Taste of Lacey(10)

By: Linden Hughes

Right now, her set up with Rye worked because he normally appeared in the middle of the night, leaving her daily routine intact. For all intents and purposes, she was a booty call.

After years of preparation and sacrifice, she was getting her company on solid footing, but it was still in its infancy. Did she have the time or energy to devote to a relationship? Since the whole situation was foreign to her, she didn’t know. Most things had to be on her list and fit into a neat little box before she tackled them. Rye hadn’t been anywhere on her list, and there was nothing square or little about him.

He was overwhelming and overbearing at times. He was intense. He was attentive and inventive, and he made her pussy extremely happy.

So there.

Monica’s foolishness didn’t bother her in the least. Okay, that was a lie. But she and Rye would continue to get together whenever they could, and she was happy, damn it. “Monica, you’re going to have to let me handle this.”

“Don’t think I’m going to forget about it,” Monica returned with a huff.

“You might as well, because I’m not plugging into you again.”

“I’m just trying to help. And I noticed you didn’t give me any details about Rye in the sack.”

Lacey laughed and shook her head. Monica never changed. Thank goodness. “There’s nothing to tell. He hasn’t been home in two weeks. Satisfied?”

“No, and you probably aren’t either. Are you going to stay your tired behind home tonight as usual, or do you want to get a drink with us at Heaven’s?”

Frowning, Lacey loaded the last tray of appetizers onto the cart. “Who is ‘us’?” she asked. “You know I don’t like your gold-digging hoochie friends.”

Monica laughed. “It’s just Shelley and Zoe. You know I only give the others the time of day to get my paintings sold.”

“In that case, I’ll go. What time?”

Monica’s shock was obvious. “Are you serious?”

“Yes, I’m serious,” Lacey confirmed, covering her ears when Monica screeched.

“I can’t believe it! You haven’t been out since you started giving Rye your kitty-kat. I thought you were on permanent lockdown.”

Lacey rolled her eyes. “Well, I’m not. You gonna tell me what time or not?”

“Ten o’clock, and wear something sexy.”

Chapter Three

Lacey arrived at Heaven’s at nine fifty. Since her cousin was the only person in the building sporting a Mohawk, it didn’t take long to find Monica and her friends. She shook her head and smiled. Typical Monica. The more outrageous, the better.

“Hi, Lacey,” Monica shouted over the music before removing her bag from the seat beside her. “I didn’t think you’d actually show, but I’m glad you’re here. Now I just have to make sure you don’t obsess over your cell all night.”

“I left it in the car,” Lacey shot back. After fourteen days, she was so anxious to see Rye neither Monica nor an evening out would stand a chance if he called. Hence her decision to leave her phone outside. For her own sanity, she had to stop being available every time he beckoned.

“You look great, by the way,” Monica said.

“Thanks.” In her little black dress, which happened to be purple, Lacey felt good too. The fitted sheath stopped midthigh, and stilettos made her legs look endless. She’d recently had the thick layers of her hair cut into a stacked bob with longer tendrils just below her jawline. Now it was no big deal to blow-dry or wrap her hair after a marathon lovemaking session with Rye.

“I called Ally and invited her out, but one of her patients went into early labor,” Monica said, referring to their mutual friend who was a gynecologist. “I haven’t heard from Lisa either. I sent her a text and left a voice mail.”

“My sister is on a whole different wavelength. Knowing her, she’ll show up when we’re getting ready to leave.” Lacey laughed. “Have you danced yet?”

“Yes, indeed. Tonight is Windy City night, so they’re playing all Chicago stepping music. There are a lot of fine brothers here, but they move on as soon as they figure out they’re not going to get any play.”