How About No
Page 10

 Lani Lynn Vale

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I started to snicker. “No reading shampoo bottles for you, eh?”
He winked at me and stood, his eyes once again going across the street.
I saw a woman there, kitted out in high heels and a flowy dress, drawing on the storefront windows with shoe polish. “Who’s that?”
Bayou shrugged. “New bakery chick. She opens at the end of the month.”
“How do you know?” I squinted my eyes to see if I could see anything on the window’s storefront that would tell me what it was.
Other than the half-drawn cupcake, I couldn’t see any distinguishing markers that would give that information out freely.
“She comes to visit a man once a week at the prison,” he answered, his eyes still captivated. “I have to throw away her goddamn cupcakes, too.”
I gasped. “Why?”
He looked down at me then.
“Have you ever thought about smuggling razor blades in cupcakes? What about lube?” he asked, tilting his head to the side.
I opened my mouth and then closed it. “Did she? No, I mean the answer is no,” I admitted. “Did she hide something in the cupcake?”
He shook his head. “No. But it’s been done before. Fool me once…” With that, he left, offering me a wink. “Take care of yourself, girl.”
I lifted my hand to wave but stopped halfway when I felt the entire thing cramp up.
My stomach bottomed out as my hand went into a violent spasm, and I barely stopped the cry of pain from falling past my lips.
Luckily, I managed, because Bayou didn’t turn around or catch the pain.
Then again, I wasn’t sure if it was because I’d held the cries in, or because there was a hawk in the air drawing his attention away from me.
Sighing in pain, I shoved what was left of my no longer appetizing lunch into my sack and stood up.
All the while, I wondered what tomorrow would bring.
Spending any length of time with Wade was downright terrifying.
Chapter 6
My alone time is for everyone’s safety.
-Coffee Cup
“Seriously, what the fuck did I ever do to deserve this kind of life?” I groaned.
Seeing Landry standing on her porch in her tiny-ass fucking shorts had my cock hardening beyond anything that would ever be comfortable for a four-hour car ride.
Not to mention I was in pain on top of that, and in a really god-awful mood.
I was rethinking my ability to spend four hours in a vehicle with my ex-wife who still had the capability to bring me from soft to fully hard with just a goddamn look, especially dressed like she was.
“Fuckkk,” I growled as I watched her walk down toward me. “Fuck my life.”
I got out after I parked and walked around the car, limping only slightly as I opened her car door wide.
She smiled timidly at me and scooted around the car door, giving me a perfect view of her cleavage as she did.
Where the shorts were tight, the tank top was loose and flowy, showing off her impressive rack.
God, I loved her tits.
Loved and missed them.
“So, do you have any idea what’s going on?” she asked. “Or is this just a joy ride?”
I snorted. “If it was a joy ride, I’d be on my bike. And as for what’s going on, I got a call from my dad, who got a call from our lawyer. He needs to see us.”
She gave me an assessing look, then dropped down into the car.
When her feet were in, I closed the door and tried not to show how much it hurt to walk as I moved back around the front of the car. Who was I kidding? I couldn’t ride my bike that far with the kind of pain I was currently in.
Once I was in my seat again, the throbbing in my upper thigh simmered back down to manageable levels instead of gut boiling I’m-about-to-die pain.
“I seriously don’t understand why the lawyer needs both of us present,” Landry grumbled as she settled into her chair. “Or what would require us to be present at all.”
Her skin stuck to the leather, and it made a farting sound, causing her to blush.
“That was the seat,” she automatically replied.
I snorted. “Sure, it was.”
Her face colored even darker. “I swear to God it was, Wade.”
Inwardly I smiled.
Outwardly, I remained cool and collected.
This had always been the easy part between Landry and me, the back and forth banter that had was a part of how we communicated.
I loved this Landry.
It was the Landry who broke my heart, the one who left me, that I wasn’t sure about.
She scooted again, trying to recreate the sound, and couldn’t.
“Oh my God.” She groaned. “Seriously.”
I began to chuckle then.
Seeing her so flustered as she tried to recreate the sound had my belly loosening for the first time since yesterday when my dad had called me.
“I don’t know why he needs us both there,” I admitted. “But my dad called and said that the lawyer needed to talk to both of us, and he wouldn’t say why. Swear to God.”
She sighed. “At least it’s not me driving.”
I snorted. “When did you ever drive anywhere when I was in the car with you?”
She shrugged. “It’s not like that anymore. I have to drive everywhere. I hate driving.”
I barely refrained from saying, “Whose fault is that?”
Instead, I went with, “Well, I may have a bum leg that could give out on me in a couple of weeks, but for now it presses the gas pedal just fine.”
She didn’t say anything to that at first, only looked down at my affected leg.
“I can’t feel my hand,” she admitted. “At least, I can’t most of the time. They said it was normal. Apparently, nerves were severed there, and it’s possible I’ll never fully regain complete control of it again.”
The thought of Landry being hurt at all felt like a sucker punch straight to the sternum. It’d been a few weeks since it’d happened, and I still woke up in a sweat about it at night.
It’d happened because of what I’d been investigating. Jesus Christ, but had she not been there because of me, she would’ve been just fine right now instead of telling me in a shattered voice that her hand was numb.
“My doctors are worried about a bone infection,” I admitted, unsure what to say to make this all better. “I’ve been on over four antibiotics now. If the one I’m on now doesn’t kick my white blood cell count down, they’re going to readmit me and drip some more IV antibiotics. Stronger ones that’ll hopefully kick the infection’s ass. Though, I hope the one I’m on now will do that.”
“What if it doesn’t?” she asked worriedly.
I swallowed hard, not ready to admit it even to myself what would happen.
But, like always, I didn’t lie to Landry. I also didn’t scale the truth to save her feelings.
“They might have to amputate my leg.”
We were silent a while after that, digesting the impact of the words that had just come out of my mouth.
I’d just merged onto the highway when I looked over to find her tapping her fingers on her knees.
I barely smothered a grin.
Landry didn’t like merging onto the highway. Never had, and I doubted ever would. When she drove, she avoided the highway altogether. It was only with me that she felt safe enough to go on it at all.
And, to prick her temper and get her mind off of what we were doing, I teased her.
Just like I always did.
“You missed a spot shaving,” I pointed to her leg, right at the side of her knee.
She lifted said leg and said, “Where?”
I pointed it out again, this time touching her, and she groaned. “Holy shit. That’s long!”
I rolled my eyes.
It wasn’t that long, but it was a spot that she always missed for some reason. And since her leg hair was blonde, it was easy to miss.
As long as you weren’t so in tune to a pair of legs like I was. Infatuation didn’t even begin to cover it.
God, I missed everything about Landry.
Her sweet legs, and her long hair. Waking up to find her curled around me, stealing every single cover there was to have. Her taking such long showers that I was forced to take five-minute ones or risk having to take the remainder of it with cold water.