Home > Rock Chick Reborn (Rock Chick #9)(11)

Rock Chick Reborn (Rock Chick #9)(11)
Author: Kristen Ashley

“Get what you want,” he stated like it was a command. “And if you even consider suggesting we go dutch, rethink. There’ll be consequences you try to pull something like that.”

I looked to him again. “Do you threaten all your dates at the beginning of the date?”

“Only ones I think might be difficult, that being only you.”

I made a noise that sounded like a humph and then wished I hadn’t humphed.

I decided to check out my menu again.

I was pretending to consider my options when Moses asked, “What are the boys doing tonight?”

I didn’t repeat my mistake of looking at him again.

I answered my menu.

“Roam, probably his latest girlfriend. Sniff, probably a two-fer, one already down, one on the go, and if he’s got time, he’ll find a third one and get that action in before he has to be home for curfew.”


At his tone, I looked to him.


His face matched his tone.

I decided I should try to make him think I was at least a decent foster carer.

“My friend Hank keeps them in condoms,” I shared.

His brows went high. “And you’re okay with this?”

“Hell no,” I replied. “I don’t even want to be talking about this. Though I am because I can’t quit thinking about it since I ride the razor’s edge of one of them getting a girl in trouble. Or getting a girl in so deep she becomes a stalker, something not only they’ll have to deal with, but I’ll have to deal with her crazy ass too. Or getting a girl whose parents aren’t all that big on young love, so their father comes to my house with a shotgun.”

“These are all valid concerns,” he decreed.

“No shit?” I said by way of agreement. “And they’re the only ones I’ll let myself think about. What really scares the snot outta me is that the first part of their lives hasn’t been sunshine and rainbows. I want the next part to be what they want it to be. I don’t want them forced into a situation they have to cope with. I want them free and clear to make the decisions about who they’re gonna be and the kind of lives they want to lead.”

That bakery-oven goodness wafted over me across the table.


I’d always wanted to live somewhere where there was no snow.

That just proved I could bask in warmth the rest of my days.

Especially that kind.

“Do you know for a fact they’re having sex?” Moses asked.

I tried a trick that Ally often tried.

“La la la,” I chanted, looking back down to my menu. “I’m sorry I started it but now this conversation isn’t happening.”

“Shirleen,” he called, and I was forced out of politeness (okay, the proximity of his hotness) to look at him again. “You need to tell them to abstain.”

I stared at him.

Then I threw back my head and burst out laughing.

When I was done laughing, I saw he didn’t share in the joke.

Still, he said, “First, you’re gorgeous when you laugh.”

I was?

“Second,” he went on, “I neglected to tell you I really like that dress.”

Every inch of skin under said dress got hot.

“And last,” he continued, “I wasn’t being funny.”

“When did you lose your virginity?” I asked.

That shut him up.

“Mm-hmm,” I murmured, turning my attention back to the menu I had no intention of reading since I’d memorized it that afternoon when I should (probably) have been sending invoices.

“I wasn’t a father with two teenage daughters back then.”

Oh my God.

My eyes again went to his. “I should tell them that.”


“I should tell them to catapult themselves into the future thirty years and give themselves teenage daughters,” I explained and nearly clapped my hands, but considering the Ritz factor around me, decided against it. “Hot damn, that’s perfect. They might listen to that.”

They might not.

But they also might.

Well, Sniff probably wouldn’t.

But Roam might.


“Glad I could give you a new strategy,” Moses said.

“I’m glad you could too, though I don’t hold high hopes.”

He shot me another grin. “I wouldn’t be able to see past my hormones at eighteen either.”

I thought back to when I was eighteen.

I was dating Leon when I was eighteen.

I quit thinking about when I was eighteen.

“Why don’t you just tell them that part about wanting them to be in the position to make the decisions about what’s next in their lives?” he asked.

I gave up on the menu and set it aside before I answered, “Because I don’t like to remind them that they were forced into the position to do something about the early part of their lives, that bein’ becoming runaways.”

“Are their parents in the picture at all?”

“No. They. Are. Not.”

At my words, more I suspected at how I spoke them, fire lit in his eyes. The same fire that I felt burning inside me anytime I thought of Roam’s and Sniff’s parents.

It took time for the stories to come out. They both told Jules before they told me.

But then they told me.

And that was that.

I never made them speak of it again.

And that was when I retired my switchblade.

Too much of a temptation.

For certain.

But it was not good that with four words, Moses understood and shared that emotion with me for two boys he didn’t know. It was not good he was that kind of man. It was not good that kind of man was sitting across the table, having dinner with me.

It was not good because it was beautiful and I knew I wanted more, more of that, more of coming to know how much better he could get.

“That bad?” Moses asked quietly, taking me out of my thoughts.

“Worse,” I said sharply.

At this point, fortunately, the cocktails arrived. The waiter then ran down the specials, through which I chanted “la la la” again (but only in my head) because I didn’t want him to take me off target.

We ordered and I was pleased Moses ordered all different food from me.

What could I say? It was a thing. If he ordered the same as me, I’d have to change mine and I’d been looking forward to my choices since I made them at two o’clock that afternoon.

And no, this was not so I could taste all he got (even though it was, or it would be with anyone else), just that I couldn’t even begin to think of eating off Moses Richardson’s plate. The room would get too hot for me to breathe.

“So what are the boys really doing tonight?” Moses asked when the waiter moved away.

I was sipping my Bellini.

Yes, I needed those to keep coming, and not just so I could get through this date.

It was delicious.

I put it down and answered, “They’re manning the control room at the office tonight while doing their homework.”

“The control room?”

“Where the men do surveillance at Nightingale Investigations. They’re kind of interns.”

“That seems . . . unusual for high school boys,” he stated carefully.

“They need good male role models. And there they have a lot of them.”

“I see,” he murmured. “Is that going to be what’s next in their lives?”

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