Darcy carefully watched Parker as he crunched into his BLT sandwich. She didn’t like the way he licked his fingers between each bite. He hadn’t changed much as far his manners went. Mike was so polite and well-mannered but he didn’t make her heart race the way Parker did. The spider incident now behind them, could there be possibility to work together and dive into a boy/girlfriend relationship? She wanted to think so, but he seemed as stubborn as she was and also wanted to be the group leader. Dad had warned her long ago to never take any pushy crap from any boy because she was above that BS. She almost wished she still had a mom to give her female advice, or that she could remember anything about her mom at all.
She popped on her visor and her iHear, thinking the words, images of Aoife Minotti, and images of a pretty golden haired woman holding little baby flashed into her visor. Her dad had a full head of dark hair back then and he looked so happy standing next to her mom. So different from the grey haired work-a-holic Command Chief Staff Sergeant he now was. Mom looked happy too. Were those pictures only taken on a good day, when she hadn’t slipped into the depths of depression?
“Are you gonna eat your chips?” Jack asked.
She removed her visor, to find the smug boy in front of her extending his hand to reach for her bag of salt and vinegar chips. Darcy resisted the urge to smack his hand away. Instead she just quietly snatched them off her plate.
“What were you just looking at on your visor?” He asked. “Going over case stuff again.”
Darcy shook her head.
“Watching some crazy you tube video.”
“No, drop it. It’s none of your business what I was looking at.”
“Ah, I got it. You were looking at pictures of naked guys.”
That was it. She had to put the little punk in his place. “Put on your visor.”
“Just put it on and I’ll show you what I was looking at.”
He pulled his visor out of his pocket and placed them over his eyes. She did the same. Send pictures of Aoife Minotti to Jack Frost.
“Wow, who’s the pretty lady?”
“My mom. She suffered from post-partum depression, was also an alcoholic, and put a bullet through her brain before my first birthday.”
She removed her visor to check out Jack’s reaction. He quietly removed his visor, reached out across the table like he was going to grab her hand, but then backed off like a scared kid.
“I’m sorry. Sorry I teased you. Geesh, I seem to be doing a lot of apologizing around you. I misstep because I like you a lot. Can we start over and try to be friends? Maybe even more?”
“We can be friends. We can be working associates but nothing more because ….” She tried to find her voice, though it wanted to quiver and not admit anything about Mike back home. “Because I have a boyfriend. If you’ll excuse me, I have to use the little girl’s room.”
She rushed away from the table, lowering her head so Jack wouldn’t see the tears forming in her eyes. Why was she that stupid? She could have so much more with Jack then she ever had with Mike, but stubborn pride bit her in the ass and caused her to tell him the truth.