Penelope pulled her hair out of the lopsided ponytail as she heard the doorknob to her office jiggle. She hadn’t expected anyone to show up as early as her, but having her tattoos on full display was never a smart idea, no matter the time. The one behind her left ear, like all those that littered her body, told a story, but her position didn’t allow those to be told.
She smiled politely as her assistant, Gretchen, walked in and silently handed her a stack of briefs to be looked over. Her heart was still pounding away loudly, in her ears, at the thought of getting caught.
She took a shaky breath as she sat down at her desk, a present from her parents after being named partner. Penelope ran her hands over the glossy wooden surface before dragging her mind away from the sun rising behind her.
Her long blonde hair was now clouding her vision as she looked over all the evidence for the first case of the week. Knowing she wasn’t alone anymore made her hesitant to even brush it to the side. Absolutely nothing was worth someone catching her looking anything other than professional. Her ability to keep parts of herself hidden had gotten her to where she was.
Penelope reached into her pocket to pull out her chapstick, never tearing her eyes from the page in front of her. Just as she brought the plastic tube to her lips, she felt something else fly out with it.
Have a great day baby. See you after work.
Preston’s handwriting was unmistakable, she somehow managed to keep herself from scoffing at his obvious, but failed, attempt at being romantic. She had tried to get him to understand his place her life, but he always managed to sneak in different aspects of a real relationship, which it was not.
Penelope couldn’t keep her thoughts where they belonged, on the work before her. She was remembering the way her heart beat erratically, like it was now, when she’d revealed the real her to the other law students in her college class. They’d all laughed and pointed, saying there was no way she’d be successful looking like she did.
“Ms. Reid,” Gretchen’s voice rang out through the intercom, “the morning meeting begins in five minutes, ma’am.”
“Thank you,” she answered, standing up.
She rushed around, gathering everything she’d need before throwing her office door open wide. Gretchen was on the other side of it, unsurprisingly, with a cup of coffee and her notes from yesterday.
“Thank you,” she repeated as she hurried down the hallway.
Her heels clicked as she made her way toward one of the many conference rooms on their floor. She loved the extra responsibility that running these meetings provided, but on days like today she couldn’t help but daydream about a break. She was in need of a girl’s weekend. She had to regroup and getting out of the city always worked.
She flipped the switch and the fluorescent lights momentarily blinded her as she made her way around the large mahogany table. She stacked all the paperwork together, and lined it up with the edge, as she waited for everyone else to join her.
Penelope spun around in her chair and faced the large window here, that matched the one in her office. The sun was almost over all the tall buildings that their floor was eye level with.
From where she sat, she could see the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, where her twin brother, Oliver, was probably starting his day. She felt the smile spread as she thought of her family and her mind flitted to the cabin she’d basically grown up in.
She propped her chin up on her hand as she thought of how best to break the news to Preston. He wasn’t technically her boyfriend and he certainly had no authority over what she did, but she didn’t want to fight either. He would pout and she would get irritated. It was always best just to avoid the argument altogether. She knew she could lie, but she hated doing that, no matter who it was to.
She turned back to the room as she heard the door open and gave a small wave to one of her partners, Jade Williams. Her slender form was looking even smaller in the pencil skirt she was sporting today.
Penelope handed the meeting minutes over to one of the new interns as everyone else joined them. She always wondered if she should bothering learning their names since most didn’t last a year, but she forced herself to remember what it was like just starting out. It usually gave her the patience she needed.
As Samantha, the partner that rounded out their trio, came in and shut the door behind her, Penelope called everyone to order. She could already tell it was going to be the type of day that had her getting home late at night. She took a deep breath and started in with their first topic.
“She told me you made her look fat,” Sadie said as soon as Sawyer was inside.
“That’s not possible,” he said, flatly.
He didn’t need any more information, knowing exactly which photo shoot she was referring to. Sawyer had a knack for being able to point out trouble, at least at work.
“Well, she seems to think it is. She’s threatening to sue us.”
Sawyer rolled his eyes as he made his way through the nearly empty studio, “She’s not going to sue us. I’ll call her soon, okay?” he offered, hoping that would be the end.
“Fine,” she said, following closely on his heels, “but do you know when you’re gonna be here?”
“I am here, Sadie,” he muttered.
“No, you’re not,” she insisted, grabbing his arm and forcing him to stop. “When do I get my big brother back, huh?”
