended in disappointment.
"We are here."
Neve watched as he pulled the truck into a muddy lane through the trees until they stopped at what looked like a tiny village. There were log cabins situated randomly like someone had tossed a coin for each one and decided that's where they would build them. Their dark, rich colour made them look beautifully homely yet masculine at the same time. It made her nauseous, it was everything she didn't have in her life.
"Where is here?"
"Our wood." Wolff answered bluntly.
"No, well yes. That's just what we called it. Zeke named it Our Wood, I guess it's just another way of saying home." He shrugged as he opened the truck door.
Following his actions Neve stepped onto the muddy ground casting an eye over the place. There was washing drying on rope, a few logs were placed around an unlit fire and what looked like pieces of a broken couch at the far side, odd.
Neve walked over to Wolff who was joined by Maxton. They looked like they were arguing. Not wanting to interrupt she stayed back until Maxton stormed to his truck rubbing his hands over his dark skin. The door of the vehicle slammed shut and in seconds Maxton was driving past them like a rocket.
"He looks happy." Neve joked.
Wolff didn't look impressed he just opened the cabin door he was next to, took her hand and pulled her inside. She didn't even get a chance to look at the place, before she knew it they were at the bathroom.
"Towels are in there." He pointed to a cupboard. "Wash stuff." He pointed to a unit inside the shower. "I'll get you some clothes you can borrow and leave them in there." He pointed to another room. "Don't worry, you will have the cabin to yourself, I'm going to go for a run. Maxton is going to get the others and we can have something to eat."
Neve didn't have a chance to respond. He was gone before she could. Pursing her lips she stood there for a while trying to figure out how in hell she was going to deal with this situation. When her head hurt from racking her brain she sighed turning around to grab a towel from the cupboard.
She would worry about everything else later. Wolff was right with what he had said earlier, she had nothing to lose.
Everything Neve thought she had was gone now. Shaking her head not wanting to drag up old memories she dropped her bag to the floor. A warm shower was just what she needed.