I can’t get in to the book I’m reading. I catch myself, realizing I have no idea what has happened on the last three pages. Instead of going back, again, and re-reading them I give up and toss it on to the couch next to me. Checking the time I realize I still have forty minutes before the rest of my teammates are going to arrive.
I’ve got too much adrenaline to sit still, ready to get started. My team has decided to get tattoos, commemorating the end of our season, our Division Championship. It doesn’t help I’m on my own, early for our appointment due to travel schedules and thunderstorms. It didn’t make sense to go home when I landed so I came right to Vanished. Luckily, Lucas Abbott was here early and able to let me in, otherwise I would be sitting in my car right now watching the storm rage.
Shifting forward, I rest my elbows on my knees and grab my phone to scroll through my unanswered texts. I respond to the ones from my brother and my mom but ignore several from my ex. I wish Therese would let it go. We’ve been over for months. During the season the travel was too much for her and she found some other guy to spend her nights with. But now that I’m home and have a winning record she wants to ‘work things out’.
My thoughts are interrupted when I hear someone yelling “I’m here! I’m here!” the voice getting closer before the door crashes open and a rain-drenched blond blur rushes in. Slightly stunned, I watch as she crosses to the lockers on the far wall, stripping off her soaked t-shirt as she goes, revealing a navy bra.
“Uh – Don’t mind me.”
She whirls at my voice gripping her vintage band, I can’t quite make out which one, shirt to her chest. “What the hell, perv?!”
I raise my hands as if surrendering. “I’m just here waiting for my appointment. Minding my own business. You’re the one who ran in and started to get naked.”
She glares at me – and it takes all my self discipline to keep my eyes on her face and not allow them to slip to her hastily covered breasts. She’s a mess, soaked to the skin, eye make up running and smeared, hair clinging to her cheeks and neck. But she’s still gorgeous. I know from the few times I’ve watched this crew’s reality show that this is Logan, currently the only female member of the team although there are constant rumors that Lucas is looking to add new staff. So far though, it’s remained the core four.
“People usually wait out front. In the waiting area.”
I shrug. “Luke told me to wait back here until the rest of the guys arrived.”
She rolls her eyes but seems to loosen up a little with this information.
“You mind?” she raises her eyebrows at me and spins one finger in the air.
Belatedly I realize she’s telling me to turn around and I stand to face the wall, my back to her, giving her a tiny bit of privacy. I can’t seem to help the grin on my face.
“Crazy storm, huh?” I toss out, then cringe. Am I seriously talking about the weather right now? I clearly need to work on my conversation skills and less on my fielding. But to be fair, most the women I meet during the season aren’t that interested in what I have to say which is probably why I’ve been in a bit of a dry spell since Therese.
Logan doesn’t respond to my witty repartee and I shift awkwardly from foot to foot, listening to clothing rustle and things clang against the metal lockers. I’m about to make another effort to break the silence but I hear the locker slam shut and almost as quickly as she entered, Logan is rushing back out the door.
Well, that was… interesting.
I manage to wait five minutes before following after her.
I find Logan sitting on a high stool behind the front counter, her knees tucked against the edge and a notepad balanced on her thighs as she sketches away. I lean against the opposite side of the counter, arms resting on the top and try to engage her in conversation.
“What are you working on?”
“Some designs for a client,” she responds without looking up.
“I’m Connor, by the way.”
“Welcome to Vanished, Connor. Lucas should be with you in a minute.”
Apparently Logan isn’t much for small talk.
Her absorption in her work gives me a chance to study her. She’s piled her blond hair into a messy bun on top of her head, the ends still damp. Streaks of blue, her signature look intermingle with the silver blond strands. After her quick change in the break room, she is now wearing a black Vanished tank top showing off long toned arms and a pair of faded jeans with black chuck’s. She had also managed to do some repair work on her eye makeup, wiping off the streaks. She looks both punk and artsy.
Before I can think of something else to ask her, the door behind me dings as it’s pulled open and three of my teammates and friends walk in and yell hellos. I lift my chin, acknowledging them but stay with Logan.
“Hey, man. About ready?” Lucas comes out of the back and slaps me on the back.
“Just about. Last couple should be here soon.”
He grins and then heads over to greet the rest of the guys.
“Friends of yours?”
She raises her eyebrows again. I’m beginning to get she does this right before she says something snarky. Surprisingly on her I’m finding I like snark.
I glance over my shoulder taking in the others joking around and giving each other a hard time. Turning back I tell her, “My teammates.”
She hums noncommittally and returns to drawing in her sketch book.
I grin. “You…really have no idea who we are do you?”
Her frustrated sigh is a sure sign I’m annoying her. And that I’m right.
She shakes her head dismissively and shrugs. “Sorry. Should I?”
I tap on the schedule on the screen in front of her. Then I click the mouse so it’s on the correct date.
She rolls her eyes at me before glancing back at the appointment list. I grin at the grimace on her face as she realizes her mistake.
“Well, that explains why Lucas was pissed I was running late,” she mutters. I watch as she presses her lips together.
Now I’m starting to feel bad about giving her a hard time. This is her job after all. And she’s clearly had a rough morning considering her arrival.
Then she just shrugs again. “Sorry. Baseball isn’t really my thing.”
“Fair enough.” I chuckle.
She goes back to ignoring me.
I should leave her alone. Go talk shit with the guys while we wait the last few minutes. But there’s something about her that both intrigues and amuses me. She’s so prickly for no obvious reason. I want to find out why.
“So am I scheduled with you for the tattoo? I’ll have to take my shirt off so we’ll be even.”
She rolls her eyes and glances at the computer screen. “You’re with Lucas.”
“What if I want you to do it?”
“Sorry. Lucas is the boss.” Then she hops off the stool and walks away.
I laugh out loud and turn to join the guys.