The only employee other than Hillary who was working today was Gretchen. This was my second time working with her, and she was very loud and chatty. She laughed a lot too. And she had a ton of male clients. The tight leather pants she was so fond of seemed to be popular with the men.
“I heard you talking to your son earlier on the phone. You mentioned Dewayne,” Hillary said as she sauntered back into the room in spiked heels. How that woman wore those heels and stood on her feet all day was beyond me.
I nodded, not sure why she was bringing up the short conversation I’d had with Micah an hour ago to make sure everything was okay. He’d been outside throwing the football around with Dewayne and had been ready to get off the phone with me and go back to having fun.
“Was it Falco you were talking about? Seeing as how you knew Amanda Hardy when she came in, and then I heard Dewayne’s name, and since he’s one of Preston’s friends I thought maybe you knew Dewayne, too.”
Still wasn’t sure why this mattered. “Yeah, it was Dewayne Falco. He’s watching Micah for me today.”
Hillary studied me a moment, and then a small grin tugged on her lips. “You’re not messing around with Dewayne, are you? He ain’t a sticking-around kind of guy. He’s more of a several-girls-a-week kind of guy.”
I already knew this. Dewayne had always been a player. However, I wasn’t interested in Dewayne for any reason other than to be a part of Micah’s life. Micah needed a man in his life, and his uncle would be his only chance to have that.
“You seeing Dewayne Falco?” Gretchen asked, swinging her head around and sending her dark curls bouncing. “That boy can . . . do it well. You know what I mean. Damn near ruined me for anyone else. I had to work him out of my system.”
Hillary gave me a pointed look as if to say, See what I mean?
I was trying to push all thoughts of Dewayne and Gretchen doing it well out of my head. Not a mental image I needed, even though I was sure Dewayne’s naked ass was a lovely sight to behold.
“I swear, if he came sniffing around again, I’d give him a go and deal with the withdrawal later. He’s just that good.”
Okay, I’d had enough of Gretchen’s sexfest with Dewayne. “He’s an old friend. He was my high school boyfriend’s older brother. Nothing more. He’s just helping me out by watching Micah.” I finished cleaning up my station as I talked. I didn’t want either of their prying eyes on me, but I could feel them burning a hole in my head.
“You dated his younger brother? The one who was in the accident?”
Crap. Not what I wanted to talk about. I simply nodded and kept busy. I wasn’t allowing Dustin to become a topic of conversation.
Gretchen seemed to get that, so she didn’t pry and she shut up. Relieved, I put the broom away and grabbed my phone to see if I had a text from Micah. Normally, he texted me several times when he was staying with someone. He hadn’t texted me at all today. Dewayne must’ve been entertaining him.
Gretchen changed the subject to her need for a pedicure and the date she had tonight with some guy named Green. Anyone with the name Green sounded unstable, but I didn’t say anything. Gretchen had a different guy every weekend, mostly her customers from the salon.
“Tomorrow night is girls’ night. When are you coming out with us, Sienna?” Hillary asked as she looked at me in the mirror she was standing in front of to fix her hair.
“I can’t leave Micah at night,” I said by way of explanation. I would never be going out with them. I was positive their going out meant drinking and men. I didn’t have time for either.
“Can’t you get a sitter?” Gretchen asked.
It was odd how Gretchen was two years older than me but acted much younger. She seemed like she never had any real worries and was always partying and going out. I shook my head. “I don’t know anyone I can leave Micah with and feel comfortable. I don’t think Dewayne would be open to watching him on a weekend night. He has his own social life to see to.”
“My younger sister is a sitter. She has been to classes and everything to learn CPR and handle all those emergency situations. She’s only seventeen, but she’s good at it. Makes good money and has several regulars who have come to trust her and call on her.” Hillary’s seventeen-year-old sister was the same age I was when I’d had to grow up fast. I didn’t doubt her because of her age, but I wasn’t sure I was ready to leave Micah with a stranger.
“I’ll think about it,” I said, not wanting to insult Hillary.
She nodded. “I understand. But she would gladly come spend some time with you and Micah so you can get to know her. She learned that it was better for the kids and parents if she did that first before sitting for them.”
Hillary’s sister would also require money. From the sound of her professionalism with the whole sitting thing, she probably charged more than I could pay. I didn’t want to spend our money on me going out when Micah needed so many things. I had his future to think about.
“Money’s tight right now. Maybe when it isn’t so tight, I’ll give her a call,” I said, hoping this was enough to get Hillary to stop pressing the issue.
She shrugged. “Just let me know when you think you’re ready. I’ll hook you up.”
I thanked her and checked my phone again for a text.
The kid could throw a football. For five years old, he had an impressive arm. He was obsessed with basketball, but he had a talent that was going untapped. I caught the next ball he hurled at me and watched as he grinned and blew his fingers as if they were on fire. It was something my brother would have done.