I smile when I see him finally spot her. The look on his face when he sees all the men surrounding her confirms my suspicions of the two of them. I polish off the rest of my drink knowing the night is pretty much done. I’m not mad about it. It might be the weekend for most, but I have a shift in the morning. Saturday only takes me a few hours but I know I’ll get to see Donovan.
I make my way toward Val because she’s my ride. Jacks gives me a chin nod as he passes me by with Julie over his shoulder.
“Are you leaving too?” I ask Val as my eyes bounce between her and Tidas.
Both Val and Tidas answer at the same time. Tidas glares at Val, who is pretending to be annoyed. She can fake it all she wants. I know she’s into Tidas. She’s just not sure how to handle him, but he’s good with her. Perfect, in fact.
“Yes, she’s leaving. My brother can take you home when you’re ready to go. He’s parked out front in my car.” Tidas holds his hand out to Val. “Give me your keys.”
Oh my god. Did he say his brother could take me home? My heart starts to race with excitement. Val rolls her eyes at Tidas but hands the keys over before she gives me a kiss on the cheek and says goodbye to the rest of the girls. I do the same as Tidas pulls Val into his arms as I follow them out. I try to smooth my hair down because this is going to be the first time he sees me out of my freaking work uniform.
When we make it out the front, Tidas releases his hold on Val to jog over to a car. He leans down and says something to Donovan, who raises his eyes to look my way. His mouth forms a straight line, but he nods his head to his brother as he pulls his hood up. Is he trying to hide his scar?
Donovan’s eyes never leave me as I make my way over to where he’s parked. To my surprise, he jumps out of the car and runs around to open the door for me.
“Hey.” I smile up at him.
“Hey,” he grunts back. I know he’s always short with conversation, but I can tell he’s irritated.
“You don’t have to take me home if you don’t want to. I can catch a ride.” I try to pretend I’m not upset, pasting a smile on my face, which is easy for me to do. A lot of them are fake lately.
“In,” he orders, his tone firmer than normal. I drop in, and he surprises me again when he leans down and pulls my seatbelt over me. “You smell good.”
“You don’t smell so bad yourself.” My smile turns to a real one now, and he grunts, jerking back and shutting the door. It makes me wonder if he didn't mean to say that out loud.
When he gets into the car, he doesn’t say a word as he pulls out of the parking lot. I don’t miss him checking me out every so often as he glances down at my bare legs. Almost as soon as he looks, he looks away and stares at the road.
“I bet I look different outside of work,” I say, breaking the silence.
“Yeah” is all he says.
“What’s a girl gotta do to get a compliment around here?” I tease.
“Your dress is short,” he blurts out as he turns into the driveway of my dad's house and parks.
“Thanks for the ride.” I unclick my seatbelt and get out as quickly as I can.
“Gracie!” Donovan calls after me, but I’m already up the stairs.
The porch light flicks on, and as soon as my dad opens the door, I rush inside.
“You okay?” my dad asks. “You’re home early.” He tries to look out the door, but I close it behind me and turn the lock.
“Jacks showed up.”
“Right.” My dad chuckles.
“I’m going up to bed.”
“Night, honey.” He kisses me on the head before I go up to my bedroom.
It’s not until I’m in bed replaying what happened with Donovan that I realize I don’t think I ever gave him my address. Or maybe I did and I forgot. I wish I could forget a few things about tonight. I’m definitely forgetting his apple pie tomorrow, or maybe I’ll use a sick day.
It’s late morning when I start to pace the front of my house. Already she’s fifteen minutes late for her usual Saturday route. I thought that after her bringing me pie and then me getting to take her home she wouldn’t be afraid of me. But maybe being locked in a car with me was bad enough. I saw how she ran out of the car as fast as she could. Even when I called after her, she couldn’t wait to put distance between us.