First Step Forward
Second Chance Season
Are you a book reviewer?
Despite her excitement over the upcoming Hotchkiss booster event, as we walk out to the truck, I’m on edge, waiting for the inevitable browbeating I’m sure she‟ll eventually remember to give me. Whitney does not disappoint.
“Just out of curiosity, was that necessary?” “What?”
I drop the tailgate on my truck. I know exactly what she’s talking about, but this feels like the kind of moment when you play dumb for as long as you can.
She won’t understand. She can’t possibly understand what it feels like to be a guy, fall for a woman harder than a box of rocks off a skyscraper, and hate having any other man within a three-state radius of her. It isn’t about trust or lack thereof, it isn’t about thinking she isn’t capable of handling herself—she can, because she’s amazing. And, all her amazingness is part of the problem. Amazing women are amazing. Men like amazing.
She sighs. “The whole ‘I’m here now’ bullshit. Garrett’s a good kid. I emphasize the word kid. There wasn’t any need to stick a flag in the ground next to my feet and proclaim my body to be a sovereign state recently claimed by you and your man-parts.”
I set the dormant oil in the bed and close the gate, then gesture for her to move around the side of the truck.
“I’m sure he is a good kid. But he’s also thought about bending you over the front counter in there and giving you his own personalized seed report, babe.”
As I open the passenger-side door for her, she freezes and screws her face up.
“There are so many things wrong with that statement. ‘Seed report’? Gross. He hasn’t ever thought about that.”
“He’s a guy. You’re a beautiful, interesting woman who, I guarantee, is totally different from what he’s used to. Different and unique fascinates us—and intrigues our dicks. So he’s absolutely thought about it.”
I sweep my hand toward her seat to urge her to get in the truck. She narrows her eyes and pins her gaze on me. I sigh. “What?”
“You’ve been such a Neanderthal over the last few days. First, the no-riding-shotgun thing, and now this. That’s also the third time you’ve called me ‘babe’. And I can‟t quite figure out how I feel about that.” She takes a step forward, putting one foot on the running board, but doesn’t climb in. “I think I should hate it, but I’m not sure. Say it again.”
I lean forward. “Get your cute ass in the truck, babe. I’ll turn your seat on.”
“Shit.” She climbs in and shakes her head. “I think I kind of like it. Look at me. Sitting in this ridiculous truck, just thrilled at the prospect of you turning on my heated seat, and my belly all topsy-turvy because you called me ‘babe’. Get me home. I feel a sudden need to burn some incense and renew my Sierra Club membership.”