The hum of Dee’s voice is just about to lull me back to sleep . . . when her words finally register.
I pick my head up. “Wait. Your mother has guns?”
Monday night, I walk into my apartment and throw my keys down on the front hall table. And right away, something feels . . . off.
The air feels different. It’s like a sixth sense when you live alone—you can just tell when someone has been in your place.
Or if they’re still there.
Nothing in the living room is disturbed. The same goes for the kitchen and dining room, which I scan as I walk down the hall toward the closed bedroom door. I open it and walk in.
And there, laid out in the middle of my bed, in a pale pink lace teddy with matching garters and stockings is . . . Rosaline.
For a lot of guys, this is a fantasy come to life. Right up there next to a hot, horny chick showing up at your door in a trench coat with nothing on underneath.
But for me? Fantastic fantasy—wrong girl.
Her dark hair falls over my pillow in shiny waves. Her blue eyes gaze at me while her red lips stretch into an inviting smile. “Hello, Matthew.”
“How the f**k did you get in here?” She doesn’t acknowledge the shocked disdain in my tone. Or maybe she doesn’t hear it.
Her ruby smile stays perfectly in place. “I told your doorman I was an old friend. After a little persuasion, he let me in. You really should complain to the manager. After what you paid for this place, the security is appalling. Although, I suspect at the moment, you’re quite pleased about that.”
She trails her hand down her stomach, teasing the thin fabric of her panties. Although my eyes are tempted to follow her hand, I keep them trained on her face. “And you’d be wrong about that.”
She rises from the bed and stands in front of me, eyes downcast, hands folded—the perfect picture of sexy vulnerability. “I was wrong to leave things with you the way I did. Seeing you again has made me realize how much I’ve missed you. I was hoping, now that I’m back in the city, you’d give me a second chance.”
I’m not going to lie. Hearing her say that is a rush. My ego does a fist pump. Isn’t that what every jilted lover craves? To hear the former object of their affection say that they were wrong? Beg and plead to be taken back?
“You’re leaving Julian?” I ask, stupefied.
She giggles. “Leaving him? Of course not, silly. If I leave, I get nothing—the prenup was very specific about that. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy my own . . . distractions. You and I can enjoy them together. Frequently.”
A few weeks ago I may have taken her up on the offer. Screwing Rosaline was always a spectacular event. And I’m a guy. Regular sex without attachment is the pot of gold at the end of the frigging rainbow. Something all of us dream about finding but don’t really believe exists.
But here—now—not even my dick is interested. Which is really saying something considering she’s almost naked.
Rosaline steps forward and moves to put her arms around my neck. But I grasp her forearms and hold her at arm’s length. “Get dressed.”
She looks genuinely surprised. Confused.
But before I can elaborate, there’s a knock on my door. And Delores’s squawking, singing voice drifts down the hallway. “How ya call ya loverboy? Come ’ere, loverboy . . .”
This is bad. Like building a house on an ancient Indian burial ground whose bodies are reawakened and really pissed off kind of frigging bad.
I walk away from Rosaline and make my way to the door, going over my options. I could stash Rosaline in a closet or under the bed, but if Dee finds her, I’ll look guilty. I could try to rush Delores away from the scene of the crime, but if she ever finds out why, I’ll look really f**king guilty.
The only viable choice is to lay it on the line—tell Delores the truth—appeal to her trusting nature and God-given faith in the honesty of her fellow man.
Yeah—you’re right—I’m totally screwed.
I open the door. Delores holds a Dirty Dancing DVD up for me to see as she dances in place. “This is the perfect movie for us! I’m sure you haven’t seen it yet—since your testosterone-drenched eyeballs have been too busy watching action movies and war p**n . But lucky for you, I own the director’s cut with extended scenes. We can reenact the ‘lift’ scene. I also do a hot cha-cha.”
I slide out into the hall before she’s done talking and close the door behind me. That’s when she notices the look on my face and stops dancing. “What’s wrong?”
I put my hands on her shoulders and say, “I need you not to freak out.”
Of course saying that is just going to make her start to freak out sooner. Stupid.
“Why would I freak out?”
I try to do better. “You have to trust me, Delores. I swear it’s not what it looks like.”
That’s not any better, is it? Shit.
Her apprehensive tawny eyes shift from my face, to the door behind me, and back again. She doesn’t assure or agree, but demands, “Open the door, Matthew.”
Might as well just get it over with.
I open the door and Delores marches in ahead of me. Whatever she was bracing herself for, she doesn’t find it. She looks around the living room. “What are you . . .”
It’s then that Rosaline comes striding down the hall—still covered in garters and lace.
Because if I didn’t have bad luck? I’d have no luck at all.