Home > Crank (The Gibson Boys #1)(16)

Crank (The Gibson Boys #1)(16)
Author: Adriana Locke

Scooting the mouse away from the keyboard, I turn towards her. “Sure. What’s up?”

“There’s a light on in my car.” She sets off describing it in the most girlish terms I can imagine. She’s animated today, rambling on and on about calling the shop but wanting to know what it means so she can go in there armed to the teeth and not get taken advantage of. “Do you know what that is?”

“It’s your oil light. When’s the last time your oil was changed?”

She shrugs. “When I was in Georgia.”

“How long ago was that?”

“Last summer.”

My head falling back, I sigh. “You’re way overdue. You can’t let your car go that long.”

“Well, my light should’ve come on before now,” she insists. “I have an appointment after I leave here at the dealership. I just don’t want them lying to me. I usually have one of my brothers take it in and handle it. Or Troy.”

“Who’s Troy?” I ask, not sure I want to know.

“My brother Barrett’s guy.”

“Is he gay?”

She bursts out laughing, leaping off the desk. “That would be a no.”

She prances around the room, making a pot of coffee and wiping off the table where sugar appears to have been spilled. This is why I can’t start looking at her—I can’t stop. As she buzzes around the room, fiddling with everything she can, I don’t even get annoyed. It doesn’t even bother me. I’m too absorbed with a plethora of questions to pay attention to all the things she’s moving around.

Before I know what’s happening, she stops. “Something wrong?”

Looking at the floor, I shove around the desk and head for the garage. “Nope. Have a good day, Sienna.”

“You too . . .”

WIPING MY HANDS ON a towel, I push the door to the lobby open with my shoulder. My brain is calculating the quantity of line I need to order when I stop in my tracks. Sienna is standing beside Nana who has a half-eaten muffin in her hand.

“Oh, there you are, Walker,” Nana says, popping the rest of the muffin into her mouth. “I came in here looking for you and found this sweet girl instead.”

I look at Sienna out of the corner of my eye. Smug doesn’t even begin to describe the look on her beautiful face, like she won over Nana. Like that means something.

“I just got out to the garage yesterday and had a look at the work you and Machlan did for me. Such good boys, the both of you,” she says, patting the side of my cheek. “What would I do without my sweet grandsons?”

“It wasn’t a big deal,” I say, feeling a little smug myself.

“If you come to dinner on Sunday, I’ll make a pecan pie.”

“Are you bribing me with pie?”

“Would you rather have cake?” Her hand drops from my face with a sigh. “I need your behind in a pew on Sunday, Walker. You can go out on Saturday and be friends with Jack and Jim, but I need you friendly with Jesus the next morning.”

Sienna bursts out laughing, the melody like a song.

“What’s so funny?” I ask.

“That Jack and Jim line. My mama would love it, Nana.”

Nana’s attention switches from pie to Sienna. “Does your mama expect you to attend services on Sunday?”

“Well . . .” Sienna blushes. “We go on Easter, Christmas Eve, Grandma’s birthday when she was alive. But not every Sunday, no.”

Sienna doesn’t know the pass she just gave me. As Nana heads her way, the pie all but forgotten, Sienna looks at me. I wink, watching her cheeks turn an adorable shade of pink.

“Well, dear, I expect your behind at Holy Hills church on Sunday. Services start at nine and run just under an hour. Surely, you can find it in your heart to give an hour to God.”

“I . . . um . . .” Sienna looks at me for help. “I’ll try.”

Shaking my head, I cross my arms across my chest and watch her struggle against my grandmother. It’s a battle of strong-willed ladies, and I’m not sure who will win.

“It’s next to the library. Big ol’ cross in the front. You can’t miss it,” Nana says. “I’ll see you there. Both of you.”

“I’ll be there,” I tell her, watching her beam. “You know how much I love pecan pie.”

“Don’t come for the pie, Walker. Come for the lesson. Then the pie.” She turns towards the door, calling over her shoulder, “Your muffins were delicious, Sienna. I’d love the recipe.”

“I’ll bring it on Sunday?”

It’s more of a question than a statement, but it lights Nana’s face up all the same.

“You do that. Have a good day, both of you.” She sends me a knowing grin before fluttering out the door.

The chimes settle and the room draws smaller. Shoving my hands into my pockets, I look at the girl next to me.

