Click here to read the first post about Finnie: Finnie :: Part I
“What the hell? I was just trying to drink and have a little bit of a freakin’ good time. You never understand. Let go!”
The ground hovered precariously close as my high heeled boots miscalculated the distance between the bottom of the step and the asphalt lining the parking lot. The smell of stale beer and cigarette smoke clung to my hair and my jacket as familiar hands drug me to the nearest car away from the bar.
“Shut it, Finnie. You’re already in some deep shit,” he snapped, tossing me like a rag doll into the front passenger seat. Reaching across me, I slapped hard at his muscled, upper arms as he cinched the seat belt around my waist.
“Watch it, Mr. Grabby Hands,” I yelled, yanking away.
“Oh, Jesus Christ,” he muttered, cussing my immature behavior. “Just belt yourself in then.”
Giving up to walk around the front of the car, I forced myself not to stick my tongue out at his jibe as he had his back turned. My hair frizzed around my shoulder blades, the blue roots glowing in the dusk light as it curled from the humidity.
Slamming the driver’s door shut, Tate turned the key without looking my direction. The leather seats smelled like night air, the mix of his cologne lingering around me in the close cab.
“Since when did you become such a buzz kill anyway?”
I heard his annoyed intake of breath, pointedly looking at my lap at my unbuckled belt.
“Now, Finnie. I won’t ask again.”
“Oh, stop calling me that, already,” I bit, tugging the seat belt around and down into the holster until it clicked. “Satisfied?”
Nodding, he reversed out of the spot and aimed north once we hit the highway. The breeze spun through the open windows of the Chevelle, warm enough to be pleasant and welcomed. My hot cheeks cooled gradually, the fade of alcohol still clinging to my lips like the neon lights of bar in the distance.
“You okay? Rylen, seriously,” Tate quietly asked, voice low and hands loose on the steering wheel. “I didn’t wanna do that to you. Sorry if I threw you too hard.”
Leaning my head against the back of the seat rest, I nodded. My anger was fading quickly as my body acclimated to the roar of the engine down the highway and the soft buzz of the radio.
Not even twenty four hours before, I’d have been pissed to be bailed out and rescued by Tate. Now, everything was different.
“You had to do what you had to do to be convincing,” I slurred, turning to look at him. “If that made any sense at all.”
Smiling, he reached across the seat and pulled my hand into his. His rough hand enclosed mine easily, guiding it to his thigh where it rested softly.
“I’m just glad you’re safe,” he drawled. “Blue hair suits you, lil momma.”
Squeezing his hand in thanks, I blushed warmly at his compliment, thankful for the darkness of the space. I knew we needed to discuss tonight’s events but I couldn’t force myself to break the moment. We rarely had two seconds to ourselves, I selfishly wanted to relish in the thirty minute drive back to the station.
Minutes passed, nothing but the low tones of the radio and the occasional sigh between us. Strange how quiet could be so comforting. The adrenaline rush from fighting in the bar gradually withered, leaving me exhausted in its wake.
“You can sleep if you want,” Tate whispered, reading my mind. “I’ll go in and talk to the boys then take you home. Lean that seat back and close your eyes for a bit.”
Knowing he didn’t have to tell me twice, I released his hand to slide off the leather jacket around my shoulders. Revealing my sleeveless top, my tattoos blurred together in the darkness, lines of black and grey running together on my skin.
“You know. Tequila sucks,” I murmured, closing my eyes.
Morning cut through the curtains of my bedroom like a knife through warm butter. Head pounding, I drug myself out from beneath my covers and surveyed my body for damages. A few bruises and minor cuts dotted my skin, nothing worse for wear.
“Come get some coffee,” Tate yelled, his voice echoing through the kitchen into my room. My pulse rocketed at the shout in the dead quiet, not realizing I wasn’t alone in my apartment. “I don’t care what you look like.”
“Death,” I yelled back, eyeing myself in the mirror. “Better be some damn good coffee, intruder.”
My sweats drug the hardwood floor around my feet as I stumbled my way into the kitchen.
“Please tell me you didn’t dress me,” I whined. “What the hell happened last night?”
Suppressing a smile, Tate placed a cup before me on the island as I tugged my way onto a bar stool. The warm aroma drifted delicately around me, waking my senses. Tate took a seat across from me, flipping through a magazine I’d left laying on the counter.
“You dressed yourself, grouch. We made it back to town late, I went in and delayed all the paper work until today, then brought you home. You not only walked yourself in here, you immediately demanded I leave so you could strip. Which I did. I just now got back in here about ten minutes ago. I wanted to make sure you were alive,” he explained. “Good to see tequila still kicks your ass. Glad something has that capability.”
Flipping him off, I sipped slowly on the hot mug, savoring the sweetness.
“Take a shower, make yourself presentable. We’ve got work to do,” he stated, standing. Patting my back gently, he strode toward the door before turning to toss my keys onto the island. “Oh. And, Finnie?”
Mumbling an incoherent recognition through my closed mouth, he continued:
“You kissed me.”
Spewing coffee onto the island and up my nose, I turned to face my partner.
Smile as wide as a Cheshire cat, he opened the door and left.
Copyright © 2016 Pearl Bayou