“Because he’s like that and because you’d believe him and because you believed him, he probably found that hilarious.”

I crossed my arms on my chest. “Well, you have another guy named Fang. You’re called Hawk. Why wouldn’t I believe a name like Smoke?”


“Fang is definitely a Fang and Hawk is who I am.”

Fang was, unfortunately for him, definitely a Fang.

“No,” I stated, turning my head to look at him again, “you’re Cabe Delgado.”

“I used to be Cabe Delgado, Gwen, but shit happens in life and that man is still in me but now I’m not that man.”


“What does that mean?” I asked.

“You still addin’ to your list of pros and cons?” he asked back.

“Yes,” I replied.

“The pros win out, Sweet Pea, and uncertainty becomes certainty, then I’ll tell you what that means.”

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Now I wanted to know what that meant.

I decided my best bet for the moment was to pass on that.

So I looked back out the windscreen and changed the subject. “You have a girl?”

Something weird and tense filled the car and it was coming from Hawk when he asked back, “I have a girl?”

“The girl who got me my shoes,” I explained, freakishly scared to look at him due to the strange tenseness.

Then the tenseness evaporated, poof! like it was never there when he answered easily, “Yeah, I have a girl.”

Um… weird!

I hesitantly pressed forward. “What kind of girl?”

Hawk unhesitantly shared, “A secretary, receptionist kind of girl.”


“What’s her name?”


I turned to look at him again. “Elvira?”


“Is she mistress of the darkness?”

“She gets in a bad mood, definitely.”


“Does she have bad moods often?” I asked.

“She works with thirteen guys who naturally produce high levels of testosterone and feed on extreme situations, which means she has to have attitude and a woman with attitude comes with bad moods so, yeah, she has bad moods often.”

There was a lot there so I broke it down.

“You have thirteen guys?”


“Like, you employ thirteen guys?”

“Thirteen guys and a girl, yeah.”


“And these guys produce high levels of testosterone and feed on extreme situations?” I went on.


Oh boy.

“What kind of extreme situations?” I asked but I wasn’t sure I wanted to know.

His hand came out and wrapped around my thigh before he said in a gentle voice, “Babe, trust me, with my work, ignorance is bliss, yeah?”

Oh boy. I was right. I didn’t want to know.

Time to switch subjects.

I looked back out the windscreen. “So, attitude comes with bad moods?”


“You think I have attitude.”


“Are you saying I have bad moods?”

His hand at my thigh gave me a squeeze as he said an amused, “Babe.”


He went on, “Though, discovered today I can alleviate Elvira’s bad mood by sending her to Nordstrom’s to buy a pair of shoes that cost as much as a used car and I can make you kiss me for the first time by givin’ ‘em to you.”

I turned to look at him. “I’ve kissed you.”

“No, you’ve kissed me back. I kiss you.”

This was true.

“Plan on more shoes in the future, Sweet Pea,” he muttered and my belly got squishy again, my heart swelled again and that tingly feeling in my throat came back.

Therefore, I announced, “This is freaking me out.”

He glanced at me then looked back at the road. “What?”

“You, being sweet. Generous and sweet. Generous, forthcoming about your life… ish, and sweet. It’s freaking me out.”

“Why?” he asked.

“This isn’t us,” I answered.

“This is the us you wanted us to be, Gwen,” he returned.

“I’m not sure about that,” I lied.

“Bullshit, babe,” he called me on it. “I know you wanna pretend I wasn’t there but I was at your parents’ dinner table last night.”

Oh shit. We were back on this.

“I told you I was making stuff up,” I lied again. “Meredith is romantic. She fainted when she met Dad because she knew he was the man of her dreams, with one look, she knew. She loves me. She wants that for me, she always has so I gave it to her.”

His hand left my thigh so he could shift as he stated quietly, “Gwen, baby, you meant every word you said.”

“Did not,” I returned.

He stopped the car and I saw we were parked outside Tamayo on Larimer Square in lower downtown Denver, otherwise known as LoDo. Tamayo had brilliant Mexican food. Tamayo had unusual, delicious cocktails and guacamole that proved there was a God. Tamayo had a gorgeous mural behind the bar and a sun terrace. Tamayo was awesome.

My eyes went to him as I felt Hawk turn to me.

“Don’t,” he ordered softly.

“Don’t what?” I asked.

His hand lifted, fingers curling around the back of my neck and he pulled me to him. “Don’t pollute what came out of your mouth last night.”

Suddenly I realized this was important to him, not a little, a lot and not a lot but a whole lot and I didn’t know what to do with that but something about it scared the freaking shit out of me.

“Hawk –” I whispered and his hand slid from my neck to my jaw but his thumb moved up to press against my lips.

“Don’t,” he repeated.

“Okay,” I whispered against his thumb.

He dropped his hand and unbuckled my belt then he folded out of the car. He was at my door before I could rest one Jimmy Choo clad foot to the pavement. He took my hand, pulled me out of the car, kept hold of my hand and Hawk, me and my Jimmy Choos walked into Tamayo.

Chapter Thirteen

Totally Missed Out

I woke up and heard Hawk’s murmur from what seemed like far away.

He was on the phone.

I opened my eyes.

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