Home > Rock Chick Reborn (Rock Chick #9)(13)

Rock Chick Reborn (Rock Chick #9)(13)
Author: Kristen Ashley

“You brine it?” I was still whispering.


“Roast it with stuffing?”

He nodded his head. “Mm-hmm.”

“I like the way you look at me.”

Unh-hunh, still whispering.

“I like the way you look sitting across from me,” he replied.

“I never want to see your face looking at me any other way than how you’re looking at me right now.”

The bakery-oven goodness shot across the table as a blast of heat while understanding seeped into his eyes.

“You ever gonna deal drugs again?” he asked gently.

“That wouldn’t be a very good example to Roam and Sniff and the foster grandbabies I hope they give me in no less than ten years.”

“I’m thinkin’ ‘foster’ doesn’t really factor anymore, baby.”

I shut up.

God, wouldn’t that be heaven?

“You gonna go to a movie with me on Thursday?” he pressed.

“I’m not sure I’ll be able to make it through the appetizer,” I admitted.

He looked confused. “I thought we were getting somewhere.”

“You terrify me, Moses Richardson.”

That wasn’t a blurt.

I said that cognizant of each word that came out of my mouth.

He did not take it as intended.

He looked pleased with himself.

Seriously pleased.

It was his best look yet.


“I know how to settle you down,” he assured.


“That’s what terrifies me,” I pointed out.

He grinned, and it was not like any of the other ones he’d given me.

My toes curled in my Alexander Wang’s.

“You’re very sure of yourself,” I noted.

The promise went out of his face and something else set in it before he refuted me.

“No I’m not. The only thing I’m sure of is that I want to get to know you better, Shirleen, in a variety of ways. I don’t know how this is gonna go. I don’t know where this is gonna go. I don’t know how deep you’re gonna let me in. I just know I want to give us a shot, which means I want you with me in doing that. That’s all I know. But I know it good.”

I looked deep into his eyes.

It isn’t here now.

“You got pictures of your girls?” I asked.

That didn’t get me a blast of bakery-oven goodness.

A cool breeze drifted across the table emanating from the relief in his eyes, and I watched the tension leaving his shoulders as he sat back, regarding me.

“Only about seven thousand two hundred of them,” he answered.

“Then whip out your phone, my man,” I invited.

The warmth came back in his smile as he reached inside his blazer to pull out his phone.

Moses Richardson did not have seven thousand two hundred pictures of his daughters.

He had nine thousand two hundred of them.

They were beautiful.

And as he spoke of them, I realized that beauty ran deep.

So it was clear they got a lot from their dad.

I had no earthly clue how I was sitting next to Moses Richardson in his truck.

Yes, I did.

I’d planned to have a few drinks at dinner with the girls, and the boys had need of my Navigator, so I’d Ubered it there.

And after dinner, when he’d found out I did, he would hear nothing but me allowing him to plant my ass right where it was so he could drive me home.

We were going to a movie on Thursday.

He loved 300 and thought The Accountant was the shit.

“That belt scene, baby,” he’d drawled. “Bad . . . ass.”

Though he hadn’t seen Tarzan and shared he had no intention to, but asked, “You like yourself some white boys?”

“He’s six foot four,” was my reply, and if Moses had a vagina (which thankfully he did not), he would understand this was all I had to say.

Moses had no reply to my reply.

Clearly I had to say more.

“And his portrayal of Eric Northman adheres to my philosophy on how to be a vampire.”

A surprised chuckle bubbled from him as he asked, “You’ve got a philosophy on how to be a vampire?”

“Who doesn’t?” I asked back.

Moses again had no reply, but this time he did it looking like he was trying real hard not to bust a gut laughing.

“It’s simple,” I stated.

“Share,” he urged.

I did.

“Own it. You’re gonna live forever and gotta do that by drinkin’ blood and raisin’ hell, why not? Live it up. Go for the gusto. Bust it out. And make no apologies.”

“Maybe there’s somethin’ for you to learn from this fictional vampire guy,” he’d said quietly.

That was when I had no reply.

Until I did.

“There you go, making it all deep.”

“I don’t know what’s deeper than finding out what kind of vampire a woman would wanna be.”

And that was when I burst out laughing.

That had been it.

After a rocky start, it was good conversation with delicious food and cocktails that led into fantastic wine, and now my ass was beside his in his truck where he was driving me home.

How did this happen?

One second, I was “puttin’ on the Ritz” to hit the town with my girls.

The next, I was sitting beside a hot guy in his truck after having a good date.

No, a great date.

No, a fabulous date.


“We’ll hold hands at the movie theater, but tonight, baby, I’ll just walk you to the door. So you can settle down. It’s been beautiful and I don’t want you to get all nervous now. That would fuck it up.”

I turned my head to look at him.

The last thing Leon Jackson did before he left our home and then got whacked was backhand me into a wall.

And I knew without asking, the man sitting beside me had never raised a hand to a woman.

Hell, he might never have raised his hand to a man, unless he was sparring with him at his boxing gym (I did not know if Moses belonged to a boxing gym, but it was a good thought).

He glanced at me, his beautiful lips quirked, before looking back at the road.

“You good?” he asked.

What did I say?

My dead husband regularly beat the shit out of me? And the last years of our marriage, sex was more like habitual rape since I never wanted it but he took it anyway, and by then I’d learned not to fight it? And since the man got dead, I got myself a little somethin’-somethin’ here and there but it never lasted and it never meant anything? Now I’m sitting next to Moses and I worked with good men. And through them and my friends, I witnessed every day how a functional, loving relationship survived.

But I had no clue what I was doing and how I got my ass here beside him.

“Shirleen?” he prompted.

I turned forward.

“Okay, baby,” he said gently, “we’ll let whatever you got goin’ in that head of yours slide.”

Thank the Lord.

“For now,” he finished.


He drove.

I sat beside him listening to the soothing strains of vintage R&B punctuated with his GPS guiding him to my driveway since he made me give him my address to program it in (okay, he didn’t “make me,” as such—he asked and I gave him my address), as well as my phone number.

He let the silence settle, and I had a feeling it was all right with him. Moses struck me as a man who could be comfortable in silence.

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