Maiya glanced away when her phone rang from her purse on the counter. Saved by the bell. At the same time the microwave beeped signaling the food was done. Getting up, she retrieved her cell, giggling when she saw who was calling.
“Hello, can you not see I’m offline right now?” Maiya smiled and moved to the microwave.
“You’re never offline. You’ve said it a million times. ‘I’m always reachable.’ In fact, if I had a dollar for every time you made sure everyone knew you were available, I’d be a rich man.”
She smirked. Those may have been her words, but his voice sure didn’t sound anything like hers. His was smooth, and creamy. Like hot chocolate sliding down her throat, settling warm in her tummy. Mmmm. “You don’t sound anything like me, you know? But points for trying.” She pulled the cellophane wrap off the dinner plate and grabbed a fork and napkin. “Is there a point to this call or are you just calling to annoy me?”
“Annoy you? Maiya, I’m hurt. I don’t try to annoy you. Frustrate or tease maybe, but definitely not annoy you.”
“You’re so full of shit. What do you want? I’m busy.”
“And now you insult me? Thanks. See if I call you for help next time.” Ryan let out an exaggerated sigh.
“Oh come on. You’re really laying it on thick now. What do you need, Mr. Donnelly? I’m at your service.”
He chuckled. “Nice. I love it when you’re at my service. Makes things go so much smoother.”
“Emmie, is that ready yet?” her mother hollered from the living room, not five feet away.
“Hang on, I’m coming.”
“Okay. Wait. Coming?”
“No. Shit. Not you. Just...give me a minute okay, Ryan?” Maiya scooped up the dish and utensil in one hand and brought them out to the living room.
“Here you go.” Maiya set the plate down on the worn TV tray that’d become a permanent fixture too long ago to remember and moved it in front of her mom’s chair.
“Who’re you talking to?”
“Its work. I’ll be right back.” Maiya grabbed her own smokes from her purse and stepped outside the door. Sitting down on the concrete steps, she lit a cigarette. “Nowwww, I’m all yours. What do you need?”
“Shoot, you really are busy. It can wait. I’ll talk to you about it tomorrow.”
“Hell no. You’ve got my attention now. Lay it on me. Blow my skirt up. Make a move.” When he didn’t answer she knew she’d stumped him again. Another point for me today!
“I never know what you’re going to say next.”
“Good. Keeps you guessing.” She took a drag and exhaled the remains.
“I think you like me guessing.”
“Maybe.” Maiya looked up at the door when she heard her mother calling her name again. Dammit. She didn’t want to cut this short, but it was looking like her mother wasn’t going to let her have a freaking half a second to herself.
“You don’t strike me as a woman who wears skirts.”
“Huh? Where’d that come from? And what the hell would make you think I don’t wear skirts?”
“You said, ‘blow your skirt up.’ I figure you probably wouldn’t make it that easy.”
The door opened. And, yep, Joanie came calling. “Emmie, I need you in here.”
Maiya gritted her teeth and glared up at her mother. “I’ll be right there.” The door slammed closed, and Maiya blew out a harsh breath. For fuck’s sake, the woman had no concept of life outside of what she wanted.
“Hey, it really does sound like you have your hands full. I’ll call you tomorrow. No big deal.”
Shit, his voice had gone all deep and soft, and a ripple of desire spilled through her, extinguishing her agitation, before pooling straight between her legs. She swallowed. Hell, she’d give anything to keep him on the phone now, even with her mother breathing down her neck. “You sure?”
“Yeah, I’m sure. Have a good night, Maiya.”
“All right. Take care. Talk tomorrow.” She listened as the call disconnected. Sweet, baby Jesus her hands were shaking.
Maiya looked down at the forgotten cigarette pinched between two fingers, half burnt away. She’d taken only one drag. Stubbing it out in the coffee can on the stoop, she went back inside.