He watched as her bottom lip started to quiver and he sighed heavily. “Let me get this straight,” he said quietly, his voice echoing anyway, “I go to rehab and you want the old me back?”
He wasn’t sure why he was trying to be quiet. Their voices carried enough for everyone to know what they were arguing about. Regardless, there were no secrets here anymore; not after his little breakdown.
“That’s not fair,” she argued, “I just want…”
“You want something you can’t have,” he interrupted, forcefully, “I’m either drunk and fun or I’m not and I’m this.”
He pointed to his whole body before stalking toward his office, not caring about her feelings anymore. He wasn’t exactly mad at her, but if she was determined to say all the things he didn’t want to hear, she was going to get the brunt of it.
Sawyer was tempted to lock the door behind him, but he knew it wasn't any use. If she wanted to talk about something he was going to forced to talk about it.
“Let’s go away this weekend,” she blurted out.
“Let’s go up to Lake Placid. Just you and me. You love that place. You know you wanna take some pictures of stuff that won’t talk back.”
He chuckled quietly, unable to keep the smile off his face. “Sadie, we have way too much to do right now.”
“David and Violet can stay the weekend,” she offered, mentioning both their assistants. “You don’t have to be here every minute.”
“Aren’t we getting sued?” he joked.
“Oh, please. She isn’t going to sue you. She’s just mad you wouldn’t give her your number.”
“Come on, please. Pretty please,” she begged, pouting to settle it.
“Fine,” he consented. “But we take my bike.”
She crossed her arms and scoffed, “No. That thing scares me and you know it. Besides, we can’t fit all our stuff on your bike.”
“Whatever,” Sawyer agreed, “Then I wanna stay up there for a few days, at least.”
She squealed and he covered his ears. He loved that was she was happy, but hated that her attitude was infectious. He no longer had an excuse for his cranky attitude. He watched as she made her way out of his office and to the front of the building.
Sawyer knew he owned his little sister everything. She’d been the one to pull him back from the edge when alcohol took over his life. Thankfully, she understood the thought process that had lead him there. Their overnight business success had overwhelmed them all. He’d just handled it all wrong.
He closed his eyes and let himself get his hopes up for what they could do while they were gone. He did need this time out of the city, but he hated to admit his little sister was ever right.
He tried to concur up the name of the little restaurant he’d been dying to try, as he moved his chair around to face the tiny window. He’d been blocking it out, but now he let the noise of Tribeca filter in with the sun.
Penelope pulled into the garage slowly and shut off her car. She shifted uncomfortably, the leather making that familiar crunching noise, as she sat there staring at her guest parking spot. Preston was here, once again, without asking her. He was getting increasingly accustomed to her home and it wasn’t helping her mood.
She trudged through the garage, took the short ride in the elevator, opened her front door, and was instantly greeted with a hug and a chaste kiss from Preston. If he wasn’t being so incredibly smothering, she knew she’d think it was sweet.
He held her hand as he lead her to the table, where dinner was already set up. She hated that she couldn’t appreciate his small gestures like any other women might, but it was hard since she’d been very plain about what she wanted. She wasn’t in love with him, like he was with her, and it was obvious to everyone except him.
She allowed herself to be swept away as she forced a grin at him, the same polite grin everyone else got. She let her heels hit the carpet as she sat down and shoveled potatoes into her mouth. As always, he looked at her in disgust and she worked on calming down.
She glanced at him out of the corner of her eye several times during their silent dinner. Despite her issues with him, he was exactly what she’d asked for. He was incredibly handsome, his sandy blonde hair matching his deep blue eyes perfectly. Preston’s smile lit up any room and the confidence he exuded made her feel superior in a way that she hadn’t known before. It was heady and addicting. If it wasn’t for his assumptions about where their relationship was going, he would be her match in every way.
When they were done, they continued their normal routine in front of the television. She made faces, like she always did, as the vapid and insecure characters drove her crazy. Preston never failed her when it came to showing the kind of woman he wanted, something she didn’t know if she could ever be. She knew it wasn’t a conscious behavior, but it made her feel just a little bit less each time.
The evening progressed in the same hushed tones and ended with the predictable and monotonous sex. It was always over well before it would have mattered to her. He fell to the side and instantly worked on getting some sleep, per the norm.
She counted down, in her head, as she waited for him to try and wrap his arms around her. Never one to break tradition, Preston did just as she’d expected and she turned him down again.
