Home > Temptation After Dark (Gansett Island #22)(6)

Temptation After Dark (Gansett Island #22)(6)
Author: Marie Force

Cooper choked back the bile that rose to his throat at the thought of having splinters picked out of his injured face. It already hurt bad enough. What was that going to feel like?

“We’ll numb you up before we do it,” the doctor said, patting Cooper’s shoulder. “When was your last tetanus shot?”

“I have no idea.”

“We’ll take care of that for you, too. I’ll be back in a minute.”

He’d no sooner left the cubicle than Gigi appeared, looking as fresh and pretty and put together as she had when they left the house. But then again, she hadn’t dived on the ground to grab a rolling car. “Hey,” he said. “You made it.”

“I made it, and so did the car.”

“That’s good,” Cooper said, relieved to hear she and the car were okay.

“What’re they saying about you?”

“The doc was just in. They’re going to take X-rays and pick the splinters out of my face. Can’t wait for that.”

“Ouch.”

“No kidding. He said they’d numb me up, but does that mean shots in the face?”

“I don’t even want to know.”

“Sorry this night turned into such a shitshow. That wasn’t what I had planned.”

Gigi came in and took a seat next to the bed. “What did you have planned?”

“After we watched the sunset at the bluffs, we were going find some dinner and go to the Beachcomber to listen to music. I hear there’s a guy there who plays the guitar, and he’s really good.”

“That would’ve been fun.”

“Can I have a rain check?”

She shrugged. “We’ll see.”

That wasn’t what Coop wanted to hear, but he could hardly blame her after the mess he’d made of their first date. “You don’t need to hang out. Take the car and go home if you want. I’ll grab a cab when I’m done here.”

“I don’t mind waiting.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m sure, but I’m not watching them pick splinters out of your face.”

“Can’t say I blame you. That’s not high on my to-do list either.”

“What is? High on your to-do list, I mean.”

He got the feeling she was making conversation to keep his mind off the splinters in his face. “I’m working on starting a business.”

“What kind of business?”

He told her about his idea for booze cruises for bachelor and bachelorette parties. “The wedding industry has gotten big on the island. I figured there might be a space for supporting services.”

“That’s an interesting idea.”

“I’m glad you think so.”

“If you need a lawyer to look over the particulars for you, let me know. I’m not licensed in Rhode Island, but I could give you nonbinding advice.”

Cooper stared at her in disbelief. “You’re a lawyer?”

“I am.”

“I thought I knew everything there was to know about you from watching the show.”

Gigi scoffed. “We show you what we want you to see—two silly women doing silly stuff and having fun.”

“How come you don’t talk about being a lawyer?”

“Because that’s boring and doesn’t make for good TV.”

“I can’t believe this.”

“Why? Because I seem too silly to be an attorney?”

“God, no. Not at all. Anyone who watches the show can see how smart you both are. That’s what makes it so fun to watch. Well, that and the fact that the two of you are hot as fuck.”

“Are we?”

Now he scoffed. “As if you don’t know that.”

“We’ve heard that a few times, but we’re both about more than how we look.”

“I knew that before you told me you’re an attorney.”

“Is that right?”

“Hell yes. The stuff you guys do for underprivileged kids in LA is amazing.”

“That started when one of our producers told us about a family in her kids’ school who didn’t have the money for school supplies. We said that’s something we can help with. Jordan and I got that family what they needed, and then we started to think about how we could help other families who had the same problem. It kind of took off from there, and now we do drives in all fifty states.”

“It’s very impressive.”

“Thanks. Knowing we’re doing some good makes us feel less ridiculous about how silly the show is.”

“The show isn’t silly.”

“Yes, it really is, but it’s fun, and people seem to enjoy it. It’ll be weird not doing it anymore.”

“Wait, so this is the last season?”

“I think so. Jordan hasn’t said for sure, but she’s happy as a pig in shit with her giant firefighter. I don’t see her wanting to leave here any time soon. And there’s no way I’m staying after we finish shooting.”

“You’re not digging Gansett, huh?”

“It’s not that. The island is beautiful, and I’ve met so many great people here.”

“But it’s not home.”

“Right. And of course a days’ long power failure during a heat wave isn’t helping to make Gansett look good to me.”

“I guess not. Home is LA?”

“Always has been, but I don’t know. I may relocate.”

“To where?”

“I don’t know yet. Just somewhere I can be left alone.”

“Why do you look sad when you say that?”

“Do I?”

“Yeah, you do.”

Before he could further pursue that line of questioning, the doctor returned with a pretty, dark-haired woman.

“This is Victoria Stevens, one of our nurse practitioners. She’ll be taking you for X-rays, and then we’ll clean up your face wounds.”

“Can’t wait,” Cooper said dryly. He looked up at Gigi. “You really don’t have to wait. I’m sure you have better things to do than hang out here.”

“It’s fine. I don’t mind waiting. You’ll need a ride home afterward.”

“I can call a cab.”

“I’ll wait.”

 

* * *

 

After they wheeled Cooper out of the cubicle for X-rays, Gigi returned to her seat in his visitor’s chair. Again, she wondered what she was doing there. She hadn’t even known him this time yesterday. Why was she waiting around to drive him home when he’d told her to leave? Maybe it was because he was fun and funny and cuter than any man had a right to be, even with half his face looking like ground beef.

She liked him.

And that was weird. She hardly liked anyone. Most of the people she’d chosen to trust had disappointed her at one point or another. As a result, she tended to allow very few people to get close to her. Cooper wasn’t going to be an exception to that rule, but the fact that she liked him intrigued her.

Gigi prided herself on having an internal radar when it came to people. Within a matter of minutes, she could tell whether someone was full of shit. She hadn’t gotten that kind of reading on Cooper. She wasn’t entirely sure yet what the reading on him would turn out to be, but it wasn’t a full-of-shit reading. That was why she was still here, in the clinic on a warm late-summer night, waiting to give him a ride home.

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