Sugar & Spice

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Chapter 32

My lunch with Marco is going great so far. We’ve talked about anything we can think of and the food is amazing. I try not to think too much of the way he looks at me when I’m laughing or talking about something I think is interesting. If I pay much attention to his alluring gaze, I’ll melt in this chair.

When it’s about time for me to head over to work, Marco pays the bill even though I offer to pay my half. He says that he’s a gentleman before he’s a sugar daddy. I think that’s the part I didn’t realize. He’s would be a great sugar daddy because he’s just an awesome guy who treats people well. If he weren’t a sugar daddy, I’d fall in love with him in a heartbeat. I know I pretty much said the same thing about Ronan, but things change. Sometimes you don’t know something’s wrong for you until someone shows you right.

As we’re leaving, I let Marco lead me out with his hand on my lower back. We’re just barely on the street to cross when suddenly, things happen so fast. One minute I’m walking and the next I’m being thrown on the sidewalk. I look up just in time to see an SUV speeding by and Marco lying right next to me.

“What the hell was that?” I breathe, erratically.

“I don’t know. They didn’t even hit breaks.”

I’m staring at the back of the SUV and just before it turns, I see an emblem on the back. An emblem that I recognize.

“Wait, there’s a checkmark on the back of the truck.” I shake my head, hoping to God, that this doesn’t mean what I think it does.

“Do you know it?”

I nod.

“It’s Ronan’s driver’s truck. I’m sure of it. I saw it on the back of the car we took to the airport too. Ronan just tried to have us run over.”

Marco moves over to me and gently takes my face in his hands.

“Are you okay?”

“I’m fine. Are you?”

He nods and we both stand, noticing a few people around us, making sure we’re not injured. Once we’re up, we brush ourselves off and he walks me to work. On the way there, he tries to convince me that maybe I shouldn’t go in, but I have to. It’s my job. I know Phil would understand, but he’d also ask questions that I’m not ready to answer. However, the thought of Ronan trying to hurt me is scary. I don’t know where this side of him has come from. How did he even know where we were and how long did he wait up the street? I don’t even know if he was seriously planning to run us down. If he was, then that makes him all the more dangerous and by the time I walk through the doors at work, I’m seriously rethinking it.

Marco lingers around a bit, having a beer at the bar just to make sure that no one comes in and tries anything. As I’m fixing drinks, I see him looking out the front window as if he feels like someone is watching us. It makes me feel weary.

After an hour or so, he finally leaves after I reassure him that I’m okay here. Marco tells me that he’ll be here before I leave for work to make sure I get home okay. I quickly agree just to get him out of the door before Phil notices him lingering around talking to me. He’d definitely want to know who this tanned handsome man is if he notices.

With Marco gone, I throw myself into work while also remaining cautious. I make sure I keep an eye out for those entering and exiting the place. The whole shift, my heart beats a little faster than usual from anxiety. It just baffles me that Ronan would be that angry and go as far as to try to run me over. I doubt he’s ever acted this way with his other sugar babies, but I don’t know. He never really told me about them.

As I’m tuning out all the noise, I make a mental note to as Marco about Ronan’s past sugar babies. If I can find them and talk to them then I can know what I’m really dealing with. I don’t want to be blindsided anymore. If Ronan wants to be crazy then I want to be prepared. I’m not the kind of girl to just scamper into a corner and wait for someone to save me. I’m the girl that shoots first and asks questions later. If Ronan wants to underestimate me then he’ll be in for a rude awakening.

A few minutes before my shift end, Marco comes in and takes a seat at the bar. I’m waiting on a few last customers and while doing so, I can feel him staring at me. It’s not the protective stare. It’s the stare that says, hurry up and get off of work so I can kiss you.

At 1am, I’m finally off and Marco waits outside for me while I hang up my apron and put my things away behind the bar. When I get outside, I look around for my car and it’s nowhere to be found.

“Was my car stolen?” I laugh a little.

“No, I had it towed to your place so I can just drive you home or where ever you want to go.”

“Thank you. I appreciate it. I honestly didn’t want to drive home by myself. Not after everything that happened today.”

“I know. That’s why I thought ahead.”

“Smart cookie.” I wink as we head to his car.

“So where to?”

I think about it for a moment before smilings.

“I’d like to get a burger and milkshake before going home. I’m starving.”

Marco laughs as he starts to drive and about halfway down the road, his hand comes down to rest on my thigh as if that’s where its meant to be. We hit up the drive-thru and order food before he takes me home and without even having to ask, he comes up with me. we settle in the living room and I cut on a funny movie because, at this moment, a horror movie wouldn’t be logical.

I don’t know why but as the movie comes to a close and all our food is gone, I begin to feel sad. I can’t pinpoint why, but my whole mood takes a dive for depressed. I don’t talk as much and I stop poking fun at Marco. I just sit quietly and when the ending credits roll, I watch as Marco stands. He goes to the kitchen, throwing away our food bags and empty cups before stretching a bit.

When I stand to walk him to the door, he comes to me.

“I had a good time tonight.”

“Me too.” I force a smile.

“Um, if you need anything, just call and I’ll be right over no matter what, okay?”

I nod, but for some reason, I just don’t open the door. I can’t bring myself to turn the knob because my body doesn’t want to.

“Marco?”

“Yeah, sunshine.”

“I don’t entirely feel comfortable asking this, but today was pretty scary and I won’t be able to sleep here by myself. I just...want to know if you could stay, please.” The words fall out of my mouth and I regret them instantly. I don’t want him to leave, but I don’t want him to think this is getting too serious too fast. I’m the one who has been putting up boundaries and now I’m asking him to stay the night with me.

I expect Marco to be a little hesitant about it, but instead, he comes closer to me, wrapping his arm around my waist. He brings his mouth to mind and I kiss him. His lips taste like vanilla and feel safe. He pulls away an inch and his dark eyes stare into mine with so much care for someone he barely knows.

“Of course, I’ll stay with you. I honestly didn’t want to leave anyway.”

I can’t help but laugh as he reaches over and locks my door before pulling me into his arms again. I don’t know where things are going between us, but with Ronan out there thinking about doing God knows what to the either of us, I no longer care about boundaries. I just want Marco here with me.

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