Harley & Rose(3)

By: Carmen Jenner


“It’s kind of hard to have a honeymoon without a bride.”

I pat the side of his face and he leans into my hand. “No one would understand. You’ve got to do this alone, Harley.”

“Fuck everyone else. I don’t want to do it alone,” Harley snaps. I flinch a little and he exhales loudly. His eyes slide shut, and his voice is tender and miserable when he says, “The last thing I need is to be alone right now.”

“You can’t take another woman on your honeymoon. It’s … bad luck. Besides, I have the shop, and I doubt very much that I’ll be able to get my own room at such short notice.”

His eyes spring open, and he glares at me. “Why the fuck would you get your own room?”

“Because we cannot sleep together.”

“Why?”

My eyes dart around the luxurious suite, looking for something, anything that constitutes as a valid excuse. Once again, my focus settles on my boobs. “I’m self-conscious.”

Harley snorts. “About what? Your snoring? That shit’s not news, Rose. We’ve slept together a bunch of times.”

“Things are different now—”

“What’s different? That you have a killer rack? I’ve seen it all. It’s not like I’m going to freak out because you have girly bits. Been there, tapped that, remember?”

“Yeah, I remember.” Oh god, did I remember. His deft hands, soft lips, scratchy stubble, the weight of his hips as they pressed into mine, and the deliciously melty slide of our respective boy and girl bits coming together. The way his mouth tips up in the corner in a satisfied smirk right after he comes. I remember it all too well, and that’s exactly why this is a bad idea.

“Please?” He begs, and his voice is ragged with emotion. My heart squeezes. “I can’t do this alone. Come with me.”

Oh I want to. I want to come and come and … Goddamn him. I’m about to make the biggest mistake of my life, because I never can say no to Harley, and he knows it. He tilts his head and sends me these stupid puppy-dog eyes that have always been my undoing—they’ve always led me into one disaster after another. It’s why I call him Pan. He’s the original lost boy, and he’s always been so damn good at getting me to follow behind him like a lovesick Wendy with Peter.

“Please?” he whispers, and I’m done for. Manipulative bastard.

I shake my head and let out a resigned sigh. “When do we leave?”

Harley looks at his watch. “Fuck, like four hours.”

“You owe me,” I warn.

“Yeah, I’ll owe you. I’ll give you anything you want—I’ll build you a goddamn monument in Golden Gate Park for being the best friend a man could have, just please, Rose, please don’t make me go on my own.”

“Fine,” I say, grinning. “But I get the window seat.” I shove him off my lap and slowly, and very carefully—in other words, drunkenly—get to my feet.

Harley grunts and lays his head back down on the floor. “Where the hell are you going?”

“To pack, dumbass. I got a plane to catch.”

“Don’t leave,” he whines, snaking a hand around my foot. “We’ll buy you shit when we get there. All you need are a couple of bikinis.”

I shake him off and shoot him a look that says he should quickly shut up. He does, grinning for a moment before it’s lost to the shadow of despair that smothers the light from his eyes. “I’ll swing by in an hour to pick you up. Don’t fall asleep.”

“Don’t fall asleep,” he murmurs. “Got it.”

“You have everything you need, right?”

“Everything but my wife.” He raises his champagne bottle in a toast. “Cheers to that.”

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