Rules of a Rebel and a Shy Girl(10)

By: Jessica Sorensen

His eyes drink in my uniform. “Your outfit looks like the ones those girls wear at Crazy, Crazy Morelliesin’s. Do you work there?”

I swallow hard. Crazy Morelliesin’s is what the regulars call the club I work at. Regulars are the worst. Sometimes, they wait out back to make illegal offers to the dancers and waitresses we get off work. Some of the girls accept. I’d never get that desperate for money, though. At least, that’s what I tell myself. But sometimes, I question how much I am like my mother. Perhaps I’m living in denial when I say I’ll never be like her. After all, this sort of job is something my mom has done to make cash.

“No,” I lie to the guy. My fingers brush across the phone, and I exhale shakily as I sit back up and put the receiver to my ear. “Hey, Beck, are you about here yet?” I say loudly enough for the guy to hear. I try not to let my expression falter when I realize the line is dead. “A couple of minutes? Yeah, okay. Sounds good.”

The guy eyes me over, as if debating whether I’m full of shit. Well, either that or he’s calculating a way to break into my car and not get doused by the pepper spray in my hand.

“Are you sure your friend’s coming?” he questions. “It seems like it’s taking him an awfully long time to get here.”

I’m starting to move the phone away to call the police when a BMW pulls off to the side of the road, parking right in front of me. The driver’s side opens, and Beck hops out.

Thank God. Thank God. Thank God!

I glance at the dude. “See? My friend …”

He’s already jogging back to his car.

Beck strides down the side of the road, passes my car, and heads toward the guy with a look on his face that screams I’m-about-to-beat-some-ass. Beck’s not much of a fighter, so despite the fact that I’d love to see creeper dude’s ass get kicked, I scurry out of the car to stop him.

“Just let him go,” I tell Beck, chasing after him.

“No fucking way.” He continues marching forward as the guy jumps into his car.

I snag hold of Beck’s sleeve. “I don’t want you getting into a fight on the side of the road, out in the middle of nowhere, with some strange, creepy dude. It’s not worth it.”

He tries to wiggle his arm out of my grip, but I clutch on for dear life, refusing to release him until the guy peels out onto the road.

Beck curses as the car zooms by, leaving a cloud of dust behind.

Releasing his sleeve, I rush to the side of the road and squint through the darkness to try to make out the model of the vehicle. I manage to spot a metal horse on the back of the trunk and make a mental note to keep an eye out for Mustangs in the club parking lot. At least then I can have a warning that he’s there.

My stomach twists with nausea at the thought of seeing creepy Dane again.

“You should’ve let me beat his ass,” Beck growls, storming up to me.

“No, I shouldn’t have.” I cross my arms over my chest. “You don’t get into fights. And I’m not about to let you turn into that kind of a person because of me.”

“It wouldn’t have been your fault. He deserves to get his ass kicked.” His tone is surprisingly sharp and very unlike the calm, collected Beck I know. He inches closer to me, and even though I’m tall, I have to tip my chin up to meet his blazing gaze. “I could hear every damn thing he was saying to you. Trying to get you to let him in the car …” He shakes his head, opening and flexing his hands. “We should report him to the police.”

“I only got the make of the car, not a plate number. So they probably wouldn’t be able to track him down.” My body quivers, either from shock or from how upset Beck sounds. “Besides, what would I tell them? That some guy stood outside my car and talked to me? Technically, he didn’t do anything wrong.”

“Yeah, because I pulled up and scared him off.” He roughly rakes his fingers through his blond hair. “God fucking knows what he would’ve done if I hadn’t …” He shakes his head for the thousandth time, glaring daggers at my car. “I wish you’d let me just buy you a new damn car.”

And here we go. “You’re not buying me a new car, so don’t be weird.”

He steps toward me and tucks a strand of hair behind my ear, the fury in his eyes shifting into something unreadable, but it makes my heart skip a beat. “Then let me pay to get yours fixed.”

I shake my head, telling the flutter in my chest to shut the hell up. Flutters that haven’t left since our kiss. That doesn’t mean I have to listen to them, though. They’re just that: silly and insignificant. It’s when I act on them, allow them to control me, that I have a real problem.

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