About Last Night, 8/16/2010, Lyrical Press, Rhonda Leah
“Tell me what happened or I’ll tell Jake his little sister called me in the middle of the night to bail her ass out of jail.”
“That’d go over great.” She turned away, stared out the window.
“I thought you and Josh broke up a long time ago?”
“Care to tell me why you were arrested for breaking into his apartment?”
“I knew he was out of town. He had something of mine. How was I supposed to know he changed the alarm code?” She shrugged.
“What was so important you’d risk getting arrested?”
“Something he took and refused to return.”
“What was so damned important?”
“My locket.” She reached for the door handle.
Tanner grabbed her arm. Tears welled in her eyes. “The locket…”
“Yes, the insignificant locket you gave me for my twenty-first birthday.”
Misty jerked her arm out of his grip and made an ordeal of buckling her seatbelt. She leaned her head back and closed her eyes. “Can we just leave?”
As the miles rolled by, Misty’s head gently rocked against the headrest. He thought about what she’d said. She still had the locket, or at least Josh the loser did. He’d seen her wear it at McNeil family gatherings but never thought it meant anything to her. It had been a peace offering of sorts, not that he’d ever told her. He felt as if he owed her something after one insanely hot night they’d spent together. He wanted to talk to her. But then she showed up at her birthday party with a lanky grad student wrapped around her. He changed his mind about talking. Ancient history.
An hour later he pulled off Frontage Road and rolled to a stop in front of the dreary two-story where she rented an apartment. She was home, and tomorrow he’d see what he could do about the mess she’d landed in.
“Misty, wake up.” Nothing. She didn’t budge.
“Misty,” he said, louder this time. Tanner walked around the car and opened the door. Her legs fell, causing her to stir.
“Misty, you’re home.”
She lifted her head and when her deep blue eyes met his, a longing jolted through him. Whoa. “Tanner?” she whispered. “Where are we?”
“You’re home, my little jailbird.”
She groaned and pushed herself upright and out of the car. “Look, I…”
“I know. Don’t tell Jake. Got it.”
“I, uh. Yeah, don’t tell Jake.” She started up the steps.
“You know I’d do anything I can for you?”
“Of course,” she said, fumbling in the black sack.
“I’ll see about the charges tomorrow.”
“Don’t bother. I didn’t even accomplish what I went there for.”
“So what?” he barked. “You planning another break-in?” Ridiculous. His pants were getting too tight watching Misty fiddle in the damned sack. Her rumpled cat burglar look set him on fire. He needed to put some fear in her and get the hell away. Lack of sleep equaled insane ideas.
“Of course not.” She rolled her eyes upward. Damn, even that turned him on.
“Just checking. You know those are serious charges?”
“Yes. I know. My brother’s a cop.” Her mouth curled in a half-hearted smile.
“I’d better get out of here. You have your keys?”
She nodded, unlocking the door. He started around the car.
He stopped, turned. Not a good idea. She looked like something from his fantasies. He needed a date. Hell, he needed a life. Lusting after Misty McNeil was not an option. “Yeah?”
“Not a problem, sweetheart. You know I’ve always thought of you as a kid sister.”
“Yeah, I know,” she said and slammed the door.