Banking the Billionaire (Billionaire Bad Boys, #2)(9)

By: Max Monroe

Because I was. I needed to get the fuck out of their doorway before Tony started stroking his baloney pony.

“No worries, girlfriend. I’m just glad we could help,” she said before they headed back inside their apartment probably to bone until someone passed out or went numb.

Once I hit the sidewalk, I hailed a cab and instructed the driver to head toward the Zipcar pickup that was about twenty blocks from my apartment. Thanks to the time of night, I was hopping out and tipping the cabbie within ten minutes.

Normally, I would’ve walked there, but I figured this whole bailing Thatch out of jail situation was a sooner rather than later type of situation. And unless you’re looking to get mugged, women shouldn’t be strolling around the city by themselves after last call.

Zipcars were a pretty easy concept. Anyone with a membership could head over to a Zipcar location, and with a simple swipe across the front windshield of a vehicle of their choosing, they were given instant access.

I glanced around the parking lot, taking in my options.

Jeep Cherokee…No, too much room.

Chevy Malibu…Meh. I don’t like the color green.

Bright red paint glinted in the moonlight, and my eyes did the same as I landed on the final option. “Oh, yeah. That’s the one,” I muttered victoriously to myself.

Within minutes, I was heading toward Frogsneck with a grin the size of Texas smeared across my devious lips.

Yeah, he’d think twice the next time he decided to wake me up in the middle of the night to bail his ass out of jail.

Cassie had shown up at the Frogsneck Municipal Building just over two hours after I’d called her. Sheriff Miller had flirted with her shamelessly as she’d filled out the paperwork to bail me out on nothing more than good faith. “Pretty ladies don’t pay,” he’d said, and of course, she’d eaten it right up.

What she hadn’t done was say a word in my direction, choosing instead to wait outside while Sheriff Miller released me from the holding cell. He hadn’t said much, but his eyes had said a lot, unspoken mirth pointing glaringly to the fact he’d found my whole ordeal more entertaining than anything else.

The direct sunshine moistened my eyes as it peeked over the eastern horizon, and her shadow stood leaning against one of the smallest cars ever created. I came to a stop at the end of the sidewalk and raised my voice across the three empty parking spaces between us. “You have got to be shitting me. I’m going to eat my knees in that fucking thing.”

“I know,” she said gleefully, spinning in a half circle to stare at the tiny red Fiat before turning to look over her shoulder at me. She wrinkled her nose as a smirk pulled one blue eye slightly higher than the other. “Let me know if you choke. I might pull over and try to clear your airway.”

Scratching at my beard with both hands, I shook my head and laughed.

“So I guess you’re not happy about the early morning phone call.” She raised a pointed eyebrow as I walked toward her. “Or at least the accompanying drive and circumstances.”

“Perceptive of you,” she murmured as I got close enough to see, for the first time today, the tiny freckle that lived just under her right ear. It wasn’t as big or obvious as a Cindy Crawford-style beauty mark, but I’d noticed it more than once. Maybe because I spent more time staring at her than anyone else.

As I analyzed her appearance for the benefit of more than my overeager cock, I realized she looked slightly disheveled, like she’d hopped right out of bed and come straight here. I hadn’t thought about it before, but from a quick calculation of the drive time alone, I knew that’s what she must’ve done.

Moving my gaze from the top of her wild-haired head down to meet her eyes, I tried to convey how thankful I was with two simple words. “I’m sorry.”

Her wildly expressive brows activated again, and their message was doubt.

“I am. Really,” I promised defensively. I hated to admit the embarrassing truth, but I owed her at least that much. “But a guy I know from high school said some things I should have ignored but didn’t, and I didn’t know who else to call. It’s my parents’ fortieth wedding anniversary, and even if it wasn’t, there was no way I was calling them.”

“Kline?” she suggested as she looked down and noticed my hand for the first time, her eyes widening at the open, raw knuckles.

I rolled my eyes and avoided confessing her number was the only one I could remember. Cassie Phillips’s crazy ideas didn’t need that kind of substantiation or power.

“The last time I called Kline in the middle of the night he told me he was going to amputate my most loved appendage. I’ve got five inches and at least fifty pounds on the guy, but he’s clever, goddammit. He’d find a way.”

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