Home > Rock Chick Reborn (Rock Chick #9)(5)

Rock Chick Reborn (Rock Chick #9)(5)
Author: Kristen Ashley

In other words, I gave him my pen.

He wrote on a white card on the back of his wallet then he returned his wallet to his jeans, offering the pen and card to me.

“My card. My cell number on the back. And your call. You think on it, you want dinner, you call me. Then you buy a nice dress. Because no way, when you call me, I’m not doin’ it up right.”

Slowly, my hand lifted and took the card and pen.

He didn’t let it go.

At first.

“What’s your name?” he whispered.

“Shirleen,” I whispered back, staring in those eyes.

Those eyes warmed and that warmth warmed me.

Straight to my bones.

Where I’d been cold a really, really long time.

“It was nice to meet you, Shirleen,” he said softly.

He let go of the card only to stroll the three feet in order drop his hand to the roses that I now saw had a receipt stapled to the paper so I could walk right out with them. He came back and rested them on my LV in the child seat.

After he pulled that class move, I watched him go back to the handle of his cart.

He pulled his cart from mine, and looking over his shoulder to shoot me a white smile, he walked away.

So Far Away

“JESUS, WHAT’S ALL this shit?”

I saw a strong, long-fingered, veined hand reach toward my pack of sorbet wet erase markers and did the only thing I could do.

I reached out, slapped it sharply and shot from my chair to my feet behind my desk in the reception area of Nightingale Investigations to face off against Luke Stark.

I also snapped, “Don’t touch anything! I’m getting organized!”

Luke stood across the desk from me wearing a black T-shirt, blue jeans and a shocked expression on his badass face.

He’d recently given up on his legendary Fu Manchu mustache and had grown in a full, black beard.

I missed the Fu Manchu. There was exactly one man on the planet who could pull it off—Luke—but he could pull it off.

Saying that, the man was fine, so the beard far from sucked.

“You’re getting what?” he asked.

“Organized,” I clipped.

“What?” he repeated.

“Organized,” I bit out impatiently.

I mean, sheesh.

I was the office manager at the private investigations firm where he worked.

Granted, I didn’t file. And I generally didn’t organize. I mostly helped Lee dodge anything that might chain him to his desk, like putting off appointments, or taking them in his stead, or paying bills, or sending invoices or cutting paychecks. But, except for the last (which was mostly automated), I did it all when the spirit moved me (for instance when my nails didn’t need a new coat or when the latest Us Weekly hadn’t been released).

Lee was cool I rolled that way.

Still, everyone could be better organized.

Including me.

And no, I was not using purchasing hundreds of dollars of planner shit as a way to escape the fact it had been a week since I’d met Moses Richardson at King Soopers, and I could not call him no matter how weak I wanted to be (and in that weakness, call him immediately).

And no, I would not be using organizing the shit out of my life and every life that touched my life, including every member of the Hot Bunch, as a way to continue to escape that.

Even though I was oh so totally doing that.

Bottom line, Luke should be happy.

Not giving me shit.

He looked down at the healthy (okay, ridiculously out of hand) display of planner and planner accoutrement littering the entirety of the top of my large desk, and then he looked back at me.

“With purple markers, stickers and Post-its with flowers on them?” he queried.

“I’m creating a system,” I shared as the front door opened.

I didn’t look to it when Luke asked, “A system that includes purple markers and stickers?”

What was he not understanding about this?

“Yes. It’s all about color coordination, creativity and visual stimulation.”

“Jesus, what’s all this shit?” Vance Crowe asked, eyes down to my desk, body coming to stand on one side of Luke.

Hector Chavez appeared on Luke’s other side.

“Fuck,” Hector muttered, also staring at the desk.

Most women, facing off with that kind of eye candy in close proximity, would pass out.

Yes, these men were that hot.


No female brain could stay conscious with Luke Stark, Vance Crowe and Hector Chavez two feet away from them.

Fortunately, I’d grown immune to it.

(That was a lie, but I’d become accustomed to it.)

Vance, quicker on the move than his bros, probably due to his history as an ex-con, reached out and nabbed my pack of gem-tone markers.

He then waved them in the air. “I’m pretty sure Lee wrote in the employee handbook that there are no pink markers allowed on the premises.”

“That’s not pink,” I shared. “It’s fuchsia.” I reached out to the sorbet pack and tapped it with my nail (coated in Clothing Optional of course). “This one has the pink.”

Seeing as Vance was taking my attention, I didn’t clock Hector picking up a sheet of stickers.

“You got somethin’ wrong with your hand?” he asked.

“No,” I answered.

“Then why you got stickers that say ‘trash day,’ ‘treat yo’self,’ ‘laundry time,’ and ‘but first, coffee’ when you can write that shit out yourself?”

“Because they have a cute font and cute little pictures,” I told him as the door to the inner sanctum opened. “And they’re stickers. Everyone likes stickers.”

“Little kids like stickers,” Vance pointed out.

He’d know. He was in the process of making an army of them with Jules.

“I’m becoming one with my inner child,” I informed him snottily.

“So you’re organizing your life, you’re not using stickers and purple markers to organize the men,” Luke declared, like he’d just about allow this but only under some duress.

“I’m organizing all you all’s asses too,” I shared and finished, “With purple markers. Though you’re purple, as in grape sorbet,” I told Luke. “Vance is teal. And Hector is amethyst.”

“Shit,” Hector muttered.

“Holy fuck,” Mace muttered, rounding the end of my desk with Lee, eyes aimed down, and stopping there.

When Lee came to a halt with Mace, his brows hiked high. “What’s all this shit?”

Thank God I no longer carried a switchblade.

“I’m organizing!” I nearly shouted.

Lee reached out and tagged the pack of handy, glittery, metallic elastic bands I bought to keep my planner closed, say, when I threw it in my purse or in my car.

“Did you buy this shit on the business account?” he asked.

“Some of it,” I answered.

Lee’s brows sunk low and most people, men or women, would lose control of their bladder at that look.

I was accustomed to it.

“You bought stickers with mushrooms on them on the NI dime?” Mace asked, waving my autumn stickers.

“Those are for around Thanksgiving time,” I shared as the door to the inner sanctum opened again.

“And this is?” Hector asked, and I looked to him to see him brandishing a laminated picture that had a pink peppermint house with a snowflake on the door, a curlicue pine tree next to it fashioned in white and glitter, and swirls and snowflakes in the air all around against a blue background with my name in pink on it.

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