“Shit,” he said in disgust to Eddie. “You got them both stoned out of their minds. What the hell did I tell you an hour ago?”
“You said you’d arrest me if I didn’t put out the fire. I’m working on it. It’s almost out, dude.”
A muscle in Archer’s jaw bunched. Willa set her head on his shoulder and looked up at him with a dreamy smile. “Elle’s right,” she murmured, batting her lashes. “You do look really hot when you’re all worked up.”
“I’m not worked up—” He broke off and slid her a speculative look. “Elle thinks I’m hot?”
“When you’re worked up. When you’re not, she thinks you’re a stick in the mud.”
Archer shook his head and pulled out his phone. “Elle, your girls need you in the courtyard. Now.” He slid both Pru and Willa a long look and added, “You’re going to want to feed them. Oh, and Elle? Remind me that we have something to discuss.”
Willa smacked him. “You can’t tell her that I told you that she thinks you’re hot!” she hissed.
Archer lifted a finger in her direction and listened to something Elle said. He let out a rare smile. “Yes, that was Willa.”
Willa smacked her own forehead. “She’s gonna kill me.”
Archer disconnected with Elle and pointed at them. “Don’t either of you move until she comes and gets you. You hear me?”
“Hear you,” Pru said, eyes locked on the pub. The doors were open to the street and the courtyard. The place was full and spilling out sounds of music and laughter.
Behind the bar, Sean and Finn were elbow to elbow, working hard. Finn was shaking a mixer and laughing at something a woman at the bar was saying to him.
Elle appeared in a siren red sheath dress that screamed serious business. Her black heels echoed the statement. “What’s going on?” she demanded, hands on hips. “Archer pulled me out of a meeting with the building’s board—”
“Was the owner there?” Willa asked. She looked at Pru. “None of us have ever met the owner. He’s exclusive.”
“Elusive,” Elle corrected, narrowing her eyes on each of them, and then Eddie.
Who unlike when he’d been dealing with Archer, actually sunk in on himself a little, seemingly sheepish. “I didn’t realize,” he said.
“Oh for God’s sake.” Elle took a deep breath and looked a little less uptight. She took another and sighed. “I need pizza.”
“Right?” Willa said, grinning.
“Count me in.” This was Haley, who arrived from the elevator in her white doctor’s coat, looking quite official.
“You’re still doctoring,” Willa said.
“Nope,” Haley said, pulling off her lab coat. “The smoke and commotion drew me down here but I’m done for the day, thankfully. It was a busy one.”
“Spence come in for glasses yet?” Elle asked.
Haley bit her lower lip. “I saw him, yes.”
“And?” Elle asked. “His eyesight is bad, right?”
“I’m sorry, I can’t say,” Haley said. “Or HIPAA would drag me away in chains. He’ll have to tell you himself.”
Elle stared into her eyes and then smiled. “Yeah, he got glasses.”
“Damn,” Haley said. “I hate when you do that.”
“She reads minds,” Willa told Pru.
“Like magic?” Pru asked, awed.
“Not magic,” Elle said. “You all just wear your every single thought on your sleeves.”
“Oh, look at you, dear,” Mrs. Winslow said to Pru, coming up to her with a wide smile. “You look amazing.”
“Uh . . .” Pru looked down at herself. She was still in her usual work uniform of a stretchy white button-down and navy trousers and boots. “Thanks?”
“Must be all the sexual activity with Finn,” the older woman said. “Intercourse does wonders for your skin.”
Looking shocked, Willa nearly swallowed her tongue. She turned to Elle, who shrugged.
“You knew?” Willa asked.
“When are you going to get it? I always know,” Elle said.
Pru admired a woman who always had the answers. She really hoped Elle shared some of them because she could really use a few right about now.
“Burgers and hot dogs!” a guy yelled walking through the courtyard. It was Jay. He owned the food truck that usually sat out front, but now he had a tray strapped on him and was making sales left and right like he was going up and down the rows at a baseball stadium. “I’ve got beef burgers and six inches of prime sausages here! Get ’em while they’re hot!”