Home > The Hookup (Moonlight and Motor Oil #1)(7)

The Hookup (Moonlight and Motor Oil #1)(7)
Author: Kristen Ashley

I guessed I was drinking fresh coffee.

And I guessed I was doing it sitting on the counter while he cooked, keeping him company.

“You put your panties back on,” he noted while I was swallowing my first sip.

“Uh . . .” I mumbled, not saying anything more.

His mouth hitched in the direction of the skillet before he put the fork down and went to the fridge.

I took another sip of coffee and looked around his room.

It was then I noticed that the massive TV hanging on the wall hung on the wall opposite the bed, but the couch, oblong coffee table and two flanking armchairs had their backs to the TV.

I guessed he watched TV in bed.

Or not much at all, considering the number of books practically falling out the many bookshelves and covering the table by the chair in the corner with the fabulous tripod floor lamp beside it.

“How long have you lived here?” I asked.

The utter silence this question received made my shoulders instantly tense and my gaze move directly to Johnny.

He had eggs out and was taking down a bowl from some shelves over where he was working.

What it appeared he wasn’t going to do was answer what I thought was a non-intrusive question.

It then came to mind our conversation last night at the bar.

A conversation that I hadn’t noticed until right then, thinking back on it, was one-sided.

I was new to town. I had to move there for reasons I didn’t like to think about. But I’d moved there because Deanna was there, she’d moved there years before, right after she married Charlie, and she was always talking about how fabulous it was. How friendly. How community minded. Added to that, property values were way cheaper than in the city. You could get so much more for so much less.

The one downside was that the commute was long and could be horrific if traffic got backed up. But I’d learned in the two months I’d been there that it was worth an hour’s (and often longer) commute every day.

That said, Deanna and Charlie were the only people I knew in town and I’d decided, with spring turning to summer, it was time to be more social, get to know my neighbors.

So I went to the one and only local bar, On My Way Home, known as Home. It was a drinking establishment like any other, with a rectangular bar in the middle, tables around, TVs all over the place. I’d heard they sometimes had bands but most times it was just a quiet place to catch a game or meet up with friends, have a chat and throw some back.

I’d actually seen Johnny pulling into the lot at the back when I’d finished parking. I’d glimpsed his magnificence through the cab of his truck. I’d even heard his car door close as I was walking in the back door of the bar.

And I’d barely sat down when Johnny had come up beside me.

He didn’t look at me, just slid into the space between me and the stool beside me.

He’d received instant attention from the female bartender whereupon he’d said, “Usual, Sally, and whatever she’s having.”

It was not the most original pick up line ever.

But it was the best one ever used on me, only because Johnny used it.

Thus ensued him sitting next to me and asking my name.

“Eliza. I’m Eliza Forrester. But everyone calls me Iz or Izzy.”

Sharing that got me my first grin.

And for the next couple of hours, I shared a lot.

Johnny had asked questions as I did. But when I’d done the same with him, he deflected them, bringing the conversation back to me.

Sitting on his counter in his kitchen after having sex with him four times in eleven hours, it occurred to me very belatedly I didn’t know a thing about him but his name, he drove a truck, he lived in a house with a water wheel in the middle of some woods and he was an exceptional lover.

Uncomfortably, I sipped my coffee, casting my mind frantically out for a conversational gambit that might actually work.

In the midst of failing at that, he answered, “Three years.”

I looked to him not because he answered but because it sounded torn from him.

“It’s a great place, Johnny,” I said quietly.

“Been in the family generations,” he shared, cracking eggs into the bowl. “Dad kept it up so folks who came to visit us had their own space. Wasn’t like this though. When I moved in, cleaned it up, fixed it up, updated some shit. Now it’s home.”

“It’s very attractive,” I told him. “And peaceful.”

“Yeah,” he agreed.

“The water wheel is cool,” I remarked.

“Yeah,” he repeated.

“Is it still being used for something?” I asked.

“Place was a gristmill. Now it’s not,” he answered in a way that was that and there would be no more.

Time to try something else.

“You don’t have pets,” I noted.


And that was that too.

He turned the bacon. Got out another skillet. Put it on a burner. Walked to the double door pantry at the edge of the kitchen and got out a loaf of bread.

He brought that to me and set it by my thigh on the opposite side of the counter from his mug. He pulled a toaster from the wall.

“You wanna be in charge of toast?” he asked, his gaze finally coming back to me.

I nodded. “I think I can manage that.”

His head tilted to the side. “You know how to cook?”

“I was a latchkey kid. My mom worked and I was the oldest. So yeah, I know how to cook.” I smiled at him. “And I definitely can make toast.”

His impassive face softened before he reached up beside me and pulled down a plate.

He gave me a knife and the butter.

I grabbed the bread.

“How many pieces do you want?” I asked.

“Two,” he answered.

He reached across me to grab the butter, shoved a huge pat of it in the empty skillet, then reached back across me to replace the butter.

I slid the lever down on the first two slices of toast just as a cell phone rang from somewhere in the vicinity of his bed.

“That’s my tone,” I said.

“Mine too.”

Another sliver of information about Johnny, he had an iPhone.

He moved into the room and I watched him toss his jeans aside and come back with my purse, which was ringing.

He handed it to me.

I dug out my phone.

He took the purse from me and set it on the island as I took the call and he went back to the stove.

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