Home > All Things Pretty (Pretty #3)(7)

All Things Pretty (Pretty #3)(7)
Author: M. Leighton

With great effort, I glance away. “So, do you always eat like this for breakfast?”

“I have a big appetite. What can I say?”

I feel like groaning, his words playing into my thoughts as if he can read them. He has a way of doing that. “You’re a big boy.”

As soon as the words are out, I wish I could take them back. Why couldn’t I just not comment.

“I’m big, yeah, but there’s not a single boy part on me.” His grin is so wicked, so proud, so very…male, I can’t help laughing and rolling my eyes.

“Right. I forgot how modest you are.”

“I’ll try to remind you regularly then.”

That brings me back to the situation with a jarring jolt. There won’t be any “regularly” for us. There won’t be anything for us. Because of Lance. “Not to be rude, but you did bring my phone, right?”

Sig reaches into his pocket and produces my phone. I reach for it with both hands, trying to ignore that it’s warm from being close to his body. I try hard to focus only on how much trouble this could’ve caused me. I have got to be more careful.

“Thank you so much.”

“I’m all about smart phones and safety and shit, but you seem a little more…relieved than the average person. I mean, it is just a phone. Is everything okay?”

“Yes. I just…I rely pretty heavily on my phone.”


“Uhhhh, well, just life.”

Balling up his wrapper in his large hands, Sig’s eyes lock on mine, suddenly serious. “Boyfriend?”

I don’t know why I’m surprised that he’s perceptive. Those dark chocolate eyes seem to see everything.

I gulp. “Yes.”

Much to my surprise, he grins. “Good!”

That wasn’t what I was expecting. “Good?”

“Yes, good. That I can handle. I won’t feel bad. I couldn’t live with myself if I wrecked a home, but boyfriends are fair game.”

I smile politely. “As much as I appreciate the thought, I’m not interested.” That almost sounded convincing. Almost.


“No, I’m not.”

Actually, I am. A really good one, too. Usually.

Sig watches me carefully, his fingers toying with his coffee cup. He leans slowly toward me, bracing his elbows on the table as he tilts his head to study me more closely. “I don’t believe you.”

“You should.”

“There’s something between us, Tommi. Whether you admit it or not.”

“There’s not. There can’t be.”

He relaxes back into this chair, his expression undaunted. “We’ll see.”

“Unfortunately, we will not. I doubt we’ll ever see each other again after today.”

“Let’s leave it up to fate. What do you say?”

I see no harm in agreeing, especially since I know that I won’t be seeing him again. If I ever spot him coming, I’ll run the other way. Sig is a risk I can’t afford.

“Fate’s a cruel woman. Or didn’t you know that?”

“That’s mother nature. Fate is a man. And he’s on my side. Trust me.”

I rise to my feet, draping my purse strap over my shoulder. “Well, it’s been a pleasure, Sig. Thank you for all your help.”

“Until next time,” he says, also standing.

I say nothing as I make my way toward the exit. The thing is, I’m disappointed that I won’t be seeing him again. I feel his eyes on me as I leave and I miss the heat of them already.


I head back to the station, walking right to Captain Brevard’s office. I knock and then walk on in. “I’m in, sir. You’ve gotta let me do this.”

“Locke, I–”

“Just trust me. I can pull this off.”

His sharp eyes dig in again, like two pointed shovels. They’ve been known to make a full-grown man fidget, but I’m confident that I can do this, so I hold his gaze, unwavering.

“Alright. You’ve got your shot. I’ll get word to Finch and set it up. But let me tell you, son, if you so much as–”

“I know, sir. You don’t need to warn me. I’m not messing this up. You have my word.”

He sighs. “Look, Locke, I know you’ve been a cop since the damn womb, but going under is different. Are you sure you’re ready for this? To give up all contact with your family for a while? Live on the wrong side of town, consort with the scum of society? To be someone you’re not, to be the type of person you’ve dedicated your life to getting off the streets?”

“I was born ready, sir. Just give me the details of my cover and I’ll bring this assface down.”

“I like the confidence. Just don’t let it turn into overconfidence. I’ve seen good men get killed over preventable mistakes.”

“I’ve got this, Cap. I’ve got this.”

“I sure as hell hope so,” he says, resigned.

I smile. I wasn’t kidding when I said I was born ready. I was born to do this right here. And I’m gonna do the shit out of it.


Three weeks later

“I told you I wanted someone to look out for you when I’m not around. Why are you surprised by this?”

I can tell by the look on his face that Lance suspects that I’m doing something I shouldn’t be, which I am, and that I have a devious reason for not wanting one of his men watching my every move, which I do. But I need to disabuse him of the notion or it could cripple my plans.

“I know how small you like to keep your crew and how much you value each one.” Not! “I just hate to feel like I’m taking away from the business. I’m not a helpless female.” Even though that’s what he wants me to be.

Lance smiles in that tolerant way he has, the way that says I’m like a wayward child who exasperates him. All he needs to do is cluck his tongue and say Tommi, Tommi, Tommi in a disapproving parent way.

“I don’t mind that you’re a helpless female. I don’t want you taking chances or having to work hard or get dirty. That’s not who you are.”

Not true. That’s not who he wants me to be, but it is who I am, actually. The fact that he can’t see it just assures me that I’m a good actress. A good liar. But I already knew that.

“I won’t. I promise to call if I ever need a hand. Then you can send someone right over.”

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