“Is that why there’s no Mrs. Cree Bradley? You’re jaded and suspicious?”
Cree shrugged. “Not really, actually. I just… haven’t vibed like that with anybody. Good sex… that’s easy. Anything beyond that just hasn’t seemed to pan out.”
“That sounds like bullshit.”
“It does, doesn’t it?” he chuckled. “It’s the truth though. There have been a few women who, on the surface, I would’ve loved to make something happen with. Great on paper, just didn’t vibe.”
Something about the way he said that sparked something in my mind, and instead of letting it go, I asked, “Was Vivica Russell one of them?”
That made him laugh again. “Nah. Vivica was dating her husband already when we met, and I’ve never been that guy. Only ever friends.”
“That doesn’t have anything to do with anything,” I countered. “Somebody not being single has little bearing on what happens between the two of you in your head.”
His eyebrows lifted. “It actually has a lot of bearing, for most people.”
“Oh.” I laughed. “You’re talking to a girl who has never had a boyfriend here, so I don’t know the etiquette. My bad.”
He chuckled over that, and then stared at me long enough to make me shift a little in my seat.
“What?” I asked, wondering why the hell he was looking at me.
“You’re funny,” he answered, shaking his head. “I expected a lot of things from you, but funny was never one of them.”
“Because you don’t know me. You might think you do, but…”
“I’d argue that I probably know more than most, at this point.”
“And that means exactly nothing.” I fixed him with a stare that normally made people back down and leave me alone, but he appeared completely unfazed by it.
“See, I think that’s bullshit though. I think it probably means a lot.”
“And I think it’s good you’re not paid to—oh, damn. City of Las Vegas really fucked that up, didn’t they?”
Cree plopped back on the couch, legs wide open, and laughed. “Wow. All this animosity just to avoid admitting you give a damn about somebody. Ms. Miller, it’s not a crime.”
“And if it was, I wouldn’t be guilty.”
“The evidence says otherwise.”
“What evidence?!” I snapped. “I’m just trying to keep your ass alive so you can help – nothing more than that.”
“You don’t have to bribe me to help with that. I’m doing it because I give a fuck – see how easy it is?”