The Fate Of A Marlowe Girl (The Marlowe Girls) (3 page)

BOOK: The Fate Of A Marlowe Girl (The Marlowe Girls)
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A silver sports car pulled up. The valet got out and handed the keys to Luke, who opened the passenger door for me and got in the other side.

“You have a really nice car,” I said.

He shrugged. “It's a rental.”

“Where is your car?”

“Unavailable.”

Whatever that meant.

“Do you think Kammy's okay?”

He laughed. “Mexican jails aren't much worse than US jails. She'll be alright.”

“I didn't mean—”

“I know. You're trying to take care of your sister. But she'll be okay. It might not be up to her standards, but she's too drunk to remember that.”

“That's true.”

“You know, you still haven't told me your name, mystery girl.”

Yes, I did. Didn't I? Oh, my God. He was totally right. He called me angel. I got busy flirting. I forgot! Smooth, Tiffany. Real smooth.

I laughed at my own stupidity. “Tiffany.”

“So, Tiffany, why are you
doing your taxes on vacation?”

“I didn't say I was doing
my
taxes.” I actually hadn't had time to do that yet. “I said I was doing taxes.”

“So, angel girl is doing some
one else's taxes on vacation?”

I shrugged. “I'm an accountant. It's my job.”

“Where did you go to school?”

“SMU.”

“Eww—rich white girl.”

I laughed. “Well, I did have a college fund, but I had a scholarship, too. It wasn't much more than if I went to a public school. What about you?” I asked to be polite, but the truth was unless it was in Mexico City, I would have never heard of it.

“UT.”

Okay, wrong.
UT, I knew.
“What do you do?”

He shrugged. “Not much. Help out on
mi abuela's
sugar plantation.”

“You went to UT to farm sugar?” I realized how rude that sounded as soon as I said it. But UT wasn't the easiest school to get into, and international tuition is steep. Why would anyone do that to work on his grandmother’s farm?

He laughed. “It was a fun six years.”

“Not very studious, huh?”

He took his eyes off the road for a brief moment and looked at me with a crease in his forehead. “Not studious?”

“Well, even if you take summers off, college is only four years.”

He gave me a smug smile. “What can I say? I spent a lot of time with girls like your sister and her friends.”

I laughed.

“In fact, a few of those could have been exes.”

Are you serious? Maybe, it could happen twice.
My face grew serious. “Not Kammy, right?”

His voice took a tone of caution. “Not Kammy what?”

“Kammy couldn't be an ex.”

“I was actually joking.”

“Oh,” I said as I blew out a breath. But I'd just made a decision. Dinner, an address to my sister's jail cell, and this was done. I was right in the beginning. Guys like Luke don't belong with girls like me.

He pulled up in front of a small cafe on the beach.

“I'm not one of those guys that orders for you, usually, but you have to let me tonight.”

“Okay, but then I get to order for you.”

He laughed. “Okay, why?”

“Because if I do
n't like what you order for me, I'm eating yours.”

“I like bold girls.”

“I'm not bold, only hungry.”

We walked toward the dark restaurant. Luke tried to open the door and found it to be locked. “What? This place is always open,” he said. He flicked his wrist and looked down at his big gold watch. “It's after midnight.”

“Oh, my God, I should get Kammy.”

“We should get food. I'm such a loser. I can't believe I took a girl to a closed restaurant on a first date.”

That was odd.
He
was worried about impressing
me?

Back in the car, Luke said, “I know one more place we can try, and if that's not open, we're eating at my place.”

“What makes you think I'm going to your place? I don't even know you.”

“Well, you've been kicked out of your hotel room. Everything is closed, and I'm guessing you don't have a driver’s license here, so I don't think you have many options. But fortunately for you, I can't engage in criminal activity, so you're perfectly safe.”

“Why can't you engage in criminal activity?”

“My grandparents know everyone. If people talked, they'd beat me up.”

Luke was more than six feet tall, all of that muscle. I tried to imagine a couple of old people beating him up. It made me laugh.

“What?”

“I'm pretty sure you could handle your grandparents.”

“Then, my dad would beat me up.”

“He's old, too.”

“My brothers would gang up on me if I hit my dad.”

“I don't know. I saw you take two strippers down at once, and those guys were pretty muscular.”

“They were also drunk.”

“Whatever.”

We pulled up next to a trailer on the street. “Are you serious?”

“They have good tacos.”

“I'm not eating from a truck.”

“You're one of those Americans who thinks everywhere else is third world, right?”

“Not really. But I don't eat from a truck at home, and I'm not doing it here.”

He laughed. “So, you're willing to risk going to my place?”

“Yes, but I get to cook.”

“Oh, so you're coming to my place and taking over.”

“It was your idea, Romeo.”

He laughed. “You've loosened up a lot from the girl doing taxes on a laptop in the bar.”

“Well since then, my little sister got arrested with a truckload of strippers. My credit card has most likely been maxed out, and I'm sure the transaction was declined, so I'll probably get sued for the rest. The guy who translated the police for me took a blow to the eye and still wants to have dinner with me, and I realized right before you walked outside the hotel that I have no clothes or blow dryer, or toothbrush, or personal belongings of any kind, because my suitcase was in that room. I don't have much left to lose. I could probably even stomach a margarita right now.”

He laughed. “I watched you try to drink liquor. You can't stomach a margarita. I have an extra toothbrush you can have and—”

“Gross.”

