Shimmy Bang Sparkle

Shimmy Bang Sparkle

Nicola Rendell



She held up her left hand, palm out, and the diamond ring on her finger caught the light. I watched her through the plate glass windows of the jewelry store. She considered her outstretched hand and wiggled her fingers. Small circles of light spun over her cleavage, her cheeks, and the delicate line of her throat. On her face was pure joy, a smile so big it made her nose wrinkle. She was mesmerizing; pretty enough to stop me from putting the key into my bike’s ignition. Sexy enough to stop me cold.

Straddling my bike, I took the rest of her in. Jeans, white T-shirt, long dark hair. Converse sneakers. From the side, her lower back and the curve of her ass made a tantalizing S. Every inch of her made me grip the handlebars tighter, until my leather gloves creaked against my knuckles. She flexed her wrist, and I caught a decent glimpse of the ring.

When it came to diamonds, I knew my shit. Even from outside, I knew the rock was a big one. But even with all those carats on her finger, she made the ring look good, not the other way around. She mussed up her hair with her other hand, all sexy and sassy and sinful, and the reflections off the ring darted around the shop.

I groaned into my helmet. The last thing on the planet I should’ve been doing right then was staring at a woman trying on an engagement ring inside a jewelry store. Ten-to-one, some dude in a Beemer was going to roll in and kill this buzz I was getting just from looking at her. Five-to-one, my parole officer was going to walk by and say, Norton. What the fuck? There was no good way to play this hand. And I was done playing anyway.

I gave the key a quarter turn, and that’s when she doubled down on me: the saleswoman, standing across from her, said something to make her laugh. That laugh. Fuck, that laugh. I couldn’t even hear it, but I could tell it wasn’t some shy giggle; it was a full-body wave of happiness so powerful, I couldn’t stop myself from smiling. With her hand to her chest, she tossed her head back, and her long dark curls kissed the top of her ass.


Every guy’s got his thing. Some go for red heels, some go for blondes in fishnets, some have it bad for redheads in shorts that show off some ass. Not me. My thing, my type, was standing right in front of me. Long, thick dark hair. Jeans. T-shirt. Beat-up Chuck Taylors. With a laugh like that.

Nothing better on earth.

I let go of my keys. The sun slipped down below the building behind me, and my reflection faded as she came more clearly into focus, lit by the halogens recessed into the ceiling of the store. The laugh eased into a smile and softened even more as she considered the ring. She pivoted on her toes, a slow-motion twirl, still with her hand out in front of her. It gave me a chance to study her even more closely. Everything on her fit her like a glove, and for a second I could almost imagine running my fingers up those thighs, and I could almost hear the sound of her zipper coming down as I began to . . .


Forcing myself to look away, I focused on an ice cream cone someone had dropped on the asphalt. It made milky rivers run through the cracks. An ant stood at the edge and put his leg in the puddle. Temptation, man. It’s a bitch. I glanced back up at her once more—couldn’t resist—and saw now she’d put her elbows on the glass, legs straight. Hips tilted and ass lifted. A pinup in faded jeans. Hands down, the sexiest woman I’d ever seen.

She had to be spoken for; she had to be. She was standing in a jewelry store with a ring on her left hand. I couldn’t stand the idea of waiting around to see who the lucky bastard was. So I decided to do the honorable thing and get the hell out of Dodge. With a twist of the key, my bike rumbled to life, and I flipped down the visor on my helmet. I revved my engine. Next to my boot, the ant waded through the vanilla pool.

I knew I shouldn’t do it, but I couldn’t resist. I looked at her just one more time. One more for the road. One last bet before the bookie closed up shop.

Her purse swung from the crook of her elbow, and she let it slip to the ground, bending at her hips so that a strip of skin peeked out from between her jeans and her shirt. When her purse fell on its side at her feet, I noticed something slide out. It was rectangular, thin, and unmistakable.

Her phone.

Glass to carpet, it flew forward like an air hockey puck heading for the goal. The full-length windows let me see the whole thing. It came to a stop a few feet away from her under the slightly raised jewelry case, in the no-man’s-land between her Converse and the saleswoman’s high heels. Playing the tape forward, I knew she’d never notice that she’d lost it. Not unless she got down on her hands and knees . . . which, as ideas went, was pretty much . . .

For Chrissake, Norton. Keep your shit together.

My bike shuddered underneath me. Getting out of Dodge would be so damned easy; all I had to do was put her in gear, and I’d be gone. Buzz dead, temptation avoided. But if I drove off and let her lose her phone, without doing something to stop it . . .

I was a dick, but I wasn’t that bad. Anyway, if I went in and grabbed it for her, at least I’d get to talk to her. At least I’d get to know the color of her eyes. Maybe I’d even get to hear that laugh for myself.

So I cut the engine, and the street went silent. I pulled off my helmet and tucked my gloves inside it. I shoved my keys in my pocket and headed for the glass door, engraved with ALBUQUERQUE JEWELERS EST. 1988. As my shadow spilled into the shop, she turned to face me. Her eyes locked on to mine, and she nailed me with a killer, adorable, sweet-as-apple-pie smile.

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