He didn’t pout anymore, which she was thankful for because watching a grown man act that way always made her irrationally angry. She stared up at the ceiling, playing out their future argument in her head when she told him she’d be leaving for the long weekend. It wasn’t something she was looking forward to, but it was necessary.
As soon as she heard him start to snore, Penelope stood up and headed for her closet. She didn’t stray from their routine either as she put on a more comfortable set of pajamas, knowing he wouldn’t say anything now that they’d already had sex.
Standing in front of the mirror, a small smile playing on her lips, she admired each one of her tattoos. Since Preston didn’t like any of them, she rarely saw those moments in her life anymore.
The fact that he couldn’t stand something about Penelope that she loved, genuinely shocked her. No one else had made it that far and he’d been the most opposed to everything that made her who she was.
Penelope trotted back to bed, being as quiet as possible, as she thought about where her life was headed. She knew she needed to make a decision about Preston and soon. She stared up at the ceiling and just as her eyes started to get heavy, she realized what made the most sense.
As soon as Sadie shut the back of her truck, Sawyer was ready to get out of the city. He was trying not to throw a fit, but it was hard since he’d walked into the parking garage to discover his bike wasn’t operational. Of course this would be ten minutes before it was time to leave. Thankfully, there was a shop he trusted where they were going and they had already promised him it wouldn’t be long to get it fixed.
Sadie laughed and shook her head as she placed the key in and started the car, recognizing her brother’s impatient demeanor.
“Pretty please don’t let him dangle off any mountains. I don’t care how cool the shot is,” David begged Sadie.
“You know I can’t,” she winked as they pulled onto the road, waving at the pair on the sidewalk.
Sawyer’s knees were bouncing wildly as they made it to the first stoplight. Sadie reached over and put her hand on them to stop the movement.
“They can handle this,” she said.
“Oh, I know,” he replied, staring out the window.
“They’ve been there as long as us,” she continued. “And we own the place, remember?”
“Yes, Sadie, I know. I’m just ready to get out of here.”
She didn’t say another word as they headed underground, into the Holland Tunnel. They rode in silence until they reached a more rural landscape. Sawyer finally turned on the radio for something to listen to as they both watched the changing scenery passing them.
His smile grew wider and more sincere as the mountains finally came into view. He closed his eyes and imagined the rest of the drive in his head, knowing where they were each step of the way.
He crossed his arms as the sun started to set, the air getting cooler the longer they drove. Sawyer took note of how quiet it became the closer they got to Lake Placid, the steady hum of the city completely gone.
Sadie reached over, after a while, and shook him. The lights of several shops were popping on as they came up to the town. Sawyer was grinning like an idiot by the time she turned into the parking lot of the body shop.
“We can go get dinner first,” he offered.
“I’m not dealing with you until we drop your bike off,” Sadie teased.
Sawyer leaned over as she put the car in park and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek before getting out. His mood was infinitely better as he held out his arm for Sadie to take, as she walked along beside him.
“Are you sure you don’t want to stay this weekend? You just got home,” Preston pouted.
It was the only remark he’d made after she blurted out the news. Penelope never knew the best way to do this. No matter what words or moment she chose, they always ended up having an argument. He had caught her red-handed mid-packing, and the deep breath he took before he spoke let her know he was not happy with her decision.
“I didn’t just get home? I haven’t been up there in forever.” she said as she shoved her toiletries into her duffel bag. “Girl’s weekend, remember?”
“Every time you say that, I have the feeling you’re going to a bachelorette party in Vegas.”
Even though she wasn’t looking, the atmosphere around her showed the perfect picture of Preston clenching his jaw, the way he often did when he felt contradicted by her.
“You know it’s not true. Vegas is too far away for a three-day trip. Besides, there are plenty of strip clubs right here in New York.” she teased, throwing a wink at him. But the moment the words came out, she wondered if joking about strip clubs had been the good idea to undo the strain in the conversation.
Surprisingly, the tension did break. She felt him crouch down behind her and give her a kiss on the cheek.
“I just don’t understand why you can’t do it here.”
But he knew why. When in company of her girls, Penelope completely ignored him and had no remorse in doing so. A book was always read in one go. The records were listened to as loud as they would go and on repeat.
