I Flipping Love You (Shacking Up #3)(9)

Half of me is flattered that he thinks sex with me would be worth trading for a three-grand car repair. The other half of me is disgusted that I’m flattered at all.

Three grand is a pretty hefty price tag, but still. Only a few cars have parked in my garage. I’m not interested in letting another one in there simply to avoid paying for a repair, even if the car is a nice one and is owned by a seriously hot man.

“Whoa. Simmer down, sweetheart. I’m not trying to blackmail you. You were the one asking about a sexist comment discount. All I’m suggesting is that we discuss how to proceed over drinks. They can be of the nonalcoholic variety if you’re worried about being under the influence around me. And for the record, I neither said nor implied that sexual favors would be involved, but I’m quite intrigued that you’ve automatically assumed it would be included in the deal.”

I pfft into the phone. “Oh, come on. The implication was totally there. I mean, who trades a three-thousand-dollar car repair for a date unless they have money to burn and are too much of an a-hole to get laid without blackmail? There will be no sexual anything and there will be no date. I don’t even know you. You could be some crazy sociopath who’s been stalking me and my sister at grocery stores, waiting for the right time to strike.” That crime story marathon I watched last week probably wasn’t the best idea.

“I can assure you, I’m definitely not a sociopath. If you change your mind, you know how to get in touch with me.”

And then he hangs up.

I stare at phone in complete disbelief. “What the heck?” This has to be some kind of weird game. Maybe the date thing is to throw me off. Maybe he thinks he’s being funny. I have no idea. I don’t even have a last name for this guy. Just Pierce; hot a-hole in a suit. I hope I never hear from him again, although I realize it’s unlikely since Marley and I still owe him money.


Much to my dismay—sort of—Pierce messages me again the next day.

Pierce: Reconsider drinks yet?

Rian: No.

Pierce: You sure?

Rian: Yes.

Pierce: Okay. Just checking.

Of course I’ve reconsidered, probably a hundred times in the past two days. But I can’t say yes now. Not after I automatically assumed he was bartering for sex. Not that someone like him needs to barter for anything, especially not sex. I’m sure women regularly fall for the sweetheart business and his pretty smile. Which is the exact reason I won’t say yes. It’s on principle. I also have that date with Terry next week and I don’t like to date more than one guy at the same time because it gets confusing.

For the next two days it’s more of the same from Pierce.

Pierce: Root beer float?

Rian: Isn’t there a dirty song about that?

Pierce: Why is it always about sex with you?

I don’t respond to that one. Later that evening I get another message:

Pierce: Do you like tea?

Rian: Are you going to make a joke about tea bagging?

Pierce: Such as bag in or out?

I ignore that message. It’s been days since he sent the quotes, and I’d like to get it off my conscience and my plate.

Rian: I’d like to wire the money to your account. Can you send the details, please?

Pierce: Sure. Meet me at Frescos on the beach. 7pm work for you?

Rian: Not happening. Bank details please.

Pierce: I’d prefer that this transaction takes place in person.

I look up Fresco’s. It’s a five-star restaurant. That place is designed for romance and seduction. The cheapest dish on their menu is a thirty-five-dollar chicken breast. I don’t know what this guy’s game is, but I don’t want to play. Mostly. Sort of.

But I need to get this money situation sorted out and for him to stop messaging me. Because I’m starting to enjoy all this banter, which isn’t good. So I relent, even though I shouldn’t.

Rian: Meet me at the Starbucks on the corner of Montauk and Ponquogue in an hour. I’ll bring a check.

Pierce: It’s a date.

Rian: It’s a transaction, and a way to get you off my back, don’t read anything into it.

Pierce: See you soon ;)

I don’t understand why this guy is pushing so hard to see me when all I’ve been is difficult with him. He probably likes the chase.

I would like to say I make zero effort to look good for my anticipated meeting with Pierce, but that would be untrue. I only make half an effort. I pair jeans with a long-sleeved shirt and fix my makeup—but just the basics, mascara and some lip gloss. I wear flats and I put my hair in a ponytail so as not to seem as if I care what he thinks of my appearance.

I go armed with his quotes, my checkbook, and a vague plan to whittle him down for his sexist comment. My goal is to set this up like a business meeting so he knows it’s not a date. Even though I’m fifteen minutes early, he’s earlier. A-hole.

He’s sitting in one of those comfy chairs, with his hand wrapped around a grande something or other. He’s not dressed in a suit this time. Instead, he’s wearing a pair of distressed jeans and a T-shirt with a hot dog on it. I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but he looks as good in jeans as he does in a suit, maybe even better.

It’s horribly unfair. And all my girl parts are reacting accordingly. Which is bad. I have to remind myself that hot guys are always a bad call.

Helena Hunting's Books