“Okay, we’ll wait until you’re in a better mood.”
No matter how good of head she planned to give him, she was not going to convince him to let her have Viper’s baby.
“Jackal, I need to talk to you before you leave.” Henry said as he left the booth he and Sherri were sitting at.
“Can it wait?”
“You need to pay for the room. If I let you get away with it, then the other employees will expect it, too.”
“I already paid!” Penni exclaimed.
“Your card was declined.”
“I have another card.” She began to open her purse.
“The credit card company told me to cut it up. They said the cardholder had closed your account.”
Penny pouted. “Shade closed my account?”
Jackal ground his teeth. After reaching for his wallet and taking out a card, he gave it to Henry who walked away happily with it in his greedy hand.
“You’ve been using it every time we rent Henry’s rooms?” Jackal spoke out of the corner of his mouth to keep from yelling at her.
“He said it had to be an emergency when I used it.”
“Remind me why I want to marry you.” Jackal commented as they walked out of the club after he had put his card back in his wallet, the sunlight hitting his bloodshot eyes.
“That hurts.” Penni put her hand dramatically across her heart. She looked at the row of cars parked in front of the strip club. “Where’s Grace’s car?”
“Your car’s not here?”
“No, Grace dropped me off. My car’s in the shop.”
Jackal mumbled something under his breath.
“What did you say?” Penni tilted her head toward him.
Jackal called Ice, moving them into the shade so he could see.
“It won’t take him long to get here,” she soothed, patting his arm.
“You’re going to make this up to me … a lot.”
“Yes, Jackal,” she answered submissively. “You don’t happen to have a spare key to my condo, do you? I forgot to take it off my key ring when I dropped the key off this morning.”
Jackal was afraid to answer her question, seeing spots dancing in his vision.
The door to the Purple Pussycat opened, and a man his age came out, seeing Penni standing by his side.
“Didn’t I see you come out of there?” The drunk winked at her.
“Mind your own damn business,” she snapped.
“Bitch, I have a stick bigger than he has—”
The man’s head hit the brick wall.
“Do not call me a bitch!”
Jackal grabbed her around the waist.
“I’m calling the police.” The man whined, trying to find his cell phone.
“Here, take mine.” Jackal handed him his cell phone, listening as he called the police.
“Why did you do that? They’ll arrest me.” Penni looked around, trying to find a place to hide.
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll tell them I did it. He’s so drunk they’ll believe anything I tell them. Call Henry and tell him to destroy the video of the front door.”
“I’m not going to let you go to jail for me,” Penni protested, but she did call Henry to destroy the tape. “Why are you doing this? We still have time to get away; Ice just pulled up.”
Jackal refused to budge, waving down the police car as it approached.
“Ice can bail me out in the morning after I get a good night’s sleep.”
“What happened?” Ice asked, getting out of the car. “You want me to handle …?”
When the cops got out of their cruiser, they pinned Jackal against the wall with Penni screeching at them to let him go.
“I’ll get his paperwork started while you find out what happened,” The officer that arrested him shouted as they led Jackal toward his cruiser.
Feeling grateful, he sank back into the leather seat, exhausted. He watched Ice try to pull Penni toward his car, but she refused to budge from where she was listening to the drunk tell his story to the other police officer.
Jackal was worried she was going to get herself arrested if she didn’t back off the drunk. When the officer trying to take his statement gave Penni a warning, she finally relented, going to Ice’s car. Then he saw Penni slip the drunk’s wallet into her purse before flicking the drunk off as she climbed inside.
Jackal began laughing so hard the cop in the front seat turned to stare at him over his shoulder.
“You better not vomit in my car!”
Jackal wiped his tears of laughter on the arms of his T-shirt. “I’m going to marry that woman.”
“Ready?” Jackal asked as he waited impatiently by the open door.
“No, I’ve changed my mind. I can’t do this.” Stubbornly, Penni shook her head.
Jackal sighed, shutting the door then striding across the floor. He crouched down in front of the chair she was sitting on. “Babe, it’s too late to change your mind.”
“Quit saying that.” Penni heard the edge of hysteria in her own voice, but the fear that was pushing her down wouldn’t let her get to her feet.