Tessa arched her back and groaned.
“You alright in there?”
She swiveled her chair and smiled at Nichole. She yawned and laughed at the same time when Nic simply folded her arms with a disgusted look on her face. Tucking in the deposit slip, checks and cash into the morning deposit bag she just raised an eyebrow. “What?”
“Just how much sleep have you gotten in the last few nights?”
She turned back around and tallied the change count for the day and what she’d need from the bank. “Enough.”
“You know sex and coffee will only get you so far in life after thirty darlin’.”
“When it’s great sex and excellent coffee it will last longer,” she said with a hidden smile.
Nic’s eyes widened. “Was that an off-color sexual joke out of you?”
“Shut up.” She tried desperately not to laugh.
“Does that mean you’ll finally give me details?” her brown eyes sparkled as she closed the door.
Tessa waved her closer. She motioned her closer and Nic crouched down right next to her. Tessa leaned over to her ear, “Nope.”
Nic reeled back and stood. “Aw man, you’re no fun now that you’re sleeping with a rock star. There’s got to be tons of dirt.”
“You don’t tell me about your bedroom gymnastics with Adam.”
“That’s only because you don’t want to know. And did you say gymnastics? Oh my God! How bendy is he?!”
Pretty bendy, she thought and got a flash of his inventive technique on the couch the night before. She cleared her throat, “Did you run the reports?”
Nic groaned and reached out the door for the reports she ran before the store opened. “You are simply no fun.”
“I’m plenty fun, thank you very much,” she said indignantly. One of the papers slid to the floor and she bent to get it. She felt the pendant slide from under her sweater and caught it to stuff back inside, but not before Nic tugged on the neck.
“Oh my God!”
Tessa quickly stood so the fine chain wouldn’t break and was yanked close by her best friend. “Nic!”
“Why didn’t you show me this? These are diamonds. Friggin’ big ass diamonds. He gave you diamonds?” Nic’s eyes were wide and a little hurt. “Why didn’t you show me this?” she repeated.
She sighed, “I wanted to show you.”
Big brown eyes met hers, definitely full of hurt. She dropped it against Tessa’s chest with a dull thud. “Well you didn’t.”
She looked down at the sweetheart neckline that Nic was wearing and proudly displaying her solitaire diamond for all to see. She pressed her fingertips over the heavy platinum metal, gently tracing the circle of diamonds. “I didn’t want to spoil your diamond,” Tessa said softly.
Now Tessa felt silly in her reasoning, but she’d opened the door. She gestured to the markedly smaller diamond resting against her friend’s chest. “You were so excited when Adam gave it to you for Christmas that I didn’t want..” she trailed off.
Nic’s mouth opened in shock, “Oh for fuck’s sake, Tess it doesn’t matter that you have something nicer. Mine feels like the Hope Diamond because Adam gave it to me.”
She laughed because Jon had said a very similar thing that night as well. “I’m sorry, I-“
Nic hauled her in for a hug. “You’re an ass is what you are.” She leaned back, “Now let me get a good look at it.” She dragged her over to the window for the natural light and whistled. “Damn, girl that is simply amazing.”
She felt the crazy fluttering in her stomach just like the night he gave it to her. “I know, I’m so afraid to wear it. I keep checking to make sure it’s there.”
“I noticed that you kept touching your chest, I just figured you were getting a flashback of some hot sex.”
Her lips twitched. Well, that may have been a few of the times. “I didn’t want to ask, but I think it’s platinum so the chain is pretty strong,” she said ignoring her comment.
Nic flipped it and saw the Tiffany and Co. stamp on the back and groaned. “Okay, now I may hate you a little bit.” She hugged her again and they swayed. “My baby girl got her first little blue box.”
She snorted and pushed her away. “Get off me weirdo.” She turned the watch on her wrist and gasped. “Shit, we’re late opening the doors. Go do some work or something.”
Nic tapped her heels together. “Yes ma’am.”
She just rolled her eyes and rushed to the front door, making her apologies when she saw a few people waiting. The first half hour went by in a blur of returns, exchanges and thankfully some new purchases. When reinforcements came in at nine thirty she closeted herself in her office.
She’d had a bad feeling when she’d left Jon that morning. He’d been quiet after he’d blown her to bits with a few well placed kisses and an uncanny knowledge of her body. She’d offered herself to ease the pain she’d seen lurking but instead he’d been all about her.
Duty had prevented her from finding out exactly what had put that sad look in his eyes again. Not the desolate man she’d found yesterday, but a bone deep sadness that she wasn’t sure how to fix.
Obeying impulse she dug into her pocket for her phone. He was meeting his daughter for breakfast in a bit, but maybe she could catch him. Grinning for a moment when she saw Frank in her speed dial menu she waited for him to answer.
“Yeah,” he said obviously in the car.
“Hey babe,” she said hoping to sound normal.
She could hear the smile in his voice as he turned down the radio. “Can’t get enough of me?”
Her worry lessened at his teasing tone. “Nope, it’s been a morning and a half already and I needed to hear that sexy voice of yours.”
“Well then, just what do I need to say to keep my woman happy?”
“Oh you know…offer me the moon, the stars and all the riches I could ask for.”
“Done. I’ll have them delivered by noon.”
She laughed. “If anyone could, I bet it would be you.”
“My staff is amazing.”
She couldn’t stop the snort of laughter. “Sure, slough off my needs onto your assistant. I see how you are.”
His laugh was rich and didn’t sound a bit strained, though he did pause. “Checkin’ on me huh?”
She cursed, “You suck.”
She could see the smile in her head, “Why yes I did this morning. Just about everywhere,” he said in a low husky voice.
Christ. She shivered. “You are an evil man.”
“Yes, when it comes to thoughts of you it’s pretty much based on my more carnal instincts these days.”
Her over active imagination went a little haywire before she pulled herself together. But not quite before she pictured him in black leather pants that hugged every inch of his amazing body and nothing else. She swallowed. “You are distracting me from the reason I called,” she said roughly.
“And I think the word carnal just put a few base thoughts in that lovely head of yours. And I want to explore every one of them when you get out tonight, but I gotta go. I just pulled into Dot’s driveway.”
Swallowing back a huge dose of lust mixed with worry she sighed. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Yes, I took a run on the treadmill for twenty minutes and a quick shower to clear my head. I promise I’m fine.”
She heard the motor turn off and she pressed the phone harder to her ear. It was silly to worry over him. She had to learn to let go and let him do his thing or he’d think she was the nagging clingy type. “I love you,” she said finally.
“See now I just went from fine to fantastic in the space of ten seconds.”
She laughed and eased her grip on her phone. “Glad I could be of service.”
“Oh you’ll be of service alright. In about…eight hours I plan on having you naked and screaming my name.”
“Isn’t that how I started the day?”
“Great way to end it too.”
Well she couldn’t argue with that. “If you need me…”
“I’ll call, I promise. And as much as I’d rather listen to your rather sultry voice I gotta go.”
“Okay, okay I’ll see you later.”
“Think of me when you’re reaching for the low shelves,” he said teasingly and then he was gone.
She shook her head, trying very hard not to imagine what he could do to her if she was bending over. “Evil man,” she muttered and turned on her computer. If Excel spreadsheets didn’t kill lust, nothing would.