“And if he trashes your spare?”
“It’s just metal, Kensey. I have no personal attachment to it. You, however, I’m very attached to. It’s your safety I’m worried about.”
A little suspicious, I studied him. Who had a spare car just sitting around? Okay, yeah, some people did. But he’d never mentioned it before, and he was being so cool and casual about it. “What kind of car is it?”
“Genesis G80. One of the safest cars out there.”
I arched a brow. “And you sought out a safe car for yourself?”
He shrugged. “I like living.”
Did he think I was stupid? “You’re not giving me a car.”
“Okay,” he said simply, calm as you please.
“I’ll use it until my money comes through, but I’m not keeping it.”
His hand landed on my thigh. “Spread your legs.”
I tensed. “What?”
I slowly did so, watching him through narrowed eyes. “Why do I get the feeling you’re trying to distract me?”
“I don’t know, why do you?” His hand snaked under my skirt and cupped my pussy possessively. “Now be still.”
He didn’t tease me the way he usually did. No, he brought me to orgasm hard and fast with two fingers. And I was, indeed, officially distracted … until we parked in the garage attached to his building and he gestured to a shiny, navy-blue Genesis parked a few cars away from his Maserati—one I’d never noticed before. “That’s a brand-new car, Blake.”
“You said you had a spare car.”
“You recently purchased a spare car?”
He shrugged. “It’s practical to have a spare. You never know when you might need one. Like now.”
I sighed, shaking my head in exasperation. “I’m not keeping the car.”
“I will rent it from you.”
He scowled. “That would just offend me, same as it would offend you if I turned down an offer of help from you out of pride. That wouldn’t be fair of me, would it? And it would hurt you, which would only make it worse. The same applies here.”
“Don’t twist this to make yourself seem all innocent.” He was damn good at that.
“Don’t make me out to be the bad guy. I’d like you to borrow this from me until your insurance money comes through and you can buy something else. That’s all. Where’s the harm in that? Especially when Smith won’t expect it or be prepared for it.”
He’d talked me in a fucking circle, the bastard. I huffed. “Fine, I’ll borrow it.”
He drew me to him. “Good girl. See how easy that was?”
I rolled my eyes, but he just smiled and kissed me. “You think I’ll get attached to the car, don’t you?”
“No. I know you’d prefer to buy your own. This is just a loan.”
A loan. A loan I wouldn’t need if it weren’t for whoever had devoted months of their life to fucking with mine. And then it hit me. The anger rushed through me, making my fingers prickle, and it curdled in my stomach like stale milk. I balled my hands up into tight little fists. “I want to kill him, Blake. I really, really do.”
“I’ll kill him for you. It’ll be a fucking pleasure.”
I was so keeping this car, I thought the next day as I smoothly parked outside the bar. The G80 was an absolute dream to drive. Not that I’d accept it as the gift that Blake secretly meant for it to be. No, when my insurance money came through, I’d use it to pay off a chunk of the cost and then I’d pay him the rest in monthly instalments. If he didn’t like it, he could kiss my ass.
A gift was a box of chocolates. A book. A novelty cup. Not a brand-new car.
Blake had come with me earlier that morning to the police station. To my utter delight, neither Joshua nor Bartley had been there. A younger cop had filed the report and then given me an incident number to provide to my insurance company, so that was all done and dusted.
Just as I was sliding out of the car, a familiar motorcycle parked close by. Taking off his helmet, Cade got a good look at the G80 and smiled. “Nice.”
“I’m borrowing it from Blake.”
His lips twitched. “Borrowing. Right.” He sobered as he asked, “Any news on what happened to your Nissan?”
“Nothing more to report yet.” I’d called Clear, Cade, and Sherry last night to tell them about the vandalism, wanting them alert. “Joshua’s partner said they’d have the car dusted for prints, but I don’t know if they really did. I guess I’ll find out soon enough.”
As we headed up the path, Cade cleared his throat. “I heard you’re living with Blake now.”
I tensed a little. “Yep.”
“That has to mean you know everything about him. You’d never fully commit to someone who held back from you.”
“I know everything.”
“And you can handle it?”
I gave Cade a sideways glance. “He’s not Michael.”
“No, he’s not. And I’m glad you see that, because it means your upbringing hasn’t fucked with your head so badly that you see Michael in every man you meet. Blake’s a good guy, and he obviously cares for you. This is good.”
See, no jealousy. How could Blake not see that? “How’s Kerri?”
“A pain in my ass, same as always,” Cade complained, but it was said with affection.
“Tell her I said hi. Morning, Dodger,” I called out just as Bandit came padding out of CCC. After the dog and I did our morning ritual and I had a brief conversation with Dodger, assuring him that I was fine, I headed into the bar. When I found myself in Sherry’s arms, I didn’t quite know what to do.
My godmother was not what anyone would call ‘affectionate.’ She loved with her whole heart, but it wasn’t something she put into words or expressed with hugs and kisses. So, as she wrapped her arms around me and rocked me from side to side, I sort of froze.
“I can’t stand this anymore, Kensey. I can’t stand hearing that bastard has done this, that, or the other. It’s messing with my head, so heaven only knows what it’s doing to yours. I’m so worried that at some point I’ll get a call saying he’s trashed you.”
Her sniffle made me tense. “What do I do?” I mouthed at Sarah.
“I don’t know,” she mouthed back, clearly on the verge of laughing.
I lightly patted Sherry’s back, not sure how much affection she’d tolerate before she shoved me away. “I’m all right, Sherry. Really.”
She pulled back and smacked my arm. “I know you’re all right. That’s not the point.”
I raised my hands. “Sorry. I get that you’re worried. You’re not alone on that one. It’s hard to predict what this guy will do next or how far he wants to take this. But I won’t let that worry cripple me, and neither should you. Okay?”
Sherry gave a slow nod. “Fine. Put your purse in your locker and get to work. I don’t pay you to stand around looking pretty.”
“You think I look pretty?”
With a somewhat haughty sniff, she walked off.
That was when I got to work. It proved to be a quiet day, which meant there wasn’t much to occupy my mind. As doing nothing never worked well for me and I was more stressed by my car’s doom than I was willing to admit … well, by the time my shift was almost done the ladies’ restrooms gleamed more immaculately than ever before, and the stockroom was impeccably organized.