Home > Rock Chick Reborn (Rock Chick #9)(2)

Rock Chick Reborn (Rock Chick #9)(2)
Author: Kristen Ashley

He gave us a group scan then turned to the display of roses.

“Is that brother seriously checkin’ you out in front of us?” Roam asked, not happy about the possibility and not hiding it in his tone.

I turned my attention to him to see him scowling at Idris Hottie at the roses.

“No,” I answered.

“He fuckin’ was,” Sniff rumbled, and I looked to him to see him glowering at the beautiful black man now examining a bouquet of beautiful orange roses.

“If you say fuck in front of me one more time, or at all, I’m knockin’ you back to ancient Egypt,” I promised.

Sniff ignored me, still busy frowning at the hottie at the roses.

Right, there were groceries to buy, I was hungry and I wasn’t going to get to eat until they were bought, taken home, put away and Sniff and I left Roam to hopefully make his girl chicken and waffles then do nothing more than hold her hand while watching TV.

So we needed to get shit done.

“You boys are going to Walgreens,” I announced.

Slowly, they both turned to me.

“Say what?” Roam asked.

“You work my nerves in a grocery store, I got things I need from the drugstore and we don’t have a lot of time. I got a list,” I stated, opening my raisin Artsy MM LV bag and yanking out my drugstore list, a pen and my wallet. In order for them to get the right stuff, I scrawled some words on the list before I shoved it with some cash at Sniff. “Go. Get that stuff. Come back and get me.” I dug for my keys, got those and handed them to Roam. “Be good to my baby. You break it, I break you.”

Sniff stared down at the list a beat then looked at me. “They got all this stuff at King Soopers.”

“They do not have my nail varnish at King Soopers,” I retorted.

Sniff looked back to the list then to me. “I am not buyin’ nail polish called Clothing Optional.”

I crossed my arms on my chest. “Tell me, boy, one day when you done notched so many marks on your bedpost you got no bedpost anymore and you want yourself an Indy . . .” No reaction. “A Jet . . .” None there either. “Roxie . . .” Nope. “Jules . . .” Surprisingly, since they were both tight with Jules and I thought they both crushed on her, that didn’t hit it either. “Stella . . .” Hmm, nothing. “Sadie . . .”

His eyes flared.

So he went for the fairy princess bitches.

If they were white.

Though I’d noted my boy had a thing for the sisters.

Then again, those were the fairy princess ones too. I’d seen him with more Brandys and Gabrielles than I could shake a stick at.

“Right, you want yourself a Sadie someday, boy, you’re gonna be findin’ yourself buyin’ a lot more than nail polish to make her happy. You think Hector blinks at nail polish?”

“Yes,” he declared.

So they hadn’t learned all they could learn from the Hot Bunch.

“You’d be wrong, ’cause I might not’ve seen him buy nail polish, but I sure as shit saw him snatching up some o.b.s and he did it like he was grabbin’ a six-pack. In other words, it made no never mind to Hector Chavez he was gettin’ his woman her o.b.s.”

Sniff looked at Roam. “What are o.b.s?”

Roam started to look sick.

“Tampons,” I educated.

Sniff started to look sick.

I could not talk about my boys having sex and the necessity of condoms.

I could sure as shit talk about this.

“You do know the menstrual cycle is a fact of life and unless there’s some sad reason that makes a woman not have them, all women do,” I shared. “It’s entirely natural. And something you both are gonna have to deal with on a hopefully normal and healthy occasion, that is, when you settle down in a monogamous relationship with a woman you love more than your own life.”

Both boys looked ready to hurl.

I heard a chuckle, and it wasn’t only my eyes that went in that direction as Rose Hottie wandered into the fruit and veg section with that big bouquet of orange roses having been wrapped in pretty paper at the floral station sitting in the child seat at the top of his cart.

He had a woman.

Again, why was the world so unfair?

Sure, he looked my age and it would stand to reason that man with that face and that bod (and that deep chuckle) at his age would have a woman in his bed.


I watched him disappear around the chill case filled with Odwalla.

“Sniff can go get your nail polish. I’m stayin’ with you,” Roam decreed.

I turned to him. “What?”

“That guy’s gonna pounce,” he told me.

“He’s got flowers in his cart,” I told him.

“He’s gonna pounce,” he repeated.

“He’s got flowers, boy. Means he’s got a woman,” I returned.

“He’s. Gonna. Pounce.”

I shut up.

Roam did not like repeating himself.

I hadn’t had them long. Both boys had been fifteen when I took them on, now they were both eighteen and nearing on graduating high school.

But even back then, after all he’d been through, all he’d seen, all that had been done to him, all he’d lost, Roam had honed that edge of steel that made him, and it was the kind you never lost. It didn’t matter what love you found in your life—and Jules had led both those boys to a lot of love, case in point, me—that kind of steel never went away.

Steel like that replaced the marrow in your bones.

It was just what happened.

When he and his bud, Park, had taken Sniff under their wing, they’d protected Sniff from a lot of what they’d endured.

And when both he and Sniff had lost Park to bad dope, Roam hadn’t been able to protect Sniff from it, or protect Jules, and it was my feeling that loss, and also the fact he hadn’t been able to prevent it, had changed him irrevocably.

He did not waste time.

He did not suffer fools gladly.

And he did not let anyone harm someone he loved.

He’d taken a bullet to prove that to Jules.

There were grown men who didn’t have it in them to make that kind of sacrifice.

Roam had done it at the age of fifteen.

“Got no need for a man in my life, baby,” I said softly. “Got the only two men I need right now, and I’m seein’ to them, and only them, until they start seein’ to themselves. So don’t you worry, Roam. You can go to Walgreens with Sniff and I’ll make sure I got enough Double Stufs to last you the week. Now you get my varnish and don’t forget the lip gloss. Smoldering Eclipse.”

Roam kept scowling, and this had nothing to do with him imminently having to find lip gloss in the shade of Smoldering Eclipse.

Sniff huffed out a sigh.

I endured this until eventually Sniff tagged Roam’s arm and muttered, “Let’s go. She won’t back down. You know it. Faster we get her girlie crap, faster we can get back.”

“You need us, you call,” Roam ordered.

I did not inform him I was a fifty-three-year-old woman and could take care of myself.

I just rolled my eyes.

They took off.

I watched them go, thinking there was more to what I said to Roam and it wasn’t the fact that man with his flowers clearly had a woman in his life.

It was that I was not going to take on another man for the rest of mine.

I’d had one and he’d changed me irrevocably, and not a bit of it was in a good way.

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