Nevada Baylor személy
“We should have sex.”
I must’ve misheard. “I’m sorry, what?”
He glanced at me. His blue eyes were warm, as if heated from within. Wow. “I said, we should have sex. You and me.”
“No.” Alarm made me sit up straighter.
“What do you mean, no?”
“I mean no. Has it been so long since you heard the word that you might have forgotten what it meant?”
“You’re rich, right?” My voice came out rough.
“Couldn’t you spring for air-conditioning in the room?”
“I didn’t expect to sit here for hours. But if you’re too hot, feel free to take the bra off.”
I gave him the finger.
“What are you?” he asked.
“I’m the woman you chained in your basement. I’m your captive. Your . . . victim. Yes, that’s the right word. All of that education. How come nobody ever explained to you that you can’t just kidnap people because you feel like it?”
“I really would like to know,” he said with genuine curiosity. “The next time I kill someone, I’d like to do it in a way that doesn’t freak you out.”
“How about you don’t kill anybody for a little bit?”
“I can’t make that promise.”
Small talk with the dragon. How are you? Eaten any adventurers lately? Sure, just had one this morning. Look, I still got his femur stuck in my teeth. Is that upsetting to you?
“Do you have a girlfriend?” Grandma Frida asked.
I put my hand over my face.
“No,” Mad Rogan said.
“A boyfriend?” Grandma Frida asked.
“What about . . .”
“No,” Mom and I said in unison.
“But you don’t even know what I wanted to ask!”
“No,” we said again together.
“Party poopers.” Grandma shrugged.
"Because you’re freaking me out.”
“It’s my job to freak you out.”
“That’s the nature of our relationship.” A spark lit his eyes. “We both do what’s necessary, and after it’s over, I watch you freak out about it.”
“Yes. I wanted to skip the bullshit.”
“So what happened? You changed your mind and now you want the bullshit?”
Rogan’s phone chimed.
“Yes, I want your bullshit.”
“Well, you don’t get to have any of my bullshit. I’m keeping it.” Okay, and that didn’t sound childish. Not at all.
“Because you call it bullshit.”
“You stopped calling me Mad a while ago,” he observed.
“I called you Mad mostly to remind myself who I was dealing with.” I leaned my butt against the desk.
“And who would that be?”
“A possibly psychopathic mass murderer who can’t be trusted.”
“And now you call me Rogan. What are you reminding yourself of now?”
“That you’re mortal.”
“Planning on killing me?” An amused light flashed in his eyes.
“Not unless you become a direct threat. Are you planning on becoming a direct threat?” I winked at him.
He laughed quietly.
“Rogan,” I said. “Lift up your shirt.”
He pulled his Henley up, exposing his side. A folded paper towel covered his lower ribs, held in place by duct tape.
“What is this?” I demanded.
“It’s a bandage,” Bern said.
“No, it’s not.”
“Yes, it is,” Grandma Frida said. “Sometimes you cut your finger and you wrap the paper towel around it real tight, slap some duct tape on it, and good to go.”
“Your father used to do this,” Mom told me. “I swear, it’s like every man is born with it, or they must take some secret class on how to do it.”
"Why couldn’t I have found someone who is solid and normal and not whatever the hell he is?”
“I don’t know.” Mom spread her arms. I squinted at her.
“You’re an adult.”
“You’re an adult too.”
“But you’re an older adult. You’ve had more practice.”
Mom leaned back and laughed.