“It sure did. Buyin’ ice all the time and livin’ outta coolers. I don’t pay rent for that shit. Fuck that.”
Fuck that indeed.
Detective Mitch Lawson’s door opened and I realized my mistake instantly. I should have run to my house and done something. I didn’t know what. Nothing needed tidying because I was freakishly tidy. There was nothing I could do with my appearance but I figured I should have tried to do something.
He started walking our way asking, “Now a good time?”
No, no time was a good time for the Ten Point Five I was secretly in love with to be in my apartment.
I nodded and said, “Sure.” Then I looked at LaTanya and said, “Later, babe.”
“Later. Remember, a mojito is waitin’ for you, Mitch gets your faucet sorted out.”
“Thanks,” I muttered, smiled and then glanced at Detective Mitch Lawson before looking down at my feet, turning and walking the short distance to my door. I opened it, walked through and held it open for him to come inside.
He did and I tried not to hyperventilate.
“Which one is it?” he asked as I closed the door behind him.
I turned, stood at the door and looked up at him. He was closer than I expected and he was taller than he seemed from afar and he seemed pretty tall from afar. I’d never been this close to him and I felt his closeness tingle pleasantly all across my skin. I was wearing heels and I felt his tallness in the depth of the tip of my head which didn’t tip back that often to look at someone seeing as I was tall.
“Pardon?” I asked.
“Faucet,” he said. “Which one? Hall or master?”
I didn’t have any clue what he was talking about. It was like he was speaking in a foreign language. All I could focus on were his eyes which I was also seeing closer than I’d ever seen before. He had great eyelashes.
Those lashes moved when his eyes narrowed.
“You okay?” he asked.
Oh God. I had to get a hold on myself.
“Yeah, fine, um… the faucet’s in my master bath,” I told him.
He stood there staring at me. I stood there staring at him. Then his lips twitched and he lifted his arm slightly in the direction of my hall.
“You wanna lead the way?” he asked.
Ohmigod! I was such an idiot!
“Right,” I muttered, looked down at my feet and led the way.
When we were both in my bathroom which, with him in it, went from a normal-sized master bath to a teeny-tiny, suffocating space I pointed to the faucet and then pointed out the obvious.
“It won’t turn off.”
“I see that,” he murmured then I stood frozen with mortification as he crouched and opened the doors to my vanity.
Why was he opening the doors to my vanity? I kept my tampons down there! You could see them! They were right at the front for easy accessibility!
He reached in, I closed my eyes in despair and wished the floor would gobble me up and suddenly the water turned off.
I opened my eyes, stared at the faucet and exclaimed, “Holy cow! You fixed it!”
He tipped his head back to look at me then he straightened out of his crouch to look down at me.
Then he said, “No, I just turned the water off.”
I blinked up at him. Then I asked, “Pardon?”
“You can turn the water off.”
“Oh,” I whispered then went on stupidly, “I should probably have done that before I left for work this morning.”
His mouth twitched again and he said, “Probably. Though you can’t do somethin’ you don’t know you can do.”
I looked to the basin and muttered, “This is true.”
“There’s a valve under the sink. I’ll show it to you after I take a look at the faucet,” he said and I forced my eyes to his. “You probably just need a new washer. Where are your tools?”
I blinked again. “Tools?”
His stared at me and then his lips twitched again. “Yeah. Tools. Like a wrench. You got one of those?”
“I have a hammer,” I offered.
One side of his mouth hitched up in a half-smile. “I’m not sure a hammer is gonna help.”
It took a lot of effort but I only glanced at the half-smile before my eyes went back to his. This didn’t do a thing to decelerate my rapidly accelerating heartbeat.
“Then no I don’t have tools,” I told him not adding that I wasn’t entirely certain what a wrench was.
He nodded and turned to the door. “I’ll go get mine.”
Then he was gone and I didn’t know what to do so I hurried after him.
I should have stayed where I was. I’d seen him move, of course, I just hadn’t seen him moving around in my apartment. He had an athlete’s grace which I had noticed before. But it was more. He had a natural confidence with the way he held his body and the way he moved. It was immensely attractive all the time but seeing it in my apartment was not going to be conducive to peace of mind; something it was difficult for me to find on a good day much less a day when my faucet didn’t turn off and I was forced to endure an evening that included Detective Mitch Lawson having to be in my apartment.