Getting Nat to show something sweet about her that no one else gets to see? Not so hard.

With her body pressed into mine, her lips at my shoulder and me breathing her in, she calms me. If that fucking moron hadn’t called me this morning, everything would’ve been fine. As soon as I saw the display, I lost it. Throwing the damn phone was the only thing I could do for relief, apart from fuck Nat hard and fast, but I didn’t want that. She showed me something sweet this morning and I didn’t want to taint it with my bullshit.

This is probably the first time in my life that someone has said ‘I love you’ to me and I haven’t wanted to throw up. Does it scare the fuck out of me? Yep. I mean, what am I meant to do now? Is there some procedure or manual about pleasing the person who loves you? I don’t know about this type of etiquette.

Is that even a word? Etiquette? Running a hand down my face in frustration, I sigh.

Fuck me. This complicates things.

I knew what she wanted from me. I could see the disappointment in her gorgeous green eyes, but I couldn’t do it. I won’t give false hope to someone I care about. And I do. I care about her a lot. More than anyone I’ve cared about in a long time. I want to make her happy. I’d do anything to make her happy.

Is that love?

I think if you need to question it, then no, it isn’t.

I’m out of my depth here. I need to talk to someone about this, but I can’t talk to Nik, Max or Trick without giving away too much. I can’t talk to the girls because they’d figure out what’s happening between me and Nat. Maybe Silvio?

Silvio… Are you fucking kidding with that shit? The man can barely speak English!

I guess I’m just going to have to figure this out myself.


As I walk into the main hall of The White Rabbit to head up to the security room, I spot Stefan, the barman. He’s a little younger than me and from what I gather, a decent guy. He’s tall, has blonde hair and brown eyes. If we were standing close enough, anyone would say we’re related. I’ve only spoken to him a few times regarding security issues at the club, but he didn’t give me any attitude and seemed genuinely interested in what I was talking about. I know Nik wouldn’t have hired just anyone to run the bar. He’s gotta be okay if Nik hired him.

Why am I rambling?

Maybe he can help me with Nat.

Walking over to him with what I’m sure looks more like a psychopath’s smile rather than a friendly one, I greet, “Hey, Sheriff. How’s things?”

When he turns to face me, he has a hard time masking his surprise. I don’t blame him. I’m surprised as fuck too.

Stefan goes about wiping down the bar and stocking beer. He replies, “Hey, Ghost. Fine, thanks. Just fine. More security stuff?”

Looking up, I rub my chin and confess, “Nah. Actually hopin’ to talk to you about something.”

He immediately looks worried. Wide-eyed, he asks, “Am I fired?”

Chuckling, I reply, “Oh shit, man. I can see why you would think that.” Of course he would think they’d send the asshole to fire the bar guy. Straightening, I admit, “Actually need your advice.”

His mouth gapes and he says quietly through wide eyes, “No shit?”

Shaking my head, I sit at the bar and tell him, “This is something I can’t talk to anyone else about, so I thought you’d give me a fresh perspective, what with you being a lady’s man and all.”

He shakes his head as if to clear it and utters, “Never seen you have problems getting women before, bud.”

I nod my agreement and state, “Problem’s not getting ‘em. How the fuck do you keep one, though?”

A wide smile appears on Stefan’s face before he says, “That- well, that’s not always easy. But if she’s worth it, you’ll find a way.”

Looking at him through narrowed eyes, I snap, “That’s it? That’s all the advice you have to offer?”

Still stacking beers, he chuckles, “Never said I was an expert, bud. Look at me. I’m still fucking single.”

Sighing, I run a hand through my hair. Standing, I begin to pace. “She’s driving me crazy! She’s all spitfire and twister. She makes me do things that I never thought I’d do. Then she tells me she loves me and for once, I don’t wanna run.” Stopping in my trail, I turn to him and state, “I want to make her happy!” Poking myself in the chest and nodding, I tell him, “Me! I want to make a broad happy. And I don’t want anyone else to have her. I told her she was my girl, and now I don’t know what to do. What does that even mean? I think it means something else to her than what it means to me. I want her and I don’t want anyone else to have her, but I have no idea where to go from here.” I beg, “Help me out, Sheriff. Gimme something to work with here.”

