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Your car is solid, decent, you got a lot more miles before it’ll start givin’ you headaches,” he declared. “But it isn’t you.”

“Me?”

“Wild and sweet, can both snarl like a bitch or purr like a kitten.”

My hand flew out, I leaned down and pressed my fingertips into the hood of the kickass Mustang my man just gave to me and I did this to hold myself up.

“You can’t give me a car,” I informed him.

“No? Weird. Just did.”

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What’s a huge-ass wedding?”

“Don’t ask that,” I advised. “Just show up.”

His grin turned wicked and I liked it

That was, I liked it until he enquired, “You askin’ me to marry you, Red?”

I wasn’t even sipping coffee and, still, I choked.

Then I pushed out, “What?”

“I accept.”

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we… you,” I swallowed then asked, “Are we moving in together?”

His head tipped to the side like my question was borderline insane and he answered, “Well, yeah.”

“When was this decided?”

“You love me?” he asked and my belly flipped.

“Yeah,” I whispered.

“Right,” he grinned. “And I love you and your biological clock is ticking so we best get started on that shit.”

That… shit?

“Uh, you mean, the shit of having a family?” I asked, my brows rising and his grin got bigger.

“Yeah.”

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What’s the matter, Red?”

“Nothing, Tack,” I lied again. “I talked with you maybe ten minutes ago. How could something be the matter in ten minutes?”

“The how is that you’re you. Something could be the matter in ten seconds.”

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Baby,” his voice gentled, “this is me seein’ to that soft spot when I say quiet-like that I… will… be… there… in ten. And what I mean is, when I get there in ten, your ass better be there.”

Oh boy.

“Are you coming on your bike?”

“Yeah.”

“I’m in a tight, short, little, aquamarine dress with high heels. I can’t get on a bike.”

“You’re in a tight, short dress and high heels?” Tack asked.

“Yes.”

“I’ll be there in five.”

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Where are you?” I asked.

“The Compound havin’ drinks with the boys,” he answered.

“We need to talk. Now or close to now. My place when, of course, I get there and, uh, you do too. Mitch and Mara are taking me home.”

“We need to talk?”

“Yep.”

“About what?”

I brought the mouthpiece of my phone closer to my lips and whispered with heavy meaning, “Everything.”

“Oh shit,” Elvira muttered.

“Jesus,” Camille murmured.

“Oh man,” Gwen whispered.

“Everything?” Tack asked.

“Absolutely everything.”

“That’s gonna take a long time, Red,” Tack observed.

“No. The everything we need to talk about requires yes or no answers from you.”

“It’s nearly two in the morning,” Tack noted.

“Are you too busy to talk about everything which means everything important… in life?” I asked with grave, but drunken, seriousness and the drunken part was communicated by me slurring my words more than a little bit.

Silence then, “Are you smashed?”

“Completely and totally.”

“What are you wearing?”

“Who cares?”

“I do.”

“Why?”

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Now, baby, you coulda taken your job with Ride and kept your shit separate. You didn’t. You came and partied with the Club. Then you took my hand and partied with me. That means I get to claim you and I have. There’s no out once you’re in and, Tyra, darlin’, you’re in.”

“That’s ridiculous.”

“That’s the way of the world.”

“No it isn’t.”

“All right, babe, I’ll amend that. That’s the way of my world.”

“Okay, Tack, but that’s ridiculous!” My voice was rising and I declared, “I want out.”

“You don’t want out.”

“I do.”

“You don’t.”

“Trust me, I do.”

“No, you don’t.”

“I so totally do.”

“You want me to prove you don’t?”

Uh-oh.

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don’t know how it works in your world but I’m guessin’ in your world you can lead a man around by his dick by actin’ sweet then turnin’ on the freeze and ignoring his ass for days. Then you think you can shovel shit at him and he’ll eat it for a chance to get another taste of your sweet pussy, but baby, I’m tellin’ you now, that’s not how it works in my world.”

“Ig… Ig…” I stuttered, “Ignoring your ass?”

“Ignoring my ass.”

“I… I don’t even know what to say. That’s insane.”

“Red, you got my numbers in your phone, all ‘a them. And your car has been at my garage for days and I haven’t once seen your face until I walked into our office today. I left you sweet and smiling in this goddamned bed and I don’t see you or hear your voice for four days? Then I walk into your office and you give me attitude and tell me to kiss your ass because you’re in a pissy mood about some shit you refuse to share? No. You gotta know, darlin’, that shit don’t play with me.”

“Well, Tack, that goes both ways because you showed and were all about biker charm and warm looks and then I got nothing from you for four and a half days. Then you walk in my office and tell me to buy you a sandwich! No. You gotta know, handsome, that shit don’t play with me.”

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Just settle, Red, and be quiet. I got something to say and I need you to listen.”

“You do not have anything to say that I want to hear,” I whispered irately.

“You’re gonna hear it anyway,” he replied.

I stopped pushing against his shoulders and glared at him. “Of course I am,” I stated sarcastically. “You want to say something, you say it. You want to do something, you do it. And who gives a shit what I want? Is that the jist of what you were about to say?”

His eyes held mine. “Not exactly.”

“Right, well, carry on, Tack. You’re going to anyway.”

“I see you’re pissed –”

“Mm hmm,” I cut him off. “Good call on that, handsome.”

“Babe,” he murmured and I could swear his mouth was moving like he was fighting a smile.

Oh. My. God!

“Do you find something funny?” I snapped.

“Well… yeah,” he answered.

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walked right to my desk, eyes on me, hand to his back pocket and he said, “Do me a favor, babe. I’m starved. Go out and get me a sandwich.”

I stared up at him as he pulled out his wallet, opened it, yanked out some bills and tossed them on the desk in front of me. He was shoving the wallet in his back pocket when my throat unclogged but that itch in my palm intensified.

He hadn’t said word one to me after barging into my place and pretending to be a decent guy. Four and a half days later, he strolls in and tells me to get him a sandwich?

“Pardon?” I whispered.

“A sandwich. Roast beef and swiss. Get me a bag a chips and a pop while you’re at it. Don’t care where you go.”

“Pardon?” I repeated and his eyes narrowed.

“A sandwich, Red. Roast beef and swiss, chips and a pop.” When I simply continued to stare at him and said not a word, he added, “Jesus, you want me to write it down?”

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