Not even going to pretend that I wasn’t totally on board with Tibbs on that. She might be his sister, but no one messed with one of ours. Of course those feelings had only intensified since we’d stupidly slept together.
What had I been thinking?
Clearly, I hadn’t.
All I knew was one minute I was flicking those beautiful brown curls off her shoulder, telling her goodnight, and the next, I had my mouth on hers and my hand touching her in places I shouldn’t.
I didn’t stop.
Nope, she flashed me a smile, pressed her palm against the rod in my pants and told me to go upstairs with her. And like an idiot who’d clearly lost all his brain cells, I went without a second thought. A complete selfish prick, ignoring the fact I was supposed to be keeping her safe, and instead, I got busy making her come.
And fuck me, did she ever.
“You’re quiet.” Chief’s eyes nailed me from the rearview mirror. “Your afternoon activities wear you out?”
Chief, Tibbs and I were checking out a tip, the three of us looking for the piece of shit Presley used to date
I coughed, wondering if the guilt wasn’t written on my face. I sucked at keeping shit from Tibbs and the chief, so it was a wonder I hadn’t already ’fessed up. “You want to talk about ladies we’re entertaining now, Chief? Because if that’s what we’re doing, then you should probably start.”
Yeah, deflection. Easier than flat-out lying, and would hopefully take off some of the heat.
He flipped me off, obvious that I’d gotten under his skin and launched into a warning about me being respectful. The fucking irony. And while I listened to the man’s words, my head was somewhere else. On the sister of the guy sitting to the right of him.
And while we might have been cruising Queens looking for the shithead who clearly didn’t deserve Presley, my mind was having a hard time focusing on anything other than her.
Chief leveled me with a stare, my lack of concentration not hearing much other than his woman wasn’t a topic of conversation. And if not for the grin Tibbs had on his face, I’d have thought I was in trouble. I laughed, my own smirk making an appearance. “You’re such an easy target, Chief. And you know I’m a saint. Wouldn’t dream of messing with your woman, even as a joke. But, if Hayden continues to inspire the baking, I’d like to formerly request brownies. Double chocolate.”
Chief groaned, pinching the bridge of his nose like he had a headache. “I swear you’re worse than preschoolers. How you guys made it through the academy is a mystery.”
“It’s ’cause we’re brilliant, Chief,” Tibbs added from the passenger’s side, his chin tip to me, making me feel like an even bigger asshole. Not sure he’d feel the same way if he’d known where I’d spent my night.
“Not to mention, fearless warriors.” I played along, coughing out the words.
Ironic that I felt anything but.
“And your own biggest fans, too. Let’s keep the appreciation society for later, like much later, when I’m not around,” Chief offered as he shook his head.
With no visual on Presley’s ex, and no idea where the shithead had been hiding, we pulled out of the parking lot of the Cineplex in Flushing we’d been sitting in. Despite one of the boys in 151 having seen Lewis the night before, there’d been no sign of him or his ugly ass car the entire night. Mack drove around the surrounding area, hitting places lowlifes tended to congregate, but there was nothing. So with no further leads, we called it a night.
“Presley working tonight?” The mention of her name had my head snapping up. Made me wonder if all those internal thoughts hadn’t been vocalized, not relaxing until I saw Mack was looking at Tibbs.
“Yep, but she promised she’s getting a ride home with one of the girls from the bar. We still don’t know if he did it just to mess with her or if he was looking for something. And I definitely don’t trust the guy.”
That was another thing Tibbs and I agreed on, my hand sliding into my pocket and finding my phone.
Presley and that fucking message.
My head was still reeling, my attempt to apologize not what she wanted to hear. And, fuck me, if I wasn’t confused and fucking hard at the same time.
Fuck . . .
I had to talk to her.
“Speaking of people we can’t trust. Either of you two clowns see Melinda?” Mack coughed out, shooting us both a look.
Tibbs glanced at me over his shoulder, tossing me completely under the bus on yet another subject I didn’t want to talk about.
Mack’s ex-wife, Melinda, was a psychopath. Crazy beautiful with the kind of vibe that would make you want to cup your balls whenever she was around. And, because Presley hadn’t been my only lapse in judgment last night, I’d had the fucking displeasure of talking to Melinda at the bar when we’d all been hanging out at Diablo. Who knew heading to Presley’s club would have turned into such a shitshow. Still, even with the facetime I’d endured with Mack’s crazy ex, couldn’t say I’d regretted it.
“Spill it. What did she say? And don’t try and tell me it was nothing because you’re terrible liars.”
“So, I saw her at the bar,” I admitted, figuring one lie was hard enough to keep. “I swear I didn’t say anything, but she walked up all the same and offered to buy me a drink.”
“And . . .?” Mack waved his hand, urging me to continue.
I blew out a breath. “And . . . to suck my dick.”
See, complete and utter psycho because there wasn’t a chance in hell I’d put my dick anywhere near her mouth. Even if I didn’t have a hard-on for Presley. Fuck, she’d been looking at me the entire time too. Her eyebrow arched as she smirked, waiting to see how I’d answer. And not that I’d ever admit that to Mack, but it had been kind of hot. Presley, I mean, not Melinda who was clearly a tragedy I wanted no part of.
“Chief, I told her I wasn’t interested. And I’d never—like ever—go there. But before she left, she told me to give you a message. And either you call her back and give her what she wanted, or she was going to make your life a living hell.”
He shook his head, giving us not much else other than, “I’ll take care of it.”
“So, what does she want?” I pressed him a little more, curiosity getting the better of me.
“Nothing she can get from me.”
Mack wasn’t talkative at the best of times and made it clear the topic of Melinda was closed. And considering I had a subject of my own I didn’t want to discuss, I had to respect the guy.
What the hell was with Presley anyway? Telling me to take my apology and good intentions and shove them up my ass. And that fucking crack about my mother? I was both angry as hell and irrationally turned on.
I’d been so lost in my crazy internal tug-of-war, I hadn’t even noticed when we’d pulled up to the apartment I shared with Tibbs in Hell’s Kitchen. Because in addition to him being my best friend, he was also my roommate. Which would make it easier for him to kill me in my sleep when he found out what I’d done with his sister.
That would be fun.
Deciding texting her wouldn’t be enough, I grunted goodbye to Mack, getting out of his truck and fisting my keys.
“Where are you going?” Mack eyed me suspiciously.
“I’m not looking for him, I swear, Chief. Just want to go kill some time or something.” I shrugged nonchalantly, not wanting to complicate things. Easier to omit the truth than to out-and-out lie, and I wasn’t saying shit until I’d spoken to Presley.
“You going too?” he asked Tibbs, the excuse he couldn’t come, ready in my throat