Redemption:Slick Rock 18(3)

By: Becca Van

“Axel, did you have any luck?”

He shook his head and rubbed a hand down his face. After any of them visited they all asked that same question, with the exception of the name. Axel was beginning to think that maybe they were barking up the wrong tree.

“We’ve been trying for three months.” He sighed. “Do you think we should just give up?”

“What do you think?” Phoenix asked.

While Axel knew it was a rhetorical question he answered anyway. “Not happening.”

“Exactly. Doesn’t matter how long it takes, we will end up with her in our home, arms, and bed.”

“And if we don’t?” Axel wasn’t usually so pessimistic and though he didn’t have a huge ego, his was taking a beating right now. It wasn’t because he thought he was God’s gift to women, but having no luck tended to make one question oneself.

Phoenix shook his head. “Stop being so negative. The only way we’re going to get what we want is to be patient and persistent.”

“Yeah, I’m aware.” Axel glanced at his watch. “Are you heading home or are you going by way of the diner first?”

Phoenix smiled and quirked an eyebrow. “You have to ask?”

“No.” He smiled back. “When Camden comes off of night shift, it’ll be his turn at trying to woo her. I’m not sure he’s going to have any more success than we have.”

“Camden’s likely to win her over before we do,” Phoenix said. “He’s more patient than we are and that’s saying something.”

“It is,” Axel agreed. All three of them were mostly always calm and enduring, but Camden had a way about him that tended to draw the opposite sex like bees to honey. He hoped and prayed that he and his friends wouldn’t have to wait much longer. “I’ll see you later.”

“Yeah, later.” Phoenix waved before he headed out to have his lunch break.

Axel didn’t think his friend would have any better luck than he had.

* * * *

Katie locked gazes with Enya as soon as she entered the kitchen. There was a knowing smirk on the young woman’s face and at first, Enya was curious, but when she glanced at the clock on the stove, her curiosity waned. She didn’t need to be told that one of the other doctors had arrived for lunch. They almost always followed one after the other as if they’d planned it. Enya was just thankful that all three of them didn’t have the opportunity to eat at the diner after the other two. Or worse, all eat there at the same time.

They were lethal singularly, together they would be impossible to ignore.

“Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Handsome just placed an order,” Katie said just before she hurried toward the sink. She placed the large tub of dirty dishes on the counter and then turned back toward the entrance.

“You mean Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Scary,” Enya muttered as she finished plating an order and setting it under the warming lights in the serving window.

“You think he’s scary?” Katie frowned.

Shit! Katie wasn’t supposed to have heard that, but instead of answering she shrugged nonchalantly and turned back to the stove. There was no way in hell she was elaborating on that statement.

* * * *

Phoenix frowned. The lunch rush hour was over and there were only a couple of people still sitting in the diner near the back. He’d taken a seat at the counter close to the serving window in the hope of seeing Enya and while he hadn’t seen her yet, he heard what the young waitress had said. He held his breath while he waited for a reply but there was only silence.

He exhaled slowly and would have clapped at Katie’s next words if it wouldn’t have drawn attention to him.

“I don’t know what you’ve been through, Enya, but don’t let your past cloud your judgment of the present and future. The men in this town aren’t like any other man you’ve likely met or spent time with. You of all people should have realized that by now.”

“They’re controlling,” Enya said quietly.

“No,” Katie responded. “It might look that way, but they’re not controlling or abusive. However, they are protective and possessive of their women. To me, that is an amazing thing. When Kiara and I were at college, we saw how girlfriends or significant others were taken for granted and even ignored. That is one of the reasons we decided to come home. We want a long-lasting relationship that is going to go the distance until we’re old and gray and beyond. I don’t have to worry about looking over my shoulder to make sure I’m not being followed by some creep.