Totally, Sweetly, Irrevocably(6)

By: Kira Archer


“Is Mrs. B pressing charges?”

Rick put on his best cop face and stared her down. She didn’t flinch. “No, she’s not. You’re lucky she’s such a sweet old lady, or you’d be in a world of trouble right now.”

She snorted. “Don’t let that woman fool you. She’s tough as nails. But, since she’s not pressing charges, and I technically didn’t do anything wrong, then there’s no need for you to drive me home. I’d hate to waste the taxpayers’ money and your valuable time, so I’ll be on my way.”

Rick moved to intercept her and took her elbow again. He steered her to the car and opened the back door. “She might not be pressing charges, but we could take you down to the station, anyway.”

“For what?” Gina said, dropping the sweet act, folding her arms, and glaring at him.

“Oh, I’m sure we could cook up something that would stick. You’re not leaving my sight until you are home where you belong.”

She grimaced and slid into the backseat with a huff. “You know what I think?” she said, sticking her head back out before he could shut the door.

“No. What?”

“I think you think I’m hot.” She let her gaze slowly roam up his body until she met his eyes. She bit her lip. Rick gripped the door, welcoming the bite of steel against his hand. She leaned out farther.

“I think you want to know where I live and instead of asking me out or something—not that I’d say yes, of course, but theoretically—this is your pathetic way of finding out.”

She gave him a smug smile and sat back against the seat.

“Dream on, lady. Psycho stalker chicks aren’t really my type,” Rick said, feeling slightly bad for the slam. But she’d hit way too close to home on that one.

His insult didn’t even faze her. “Then why haven’t you stopped staring at me since the second we met?”

“I’m trying to make sure you don’t harass anyone else tonight.”

“Yeah, right. Whatever. And I’m not a psycho.”

Rick nodded. “You’re right. I apologize. That was uncalled for.”

She glanced up at him in surprise. “Thanks,” she said, grudgingly.

“You are a stalker chick, though, hence my insistence on giving you a ride home.”

He shut the door on her outraged face before she could say anything else.

Joe chuckled.

“What?” Rick said, frowning at him.

“Nothin’. I think she’s right, that’s all. You’ve got it bad for her and just want to find out where she lives.”

Yeah, he knew there was no way Joe would miss that. That didn’t mean Rick had to admit anything, though.

“I’m trying to keep the crazy lady from scaring all the neighbors. That’s all.”

“Uh-huh,” Joe said. “Come on, Romeo. Let’s get your princess home before she stares someone to death.”

“Ha, ha,” Rick said, climbing into the passenger side and trying to ignore Joe’s wheezing laugh. He really needed to get his partner’s ass on a treadmill.

Joe started the car up and sat, waiting. Rick turned around so he could see Gina in the back.

“Address?”

She sat back and folded her arms.

“Look, you can either tell me your address so we can take you home, or I can ask for your ID and issue you a citation for loitering. The citation will cost a lot more. What’s it going to be?”

She blew out an irritated gust of air and told him, “It’s like four blocks from here. This is ridiculous.”

“So is sitting on a fire escape outside some old lady’s window so you can spy on your ex boyfriend.”

“That’s not what I was—”

Rick held up his hand. “Yeah, I know.”

“Fine.” She rattled off the address as fast as she could and sat back, pouting. Then she bent over, riffling around through something.

“What are you doing?” Rick asked, leaning over so he could see.

“Nothing.” She zipped up her backpack and sat back again. “Just looking through my bag.”

She smiled sweetly at him, and all of Rick’s red flags went up. But as far as he could tell, she wasn’t doing anything. Other than a box of equipment on the floorboards, there was nothing she could get into and certainly nothing she could use as a weapon. He’d have to remember to get that box out of there once they got back to the station. Joe was supposed to have done it before they left.

It took all of two minutes to pull up in front of her building. Rick got out and opened Gina’s door. She stormed past him and stomped up the stairs.

“Stay out of trouble,” he called after her.

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