“Why?” I ask suspiciously.
He looks taken aback, “What do you mean, why? Why not?”
Hmmmm, what’s he up to?
As I struggle to stand he gets up quickly and extends his hand for me to take. I look at it for a second before accepting. His huge hand engulfs my small one, sending a tingle up my arm to spread across every inch of my body. Including the spot between my legs.
Good lord I’m pathetic.
“Well thank you very much for the offer, but I like walkin’.” And if I am around you for too long I could end up jumping your sexy ass.
He shrugs at my refusal. “All right, I’ll walk with you then.”
That stops me cold. I turn and scrutinize him, “You don’t have to do that, Sawyer. I can manage on my own just fine; I do it all the time.”
“I know you can.”
Staying silent, I continue to stare at him, trying to figure out what he’s up to. He swears under his breath, “Listen, Grace, I just want to talk. I thought we could get to know each other better, since our good friends are married, all right.”
Oh! Well that’s awful nice. I feel bad now for bein’ so suspicious. “All right, if you really want to.”
He smiles, but it’s not his usual arrogant one, it’s a genuine one, and boy is it lethal. “I really do.”
“Okay, come on then, we’ll head out through the front.”
My body hums with awareness as he trails closely behind me. Lord, this is going to be a long walk home.
“See ya tomorrow, Mac,” I wave as we walk past him.
“Bye, darlin’, and remember what I said… sleep, young lady!”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” I grumble.
As soon as we get outside, I bundle my jacket up from the slight chill that’s in the air. Heading into November now, you can feel the crisp coolness in the night air tellin’ you winter is on the horizon.
“What did Mac mean about you getting sleep?” Sawyer asks curiously, as he strolls up beside me. I notice him slow his long stride, since his one step is like ten of mine.
I wave, unconcerned, at his question. “He’s just bein’ a mother hen. He thinks I work too much and don’t sleep enough.”
He grunts, “You do work too much.”
“Yeah well, Mac needs the help and I need the money.”
“And sleep?” he asks again.
I shrug, “Sleep hasn’t come easy for me in a long time.”
I feel him stare at me with questions, but before he can ask any I change the subject, “Aren’t you cold? Where’s your jacket?” I point to the same T-shirt I saw him in earlier today.
He chuckles, “Cupcake, this is not cold for me. I grew up in Denver, Colorado, you haven’t seen cold till you experience a winter there.”
I find myself intrigued at this tidbit of information. “You grew up in Denver?”
“Yup, born and raised.”
“I’ve always wanted to experience snow.”
Sawyer grunts again, “Believe me, it gets old fast. It’s fucking colder than shit, a pain in the ass to shovel and it fucking sucks to drive in…” he trails off and I feel him watch me. I don’t look over because, well… I don’t want to embarrass myself like always.
“What about you? Where are you from?”
“Florida,” I respond quietly. It still hurts to say the words of the place where I lost everything that mattered to me.
“Did you like it there?”
I nod, since my throat starts feeling a little too tight. “Do you miss it?”
“I miss what I lost there.”
Gah! What the heck is wrong with me? I have a loose tongue tonight. Clearing my throat I change the subject again, quickly before he can ask anything else. “I really like it here too. It’s a nice town, and I’m glad I met Julia and Kayla.” When I still feel him stare at me with questions, I trudge on, “I guess you do too, since you and Cade decided to move here as well.”
Thankfully this causes his questions to drop. “Actually, yeah I do. And what I love most about it, is getting to fuck with Jaxson on a regular basis,” he replies with a dirty grin.
I chuckle and shake my head, thinking about how he’s always pokin’ Jaxson about Julia. “How’s the gym comin’ along for y’all anyways?”
“Real good actually. We should be up and running in another two months. We’re hoping to be fully functioning by Christmas. We’re making good head-way on the renovations.”
“That’s good to hear. Julia’s told me some about it. Sounds like it’s gonna be a real great place.”
I feel him watch me again, which is startin’ to make me very uncomfortable. “Tell me about yourself, Cupcake.”