She didn’t like him lurking around and he didn’t like being pushed aside, but he stayed anyway. No matter how many times she told he him was free to go to his own apartment, when she needed that time, he stayed. It was as if he enjoyed the torture. They had continued in their little ritual until the day her record player was accidentally left by an open window on a day the rain was lashing down. Preston had sweared it was a accident, but Penelope only half-believed him. Since then, she had made a point to leave the city entirely. He didn’t know that the girls she referred to were the women singing on those records, but she didn’t feel the need to correct him now either.
“I just miss you when you’re not here,” he continued, taking her into his arms.
“Yeah, well, I miss music so…”
She let her words trail off as she watched him roll his eyes one last time. She knew that he wasn’t a bad guy. He was probably one of the better ones in town, which was the reason she’d let the record player episode be forgotten, but the fact that he hated her tastes in music, books, and tattoos was a huge turn off for her. He’d already learned more about her than any other person in the city, but he hadn’t really earned it, as far as she was concerned.
She pulled herself out of his embrace, as they stood in the doorway, and pulled her bag up with her as she gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. Her heels made that recognizable clacking noise as she hurried onto the elevator. She couldn’t get out of there fast enough and she didn’t even look back as she shut the door behind her.
Before she’d even reached the garage, she pulled out her cell phone and started to dial the number to her favorite place.
“Hey, Derrick,” she said, finally letting the twinkle reach her eyes. “We still on?”
“Of course, baby girl. Just waitin’ on you,” he answered.
“I’m, like, ten minutes away. See you in a minute.”
She hung up and got into her car, immediately flipping the switch to allow the music to flow freely through the air. Penelope sang loudly to herself as she drove away from her building and headed to her favorite tattoo parlor. She’d been thinking about this particular one for well over a month now and she was dying to get it on her skin. Preston would hate it, but she didn’t care. She never did anything if it wasn’t for herself.
As she pulled into the parking lot, she wished she’d thought far enough ahead to change into something more comfortable. There was nothing worse, to Penelope, than to look stuck-up in a place like this. She shrugged her shoulders and headed for the door anyway. It would only be five more hours and she’d be on her bike. She could wait a little longer to be herself.
Derrick was all set up the minute she walked in. Penelope had emailed him the picture earlier that day and the sketch was sitting out next to the tattoo gun and black ink he’d need. He was always incredibly professional, but she knew he liked asking his clients what their tattoos meant and she couldn’t wait to tell him this story. He knew designs never came alone, always accompanied by a long tale filled with sadness, love, appreciation, and even sometimes anger.
Penelope never hesitated telling each story around him. It wasn’t because she knew him so well or that he knew her, but because surrounded by all these colors and unconventional people she didn’t have to hide.
“Just the outline?” he asked her again, placing the freshly printed stencil on her shaved arm. “You know I can do the whole picture, right?”
“I know,” she replied. “I really like the outline, promise. Besides, maybe you’ll give me a discount.”
He laughed loudly, both of them knowing she could afford whatever she picked out. This particular scene was very special to her. She’d always felt a unique connection to this artist since whoever he was, hid their identity just like Penelope. She knew how freeing it was for no one to know the real you underneath. She closed her eyes and let the buzzing lull her to sleep. Derrick poked her awake again and she thanked him before rushing back out the door.
She reveled in the tingly feeling of a fresh tattoo as she drove upstate. It was a longer drive than she liked to Lake Placid, but she blasted her road trip playlist and before she noticed she was pulling into the driveway.
A light breeze blew her hair away from her face as she made her way to the garage. The sun was about to set, but she was willing to get in a few minutes on her motorcycle than have to wait until the next day.
The strong smell of wood and dust greeted her the minute she stepped foot in the foyer. Despite the abandonment, by Penelope, the cabin looked cozy as ever. A little fire going would make it feel like she’d never left.
She could still hear her Grandpa Reid’s stories echoing off the walls as she walked to the master bedroom. It had been his cabin before being passed on to her Dad and eventually to her. The sweetest memories of her childhood, if not her whole life, had been made in this place.
She and her twin brother, Oliver, had spent most summers playing hide-and-seek in the woods, making s’mores in the fire pit in the front yard, and doing cannonballs off the deck into the lake. Just about the time they’d grown out of those games, their little brother Jackson had come along to give them a chance to do it all again.
She tossed her bag onto the bed and went straight for the garage. Since she’d not been here in weeks, she knew her bike probably wouldn’t start due to the neglect. She hadn’t meant to be gone so long, but riding it in the city wasn’t a option. She’d worked hard to get where she was and didn't want to taint her reputation by being the tattooed woman who just happened to be a lawyer also. She knew it wasn’t fair that the fact that she owned a vintage Harley would translate to her not winning a case, at least for others, but the business she was in tended to be brutal and unforgiving.
