Jackal tilted his head. “I get an apology two days in a row? I’m amazed.”
She removed his jacket, handing it back to him. “Thank you for letting me borrow it.”
Penni frowned in confusion. “No, why?”
He shrugged. “I thought you would have to be stinking drunk to say anything nice to me.”
Before she could reply, he went inside the bathroom.
Ashamed, she sat down on the bed, folding her legs crisscrossed. It took her several minutes before she realized she might have a chance to escape. She was about to jump from the bed when Jackal came back into the room. Folding her legs again, she resumed her meditation position.
When a knock sounded on the door, Penni didn’t show any interest, not even when she smelled the aromas coming from the bag that Jackal placed on the nightstand.
She ignored the sandwich he held out to her.
“I’m not hungry.”
“It’s a hamburger.”
Before he could snatch it back, Penni took it from his hand. Unwrapping the burger, she didn’t even care that it had a sauce she hated.
Jackal sat down on the bed, pulling out his sandwich and taking a bite. After she saw what he was eating, she winced.
“You’re eating the one Cruz got for me?”
“Why didn’t you just tell him I was lying about being a vegetarian?”
“I figured, if you wanted him to know the truth, you would tell him.” Jackal’s mouth twisted. “Besides, I knew you were doing it to bug Cruz.”
“I was being a bitch,” she admitted, taking another bite of her own sandwich. “I’d share with you, but it’s not that good. The veggie burger is probably better. The special sauce sucks.”
Jackal handed her a bag of chips. “Special sauce?”
Penni licked her bottom lip after she finished the last bite. “Every restaurant makes their own sauce. Usually, it’s ketchup and Thousand Island. One time, I ate it, and I swear they used tartar sauce. It was disgusting.”
“Why didn’t you just tell them to leave it off?”
“You’re kidding, right? I know how to order the way I want it, but somehow, in every drive thru, they screw my order up. Don’t they mess yours up?”
I bet they don’t, Penni thought to herself. The sensual man sitting across from her probably had dozens of women jumping to make a burger for him.
“Well, they do mine.” Dropping a chip back into the bag, she uncurled her legs. “How did you and Hennessy become friends?”
Jackal neatly placed their trash in the take-out bag then put it in the trash can beside the bed. “Hennessy would tell you we were never friends, especially in juvie.” Jackal sprawled out on the foot of the bed. “It was a couple of weeks doing guard duty for the Predators before he would even say hi when we went on duty. It was another month before he stopped walking away when I tried shooting the shit with him. Guard duty is boring as fuck. He finally started talking to me, and we would have beers every now and then, but we were never best buds.”
“But you did.” Penni remembered the flash of emotion on Jackal’s face when he had convinced Hennessy to let Ice back him up. “Will he let me go?”
“I’m not going to give him a choice.”
She believed him.
“You’re lucky that you were on the phone with Grace when you ran out of gas.”
“Yes, I am. I’ll have to invite Grace and Ice to dinner when this all over,” she joked.
“What about me?”
Penni didn’t know how to respond. The thought of Jackal in her house was nerve racking. “You convince Hennessy to give my purse back, and I’ll fix you a four-course dinner.”
Her gaze dropped to his bottom lip. The jagged edge of the scar ended at the corner of his mouth. When he was angry, it had the effect of appearing harsh, but when Jackal was in a good mood, the effect was a sensual feast that, combined with his muscled body, had her stomach doing somersaults.
“There’s not a chance in hell of that. You keep a fucking arsenal in your purse.”
“That’s an exaggeration.” Penni pouted, throwing a pillow at his grinning face.
Jackal turned serious. “Kiss me, and I’ll get him to give it back.”
Penni shook her head. “I don’t want it back that badly.” As soon the words came out of her mouth, she realized she had screwed up.
Jackal’s expression became shuttered, and it didn’t take much to figure out how angry he was at her abrupt rebuff.
“Go to sleep. Hennessy wants to be on the road as soon as the sun comes up.”
“Jackal …” Penni moved to grab his arm. “I didn’t mean it the way it sounded—”
“What did you mean, then?” Jackal pulled his arm back.
She twisted a lock of her hair. “Why do you always make me the mean person? Everyone likes me.” Penni stopped then clarified, “Maybe Killyama doesn’t like me, but everyone else does.” She waved her hands emphatically. “You kidnapped me! I was minding my own business, and the next think I know, I’m driving around the freaking country with my hands cuffed around your waist. How was I supposed to know that you and the Predators were trying to protect Lily?