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

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

He knew where she was at too.

“Yeah,” Lee agreed. “Now she’s not gonna call you, but she wants to call you. And I want her to have what she wants. I want her to find her piece of happiness. Those boys are gonna graduate next month and they’re gonna start to get on with their lives, and they will never lose her. You need to understand that. They will not ever lose her. But they’re the kind of boys that will get on with their lives and how they’ll do that, big parts of her life she’ll be alone, and my guess from all this, she’s hung up on her past so she won’t ever do anything about it.”

Richardson just stared at him.

“And I’ll admit,” Lee carried on, “in order not to give you a call to try it out with you, and in order not to think about the fact those boys’re gonna be moving on soon, she’s bought herself a bunch of shit to organize herself, the office, and my men. My marker is black, but my man Mace’s marker is strawberry fuckin’ sorbet, what she calls it, but it’s pink. And to say he’s not a big fan of that is an understatement. He’s not even a fan of being color coded with a marker at all. But definitely not pink. And I hit my desk last night to see ‘date night’ stickers all over it, givin’ me the not subtle hint I need to look after my woman, and my man Luke had a note in his cubby that had a sticker on it that said ‘grocery shopping’ with a list Shirleen got from his wife. Now if we don’t turn her mind to something else, I can’t even begin to guess what shit is going to go down at the office.”

“So this whole thing is self-serving,” Richardson noted, his lips twitching.

“Shit yeah,” Lee replied.

The lip twitch stopped.

“I don’t care what she was,” Richardson said quietly. “What she did, she has to make her peace with herself and God. What she is now is the only thing that interests me, and I saw her handle those boys. I know she cleaned up her life. I know it takes courage to do that. Turning your back on that kind of life isn’t easy, and it isn’t safe, and she did it. So I want to get to know her for more than the fact she’s a beautiful woman. But I don’t have crystal ball, Nightingale. I don’t know how this is going to turn out. I just know I won’t hurt her. Now if we don’t spark . . .” He let that trail off and lifted his shoulders.

Lee called him on that. “You know you’re gonna spark or you wouldn’t have given her your card.”

Richardson didn’t reply.

Lee nodded. “You pick the night. I’ll get the reservation. Indy, my wife, will get her there.”

At that, Richardson studied Lee closely. “Are you sure this is a good idea?”

Lee shook his head. “Absolutely not. The only thing I know is that I watched Shirleen Jackson stand beside women as they fought their way through a load of shit to get to the other side and find their happy. It’s her turn. That might not be you, man, but I want it to be somebody and she needs to break the seal. Leon put her through hell. She paid her penance. It’s time she found her slice of heaven.”

“Jesus, you really care about her,” Richardson murmured.

“There’s a long line of those and I’m not even at the front,” Lee replied.

“Make the reservation. Tuesday.”

At that, Lee smiled.

“How deep was the dive?” Richardson asked.

Lee stopped smiling.

“You’re Lee Nightingale,” Richardson went on. “And you’re here trying to convince me to go on a mostly blind date with a woman who means a great deal to you who has no idea, she turns up at a restaurant, she’s gonna be on a mostly blind date. That means I got the greenlight from you. So how deep did you and your boys dive?”

“She deserves no drama,” Lee said instead of answering direct.

“Man, if this works out, my guess is it’s all in the family. So you and your boys have this about me and I gotta know how much this is.”

He had to give it to him.

And if the tables were turned, he’d want to know too.

“We know your wife cheated on you with her high school boyfriend at their reunion. You couldn’t go. You were at a mandatory cop convention in San Francisco. You found out because you saw an email that led to you lookin’ into it and finding more. She contended she got very drunk and wasn’t in control of her actions. Guests at the reunion confirm the inebriation is true, but we all know it’s no excuse. Still, you went into counseling with her to save your family. Six months into counseling, when you discovered she continued talking to the guy after you found out about the cheat and went into counseling, you decided you couldn’t trust her again or save your marriage, which meant your family. By that time, she was all in to save the marriage, if not the family. She made that and the fact she wasn’t pleased with your decision plain with four years of divorce court torture.”

“Holy shit,” Richardson whispered.

“We’re thorough,” Lee muttered.

“That it?” Richardson asked.

“Army record. Employment records. Your girls have a lot of shit up on Facebook and they need a lesson on privacy settings.”

Richardson’s mouth got tight.

Lee had a feeling that lesson would occur that night.

“It was invasive and we had good reason. But it ends here,” Lee assured. “You get yourself to Barolo Grill, we’re out. Now the Rock Chicks, I can’t make any promises.”

“These ‘Rock Chicks,’ they’re you and your men’s women?”

“They’re nuts, and they’re my wife’s posse. And Shirleen is one of them.”

He began to look less annoyed and more curious.

“It really crazy enough to have books written about it?” he asked.

“My wife was kidnapped . . . three times.”

“Fucking hell,” Richardson muttered.

“And I lost track of the explosions.”

His eyes got big before he burst out laughing.

Lee didn’t find anything funny.

“Let’s avoid any of that with you and Shirleen,” he ordered on a suggestion.

Richardson was still smiling when he replied, “I’m in on that.”

“Tuesday,” Lee stated.

Richardson nodded. “Tuesday.”

Lee nodded back and turned to his truck.

“Nightingale,” Richardson called.

Lee turned back.

“As fucked as it is considering you know more about why my marriage ended than my mother, still, think I owe you,” Richardson remarked.

Lee hoped so.

“We’ll see.”

“Yeah,” Richardson replied. “We will.”

I Know It Good


Tuesday night . . .

“I’M HERE TO meet my girls. Reservation under India Nightingale,” I said to the hostess only to watch her eyes get big right before her face closed down.


What had those women gotten up to?

I looked to my watch.

I was only seven minutes late.

Then again, they were the Rock Chicks. Seven minutes of them being there—one of them, or all of them—it was a wonder the restaurant wasn’t on fire.

“Right this way,” the hostess said, giving me a small, courteous smile and moving into the restaurant.

I followed her, tucking my gunmetal Rebecca Minkoff envelope clutch under my arm, staring at my shoes and thinking it was good the girls organized a night out. That meant I got to wear my Alexander Wang beaded slingbacks. I’d been obsessed with wearing them since I met Moses (notthinkingaboutMoses, notthinkingaboutMoses, alwaystotallythinkingaboutMoses).

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