Home > Rock Chick Rescue (Rock Chick #2)(4)

Rock Chick Rescue (Rock Chick #2)(4)
Author: Kristen Ashley

I felt my knees get a bit weak.

There was one thing on my mind… escape, escape, escape!

I turned back to Indy, “Thanks for asking me. Please ask me again.”

Indy was looking at Eddie when I talked to her and I noticed that so was Hank. Then both Indy and Hank’s eyes moved back to me and they both were sort of grinning.

“You’re always invited, girl,” Indy said.

It felt tremendously cool that she said that to me and I smiled at her. Then, there was a break in the crush behind me, I started to go but Eddie grabbed my wrist.

“Hang on, Jet,” he said.

I looked down at my wrist, then up at him. I felt his touch everywhere. It was like his fingers hit a switch and I was a light bulb and he turned me on, a total-body, electric shock.

Panic went through me and I pul ed my wrist away. If I hadn’t, I’d have thrown myself at him, right in front of his date. That would have been far more humiliating than the cup incident, I’m pretty sure.

His hands came up, palms out and his face closed down.

“What?” I asked, because I couldn’t string two words together. Even if someone told me they could cure my Mom, make her walk steady and give her back her arm, I stil couldn’t have said more than “what”.

“Forget it,” he said and turned away.

That’s when I fled.

* * * * *

That was strike two. Strike three was even worse.

* * * * *

For the next couple of months, I total y avoided Eddie. This was kind of hard to do, considering he was most definitely not avoiding me.

Before Indy’s party, Eddie came in every once in awhile, got a cup of coffee, had a chat and left. After Indy’s party, Eddie came in al the time, got a cup of coffee, had a chat and hung around to torture me.

Let me explain about Eddie Torture.

Once, Jane and I were going through a box of used books that Jane bought. We were going to put some on the shelves, but most of them were going in the dol ar bin.

I was crouched down and I had on a pair of those low-rider jeans and a fitted, square-necked, long-sleeved, plum-colored t-shirt. In the crouch, the jeans came down; the hem of the tee went up, completely exposing the smal of my back. The bel over the front door jangled and I turned to see Eddie walk in, cool, mirrored sunglasses covering his eyes. He took them off, looked down at me, and his eyes moved to my behind.

Immediately I said to Jane, “Let’s take these to the counter.” And I stood, picking up the box.

Unfortunately, the box weighed a ton and I staggered back, right into Eddie, who’d somehow managed to make it the six feet from the door to me in that short expanse of time.

Instead of just putting out a hand to steady me, both of his hands came to my hips, low on my hips, fingers splayed wide so his fingertips rested on my pelvic bones.

“Steady,” he said, his lips this close to my ear and a shiver went through my body and I swear, I nearly dropped the box.

Then his hands were gone and so was he. He came around, reached under the box, his fingers just barely (but stil , it happened, I know it did) grazing my midriff. He took it from me and walked it to the book counter.

Al y was behind the counter and she was staring at me, open-mouthed. I ignored her look, ignored Eddie completely (didn’t even say thanks) and walked (quickly) to the back of the store and hid amongst the shelves until I was certain he was gone.

Other times, he would be standing in tight spaces, spaces I had to get through to move around, so I’d have to suck in my breath and squeeze by him so as not to touch him with some protruding part of my body. This did not normal y work and some protruding part of my body touched him which resulted in one of those aforementioned electric shocks.

It didn’t help matters that Indy and Al y were constantly asking me out for drinks or to go to the movies, then turning to Eddie and saying, “You want to come?”

I couldn’t go anyway and I was glad I always had an excuse (although, since they didn’t know I had a second job and was taking care of Mom, the excuses were beginning to sound lame).

The Eddie Torture seemed to escalate over time.

For example, a few days ago I was sitting behind the book counter, my legs crossed, my head bent, going through receipts and drinking a cappuccino.

Eddie was talking to Duke, Indy’s second-in-command; a Harley guy with thick, long, gray hair, a beard and an ever-present rol ed bandana tied around his forehead.

Duke had been at Fortnum’s since Indy’s grandmother ran it. At first, he scared me. He was tough as nails and had a low, gravel y voice. Then I realized he was an old softie, mainly because of the way he treated Indy, Al y, Jane (the other Fortnum’s veteran) and sometimes Tex (though, most of the time, Duke and Tex yel ed at each other).

Eddie and Duke were standing across from me at the book counter so that meant I was also engaged in ignoring Eddie.

Then, al of a sudden, Eddie’s hand came into my line of vision and, just as sudden, his thumb swiped my upper lip.

My head jerked up and I stared at him, my lip tingling.

“Foam,” he said, dipping his head to indicate my cappuccino.

My face started burning, I stared down at my cappuccino and, get this… when I looked back up, Eddie was again listening to Duke, for al the world like I wasn’t even there, but he put his thumb in his mouth to suck off my foam.

What was that?

This kind of stuff went on al the time. Being me, I had to find an explanation for it. So I decided he was just trying to be nice.

He was a nice guy, I could tel , even if it was in a kind of badass way. Tex held a gruff regard for him and Duke liked him flat out. It was clear he thought of Al y like his younger sister and was always messing around with her. I know he thought the world of Indy and he was always flirting with her in a way that was hot but control ed. I told myself he was just putting me in my niche because, no matter how significant these torture sessions seemed, nothing ever came of them.

So, I figured my crush, and my daydreams (which were coming a lot more often once the torture sessions began) made me make them something they weren’t.

Then Indy asked me over to Hank’s to watch a footbal game. It was getting to the point in her frequent invitations where I couldn’t refuse or I’d seem rude. It was going to be her and Lee, Al y and her boyfriend, Carl (who was also good looking and a cop), Hank and some girl I didn’t know… and Eddie.

I didn’t want to go, because it was Sunday. I didn’t have a shift at Smithie’s and Fortnum’s had short hours on Sunday. I wanted to rest, then sleep, in the night hours, like a normal person.

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