FROM: BEWARE OF THE MOON, tentatively scheduled for Oct 2019 publication
“So what do you do with yourself?” Dakota squirmed in the passenger seat, disrupting the sparse air, sending his pheromones in her direction again.
“I’m a chemist.” No, no, no. Do not engage with him. Sex only.
“You must be smart.”
Was he saying she was too smart for him? Was he going to try to take her down a peg? Been there, donated the t-shirt. “I’m as smart as I am. I could be smarter. Everyone could.”
“I wasn’t insulting you.”
Dakota’s calm manner infuriated her. The only time he hadn’t been placid was during sex. Amazing sex. Stupendous—
“You and Selena were working on herbal healing bath stuff for females,” Dakota continued.
“Are working on,” she corrected. She refused to believe Selena would abandon their hard work because her grandfather died.
His foot slammed against the floor as she took the corner onto Ash Street too fast.
“You’re not going to tell me I’m too pretty to be a chemist?”
“What does one have to do with the other?” He sounded perplexed, as if he meant the words.
“Never mind,” she muttered. She needed to concentrate on not hitting the group of men dressed in black trying to block the street. No matter what hour she arrived at Ethan and Selena’s house, a gang congregated on the corner—both corners—of the short block.
“Run ‘em over if they get in your way,” Dakota suggested, as if reading her mind. “They’ll move quickly enough. Although they might damage the undercarriage of your car.”
She was tempted. “Interesting theory. My favorite theory involves the questionable legality of mowing people down.”
“I won’t tell if you won’t.”
She couldn’t stop the grin stealing across her face. Not only was Dakota a fabulous bedmate, he was funny. Dangerous combination.
“If you drove a bigger vehicle, mashing a few vagrants wouldn’t be an issue.”
There. He’d said something to annoy her.
“What’s wrong with my little car?”
“Small cars aren’t safe.”
Oh crap. He was a man who believed a night in her bed meant he acquired rights.
She gritted her teeth and pressed her foot on the gas pedal. Her car hitched a moment before lurching forward, drunk on an influx of fuel.
Dakota was right. Once she aimed, the men in the street scurried to the side. Ethan ought to report the thugs to the authorities. They’d blocked the street, twenty-four seven, for weeks.
She parked at the curb, behind a massive black SUV. Gas hogs ought to be illegal. She couldn’t imagine any of Ethan’s acquaintances would drive such a monstrosity.
She stood on the sidewalk and waited while Dakota extracted himself from her car. The view, she had to admit, was nice. Very nice. For someone who allegedly drove a bus for a living, he was superbly put together. As he stood and stretched, something in her belly stirred. Okay. Maybe he wasn’t a one-and-done, but rather the exception proving the rule.
The opening notes of “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” bleated from her cross-body bag. She pulled out her phone to check the incoming text. And nearly dropped the phone to the sidewalk. Numbness depleted her strength, from the tips of her pedicured toes to her brain. Especially her brain.
“Are you okay?” Dakota’s sharp tone pierced the fog.
She couldn’t answer. All she could do was stare at the photo on her screen and try to not hyperventilate.