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I watch through the plexiglas, as Jade and three other officers walk Dexter through the crowd of inmates. Many of them are men he’s wounded. And none of them are very happy he’s free.

“I’ll find you, bitch!” The Dark haired inmate that had threatened me with a razorblade is the loudest of them all. “I’ll find you and put a bullet in your fuckin’ head!” The entourage gets to the far door and the cops lead Dexter through to freedom. “You too.” He mouths at me through the barrier.

I simply smile and give him the finger. “Go get your ass fucked, loser.” My escort next to me, a cop that looks like he would be more suited as a bodybuilder, snorts a laugh and tries to cover it up with a cough. The inmate isn’t impressed, but I ignore him and look up at Officer Buff. “Amused?”

“Don’t tell Jade.” He side glances me, and it’s my turn to laugh. Of course, Jade wouldn’t want anyone supporting my mouthy tendencies. She swears it’s the root of all of my problems.

Where do you think I got this mouth from, honey? Mommy isn’t exactly a good role model.

I turn to the security doors as Jade walks Dexter through.

“Is it necessary to make him walk in those?” I raise an eyebrow, motioning to the ankle cuffs as the poor guy shuffles along in baby steps. “He’s a free man now.” Jade avoids my gaze and kneels to uncuff him.

But I’m not looking at her. I’m lost in his metallic eyes. Someone once told me there’s no such thing as a selfless good deed. I think they’re right. Sure, I did all of this because Dexter saved my ass, but I feel so good about myself right now I could explode. It’s really sick.

We walk in an awkward silence to the front desk and Jade shows him to a bathroom to change out of his orange jailbird suit.

“You know your mother thinks you’re going to marry this guy.” She says to me as we wait.

I snort. “She’s a mental case.” I roll my eyes. “By the way, thanks for calling her. Between you and Kai I have no fucking privacy.”

“Somebody has to fund your little adventures.” She looks at me so maternally that she reminds me of Kai. I suddenly feel like a child, being parented by everyone I know. It’s a disjointed feeling, since I never really felt parented when I was a child.

Before I can shoot back some kind of insult, Dexter emerges from the bathroom in the same rock n roll outfit he was wearing the night I first saw him. Zeppelin t-shirt, ripped jeans, steel toed boots. I’m a little turned on.

“Well, have fun being a starving artist.” Jade sighs and hands him his wallet. “And I wouldn’t spend too much time with Seph. She’s trouble.” His whole face breaks into a grin and he laughs.

“Yeah, I figured that one out for myself.” There’s a glint in his eyes as he looks at me and I cross my arms.

“Now that everyone’s done making fun of me,” I declare, “let’s get the hell out of here.” Dexter furrows his brow.

“What, are you my chauffer, now?”

“And your hotel, apparently.” I smile sweetly and brush past him towards the door.

“What?” He follows me outside into the evening sun and I can’t help but be amused. Did he honestly think I was here to just watch him walk out into the city, homeless?

“You don’t have a place to stay.” I shrug and stop at my car, a little red Honda Del Sol. Such a chick car, I know, but it’s cute and it’s good on gas, sue me.

“I was going to call my bassist, he picked up all my stuff when I got evicted.” He tells me. “You don’t have to-“

“I don’t have to do anything.” I interrupt him. “And neither do you. So, if you want to go there, that’s cool. I’ll take you. But, if you want your own room with a comfy bed, I’ve got one. It’s up to you.” I smile at him nervously and then slip into the driver’s seat.

He stands there, by the hood of my car, staring through the windshield at me. His expression is unreadable. I have no fucking idea what’s going on inside his head, and it’s driving me crazy.

What is wrong with me? Not only have I given him an open invitation to my home, which I’ve never done before, ever, but I think I’ll actually be kind of hurt if he rejects it.

Am I going soft? God dammit.

Finally the bastard gets into my car, and I start it.

“You don’t owe me shit, you know.” He says. “Even if by some bullshit you did, you made up for it with the chili.”

“I didn’t really do any of this because I thought I owed you.” I say. “I mean, I so owe you, but it’s not the kind of thing that I can make up to you by showering you with stuff.”

He shakes his head. “You don’t get it.”

I smile. “Neither do you.”

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