“What?”

“I don't want your toothbrush.”


Chica
, it's still in the wrapper. I'm not going to give you a used toothbrush. God, white girls are crazy.”

Once again, I felt stupid.

“Fine.”

He laughed. “Fine?”

“Fine.” Now I was laughing.

In spite of the fact that I had way too many problems to count, I was having fun tonight.

 

Chapter 5

Luke pulled into the parking lot of a huge building on the beach. “We're upstairs and to the right,” he said.

“Wow, this is really nice,” I said when we walked through the door. Marble floors and granite countertops, lots of wide open spaces.

“Thank you,” he said.

The kitchen opened into the living room, so it was easy to find my way there. It was too late for dinner. I wanted breakfast. I opened his refrigerator wondering what I would find. Guys usually didn't buy the best food, but the fridge was well stocked. I took a carton of eggs, a tomato, onion, some jalapenos, cheese, and searched the shelf, hoping to find one last thing.

“Straight to the point,” Luke said.

“Hey, I told you I get to cook.”

My eyes landed on the chorizo. “Yes!” I grabbed the sausage and put it on the counter with the other ingredients.

“Where is a pan?” I asked.

“Under the stove.”

I bent down, popped the drawer open, and grabbed the pan. I set to work cracking eggs and chopping vegetables.

“Do you have tortillas?” That was one thing I couldn't make from scratch.

“I have the best tortillas in Mexico,” he said, grabbing a container from the pantry.

“Good. Just curious, where do the best tortillas in Mexico come from?”


Mi abuela
made them.” He paused for a moment. “You're enjoying this. Your eyes light up when you cook.”

“I wanted to be a chef.”

“So, why aren't you?”

“I'm way too responsible for that.”


Chica
, you need to learn how to have fun. There is more to life than money.”

“That's probably true, but I like not having to worry about paying my bills. And I would say I like not working nights and weekends, except I usually end up working them anyhow.” Although, I really was having fun tonight, with a guy I'd probably never see again. I enjoyed the moment and dreaded the end. And still, I didn't regret leaving my sister hanging in jail while I made breakfast for a chivalrous hottie. “You want to hear something really evil?”

“Sure. Evil is usually fun.”

“I'm thinking of calling my dad or Emmett and telling them that Kammy is not my responsibility. They need to wire me bail.”

He laughed. “If your dad doesn't want to bail her out, I don't see why you should have to. Who is Emmett?”

Well, there were a couple of ways to answer that question. I chose the simple one. “Her fiancé.”

Luke shrugged. “He's marrying the girl. I'd say she's more his responsibility than yours.”

“She'd be pissed. Because if I did that, I'd have to tell him why she was arrested.”

“I kind of think the guy has a right to know the girl he's about to marry got arrested at a strip party.”

“Well, it's not like he's got clean hands.”

“Oh?”

“I don't know of anything. I just don't think so.”
Once a cheater, always a cheater.

Luke looked at me with bewilderment in his eyes. He knew there was a missing piece of information here, but I didn't feel like talking about it. It didn't matter. Besides, cooking breakfast for a hot guy at 1 a.m. was way more fun than hashing out the past.

“Plates?” I asked.

He grabbed a couple from a cabinet and popped the tortilla container in the microwave. I piled migas and homemade salsa on both our plates.

“Let's take it to the balcony,” he said.

It was so dark I hadn't noticed the huge glass door at the other end of the living room. We walked onto the balcony and set our plates on a wrought iron table. From here, the ocean sparkled and shined. This disastrous night turned out to be amazing.

“Are you going to call your dad or Emmett for the money?”

“I don't know. Kammy would be really mad at me either way.”

For the first time all night, there was no trace of a smile or humor on his face. “I think you should be really mad at her.”

I shrugged. “I am.” The difference was when Kammy got mad she turned the whole family against me. When I got mad, I avoided her phone calls for a while. If I had to talk to her, I was polite. I spent as little time with her as possible.

“If you're mad, she can be mad, too. It's even.”

“She'll turn everyone against me.”

“Do you have an older brother or sister?”

I shook my head.

“I—I know what it's like to be the oldest, but I don't think your family can blame you for her and her friends hiring entertainment you were unaware of and then her getting drunk and going wild.”

“They'll say I'm mad because she's marrying Emmett, and I'm making trouble for her.”

He sat his fork down. “Tiffany, tell me about Emmett.”

I shrugged. “Not much to tell.”

“You don't call him her fiancé. You call him Emmett, and they'd assume you're mad she's marrying him, not that she's getting married. Come on, what's the story.”

“We kind of dated.”

“For how long?”

“A year.”

“That's not casual.”

“I guess. It wasn't really serious either.”

“So, why'd you waste a year with him?”

“I don't know. He made me laugh. We had fun together. I felt comfortable with him. In the beginning, there were sparks. He's really hot, but it got stale after a while. I was getting ready to break it off. I've got a really good job for a twenty-four-year-old. It's not perfect, but I make enough money to pay for my car, live alone, have savings, and buy what I want as long as I don't want anything expensive. He barely graduated and never got a real job. I felt superficial breaking up with him over that, but he seemed really irresponsible. I was waiting to see if it would get better.”

“But it didn't.”

“But I came home after a particularly bad day at work and found him on the couch with my sister on my couch.”

BOOK: The Fate Of A Marlowe Girl (The Marlowe Girls)
11.38Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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