Stefan’s shakes his head and chuckles. “You got it bad, man. I think it’s safe to say you found her.”

Exasperated, I sigh, “Who?”

Standing tall, he states, “The one. All of what you just described…sounds like you found her.” Then he asks, “Do you love her?”

My response saddens even me. “I don’t know what love is.”

Stefan tilts his head to the side and says quietly, “I’m not an expert or anything, but it sounds like you’re there. And if you’re not, you’re close.”

Walking over to him, I extend my hand. He takes it with a smile and we shake. Still shaking his hand, I utter, “You tell anyone about this, I’ll kick your ass.”

Chuckling, he turns away and states, “Yep. That’s what I figured.”

Walking away, I smile.

Nope. Stefan the Sheriff is not a bad guy.

With Tina and Lola both at the store, Mimi and I decided to do lunch together. It’s been a quiet day so far, but I know as soon as three pm hits, it’s going to be chaos with Safira’s doing its first catalogue sale.

Tina. My little Teeny. No one ever accused her of doing things half-assed.

Smart woman that she is, this sale is set to capture the attentions of high school and college kids. She even sent us earlier in the week to local high schools and colleges to hand out catalogues. There was a huge amount of interest. So today will be a good profit day for Tina. Not that she needs it, but the store’s interest is growing and even though she hasn’t said a thing, I’m sure she’s thinking of opening a second store.

We decide on sushi and sit in front of the conveyor at the bar. The dishes slide past us and we pick out what we want. As soon as I open my mouth to stuff it with California roll, Meems states, “So I haven’t said anything to the others but I know you’re fucking him.”

Mouth still open, I stuff the sushi in and chew. She searches my face through her bold blue eyes and says, “This is something to you, isn’t it?”

I don’t say a thing. I chew my Sushi as if it were rubber and match her stare for stare. She whispers, “I hope you know what you’re doing.”

Finally swallowing, I open my bottle of water to take a sip and tell her straight out, “I’m in love with him.”

Meems smiles her rare genuine smile and says quietly, “I know.” Playing with her food, she states, “I’m rootin’ for you.”

Smiling, I nudge her shoulder with mine. I love her for caring enough to say something to me. I love her for believing in me and knowing this is my choice to make.

This is friendship.

Bed. I need my bed.

Today was a fucker of a day. Safira’s catalogue sale was a hit. From three til seven pm we were running around like headless chickens attending to customers and putting through sales. The racks were almost bare by the time we finished up, and we literally had to kick some people out when the doors were shutting. Even though I’m tired, I’m happy too. This meant something to Tina. Nik kept trying to interfere by offering his marketing team, but Tina wanted this to be hers. Something she did on her own. And she pulled it off. I could see that Nik was impressed. He stayed at the store with us during the sales hours because he wanted to be sure nothing got out of hand for his little pregnant wifey.

Yuk. They are too sweet.

Ash came in around six pm and looked around the store with wide eyes. So many women running around and talking, he looked stunned. He threw up his hands at Nik in an I’m out of here gesture and left, but not before winking at me.

And it gave me the butterflies.

Ugh, this love shit sucks.

Dragging my body down the hall to my apartment, I open the door and smile when I see Asher in the kitchen. My body lightens at the very sight of him. He takes away the extra weight on my shoulders. Something smells good. Like, really good. I drop my bag on the floor by the door and walk over to him, wrapping my arms around his waist. I breathe a sigh of relief and he lifts one of my hands to kiss it.

Okay, okay. This love shit is not bad…I guess.

Not taking my arms out from around his waist, I maneuver myself around him so I hug his front. Smiling up at him, I ask in a sing-song voice, “What are you doin’?”

Flushing a little as he smiles, he states, “Making dinner. Figured you’d be tired after that- that- I don’t even know what the fuck that was, but I was not steppin’ in there. It looked like the Bermuda triangle. You’d never find me again.”

Laughing softly, I burrow deeper into his chest. I yawn. “I’m so sleepy.”

