A glance in her rear view showed Will following at a safe distance. Didn’t she read something about you could judge a man by how he drove as an indication how he’d be in bed? Those who careened through the streets running red lights and rolling over curbs demonstrated a me-first attitude they brought to the bedroom. A considerate driver equated a thoughtful lover. Her seductive thoughts came to a screeching halt when she remembered the laundry and garage cleaning. What she needed was an assistant. Someone to keep her clothes ready, her house clean and her shopping done. A wife, that’s what she needed.
The rest of the short drive home kept her busy trying to figure out polite ways to send Will home. Not that she wanted to, far from it. With the laundry, garage, and her need to keep the delicious lawyer out of the current cesspool that constituted her life, honesty had merit. “Natalie, as a car would you recommend me coming clean with the man with the wonderful hands?”
A laughter bubbled up at the realization she just asked her car for advice. The main issue with being secretive is you couldn’t tell anyone. The car made an ominous knocking sound and hesitated for a second. It almost stalled, but the engine caught again. Her laughter stilled. It sounded like her car answered with a resounding no. Of course, it did. “I thought honesty sucked too. Dinner might be a nice thank you, although he might be expecting something served a little more horizontal in nature.
The entrance to her neighborhood came up fast, forcing her to turn on her blinker. Almost home and no great excuses to hurry her sexy Good Samaritan on his way. All she really wanted to do was peel off her funeral dress, then she’d start on Will. The car made another ominous knocking sound. She wasn’t sure if Natalie commented on her plans or worse, Clint did something to her fuel. Didn’t people put sugar in the gas tank? Wasn’t sure what it did, but the result was the car didn’t work.
No sign of her hot to trot neighbor. Great, if she had to push Will out of the house he would make it to his car. Her hand hesitated switching off Natalie. What if she didn’t start tomorrow? She’d get up extra early in case she needed a taxi.
Will somehow managed to be at her car door to hand her out. Impressive, she almost wished her neighbor observed. It would only make the woman more determined to sink her claws into the man. Tonya stared at his outstretched hand for a second. Oh yeah, there were actually men who assisted women from cars who weren’t carjackers. Get a grip, girl. Act like this is something you’re used to.
Her hand rested lightly in his as she stepped out of the car. A cacophony of barks greeted their arrival. Ah yes, Sebastian, her faithful hound and occasional relationship wrecker. Her teeth slammed down on her bottom lip causing a small pang of pain. No way would Will enter her house after his last canine encounter. That solved the problem of how to send him on his way, but she did want to send him on his way.
The smell of garlic drifted on breeze reminding her of the nearby pizzeria. Sharp nails on glass scratching indicated Sebastian destroyed her impromptu sheet curtain. Damn. Couldn’t just slap a blanket up over the front window without causing questions. Another reason Will needed to go. “I bet you’re not looking forward to seeing my dog.”
“You’d be wrong.’ He rattled a small sack. “I brought a secret weapon.”
The small white sack contained a weapon. “I’ll put him up so you won’t need a weapon.” Her back stiffened as she tried to tug her hand out of his grasp, but he held on.
“Stop it.” He angled his head until they were eye to eye. “Seriously, you’d think I’d hurt your dog.”
Well, not now, Tonya had to admit with him looking at her with a mixture of incredulity and horror. “Um, no, not you, of course.” His expression didn’t change.
“What’s in the bag?”
His face relaxed as he explained. “Last night, I went online to figure out why Sebastian took such a dislike to me.”
“I wondered that too.” The fact he went home and immediately search for ways to win over her dog impressed her. Most men would insist she’d get rid of the ankle biter or at least cage him. “I’ll need my hand back to open the door.”
His face flushed as he dropped her hand and took a step back. What was with that? Men thought women’s actions were incomprehensible. Yeah, right. A wiggle with the house key loosen the door enough for Sebastian’s nose to work its way into the tiny sliver.
“No, no.” She reached down to push her dog back inside.
Will squatted and opened up the sack to shake out decorated dog treats. They looked like gourmet bakery cookies, but cost even more. Tonya priced them at the Pet Bakery at the Fashion Mall. She decided she didn’t love her dog that much or more appropriately she couldn’t afford the treats. With her luck, Sebastian might expect the luxury all the time. Might even go off his grocery store brand dog food in protest.
He used the dog treat gesturing in the direction of the door. He squatted with the treat in hand. “Let him out. This is neutral territory. He considers the house as much as his as you do. I came into his house without even a proper introduction. My appearance brought out the guard dog in him.”
Sebastian provided companionship on lonely nights, but it never occurred to her he might object to company. He could be jealous. Her fingers cautiously pushed the door open expecting the worse. In his current position, there was so many other places Sebastian could bite Will. Her puggle plunged out of the front door dancing on feet too small for his sturdy body. His dance abruptly halted when he spotted Will. His large protruding eyes focused on the treat in Will’s outstretched hand. He took one-step in Will’s direction before looking back at her. Was he asking permission?