Getting Worked Up

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Phoebe took a seat on the bench across from him and crossed her arms on the table top. “You gonna make it?”


“You sure?”

He lifted a shoulder. “I’ve been worse off than this. But it usually involves way more liquor, a couple cigars, staying up until the sun comes up and—” He caught Phoebe’s wide eyes and shifted on his seat. Maybe that was too much sharing too early on.

“And a couple of blonds and brunettes on the side?” Phoebe asked.

He cleared his throat. “Past life. That’s over. I’m turning over a new leaf.”

Phoebe gave him a knowing look. “That’s not a denial on the multiple girls.”

“Past life,” he repeated.

“Ah.” She nodded. And certainly didn’t seem shocked or disgusted. “Well, you’re gonna have to change your ways if you’re gonna live here,” Phoebe said. She was studying the back of the booth beside his shoulder with a frown.

“What do you mean? If that Booze is a regular thing around here, you’re all way wilder and tougher than me,” he said lightly.

Phoebe looked up. “Well, there is that.”

“Then I should be fine.”

“Sure, as long as vanilla is your favorite flavor, you’ll be great.”

He leaned in. “Are we talking about vodka, ice cream or sex?”

She leaned in too. “Do you like vanilla in any of those things?”

“Nope. Vodka isn’t my drink and I like some flavor and even a few add-ins with both ice cream and sex.”

“Add-ins?” Phoebe repeated.

“Like crushed up oreos and colored sprinkles.” Joe made note of Phoebe’s bright-blue sleeveless top. He also knew that her capris were yellow, as were her flip flops, though they had blue rhinestones that glittered from the straps.

He really did like colored sprinkles.

“You use oreos and colored sprinkles during sex?”

He grinned. “Sure. Or chocolate syrup. Or edible body lotion. Or other add-ins. You know…toys, handcuffs, naughty costumes. That kind of stuff.”

Phoebe licked her lips and Joe couldn’t look away from the shine on her bottom lip. “What kind of costumes?” She was practically whispering now.

Phoebe Sherwood never whispered. He’d known her less than twenty-four hours and he knew that.

He liked this. He lowered his voice too. “I’ve always been partial to naughty teachers.”

Phoebe blushed.

He liked that too. It was probably almost as rare as the being-quiet thing. But he didn’t know why she’d be blushing. “Do you have a naughty-teacher costume?” he asked, so hoping the answer was yes.

“I am a teacher.”

He thought about that, his grin growing. “And here I was gonna say that I thought my new favorite might be a naughty farm girl.”

She blushed brighter at that and he laughed.

“You shouldn’t be flirting with me,” she finally said.

He sighed, his smile fading. “Yeah, you’re right.”

“You can’t really help it though, huh?”

“It tends to get the better of me.”

“You’re gonna have to tone it down.”

“Hanging out with you isn’t going to help me there.”

They sat looking at each other. Joe honestly didn’t know how he should feel at that moment. Maybe apologetic, but that didn’t seem to be sinking in.