Tease Me

Tease Me by Dawn Atkins

Book: Tease Me by Dawn Atkins Read Free Book Online
Authors: Dawn Atkins
The past ninety minutes had fixed her tooth, but destroyed her credit. Not really. His receptionist, Rochelle, had expressed sympathy over her financial plight and promised an easy payment plan. Still, Heidi was in the hole.
    Speaking of which…she ran her tongue across the gap where her wisdom tooth used to live. Dr. Dave had declared it impacted, so while he was fixing her broken molar—which had required a root canal and would need a crown—he’d yanked that, too. Efficient, but more money. She would be paying off this dental adventure until she retired.
    Dr. Dave saw lots of Jackson’s girls, it turned out. In fact, he’d asked Heidi if she were a dancer. She’d blushed purple and rattled on about how working at Moons was a great way to study people and prepare her for becoming a therapist—then she’d noticed Dr. Dave and his assistant were politely poised with water squirter, suction and drill, waiting for her to stop babbling so they could get back to work. The mask, safety glasses and elaborate magnifying lenses didn’t hide Dr. Dave’s amusement. Maybe the laughing gas had made her chatty.
    Now she patted her puffy jaw to make sure it was still there, then climbed into the van that Jackson had let her borrow. He’d been excessively polite and virtually absent since their kiss in the driveway. The morning after, she’d found Dr. Dave’s refrigerator magnet in front of a fresh pot of coffee, and the bathroom steamy from Jackson’s recentdeparture. He’d been gone this morning when she got up, too. Noon was his usual wake-up time, so she knew he was avoiding her.
    She drove toward home. A honk made her turn. Two young guys shot her a cheerful hand gesture—bent-down fingers and a chest pat—heads bobbing with approval. Of the band painted on the van, not her, she knew. She was too old for the guys. She was making all kinds of wrong impressions on people—dressing like a hooker, driving a band van like a teen groupie. What the hell. She was trying on new lives right and left. She shot the kids a big grin she could tell was lopsided because of her numb jaw.
    A spurt of excessive cheerfulness told her the sample pain meds Dr. Dave had given her had kicked in. She had already downed the two tablets at the water fountain outside his office when she noticed the instructions said one pill every four hours. So she’d feel extra cheerful for a bit. Especially because she hadn’t eaten before the procedure.
    When she got home, she thought she detected Jackson’s bay rum scent in the air and her heart spun up like a hard drive reading a CD, but she soon discovered he’d come and gone, leaving her a note.
    Gone to the grocery store with The List. Practically need the van to hold it all. J.
    She’d meant to pick the things up herself, using the money she’d made last night. She wanted to contribute to the pantry, since this was her home for a few weeks. It was nice of him to shop for her, though. Complaining was his way to assert his manhood. Couldn’t let a chick order him around. She smiled at his thought process. He was a teddy bear stomping around like a grizzly.
    She wandered into the living room and looked around. So this is home, sweet home. The thought gave her that good cozy feeling. Of course the place was full of naked women and engines and she was full of happy pills. Surely, Jackson wouldn’t mind if she modified the decor a bit—at least covered the nipples under the cocktail table glass with fabric? Put the engines in the garage? She would ask him…if she ever saw him again. She might have to leave a note, since he was avoiding her. She hated that she made him uncomfortable in his own home. She had to fix that somehow.
    Sleep with him. Yeah.
    A wave of wooziness made her plop onto the sofa. At least she was making progress. She felt a goofy, lopsided grin fill her face. She’d faced adversity and triumphed. Gotten her tooth fixed, found two jobs—three, if she counted housekeeping—and a

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