Late the next afternoon, Pru was at work wishing she was anywhere but. She was in the middle of an argument with a guy who’d paid for a tour for him and his son the week before, but they hadn’t shown up. Now he wanted a refund.
She’d only stepped behind the ticket counter as a favor to one of the ticket clerks who’d had to leave early. This guy was the last person she had to deal with before going home. She’d paused, looking for a credit option on the computer, when he decided she was dicking him around.
“Listen,” he bit out. “I’m not going to deal with some homicidal, hormonal, PMS-y, minimum-wage chick who doesn’t give a shit. I want the supervisor. Get him for me.”
“Actually,” she said. “You’ve got a supervisor right here. And no worries. I was homicidal hormonal last week. This week I’m good. Even nice, if I say so myself.”
He didn’t smile. He was hands on hips. “I want my money back.”
Pru’s gaze slid to the person who’d just come in behind him. Finn. He stood there quietly but not passively, watching. Pru turned back to Pissy Man and pointed to the large sign above her head.
The guy leaned in way too close. “Do you have any idea who I am?”
An asshole? A thought she kept to herself because she was busy noticing that Finn shifted too, until he was standing just off to her left, body language signaling that while he was at ease, he was also ready to kick some ass if needed.
She’d thought of him today. A lot. Last night after he’d left, she’d nearly called him a dozen times. He wanted words and she had them. She wanted to say “please come back and make love to me.”
Because if she knew one thing, it was that what they’d done together wasn’t just sex.
For now, her cranky customer was still standing there with a fight in his eyes. “I’m in charge of the budget for the city’s promo and advertising department,” he told her. “We make sure that your entire industry is listed in all the Things to Do in San Francisco guides. Without me, you’d be cleaning toilets.”
Okay, now that was a bit of a stretch. “Listen, it wouldn’t matter if you were POTUS. There are no refunds. I can get you a credit for another tour but you have to be patient with me while I figure out—”
He slammed a hand down on the counter, but she didn’t jump. She’d dealt with far bigger assholes than this one. Before she could suggest he leave, Finn was there.
He’d moved so quickly she never even saw him coming as he stepped in between her and the guy. “She said no refunds and offered you a credit,” Finn said. “Take it or leave it.”
“Leave it,” the guy snapped.
“Your choice,” Finn said. “But unless there’s something else you’d like to say, and fair warning, it’d better be ‘have a nice day,’ you need to go.”
The guy stared down Finn for the briefest of seconds before possibly deciding he liked his face in the condition it was in because he strode out without another word.
“Seriously?” Pru asked Finn.
He shoved his hands into his pockets. “What?”
“I had that handled.”
He slid her a look. “You’re welcome.”
She let out a short laugh. “I was handling myself just fine.” Always did, always would. Having been on her own for so long, she really didn’t know any other way.
And yet he’d been there for her. When she’d been lonely. When she’d been sad. When she’d been sicker than a dog.
Whenever she’d needed.
“Pru,” he said, “that guy was a walking fight. Where the hell’s Jake?”
“Off today, and I didn’t need him. It’s not like he was going to take a swing at me. The only thing he was swinging was a poor vocabulary and a small dick.”
His mouth twitched. “Okay, I stand corrected.”
“And what?” he asked.
“And you’re sorry for stepping in and handling my fight for me?”
He just looked at her.
Nope, he wasn’t sorry for that. Good to know. She took a longer look at his face and realized that not only wasn’t he sorry, he looked a little tall, dark, and ’tude ridden. She’d seen him mad several times now so she recognized the stormy eyes, tight mouth, and tense body language. “So how’s your day?”
He lifted a shoulder.
Okay. She reached out and put a hand on a very tense forearm. “Are you okay?” she asked quietly. “Because it doesn’t feel like you are.”