I give her a thumbs-up as I take another bite.
“So, we going out tonight?” she asks, resting her back against the desk.
“Er…I don’t know. Probably not. I’m still recovering from last night.”
“You say that now, but when Carrick wins today, you’re gonna want to celebrate.” Her face drops when she realizes what she’s said.
I lift my hand, stopping her from apologizing, and I give her a reassuring smile. “You’re right. I probably could do with going out. And it will be good to celebrate when Carrick wins.”
“Attagirl. Well, I best get back upstairs. I’ll catch you later.”
Turning back to my desk, I put the half-eaten muffin down and take a sip of coffee, clearing the sponge from my mouth.
“Hey, don’t I get a coffee?” That’s Robbie calling to Petra.
“Sorry, only one pair of hands, and they were full.” She gives me a wink, walking backward.
“You heard of these things called trays?”
“You heard of these things called legs? Use them if you want something. You know where I am.” With a bounce in her step, she turns and jogs up the stairs.
“What do you have that I don’t? Aside from the obvious,” Robbie says, letting his gaze drift to his crotch.
God, he’s acting like a total dickhead today. Normally, I can put up with his weirdness, but today, I just really don’t feel like tolerating him.
“I don’t know, Robbie. Maybe this thing called a personality.” I turn away, but something in me isn’t done. I feel all fired up, and I guess all the stress and sadness inside of me just wants to come out on him.
I spin my stool back around. “You know, if you want to shag Petra so bad, then why don’t you stop acting like such a twat all the time and be nice for a change? She might actually be interested in you if you did.”
His face reddens. I’ve embarrassed him.
The thing about embarrassing a man in front of other men is that they come out fighting, and they fight dirty.
“You mean like you did with Carrick? Don’t think we all don’t know that you’ve been polishing his dick. And now, he’s fucked you off for something far better, and you’re all bitter and twisted up about it.”
I feel my throat close up, and my eyes start to sting.
Don’t cry. Don’t you dare bloody cry, Andi Amaro.
And, really, what can I say to that? He’s right-ish.
“What the fuck is going on?”
My eyes swing to the sound of Carrick’s hard voice. He’s standing at the bottom of the stairwell, and he looks mad—no, scrap that. He looks livid.
At first, I think he’s talking to me, but then I see his eyes are trained on Robbie.
“Nothing,” Robbie stammers. “We were just—”
“Don’t bullshit me. I heard what you fucking said. Saying shit like that will get you in big trouble.” Storming over to the pinboard, Carrick snatches a piece of paper from it, not even removing the pin, which drops to the floor.
I’m stock-still my seat. He hasn’t even looked at me yet.
I’m wondering if it’s my turn next, but then he starts to walk away, and I let out the breath I was holding.
That’s quickly sucked back in when Carrick stops at the bottom of the stairs and turns around. He strides over to Robbie with angry determination.
I’m frozen in shock, not sure what to do. Neither are any of the guys. And I’m guessing Robbie thinks the same. We’re unsure of what’s going to happen.
When Carrick stops inches from Robbie’s face, fists clenched at his sides, I actually wince, fearing that he’s going to hit Robbie.
Robbie stumbles back a step.
“You’re an annoying little prick, Robbie, and I’m sick of your shit. Pack your crap, and get the fuck out. You’re fired.”
“Wh-what?” Robbie chokes out.
Carrick takes another menacing step forward, leaving no space between them. “Are you deaf as well as stupid? I said, you’re fired, so get the fuck out!” Then, he turns on his heel and storms out of the garage.
There’s a moment of horrified silence.
My wide eyes swing to Robbie, who’s just standing there, looking shocked to hell.
Then, my body springs into action. Jumping from my seat, I sprint across the garage, heading for the stairs. I start quickly climbing them.
“Carrick!” I call out to his back as he nears the top step.
He stops and slowly turns to me.
I take a few more steps up, closing the gap between us. “Please reconsider firing Robbie. He might be a twat at times, but really, that was my fault. Honestly, I started it. I wound him up about something that’s none of my business. I was a bitch, and he was just biting back. If anyone should be fired, it’s me.”
He stares at me for a long moment, his expression tight, brows knitted together.
Then, I see his face relax, something warm passing through his eyes.
He shakes his head. “Robbie berates you in front of everyone. Then, you come running after me to plead his case, and you offer up your own job instead of his?”
I walk up a step. “I never claimed to be bright.” I tip my lips up into a half smile.
A hint of a smile touches his eyes, and then he turns serious again. “He ever talks to you like that again, and he’s gone.”
I blow out a breath. “He won’t. Thank you.”
Our eyes catch and hold, and the air between us suddenly becomes thick and electric.