I found him!
Glory be, I found him. Just when I’d about given up on this dismally stocked popsicle stand, I’d lucked out and found him. Wahoo!
And who, pray tell, is he, you may ask? Why, none other than Mr. July himself.
Or, in Tansy-lingo, my Flavor of the Month.
Flushing furiously at my newfound boldness, I forced myself to repeat that dirty phrase in my mind, glancing around the big-box warehouse self-consciously as my lips silently whispered four itty-bitty, raunchy words to a battalion of price-slashed Wet Vacs.
Flavor of the Month. Flavor of the Month. Fuck of the Month.
The tips of my ears flamed like match heads.
Tansy Tara Martin, you naughty, naughty girl!
Fist to mouth, I sputtered out a nervous guffaw, turning it into a fake cough when some grizzled old dude ambling past lugging a shiny set of power tools arrowed me a puzzled glance.
I felt my skin sizzle up a notch. Good God, was this semi-confident seductress really me? I could scarcely believe it. Cripes, look at the difference a few short months makes, will ya? Eyes prickling, I swallowed hard, hands clenching on my shopping wagon’s handle.
Hmm… Guess having your mom off herself with half a bottle of Raspberri Absolut and a whole handful of pretty little pills makes a gal rethink her mortality and what she wants out of life, doesn’t it?
No. No, dumbo, not now!
Forcing myself to sweep a heaping truckload of raggedy emotions under my trusty Can’t-Deal-With-It doormat and stick to the plan at hand, I straightened spaghetti-strapped shoulders and licked dry lips, drinking in my quarry’s fineness from afar. Humming a random ditty to soothe my jangly nerves, I pushed my buggy in the wake of that sexy bejeaned backside, keeping a safe distance for now.
Take your time, girl… No rush… Slow an’ easy does it…
Smoothing down my ruffly, barely-there skirt while trying to ignore “what’s she doing here” looks from scruffily garbed working stiffs, my fumbling fingers plucked random items from overstuffed endcaps as I click-clacked along on sweet new heels, wishing the industrial floors didn’t echo quite so loudly under my hot-pink spikes.
(Jimmy Choos, last season, but still seriously awesome. Marked down an unprecedented 15 percent, and that was on top of the preferred customer coupon I’d been hoarding for ages. This after bossy-boots Mickie had instructed me I’d be “the all-time idiot in the history of idiots” not to crack open my pocketbook and splurge.)
Another slobby shopper threw me a perplexed once-over, his bulgy eyeballs lingering on my half-exposed boobs, and I looked away, feeling like a freak.
Jeez, maybe I overdid it a tad with the come-hither duds…
Discreetly yanking up my bodice, I grumbled under my breath. Damn. I probably should’ve stuck with the basic shorts-and-seen-better-days-tee getup like all the other females roaming around the place, instead of dressing for the kill in a thigh-high frock better suited for a sassy summer soiree.
Ah, well, too late now. Head lowered, I hurried past Bulgy Eyes, trying not to wipe out as I ramped up the speed.
Suddenly, I blinked down, gaze focusing.
For someone who wasn’t here to actually buy stuff, this cart was filling up pretty dang fast. And You Know Who was supposed to be on a budget. Not counting ridiculously priced footwear, of course. But, come on, who in their right mind could blame me? God’s honest, the deals were insane in this place. And, hey, could I help it if I happened to be the type to overspend when antsy? No, I could not. It was hereditary; Mom had been the exact same.
Eyes prickling, I worked on not remembering our last giggly, girly shopping spree as I kept on grabbing and tossing.
Ninety-nine cent box cutter with five bonus blades? Totally need.
Triple pack of masking tape, a steal at $2.29? Must have.
Cute little pocket screwdriver-slash-corkscrew? What, a mere buck fifty? Love! In it went.
I paused, weaving on a fuchsia stiletto. Hmm… At that price, maybe I should snag half a dozen and hand them out to my troops at happy hour on Wednesday, as a little hump-day surprise. Yeah, good idea, Smartie. Thoughtful, too.
Fully aware I was stalling, I sifted around to snag the best colors. And since there was but one sparkly sucker left, I called dibs, seeing I was the one doing all the ding-dang work.
“Can I help you find anything, Miss?”
Throwing in the lot, I smiled politely at the yellow-vested beanpole blocking my path, balancing a tilting tower of lightbulb cartons in his skinny arms. From the way the guy was eyeing up my gams, I had a sneaking suspicion he’d just come booking down whatever aisle he’d been stocking without bothering to set any of that crap down first.
Just a hunch, based on those not-so-subtle laser beams.
Shaking my head “no,” I watched his chin—and about three-quarters of those shifting boxes—crash to the floor.
“CLEANUP, END OF AISLE SEVEN!”
My brows shot north. Boy, somebody around here sure was on the ball.
After lending a hand with a smattering of unbroken packages and offering a mumbled, “Sorry about that,” I awkwardly maneuvered my wagon around smashed halogens and your more traditional three-way incandescents, feeling a moment’s panic. Head swiveling like a hoot owl’s, my eyes darted around the hardware-packed hangar a tad frantically.
Shit! Where’d he go? Where’d he go?
*Get the rest of the naughtiness here: https://amzn.to/3jj1tOr