She threw her leg over and took a deep breath as she tried to start it. Just as she expected, a faint whimper was all it gave her so she pulled her phone out and called the nearest body shop, which also happened to be her favorite. She didn’t have to explain much of the situation as she put it in neutral and dragged it toward her other car, a Jeep. If she was lucky, she’d get to ride it tomorrow.
Sawyer sat in the waiting room ready to hear the diagnosis of his bike so he and Sadie could head to the hotel for the night. As he put his head back and stared out the window, he noticed every guy in the shop was rushing outside. He couldn’t help as his curiosity caused his eyes to stayed glued to the scene.
Must be a woman, Sawyer thought to himself.
As his interest waned, he turned his head back to the glass wall that opened to the shop. He didn’t even turn to see who walked in as the little bell above the door signaled someone had. A smirk crossed Sawyer’s features when he realized he had been right as a woman sat in a chair directly across from him.
She stuck out like a sore thumb in the small town, her clothes giving her away. She had on tan high heels, but not so high as to be considered skanky. They perfectly complemented her black power suit with a deep red tie, though, and it was then that Sawyer realized he did care because he was staring. His normally aloof attitude was long gone, now, as Sadie coughed to regain his attention.
“Dude, calm yourself,” she whispered, turning to the woman too.
He shot her a look that told her to be quiet before she embarrassed them both and she turned back to her out-of-date magazine.
An older gentlemen came out of a side office, he hadn’t noticed before, and headed to the small desk before waving him over. Sawyer jumped up from his seat, but as soon as he was close enough, the older man held up a finger to show him he needed another minute. He looked around Sawyer to the same mystery woman and he started to feel sorry for her.
“Penelope?” he asked, smiling. “Is that you, sweet girl?”
“Billy,” she cried, jumping up too.
Sawyer could hear her heels clicking closer and closer and he found himself getting nervous for no reason at all. Sawyer moved to the side to give them some space as she leaned over the counter to give the man a hug.
“The bike’s here?” Billy asked, to which she just nodded. “Well, this guy here has the same bike, same problem,” he said, jabbing a finger in Sawyer’s direction.
She looked over at him finally, offered a small smirk, much like the one Sawyer had worn moments before and turned back to Billy. “Well, I think it won’t start because I haven’t ridden mine in forever. Just change the oil, the battery, and gas it up. Should be fine. You know, the usual.”
“If you came up here more often then you wouldn’t have to worry about your bike being all neglected,” Billy said, laying the guilt on thick.
“But then I’d never get to see you,” she flirted back.
The old man chuckled and Sawyer couldn’t help as his mouth fell open in surprise. Sure, all these things were extremely basic, but the fact that she even had a bike was pretty amazing.
“Should be ready for both of you tomorrow morning. Sound okay?”
“Yeah,” they replied together.
Penelope bent back over the counter and placed a quick kiss on Billy’s cheek before walking right back out the door without another glance in Sawyer’s direction. Her floral perfume lingered in the air for moment, mixed with motor oil, and he had to shake his head to bring himself back. He heard Billy snigger as he turned to watch her leave before looking back to Sadie.
“What?” he asked, noticing the look on his sister’s face.
“Marry her,” she replied. “I haven’t seen you look at anything like that in my whole life.”
He rolled his eyes and stuck his tongue out at her as they walked back outside. He knew he was drawn to her, but none of it mattered because he’d probably never see her again and there was no way he was getting his bike done first, either.
The more he thought about it, the more he realized she probably wouldn’t even be the one to pick it up; certainly not alone. There was going to be some big, burly boyfriend who picked it up with her. That was definitely more Sawyer’s luck anyway.
He sat in the passenger seat of Sadie’s truck and listened to her yammer away about dinner and the trails nearby. He agreed to join her at some point, but he needed to get back on his bike for a couple of hours first. He craved the feeling only his motorcycle, and alcohol, could give him now and one of those was completely off-limits.
Sawyer turned over in his bed and adjusted the sheets that were tangled around his leg. He could hear Sadie snoring quietly in the bed across from his, as he reached over blindly and grabbed the remote from the nightstand. He could see the sun peeking through the curtains to his left, but he wanted to make sure that there wouldn’t be any afternoon storms to ruin his fun.
