“No, Thomas’s birthday is in March. They came to help him celebrate and just said it was their birthday to get free shots.”
I looked at my watch. “It’s almost time for work. We better get going.”
Trenton sat up, and then rested his elbows on his knees. “I can’t keep coming to see you at the Red every night and then working all day. It’s exhausting.”
“No one said you have to.”
“No one pulls this schedule if they don’t have to. Only if they really want to. And I really want to.”
I couldn’t stop the grin that touched my lips. “You should try working all night at the Red and then working all day.”
I held my fists together. “That’s Baby Doll to you.”
Someone knocked on the door. I frowned, looked at Trenton, and then walked over to the entry way, and looked through the peephole. It was a man about my age, with big eyes, flawlessly coifed hair, and a face so perfect he looked like he had walked straight out of a Banana Republic catalog. He wore a mint-green Oxford button-down, jeans, and loafers. I recognized him but wasn’t sure from where, so I kept the chain on the door when I opened it.
He leaned over and touched his hand to his chest. “I’m Parker. My friend Amber Jennings lives next door. I saw you coming home last night as I was heading home, and I thought maybe you’d like to—”
The chain clinked when it fell, and Trenton opened the door the rest of the way.
“Maybe not,” Trenton said. “Get the f**k outta here, Parker.”
Trenton nodded once, and I shut the door.
“I knew he looked familiar. People look different outside of the Red.”
“He was a country club brat. His parents own that Italian restaurant downtown.”
“So, I don’t want him sniffing around here,” he said. “Guys like him think the rules don’t apply to them.”
“Is that what that was about?” I said, gesturing to the door.
“That whole unnecessary scene you just made.”
Trenton shifted his weight, agitated. “He was getting ready to ask you out!”
“I’m perfectly capable of turning someone down. You just wanted to intimidate him so he wouldn’t come around again.”
“He was watching you walk to the apartment this morning. I find that a little predatory. Excuse the f**k out of me for wanting him to think you have a guy around.”
I crossed my arms. “Oh, is that what you were doing?”
“Had nothing to do with you wanting to eliminate the competition?”
He wrinkled his nose, insulted. “That is assuming I would ever have competition. Which I don’t. Definitely not from Parker f**king Hayes.”
I narrowed my eyes at him. “You’re right, because we’re just friends.”
“Christ, Cami, I know. You don’t have to keep rubbing it in my face.”
My eyes widened. “Wow. Rubbing it in your face? Okay.”
Trenton laughed, frustrated. “How can you not know? Everyone else in the entire f**king world knows but you!”
“I know. I’m just trying to keep things simple.”
Trenton took a step toward me. “This isn’t simple. Not even close.”
“It is simple. Black and white. Cut and dry.”
Trenton grabbed me by the shoulders and planted a kiss on my mouth. Sheer shock made my lips hard and unforgiving, but then they melted against his, along with the rest of my body. I relaxed, but my breathing picked up, and my heart beat so loud I was sure Trenton could hear it. His tongue slipped between my lips, and his hands slid down my arms to my hips, his fingers digging into my skin. He pulled my hips against his as he kissed me, and then sucked my bottom lip when he pulled away.
“Now it’s complicated.” He grabbed his keys and shut the door behind him.
I reached for the knob and leaned on my hand, trying not to fall over. I had never in my life been kissed like that, and something told me that wasn’t even the best Trenton Maddox could do. The way his tongue moved against mine would have caused the vertigo I was feeling even if I had expected him to kiss me. The way the muscles in his forearms moved when his hands pulled at me was like he couldn’t get close enough, but they were controlled, in the way only two experienced hands could be. My pulse was racing, throbbing throughout my entire body every time my heart crashed against my chest. I was speechless, and breathless, and defenseless.
Standing alone in my apartment felt strange, when thirty seconds before I had experienced the best kiss of my life. My thighs tensed just thinking about it.
Still breathing hard, I glanced at the clock in the kitchen. Trenton had come over early to hang out before work, and now he was on his way to Skin Deep. I should have been in the Smurf, heading over there, too, but I wasn’t sure if I could.
Not only would it be awkward, but I had just cheated on T.J. Why would any guy, especially Trenton, want a cheater? All this time we’d been spending together, and then the fact that I didn’t land a solid punch to his nose the second his mouth was on mine made me guilty. He was right. He’d just made this so complicated that we could never pretend we were just friends again. Not after that kiss, not after that touch, and definitely not after the way he made me feel.
I pulled my cell phone from my back pocket and speed-dialed.
“Hey, it’s Cami. I’m not going to make it today.”
“I get it. No problem, but that sucks for me. Sundays are boring, and now it’s going to suck even worse.”
“Thanks,” I said. “Hopefully he won’t fire me for calling in so soon after starting the job.”
Hazel blew air through her lips. “Truthfully, we’re not busy enough on Sundays for a receptionist. He’s not going to say anything.”
I put on my shoes, grabbed my purse, and drove the Smurf to the Red. Hank’s black Jaguar XKR sat alone in the parking lot. I parked next to it, allowing plenty of room between vehicles, and pulled my coat tightly around me as I walked across the parking lot.
Queen was playing over the speakers when I walked in, and Hank was lying on the east bar, looking up at the ceiling.
“What are you doing, crazy?” I asked.
“Relaxing before Jorie gets here. I’m going to ask her to move in with me today.”