After Hours

After Hours by Cara McKenna Read Free Book Online

Book: After Hours by Cara McKenna Read Free Book Online
Authors: Cara McKenna
Tags: Fiction, Erótica, Romance
to quit ordering it all the time.” He
     narrowed his eyes. “What did you want to drink?”
    White wine, probably.
But it would’ve been nice to be consulted, what with this being the twenty-first century.
     “Whiskey,” I lied, wanting to sound tough.
    “I stand corrected, then.”
    To my dismay, Kelly flicked his hand at the bartender and ordered me a double shot
     of Bushmills, no ice. With this morning’s four thirty wake-up call, a twelve-hour
     shift, a banana for lunch, and a single bite of pizza for dinner, I’d be under the
     stool before I finished wincing my way through the first sip.
    “Um, thanks.” I held up the shot when it arrived and Kelly tapped it with his bottle.
     I drank just enough for it to wet my lips and tingle against my tongue.
    I set the glass down with a blasé clack, hoping I looked like I did this all the time.
     “What else do women find so troublesome about you?”
    Kelly shrugged. “Just general bossy assholery.”
    “Ah. Well, nice that you’re self-aware, I suppose.”
    “I’m real my-way-or-the-highway. Got no patience when things don’t go how I want them
     to.”
    “How so?”
    He leaned his elbow on the bar and looked me square in the face. “I got exes who might
     try to tell you I treated them like servants. They were all fond of telling me as
     much, anyhow. But I work hard. I’ve got needs. If they don’t get met to my satisfaction,
     I get grouchy.”
    “Charming.”
    “Don’t get me wrong though—I’ve never shouted at a woman during an argument. Definitely
     never hit one. I’m a dick, not a piece of shit.”
    “Gotcha.” I took a sip of my whiskey. My ludicrous attraction cooled as quickly as
     it had warmed, but good that he was telling me himself, I supposed.
    “My sister and mom have both dated their share of your type, but none of those guys
     ever had the decency to own up to it.” Weird to think Kelly was one of those men who’d
     put my family through so much grief. Suddenly I was having a drink with the enemy . . .
     though it still didn’t feel that way. “You don’t seem impatient or bossy at all on
     the ward.”
    “And I’m not. But I spend forty to fifty hours a week at everybody’s beck and call.
     When I’m off, I want what I want, the way I want it.”
    “Understandable.” If not particularly appealing to even the most middling feminist.
     “Sounds very old-school. Was your dad a factory guy? Twelve-hour shift, and dinner
     better be waiting when he gets home?”
    “The only place my dad ever spent twelve hours at was sitting on a stool, like we
     are now. Though if alcoholism was a paid gig, he’d have built himself an empire.”
    “Oh. Sorry.”
    “Don’t be. I don’t offend easily. Save your ‘sorries’ for somebody who’ll appreciate
     them.”
    So he’d grown up with a drunk for a father and spent his days keeping order in a ward
     full of unpredictable, violent men. I guessed I could understand Kelly wanting a bit
     of control when he punched out. I decided to concede my annoyance over the wine.
    “How did you get into nursing?” I asked. “Well, being an orderly, I mean.”
    “It was real random. Or maybe not. Maybe it makes perfect sense, now that I think
     about it . . . By the time I was fifteen I must have been about six-two. And big.
     Like somebody had slipped me growth hormones at puberty. I spent so much time at this
     shady bar in my neighborhood, hauling my dad’s drunk ass home, they wound up giving
     me a job, bouncing. Years before I could even drink, myself.”
    “Ah.”
    “When I was in my early twenties, somebody told me about a job in prison security,
     so I did that for a while. Long while—nine years, I think. I got along real good with
     the unstable inmates. Guess I got my old man to thank for all the experience dealing
     with irrational, belligerent assholes. Eventually somebody hooked me up with my job
     at Larkhaven. Pays better than being a prison guard, and it’s

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