“Well… my name is Grace and I hate bein’ called Cupcake.”
Sawyer grins, “Sorry, but I can’t help it, you just remind me of a cupcake.”
I scoff, “I’m sure I remind everyone of a cupcake now, since you shoved one into my face at the weddin’.”
He chuckles, “Nope, that’s not why you remind me of a cupcake.” I look over at him with curiosity, “Oh yeah, then why?”
“Because you’re as cute as a cupcake, you smell as sweet as a cupcake,” his tone drops and turns husky, “and I’ll just bet you fucking taste as good as one too.”
Whoa. All the oxygen gets sucked out of my lungs and my heart kicks into overdrive. Damn the man is good. He knows all the right ways to flirt. He could become a professional and write a book on it.
When I don’t say anything he moves on. “All right your turn.” When I look at him inquisitively he smirks, “What reminds you of me?”
Yikes, hold that tongue of yours, Grace!
“What makes you think anythin’ reminds me of you?”
“Oh come on, there has to be something? Let me guess, sex? Orgasms?”
Well that hits a little too close to home. I roll my eyes and hope to hide the sudden flush of my face. Suddenly something pops into my head, and I have to bite back a giggle that wants to escape. I look at his sexy face, where arrogance and humor shines bright. “You really wanna know?”
“Yup, I really do.”
I stare at him for another second before I say: “Have ya ever heard the song ‘I’m Sexy and I Know It’?’”
His step falters and his smile vanishes. When he doesn’t say anything for a few seconds I start thinkin’ maybe I over-stepped, but then he throws his head back and lets out the loudest, huskiest laugh I’ve ever heard. It’s so infectious that I cover my own mouth and laugh too.
“Okay, Cupcake, that was a fucking good one. I’ll give you that.”
We laugh for another minute before Sawyer shoots his next question, “Favorite color?”
“I have two: pink and yellow.”
He assesses me. “Yeah I can see that. Mine’s blue, since I’m sure you’ve been dying to know.”
I smile and shake my head. That would have been my guess since that was the color of his monstrous truck. The deep blue was so dark it almost appeared black until the sun hit it.
“Favorite movie?” he asks now.
“Mmmm, probably 27 Dresses.”
“Never heard of it.”
I laugh, “I’m not surprised. It’s a chick flick… Okay, my turn.”
He looks at me in surprise, but then smiles and spreads his arms wide, “Ask away, Cupcake. I’m an open book.”
“Any one of your pies.”
I chuckle and roll my eyes, “I’m serious.”
“I am too. That’s the best shit I’ve ever had in my mouth, and let me tell you, baby, I’ve had some real good shit in my mouth. Although… I have a feeling your own delicious taste would beat out all of it.”
Holy Moly! I flush what I assume is a deep shade of red and am thankful it’s dark out, but apparently not dark enough. “I like making you blush, Grace.”
I shoot my eyes away. “Yeah well, it don’t take much. So don’t let it go too much to your already over-sized head there, Evans.”
He chuckles and I can’t help but laugh with him. I haven’t laughed this much in a long time. I’m smilin’ so much that my cheeks hurt.
I decide, since we’re on the subject, to ask the one question I’ve been wanting to know. “Which one is your favorite?”
“What?” he asks confused. “What pie is your favorite?”
I look away again, feelin’ embarrassed for askin’, although I’m not sure why since it isn’t a big deal.
“That’s a tough one, because I really like them all. But if I have to choose, the one that sticks out in my head is the one I had just the other day. It has berries and chocolate and shit in it…”
I start laughing. “I never, ever put shit into my pies, Sawyer.” He chuckles. “You know what I mean… So? What’s it called?”
My smile dies and my heart becomes heavy. “Missin’ my Mama Pie,” I reply softly.
I feel him watchin’ me again. “Why did you name it that?”
“Because I was missin’ her when I made it. It’s what pulled me out of bed at three am.” I shrug, “Whatever I’m feelin’, and what comes to my mind, is normally how I name my pies.”