The fast food bag warmed her legs where it sat as she opened it. An appetizing aroma bloomed from the bag heavy on the spicy sausage with a slight hint of grease. Yeah, breakfast biscuits weren’t the healthiest food around, but she loved them. You could also eat them while driving.
Tonya handed one sandwich to Will, then unwrapped the remaining one. The buttery biscuit exerted a siren song on her, causing her to wolf it down in a half dozen bites. Her eyes cut to Will, who stared straight ahead while driving. Did he witness her gobbling down her food like a protester coming off a hunger strike? If he did, he gave no indication.
A wadded wrapper nestled between his leg and the console indicating he devoured his breakfast too. No doubt too busy to notice any piggish behavior on her part. After all, a woman has to eat. She’d never be one of those rail thin women who picked at their food claiming they were full after a handful of lettuce leaves and a baby carrot. “I’m not normally such a pig. Not sure why I was so hungry this morning.”
A smile tugged at the corner of his lips as he slowed for the red light. “Yeah, I know. Personally, I love a woman with a hearty appetite. The bigger, the better.” The sudden movement of traffic grabbed his attention as he surged forward with the flow.
The bigger, the better, was that a crack against her weight? Her brow beetled as she analyzed his words. At best, her weight put her in the average category. It would be a stretch to call her Junoesque or voluptuous. Then again, he had seen everything.
Something nudged her leg. A downward glance revealed Will’s right hand warming her knee. He gently squeezed it. “Don’t overthink it. I meant a woman who has a hearty appetite in the kitchen, usually has one in the bedroom too.”
Mmm, never heard that one before. Clint complained she ate like a lumberjack while Brian chowed down the food she prepared so fast she didn’t have a chance at displaying her eating skills, hearty or otherwise. If she got a burger or a single piece of chicken, she considered herself lucky. Hearty appetite in the bedroom, yeah, it fit. Not that it did her any good in the past.
“Why are you driving me to work again?” Tonya wiggled back into the leather upholstery, enjoying the luxury of her chauffeured ride. It was an entirely different story when someone else fought the morning rush hour traffic. Will drove effortlessly, without any of the aggression she’d expect from a lawyer.
A cluster of unique shops sat on her right, including a tattoo parlor, a Mexican restaurant, and a liquor shop named Mr. Thirsty. She missed the scenery when dodging minivans driven by preoccupied mothers on cell phones rushing red lights to get their pampered offspring to their private school. When indulgent parents weren’t almost T-boning her, she kept a wary eye out for late employees running red lights trying to make up for a missed alarm. Now and then, people had to watch for her hot rodding it to work, but only occasionally.
A truck grill dominated the rear view mirror. Someone wasn’t pleased with Will keeping to the speed limit. The oversized truck tore around them, causing cars in the oncoming lane into swerving into the shoulder. Horn blasts and one finger salutes and few shouted remarks announced their annoyance. The truck didn’t even pause as it wove in and out of cars. Tonya glanced over at Will whose demeanor showed no irritation with the narrow escape. Did nothing rattle him?
He used his hand to gesture in the direction the reckless driver went. “We’ll be seeing our friend soon alongside the road.”
“Yeah, I can see him wrecking.” Tonya could imagine the overconfident driver spinning out. The short glimpse she had of him was a tight-jawed man with a thick neck and reflective sunglasses. Yeah, he’d be the type to harass an ex-girlfriend. Before she used to divide into men into potential and non-potential categories. Shame, she’d dropped to possible stalker and non-stalker.
“Possible,” he agreed. “Not what I meant, though. Friggin’ maniac showed his best asshole material in front of an undercover police officer.”
“What?” Her head swiveled peering into the windows of the surrounding cars looking for a uniformed officer. “I don’t see anyone.”
A siren sounded in the distance confirming Will’s initial assessment. “He’s up a little farther than I thought he would be, but in the general area. Represented his wife, who told me all the speed traps with the encouragement to tell others.”
“A woman scorned is a dangerous thing.” The minute the words left her mouth, Tonya speculated, why she never turned bitter, the way the officer’s ex-wife did, sharing privileged information. Clint had no fear of her. Didn’t think she’d do anything, except lay down and let him walk on her. No reason for him to think otherwise, she never really opposed him. Might not like his lame idea of a motor cross rally as a romantic outing, but it rated higher than the firing range.
“Don’t I know it? Probably know better than any man around. In fact, if I had any sense, I’d avoid women altogether.” His head shook as if admonishing himself.
“Hey, I take offense at that.” She placed her hand on her chest while making a mock threatening face.
Will laughed. “Not you, I’m not worried about you. Apparently, you don’t have a vengeful bone in your body.”
“Yeah.” She added a derisive grunt. “I’m becoming more and more aware of that. It’s not a good thing either.” Instead of being the easy-going one, if she played the bitch card, not only would Clint not want her back, but he certainly wouldn’t make the mistake of crossing her. “I’d like to hurt Clint, make him pay.”
“Whoa, what happen to my mellow kitten?” Will directed a sharp glance her way as he bumped into the work parking lot. “Here, I drove you to work as a protective measure. Without your car in the open, there’s no way Clint can vandalize it. Maybe, we should leave it out as bait, then you’d rip him apart like a hungry bear.”
The image had some appeal. “I’m not that bad. Sure, I’m angry, but I don’t know any way of striking back. Well, legally,” she added with a grin.
“Uh huh, got to keep it legal. First, we have to protect you. I believe that once Clint can no longer get to you, he’ll lose interest. Don’t text back. Don’t email. No contact.” The car stopped in a parking space close to the doors. Will shut off the ignition.
Sure, he made it sound so simple, but she had to know what Clint might do next. “You don’t understand. I could lose my job!” Her hands went up in the air. The temptation to shoot them through her hair in frustration, she overcame knowing she didn’t have time to fix her hair or even continue the conversation.
Her hand depressed the door handle, swung the door wide, letting in the chill of the early morning air. Will’s arm shot past her closing the door. “When you’re with me, I‘ll open your door. Stomping off in anger is no excuse not to let me be the gentleman.”