Craft:The Gibson Boys Series, Book #2(9)

By: Adriana Locke


“I heard a nasty rumor about you today,” I say, leaning on the side of my car.

“This should be interesting.”

“Seems a girl in one of my classes thinks you’re single.”

Her laugh is light as she leans against her car. We face each other, our stances mirrored. “I’m glad the student body is spending their energy concerned about my dating life.”

“It was an offhanded comment,” I admit.

“And we wonder why their grades are plummeting.”

“Is it true?”

“Yes, their grades are plummeting,” she winks.

Tucking my hands in my pockets, my goal is to appear casual. “Not what I meant.”

“Um …” She tucks a strand of hair behind her ear. “I’m not sure why that matters.”

“It doesn’t,” I say. “But is it true?”

“Kind of?” she laughs. “I hate labels.”

“If I were the guy you were seeing, I’d hate to think you were ‘kind of’ single.”

Shoving off the car, she laughs again. “Oh, I bet you would. You make that completely clear with your girls, don’t you? You’re like, ‘Now, remember. I’ll be sleeping with Gloria tomorrow so you are absolutely single.’”

“That’s not what I mean,” I say, standing straight too. Although she’s right. But this isn’t me. This is her. It’s different. “I mean, doesn’t the guy you’re seeing find offense in that?”

Her arms cross in front of her and it’s clear she’s not about to answer my questions. I voluntarily change the subject.

“Do you ever make red velvet cupcakes?” I ask. I don’t even know what the hell those are, but I heard my brother’s girlfriend talk about them the other day at Sunday dinner.

“I have,” she says, obviously confused. “I make them sometimes for the Senior Center.”

“The nursing home over by the church?”

“Yeah. Long story, but I knew a girl who worked there. She would tell stories about some of the residents and how they didn’t have family and it broke my heart. So I bake for them sometimes.” A small smile slips across her face. “There’s this old man there. They call him The Mayor, but I’m not sure he ever was the mayor,” she laughs. “Anyway, Red Velvet is his favorite. I make sure there’s some in every batch I deliver.”

There’s something different about her, a gentleness I don’t see often. She’s usually raring to go with me, a sharp tongue ready and waiting.

“Lance?”

“Sorry,” I say, clearing my throat. “That sounds like a nice thing to do.”

“It gives me purpose.” She no sooner than finishes the sentence before she sticks a finger my way. “Don’t even.”

“Don’t even what?” I laugh.

“Don’t make fun of me for saying that.”

“I …” Cocking my head to the side, I reconsider. “We all need a purpose. We just get them from different places. You get yours from cake … well, I kind of get mine from your cake too.”

Rolling her eyes, she pops open the driver’s door. “Big plans tonight?” she asks, changing the subject.

I want to back up to a few moments ago. To the moment where she looked a little vulnerable, like she was almost ready to tell me something real about herself, but I let it go. No sense in playing in a sandbox when I have no intention of staying there.

“I’m going to give some excellent aural in a minute,” I tease, “then possibly some oral, depending on how it goes.”

“I can’t with you,” she laughs.

“You can. There’s a standing invitation. Have I not made that clear?”

Her laughter grows. “You have. Thank you.”

“And …” I coax.

“And …” She mocks. “And what?”

“And you are taking me up on that when?”

“Good night, Mr. Gibson.”

It’s totally unprofessional of me to watch the hemline of her dress ride up her thigh as she gets into the seat. It’s even more unprofessional to look at her and wink when she catches me in action, but hell—that’s nothing compared to the vision of her naked in the backseat of the car that I’m imagining right now.