Tears build in my eyes, so I get up real fast to make a break for anywhere but this couch with this man. I stumble from the wine and I’m about to go crashing into the glass coffee table when I’m caught in his arms. “Thank you,” I mumble, pushing off him and regaining my balance.
My pack is over on the counter, so I walk over and fish out my phone and press Vic’s face. Bobby Mansi watches me carefully as I put the phone to my ear and then he gets up and begins walking towards me just as the call rings through to voicemail. “You got me. You know what to do if you want me to get you back.”
I end the call and don’t leave a message. I forgot, my whole family is down in Colorado Springs for some tattoo thing. I have to work at the shop alone for the next three days. But no one comes in during the week anyway. Thursday nights get busy and the weekends are almost always packed. Everyone will be home Thursday afternoon, so I’ll be fine.
“Problem?” Bobby asks.
“No, not really.” I grab my pack and go sit back down in the living room. I take the chair this time.
Bobby waits over by the kitchen. “So, dinner tomorrow?”
“Sorry, I have to work in the shop until eleven at night. I’m just gonna have one of my girlfriends bring me a sandwich or something.”
He smiles and nods. “OK.”
I get up and walk over to the door since he’s sending I’m-leaving-now signals. “Thanks a bunch for your kindness. Do you want me to drop the key off with that guy downstairs when I leave?”
“That would be fine.” He steps through the door and then hesitates, like he’s gonna turn around. But then he changes his mind and calls out, “Nice meeting you, Veronica,” as he walks down the hall to the elevator.
I close the door and slump back down on the couch, stretching out. I mess with my boots until I kick them off, and then before I know it, the day fades away.
“Rook’s not pregnant,” Ronin says the next morning as he strides into the office, his hair mussed and his t-shirt wrinkled. He flops down on the black leather couch off to the side of my desk.
I shoot Ronin with my finger. “Gotcha. OK. We ready to discuss business?”
“Ashleigh is,” Ford says. He shakes the Wall Street Journal a little to straighten it out as he holds it up to his face.
“Ashleigh is what?” Ronin asks.
“Ford, don’t mess with the guy. He’s got baby on the brain since Elise is due to pop out a niece. Not to mention you coming home with Ashleigh and Kate.”
Ford ignores me. “She didn’t pee on the stick yet, but I know she’s pregnant.” He turns the page of the newspaper.
“How?” Ronin asks as he leans over to my desk and grabs a coffee in the drink holder.
Ford peeks over the paper. “How does she get pregnant?”
“No, you idiot, how do you know she’s pregnant if you didn’t do the pee stick test?”
“Do you guys mind?” I interject. “I’m not ready for baby talk with my bros, OK? Let’s just discuss what you found out last night, Ronin.”
“She smells different,” Ford continues.
“Different how?” Ronin asks back.
“Deliciously different. Like her pu**y is candy, that’s how good—”
“Enough,” I bark.
“Rook got her birth control implant taken out yesterday,” Ronin says, ignoring me. “That’s what she was doing at the doctor.”
Ford lowers the paper all the way to his lap so he can look at Ronin. “That’s a step forward.”
“Yeah, tell me about it.” Ronin beams a smile at him.
“Hello? Anyone here besides me? You two whipped dumbasses do realize the jury selection starts today for the trial, reporters are in town in force, someone stole seven motorcycles from my shop and possibly robbed our friend Drake as well? Not to mention we need to get a military-grade robot out from his shop without getting caught. Like today. We don’t have time to talk about candy pu**y.”
“Spencer,” Ronin pipes up. “There is always time for candy pu**y.”
“And she makes this little squeal now.” Ford keeps going, like I never said a word.
“What?” Ronin and I say together. I don’t think I’ve ever heard Ford talk about sex before. He might make a comment in general. I did this or she did that. But he’s never talked about a girl before. It’s… strange. And while I’m no slouch in the f**king department, I’m not really into the shit Ford does. So I have to admit, I’m interested in what he’s got to say.
Ronin turns to face Ford as well, so apparently he’s interested too. “What kind of squeal? Because Rook, she does this little tongue thing right when we get started. Like, drags the tip over the edge of her top teeth, then licks the center of her lip. Fucking shit drives me wild.”
Ford smiles a far-off smile, like he’s picturing something. “It’s more of a squeak, really. Like she’s trying to hold it in and not let on that she’s excited.” He shakes his head. “She’s always excited.”
“Fuck. Is it lunchtime yet? I might take Rook home and make her do the tongue thing for me.”
“I might need to take the whole afternoon off,” Ford adds. “I do not believe in quickies. And if I get a squeak at the beginning, you can bet your ass it’s gonna end up a scream at the end.”