Her legs are capped with a pair of navy shorts and a brown tank hugs her curves, dipping low enough to showcase the tops of her breasts. As if the roundness weren’t enough of a draw, she’s added a long, gold necklace with a heart at the end that snuggles just above her cleavage. It’s like a warning sign and an invitation all at once.

“You two seemed comfortable,” I note, trying to start us out on neutral ground.


“You and Nana.”

“Your Nana is a pistol,” she says, circling around the desk. She lifts a tray into the air. “Want a muffin?”

A muffin is the last thing I want right now. I know not to do it and the entire time my eyes draw up her arm, over her chest, and up to her gorgeous face, I tell myself to stop. Pleading with my brain to take over and force the rest of me to get in line, I continue to roam over her, committing each little curve and dip to memory.

I’m an asshole for doing this. I’m a complete dick for letting myself pretend anything with this girl is possible. Yet, when I settle on her bright blue eyes, they twinkle happily, which only makes me feel worse.

“Is that a no?” she asks. Setting the tray down, she watches me with a confidence that I want to fuck right out of her. Ignoring me as I start to speak, she snaps up the landline. “Crank,” she singsongs into the line.

Adjusting myself while she takes notes on a scrap of paper, I grasp for some equilibrium. I think I have it until she looks at me again, sending me off-kilter.

“This is Rusty Carmine. He said they have a welding issue at their warehouse. He said you usually send Peck out to fix it and that it’s urgent.”

“Yeah. Tell him he’ll be there,” I say, signaling for Peck. Before she gets off the phone, Peck is on his way to his truck.

Pouring a cup of coffee after finding the coffee pot that has been moved, I wait for her to finish the call. Once I hear the “goodbye,” I turn to face her.

“I’ve been keeping track of your hours,” I tell her.

“Good for you.” She ignores where I’m going and changes subjects instead. “What do you think of the place? Looks nice, huh?”

The floors aren’t quite as dirty as before. The place has a floral smell to it and there aren’t any towels spilling over the bin in the back. It looks nice.

“It’s okay,” I say, taking a sip.

“Okay?” she barks. “It’s more than okay! It’s a one-eighty from where it was.”

“I can’t find anything.”

“Because you don’t know how to look. Typical man,” she mumbles. “I clearly marked all the folders in here. You can find everything super easily.” She looks up at me. “I never thought I had it in me to like paperwork. Must’ve been buried deep in my genes.”

“I’d love to be buried in your jeans,” I say before I can think twice. Hoping she didn’t hear me, my gaze snaps to hers, but it’s obvious: she heard. Not only did she hear, she’s not going to let it go.

My blood hotter than the coffee in my hand, I pivot on my heel towards the garage.

“You would, would you?” she teases, her voice dangling in the air.

All I can think about is what she’d look like sprawled in my bed, her body pressed against mine, her breath hot against my flesh. Shaking my head, ridding myself of the delicious vision, I say, “I shouldn’t have said that out loud.”

“So you’ve been thinking it?”

“Come on, Sienna,” I sigh.

She leans against the desk, her bottom lip protruding. “Why are you so grumpy?”

“Grumpy?” I laugh, grateful for the change in direction. “What are we? In kindergarten?”

“No. But it’s the best word to describe you. Grumpy. You’re grumpy.”

“I am not.”

“See? And argumentative. It’s a wonder I even show up here.”

It’s my turn to lean against the desk. There’s an honesty in the way she speaks, and an edge of class or sophistication, that, at the end of the day, is both the worst thing and best thing about her. It’s what people respond to—Nana, Peck . . . me. It’s what she responds to in me that I don’t understand. I surely don’t give her much to go on. Most women are out the door by now.

“Why do you show up here?” I ask.

The levity from her features melts away and a somberness takes its place. “Because I owe you.”

“Is that why?” I press, not able to fight the hope swelling inside me that it’s not. “What’s your story, Sienna?”

Her story isn’t one I need to know, and if she responds, it’ll just fuck me further. I need distance from this chick, not her family history.

This is the problem I knew from the beginning: dipping even a toe into this pool will drown us both.

“There you are.” The door swings open without warning, causing Sienna and I both to exhale sharply. “I have a giant problem, Walker, and I need your help.”

“What’s up, Stuart?” I ask, clearing my throat.

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