Home > Rock Chick Reborn (Rock Chick #9)(4)

Rock Chick Reborn (Rock Chick #9)(4)
Author: Kristen Ashley


Expressive eyebrows went up.

“Both of them?” he pushed.

“Yep,” I pushed out.

“You got a brother?” he asked.

“As in the sibling kind?” I asked back.

“No,” he answered.

“No,” I answered.

“Hard to make that white one with a brother,” he decreed.

“Uh . . . yeah,” I agreed.

“Adopted?” he kept at me.

“Foster,” I shared.

That’s when it happened.

We were in the bakery section and it felt like the ovens had all been dialed up, doors open, warming the place with bakery-oven goodness.

“You’re a foster momma?” he queried softly.

“Just . . . just them.”

“How long they been with you?”

“Three years.”

“So they’re yours,” he pressed.

My chin lifted half an inch. “They’re mine.”

More warmth, not from the ovens, coming direct from him.

Moses Richardson.


“What’s your name?” he asked.

It was time to pull my shit together.

I tried to unwedge my cart, muttering, “I gotta go.”

He shoved my cart in farther, damaging the bagged, cardboard trays of Hawaiian rolls on the shelves under the bagels.

I looked back to him.

“They’ll like me,” he announced.

I stared.

Was this brother seriously jumping that far ahead?

“Because I like you,” he explained.

“You don’t know me,” I pointed out.

“Yeah I do.”

That felt nice.

I still shook my head.

For his sake.

And mine.

“You don’t and you won’t.”

“I do and I will.”

It was time to snap back to Shirleen.

“Listen, my man, you need to move your cart. I got shit to do. My boys’ll be back soon and Roam’s got a girl comin’ over tonight, and we gotta get him set up before Sniff and I hit Jerusalem.”

He looked impressed. “Combo platter?”

You were either vegetarian or not from Denver if you didn’t get the combo (or meat) platter at Jerusalem.


More warmth and then, “Roam?”

“The black one.”

“I mean the name,” he clarified.

“Street name. Same with Sniff.”

Another brow lift. “You let them go by their street names?”

“There were battles to wage when they hit my crib, that wasn’t one of them.”

“I can imagine,” he murmured.

I took him in. Dark-wash jeans. Pressed button-down. Discreet, but attractive, curb-chained gold bracelet peeking from his cuff. Good boots.

He had no fucking clue.

“No, you can’t,” I snapped.

His eyes stared right into mine.

“Work at Gilliam. Corrections officer. I can.”


Gilliam Youth Services Center.

Denver juvie.

Well . . . shit.

“Three years, those boys. You took them in at what, sixteen? Seventeen? There are about negative two hundred good foster mommas in Denver who’d take in boys that age, that size, with street names and a hundred years they never should have lived on their faces. But then there was you,” he decreed.

I started to feel goose bumps forming all over my skin.

“They were fifteen,” I said quietly.

“Same shit, different age,” he replied.

He was so right about that.

“Listen, Moses—”

“I want to take you to dinner.”

I snapped my mouth shut.

“You’re the most beautiful sister I’ve seen in ten years, and I thought that before I knew what you were to those boys,” he went on.

Oh Lord.

That felt nice.


“Don’t say no,” he whispered.

I swallowed.

“I got two teenage daughters, which might not be good with those two boys, but we’ll tackle that when we face it,” he kept at me. “And I got an ex-wife who didn’t make it easy in the beginning, but we got a flow now and we been ridin’ that for seven years, divorced for eleven, so we got it down and she’s not a problem. You’re not wearing a ring, you got an ex?”

“My man’s dead.”

“I’m sorry,” he said gently.

“I’m not,” I returned.

At that, he studied me.

And as it seemed was his way, he threw it right out there.

“Didn’t do you right?” he asked.

“We’re not talking about this,” I told him.

He gave one nod of that perfectly-formed skull. “Right. Good call. We’ll talk about it over dinner.”

I had to escape this.


For him.

And me.

“Listen, Moses—”

“Please God, woman, don’t say no.”

I shut my mouth again.

I opened it to warn, “Trust me, you do not want to take this on.”

He shook his head at that. “I do.”

“You really don’t.”

“I absolutely do.”

It was then, I looked right into his eyes.

“You absolutely do not.”

He was not deterred.

Damn it.

“How about you let me decide that.”

“How about you move your cart so I can keep on keepin’ on.”

His head tipped to the side. “You not into me?”

Was he seriously living in that body, having that face, that voice, those crinkles on his nose and that manner and asking that shit?

I decided a question that stupid wasn’t worthy of an answer.

Amusement lit his eyes again. “You’re into me.”

“I got a job herding badasses, and I got two badasses hoovering through Oreos and Doritos at my house. I don’t need another badass on my hands.”

He bent into his forearms on the bar of his cart, making his shoulders ripple under his shirt that tightened on them, which made something ripple in one specific part of me, him doing this like we were going to crack open a bottle of wine and stay awhile in the bakery section as he asked, “What’s your job that you herd badasses?”

I started jimmying my cart to try to disengage it, muttering, “We’re not doin’ this.”

“Stop,” he demanded.

I looked at him again.

“Move,” I demanded.

He did.

He moved from the handle of his cart toward me, one arm behind his back.

I froze.

He pulled out his wallet.

“Got a pen?” he asked.

“Uh . . .” I mumbled because he was close and he smelled good.

Like . . .

Real good.

He stopped even closer. So close, I had to tip my head to look into those brown eyes.

“Baby, I asked, you got a pen in that classy bag of yours?” he murmured.

After Leon got whacked, I decided in my life I was not ever doing anything I didn’t want to do.

And one could not say that I didn’t want to look down to my bag, open it, pull out a pen and hand it to Moses Richardson.

What one could say, that one being me, was that I had no control over my actions.

Him that close, looking that good, smelling that amazing, if he asked me if I had a honey-baked ham in my bag, I would have rushed to the deli, grabbed one, sprinted back, shoved it in my LV (no matter that broke all the laws of my universe) so I could pull it out and hand it to him.

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