He was happy to see a cloudless day ahead, as he watched the local news, and went straight into the bathroom to get ready; anxious energy taking over as he thought of finally having his motorcycle back.
Walking back into the room, he could hear Sadie planning her day, on the phone with who he could only assume was Violet. Sawyer smiled over at her before finding something to wear. Thankfully, Sadie was just as antsy as he was and it wasn’t long before they were heading out to her truck again.
“Umm, where are you going?” she called after him.
Sawyer retraced his steps and peered around the wall to see his sister holding his helmet and jacket. He looked at her apologetically as he took them, letting Sadie lock the door behind the both of them. He hadn’t purposely meant to forget them, not that she would believe that, but he wasn’t in love with wearing them either. If it was what he had to do to get to ride without much argument, he was going to do it.
After loading everything up, including all of Sadie’s photography equipment, they headed to the body shop from yesterday. Sawyer let the wind rush across his face as he watched the small town wake up.
Penelope opened her eyes to the sunlight streaming through the nearby window. She stretched wide and grinned, ready to start her day. Her mood was always significantly better when she was here, versus being in the city. This place, her place, would always be her true home.
She threw her feet over the side of the bed and hurried to the bathroom, realizing exactly what she go to do today. Penelope found herself rushing through her shower and breakfast and it wasn’t hard to see why.
She let her wet hair hit her shoulders and back, as made her way back downstairs to call a cab. She opened all the curtains and let the sun naturally warm the cabin as she heard the dial tone in her ear. She punched in the number she’d memorized long ago and waited for someone to pick up.
“Hello, thank you for calling Placid Taxi. This is Diane. How may I help you?”
“Hey, it’s Penelope,” she said, “Is Ray there today?”
“Hi, Ms. Penelope. Yes, he is. Are your parents here too?”
“No, ma’am. Just me.”
“Well, at least you can relax. I know you work too hard,” she scolded quietly.
“Yes ma’am,” Penelope laughed.
“Okay, I’ll make sure Ray is the one who picks you up. Is 8:15 alright?”
Penelope looked over at the clock on the stainless steel stove and noticed she only have 20 minutes, but she was ready to go so she agreed. As soon as the phone was back on its holder, she rushed off to finish drying her hair.
Rushing around she almost didn’t stop to look herself over in the mirror. A smile played on her lips knowing that everything she had on would drive Preston crazy. Her favorite pair of tattered jeans rode low on her hips and perfectly contradicted her normal tailored pair. Penelope’s tattoos where on display and she bit her lip as she took stock of each one.
She heard the cab honking from the driveway and raced off to greet it. Penelope made sure to grab her helmet as she passed the back door, not wanting anything to slow her down.
She didn’t even bother to lock the door as she waved to Ray. No one ever came this way and the cabin was pretty secluded. If she hadn’t known everyone in the area her whole life, she might be worried.
“Hi, Ray,” she said, as she bounded through the garage.
“Hey, Penelope,” he answered, smiling sweetly.”How’s my favorite girl?”
“Good,” she beamed as she slid across the backseat. “How’ve you been?”
“Just missing you,” Ray admitted. “Wanna grab your mail before or after?”
“Can I just do it tomorrow?”
“Of course. I’ll leave it in your box to pick up whenever. It’s a lot, though,” he responded, chuckling.
“I’m sorry,” she confessed. “I didn’t mean to be gone so long.”
“That’s okay. Us mountain folk just miss you when you leave,” he replied, winking at her in the rearview mirror.
“Any good gossip?”
“Oh, yeah. Remember the Becks?” she nodded. “Well, he couldn’t keep his hands to hisself it seems. She left him and moved in with Kevin.”
“Wow,” she said, “what did his mom say?”
“She called her a hussy and now Kevin isn’t talking to her, again. But we know how long that lasts.”
“Who even uses ‘hussy’ anymore?”
They managed to find something to gossip about all the way to the shop. She settled into her seat and began to braid her long hair, knowing it wouldn’t stay out of her face when she rode. Even her helmet couldn’t tame it. She’d only waited as long as she had to cut it because it would make Preston happy. She was starting to hate how much he dictated these days. She managed to finish just as they pulled into the parking lot, letting it hang off one of her shoulders.
“How much?” she asked, pulling her wallet out of her back pocket.
“Now, Ms. Penelope, you know I don’t charge you,” he said.
“Oh my God, Ray, did you not even turn the meter on?”