Honey In The Rock (Sweet & Dirty BBW #5)(3)

By: Cathryn Cade


“Because if you get on that bus, Whitey and his vicious, stupid sidekicks are gonna take it as you presentin’ yourself for more of their shit. Yesterday you got a black eye. Today, or tomorrow it’s just gonna get worse and worse until you either end up givin’ blowjobs in the bus’ backseat while everyone else who’s scared of ‘em pretends it ain’t happening, or somebody tries to help you and gets hurt. An’ if you think that old man drivin’ will help, you’re fuckin’ clueless. While you clearly walk around with your head in those fuckin’ games you play on your phone, I don’t think you’re that stupid.”

He leaned over, used one long muscular arm and tanned, tattooed and be-ringed hand to push the car door open. “Now get. In.”

He’d just insulted her, planted images in her head that would likely never be erased, and done it all in a way that said that unbelievably, he not only noticed her on a regular basis, he had indeed somehow discovered her troubles at the hands of a few of the local thugs.

Her mind reverberating with shock, Billie took hold of the door of his beautiful car, pulled it the rest of the way open, and got in.

The door closed with a solid thunk, and the big car immediately snarled away from the curb.

She had one last glimpse of the faces through the bus’s front window—Herb’s surprised but cautiously pleased, two sisters who rode the bus to their posts as bikini baristas giving her wide, envious eyes, and behind them a malevolent scowl that would have made Billie shrink back in her seat had she been anywhere else but in the front seat of this particular vehicle.

As it was, her hand lifted of its own accord, and she gave a little finger-wave to everyone on the bus.

Then the car swept past the bus, and rolled along the boulevard in the stream of morning commuters headed from this suburb into downtown Spokane.

“Seatbelt.” Rocker said this without looking at her, but by this time she wasn’t surprised he knew what was happening even without looking.

“Right.” She found her seatbelt and buckled it around herself. Then she sat back and let Rocker drive her downtown.

The big car purred smoothly over the rise and swooped down toward city center, its new high-rise office buildings, hotels and shopping center contrasting with the old industrial area along the river. The highway gained two more lanes, and branched ahead, two lanes curving up and onto a bridge.

“I work up on South Hill,” Billie ventured, not wanting him to take the wrong turn. “At the hospital.”

“I know,” was the astonishing answer.

“You do?”

Rocker did not look at her, as he was busy negotiating the merge onto the bridge, but the corner of his fascinating mouth kicked up. “Babe. Not rocket science.”

Right. Her job wasn’t exactly rocket science, either. With a two-year degree in coding from community college in the Tri-Cities, she now did patient data entry, in a tiny shared office deep in the middle of the second floor of the medical center’s south tower, which held most of the financial offices as well as the main records center.

It wasn’t a bad place to work, as employees were treated well, but the job itself was mind-numbingly boring.

She often resorted to entertaining herself by imagining that the patient with a broken leg had received his injury at the hands of a marauding band of darkish elven warriors, or that another patient’s life-threatening infection was the result of an evil spell cast by spiteful goblins.

Since these imaginings could sometimes later be translated into perils in the games she helped code in her spare time, this ability to divorce her lucid mind from what her hands were doing served her well.

And since she still did her very best for the patients she served, and always checked her own work, no one was harmed in any way.

But Rocker didn’t mean her job wasn’t rocket science, he meant his knowing where she worked wasn’t hard to discover. Which left her with only one question.

“Why do you know where I work?” she asked, watching his rugged profile instead of the steep hill, which she knew by heart from the bus commute. “And how did you know all that other stuff—like who those guys are on the bus?”

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