When he releases my chin, I notice Little Miss Judgmental creeping up to our table out of the corner of my eye. I lean across the table and grab hold of Eddie’s shirt. By the time she arrives next to us, I’ve captured Eddie’s mouth and am giving him another tongue lashing. Before the waitress asks what we want, she clears her throat and taps her pencil on the pad she carries.
Pulling back, I say, “Sorry ‘bout that.”
Across from me, Eddie grins like it’s his luckiest day ever and I’m tempted to peel off my pants and give him a ride to remember. There’s something so attractive about his obliviousness. He doesn’t see the roll of the eyes from our waitress or the cook casually coming out from the kitchen to watch us. Blinders. The boy has blinders. It’s always been that way. We can be in a room with a girl eye-fucking the shit out of him and he’ll walk away clueless. He’s got eyes for one girl and it isn’t the Plain Prude standing next to us.
“Have you guys made up your mind?”
“I’ll have the chicken salad and he’s going to try the Burger from Hell.”
She goes to leave but Eddie puts a hand on her arm to stop her. As if his skin is on fire, she wrenches out from under his touch, and he shrinks away. He isn’t the type to relish making any girl uncomfortable; his mama raised him right. Still, he hasn’t done anything wrong and I’m tempted to sucker punch the flinching bitch.
I don’t. Because Eddie is hungry. And I don’t want to turn this place into a bad experience for him. Don’t want to tread on the memory of his Daddy.
“Can I get a beer? Anything you got as long as it’s cold? What about you, Etta? You want something to drink?”
“Water.” And I give the girl a look so sharp you’d think I cut her by the way she runs off.
“What’s going on?” Oh, clueless Eddie.
“Nothing, baby.” I drag my chair over to his side of the table and put a hand in his lap.
Purposefully, I run my fingers against his jean covered crotch. He leans back in his chair, relaxing into my touch. A soft sigh escapes him.
Dark eyes are on me. Six pairs of them, but Eddie’s are the only ones I give a good God damn about. Smiling, I stare at him and tell him I love him without saying a word.
Occasionally, I survey the crowd, taking the girl behind the counter and the cook into consideration. They might be concerned over Eddie, but I’m the one they should be worried about. I’ll keep myself in check, but I’m coiled so tight, ready to spring up out of my chair and teach these people a lesson. Like how rude it is to stare.
My mind turns to Susannah.
This stop feels as though we are wasting time. But I can’t keep going without rest. I am no good to Susie if I drive off the road and kill myself. Sweat droplets chase each other down my shirt and between my breasts.
“You better stop,” Eddie groans, growing harder under my hand. “Or we’re going to have ourselves a problem.”
I keep right on stroking him.
All through lunch I tease Eddie to occupy my mind. I bet he doesn’t even taste his burger. He keeps sending me these warning looks, like if I don’t stop he’s going to clear the table with his arm and rip my clothes off. My gaze doesn’t falter from his and inside I’m shouting ‘do it’.
He doesn’t. Unlike me, Eddie still has some class.
He leaves a tip. Before we exit, I swipe it off the table and finger the waitress. She gasps like I’ve just shit on her breakfast plate. Fuck her, she doesn’t deserve Eddie’s generosity. Eddie slips in behind the wheel of Candy which is kind of a no-no, but seeing the heat in his eyes excites me into the passenger seat without a word of disapproval. We’re on Interstate 40 again a heartbeat later. The Barracuda purrs under my ass. It’s a song we’ve sung together so many times I know the words by heart.