Home > Rock Chick Reborn (Rock Chick #9)(3)

Rock Chick Reborn (Rock Chick #9)(3)
Author: Kristen Ashley

He hadn’t left steel in the marrow of my bones.

He’d left dust.

After he was whacked, I’d gone on to make stupid decisions that affected not only me.

I had a history—an ugly one—that no man would want to take on.

And I couldn’t imagine anything on this earth worse (for me) than maybe getting the attention of a beautiful man who chuckled like humor bubbled up from his soul and having to watch his face as he learned who I was and what I’d done.

Before hitting the doors, Roam stopped, turned and stared at me and years of life on the streets before I got him under my roof meant I’d have to be more badass than Lee Nightingale himself to hide anything from that boy.

But it wasn’t about being badass.

It was that I didn’t hide shit from my boys. They’d led lives given no reason to trust, and it had been hell teaching them they could trust me and taking that further in showing them how to find others with whom they could do the same.

I didn’t blow him a kiss, send him a smile or give him a nod.

You didn’t do that with Roam.

He wasn’t about displays of affection.

You earned his by being real and being solid.

So I just held his gaze and looked impatient.

He turned and followed his brother out the door.

I swung my cart around and braced at the thought of facing Rose Hottie in the fruit and veg section.

He probably had a sister at home that rivaled Naomi or Halle or Taraji or Angela or Tyra.

He was nowhere to be seen.

“Lord have mercy on me,” I whispered to myself as I perused apples, oranges, bananas, kiwis, spinach, cucumbers, broccoli and carrots, throwing it all in my cart even knowing I’d eat that shit myself as the boys dipped their Oreos in full-fat milk and decimated party-size bags of ranch-flavored Doritos.

Which was what I was reaching for (times three) several aisles later when I heard, “Hello.”

I turned my head and looked into dark-brown eyes separated by an interestingly creased bridge of a nose in a handsome face.

Then I did something so anti-Shirleen Jackson, it was like I’d immediately formed a split personality.

I bolted.

Shit, Roam was right.

No man called attention to himself by greeting some woman reaching for Doritos.

Unless he wanted to pounce.


I was halfway through the next aisle when I realized I hadn’t nabbed the cheddar cheese Ruffles for Roam, or the Pringles smorgasbord for both of them. So I motored down the aisle, swung wide to the next one, motored down that one, caught Rose Hottie studying the water selection (which, with those shoulders, he probably drank while lifting weights) in the aisle that stood between me and the boys’ Pringles.

I boogied as fast as my Louboutin Konstantina pompom flats would take me (which was fast, and that was good since I had to go fast, but it was bad since I wished being in that man’s presence I’d been wearing a pair of heels, specifically my new Alexander Wang black Rina beaded slingbacks, though I wasn’t sure they went with my LV, still they were hot).

I circled back into the snack aisle and got the Pringles, Ruffles and Chex Mix on the trot, making sure to nab the cheesy crackers both boys loved (times four).

Rose Hottie was out of the water and soda aisle, thankfully, as I had stocking up to do there. But as I hit the cleaning supplies section, he was perusing fabric softener.

I also needed fabric softener.

His head came around.

So I did a U-ey with my cart and hightailed my ass out of there, liberally (as usual) stocking up on paper towels (sorry environment, but I had two teenage boys, they didn’t understand global warming or the concept of reusable rags, no matter how much I drilled that shit in their heads) and Charmin.

I circled back when the coast was clear for fabric softener.

It happened in the three-aisle freezer section.

I had to get tater tots and crinkle cuts. Not to mention a hefty supply of DiGiornos. Roam might starve to death if he couldn’t bake a frozen pizza when I was out, and I was a Rock Chick so I was out a lot. I also had two teenage boys who obsessively maintained social lives and their badass training so they weren’t home all that much, but when they got home, they were hungry. The entire freezer in the garage was taken up with DiGiornos and we were running low.

But Rose Hottie was now on a mission. His fine black ass (and yes, I’d caught a glimpse and yes, it almost sent me into vapors) had speeded up and every time he saw me, him and his cart made a beeline to me.

I lost him when I was doing my usual Hail Mary with the frozen peas (I’d eat all those too), and as I trucked out of the frozen food section and loaded up with milk and creamer, as well as hit the cheese aisle, he was gone.




No, good.

But it felt bad.

Since it felt bad, it was not the boys, but me who scored an entire birthday cake (but in the end the boys would eat most of it) and I thought of my girl, Daisy, and her lover man, Marcus. I also thought of Indy and how deeply she was adored by Lee. And Jet, who was practically worshipped by Eddie. And then there was Roxie, who was beloved to Hank. Jules and Vance. Ava and Luke. Stella and Mace. Sadie and Hector. Ally and Ren. Tod and Stevie. Ralphie and Buddy. Tex and Nancy.

I was staring at the bagels and fresh rolls in the bakery section, close to tears . . .


Shirleen Jackson.

Widow of the lowdown, good-for-nothin’ Leon Jackson.

Ex-drug dealer.

I was tough.

I’d lived through hell.

And there I was, near tears in the bakery section of King Soopers.

Because I wanted a badass.

I wanted to be adored, beloved, worshipped by a good man who saw nothing but good in me.

I’d wanted that for as long as I could remember.

And it wasn’t going to happen.

Not for me.

Never for me.

Because life was unfair.

But the worst of it was . . .

I’d made it that way.


I jumped back as my cart slammed into the bagel display, toilet paper packs and Bounty wobbling, full-fat milk glugging, chips rustling, boxes of DiGiornos nearly toppling, cart ending up jammed against the shelves under the bagels, caged there by another cart that was nearly as full as mine.

I turned my head to see Rose Hottie, hands still on the cart that had plowed into my own.

“Now that I have your attention.”

Oo . . .


His voice was honey.

Warm, sweet, deep, delicious honey.

Hell’s fire.

“Uh . . .” I forced out.

“I’m Moses,” he declared.

Oh Lord.

Good name.

Great name.


“Um . . .” I mumbled.

“Moses Richardson.”

I got kinda lost in watching his lips moving.

They moved again.

“Now’s the time you tell me your name,” he ordered.

My eyes lifted to his.

Bad idea.

He had fabulous eyes. Open, amused and curious.

“I’m grocery shopping,” I shared.

His eyes turned more amused.

“Is that your name?” he asked.


“I hadn’t really missed that,” he told me, tipping his head to my cart.

I decided not to say anything more.

He didn’t take the hint and unjack my cart from the bakery display.

He gave my cart a thorough examination before looking again at me and inquiring, “Those your boys?”

“Uh . . . what?”

“At the entrance. Those boys you were with. Ten frozen pizzas in your cart. They yours?”

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