With a soft kiss to the head, he utters, “Go have a shower. It’ll make you feel better.”

Lifting my head with a hopeful smile, I say, “You know what would make me feel better?”

He looks at me through narrowed eyes, and I bite my lip to stop myself laughing.

He’ll never go for it.

“Get up. I’m gettin’ out.”

Pushing back against him, I plead, “No! Stay, please! It’s warm and fun.” I end on a whine.

Ash states matter-of-factly, “Not only is this not fun but there is no fucking way I’m going to get hard in here with a plug in my ass!”

My head falls back to rest on his chest and laughter bursts out of me. I say through my laughter, “You make it sound like you’re wearing a butt plug!”

He utters, “Butt plug. Bath plug. Both are things I don’t want in or around my ass.” He shifts around and I burst into laughter again. “That’s it! I’m gone.”

Chuckling, I apologize, “I’m sorry. Really. Please don’t go. I like this. All wet and warm and relaxed.”

Okay, so I may have seriously misjudged the size of my bath. It sounded fun at the time and I am having fun, but all my laughter is coming from Asher’s expense. Poor guy. His legs are so long that he’s had to hook them over the sides of the tub so we can both fit in properly. I’m all nice and warm, snuggling back into his chest and I’m sure that his legs are freezing.

I’m a bad non-girlfriend.

After a few more minutes of snuggling, I tell him, “Okay, let’s get out.” As I stand, I warn him, “Just so you know, I’m really damn tired so I don’t think you’re getting lucky tonight.”

Still in the tub, I turn to face him. His eyes darken as he watches the droplets of water sluice down my naked body. He mutters, “Why do I feel lucky then?” and swipes his thumb across my nipple, causing a jolt in my belly. I scoff as I step out the tub. “Yeah. Like that line ever worked before in your life. C’mon, I’m hungry.”

I hold out a hand for him to take. He does and I help him out of the tub. I take a large fluffy towel and start to wipe his body. He looks down at me through furrowed brows and I flush.

Okay. He obviously doesn’t like that.

Dipping my chin in embarrassment, I say, “Sorry. Here-” I move to hand him the towel but he pushes my hand away, wraps his strong arms around me, wrapping me up tight, and lowers his soft, warm lips to mine. Kissing me long and slow for what seems like forever, I’m officially horny. His tongue dances with mine. He groans into my mouth when I nip his tongue softly. I move closer to deepen the kiss, but he pulls away from me and I almost pout.

Looking into my eyes, he smiles. “Let’s eat, babe.”

We both dress in our jammies and for the first time ever, Ash doesn’t wear a shirt. I like looking at him. I see past his scars to his firm, sculpted abs and my core leaks happy tears. It makes my heart squeeze in agony to think of what he possibly went through, but no one should feel ashamed of their body. Definitely not one this fine.

In a show of silent support, I move over to him, wrap my arms around him and place a soft, wet kiss on his chest. He dishes up the pasta he cooked and it looks as good as it smells.

We sit and I try some of the pasta. And it’s really good. Smiling over at him, I say, “You never said you could cook.”

Picking up his fork, he smirks. “Never asked, pretty girl.”

His newest phone vibrates on the counter and I lift it without permission.

Grace calling.

I pull the phone closer to me and lower it. It vibrates every other second through our awkward silence. Ash looks at the phone through empty eyes. I don’t know who this woman is, but she’s causing shit for my man and making him angry-sad.

I’ll cut a bitch!

The phone stops vibrating and I push it back to the middle of the table. “Didn’t want you breaking another one,” I mutter, avoiding his gaze.

He resumes eating and says quietly, “Thanks.”

No longer hungry, I pick at my food for a while longer before standing to take my dish to the sink.

Just ask him. Ask him who Grace is.

Asher comes to stand behind me and wraps his arms around me. Lowering his mouth to the side of my neck, he asks, “TV or bed?”

Ask him.

When I answer, “Bed,” I feel his smile at my neck and I repeat my earlier admission, “I still don’t think you’re getting lucky tonight, buddy.”

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