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The romantic, sometimes erotic adventures
of Tracie Dumas, Bounty Hunter
copyright © 2015 Anji Philips
all rights reserved
cover by Blair Erotica
I sat in Jersey's Bar on Sixth Street, sipping a scotch, staring at the business card in front of me and trying to ignore the way my clothes were sticking to me, to the sweat that was running down my face.
"Mason's Heating & Air Conditioning" the card read. I'd just talked to Mason himself. Our air con, the big noisy, rattly one that sat outside in the alley and was supposed to keep the bar cool during heat waves like this one and made it a haven for customers, was dead. It was, apparently, far past its prime.
"It's not worth fixing," Mason said. "It's old and seeing that no one has bothered to maintain it for about ten years, it is totally fucked."
I'd stared at the estimate he'd given us for a shiny new one. The figures looked like they'd be right for buying a new car, an upmarket one at that. "But can you fix it? Make it last a while longer so we can get money for a new one?"
"I can make an ashtray cool this joint if you want, but repairing this bitch is gonna cost almost as much as putting in a new one. Maybe more if I have to adapt parts for it. Besides, a new one will cost less to run, pay for itself over time."
I imagined he was right. Sure he wanted to sell us a new one, but he made sense. The trouble was we didn't have anything like that kind of money. So I told him we had to talk it over, maybe see about a loan. That left me with his estimate, his business card, and a bar that was losing money because of the incredible heat.
And to make things worse, Johnny and I were fighting about it.
Johnny is my partner in the bar and, when things are going smooth, my lover. Right now that part wasn't working out well. I'd come back from a business trip that also didn't work out to find his apartment, above the bar, and the bar itself had turned into an oven. In that heat, our tempers were in as short a supply as customers willing to put up with that heat.
"It died yesterday," Johnny said. He'd called Mason and the two of them gave me the bad news. That fucked over my plans for a sex-filled homecoming, and I'd wanted that to take my mind off the costly trip I'd made.
And then he told me about Rosa. He'd hired her as a waitress. Not that we could've afforded an employee even when the air con was working. It didn't help my state of mind or attitude that Rosa was a drop dead gorgeous Latina. I blew up—lost it completely.
"We can't afford any help. You're supposed to talk to me about things like this before you decide, not after."
"You weren't here."
"I'm back now. What was the rush?"
He wiped the sweat from his face with his tee shirt. Even the sight of those spectacular abs didn't cheer me, which shows you how upset I was. "Rosa had another offer and she needed a decision. You don't want me calling you on bar business when you are off doing whatever the fuck it is you do on those trips."
"Work. That's what I do. Try to earn some money to live on." It bothered me that he had a point. I was in no mood to admit it, but he was in the right. He'd been here and needed to make a decision. Running the bar is his job. I'd been busy following a bogus lead that was supposed to get me a bail jumper. I should mention that my real job is being a bounty hunter. It says so right on my business card: Tracie Dumas, bounty hunter.
I'm good at my work and most of the time I like it. Still, it's freelance work and when I don't score, I eat the costs. Right now that hurt.
I'd invested heavily in the bar. Johnny and his sister inherited the bar and she hated it. So I bought her out. I got a nice bounty and paid her cash and everyone was happy since Johnny and I had become lovers. But that was all my cash and work had been slow since. That meant the expenses from the trip weighed heavily on my credit card. There was no room on it for an industrial air con, especially when things like the office rent were coming due.
Under the best of circumstances, the bar makes just enough to pay its own way and fortunately Johnny has the apartment upstairs. In this heat wave with no a/c we had no customers. The heat wave was predicted to hang around for a time and we couldn't afford that either.
"Fuck." That was the sum of my creative thinking.
So instead of coming home and having Johnny wrap me in his arms and make rough love to me, we fought. And now he was sulking, which left me hot, horny, sweaty, and pissed off. I'm sure he was not in any better condition.
When Rosa came in, Johnny introduced us. That she looked even better than I'd heard, and that she looked at him with blatant fuck me eyes didn't help my mood. Again, under other circumstances... Johnny and I don't have an exclusive relationship―I'm not sure either of us would survive one. Up to now, we'd played by the unspoken rule was that when I was around, we were a couple. At the moment that idea wasn't working any better than the a/c.
I watched Rosa come moving around the bar, swinging her hips. They had gone into the back storeroom. I saw Johnny say something to her and she nodded and started getting something out. I was at the bar pretending that a drink with ice in it my keep the sweat from pouring down my face. From that seat, you have a great view of the storeroom when the door is left open and there's no real reason to shut it when the bar is open. Today, closing doors, stopping air from flowing, was the last thing anyone was going to do.
As I watched them talking I could tell by Johnny's body language that Rosa had done something to upset him. He shouted, but either I couldn't hear him clearly or my overheated brain couldn't unscramble his words.
Watching him talking with Rosa, looking at him, made my heart beat faster. He was a sexy man, even now, even mad. He's tall, slender, thirty-two, and Italian. I've never had a boyfriend or who was more fit or better in bed. He loves to eat pussy and prides himself on making sure his partner comes. His partner appreciates that.
Rosa waved her arms as she talked. Classic Latina gestures told me that she wasn't letting him blame her for whatever they were arguing about. He stepped up to Rosa with his face still twisted in anger. Then she stopped waving her arms and smiled at him. She put her hands on her hips, pulled her shoulders back, and letting her breasts press against his chest.