Grace really, really didn’t want to introduce her. CeCe would call her mother as soon as she got home. Then her mother would call her, and she would spend the rest of the night trying to diffuse her mother’s fears.
“Let’s go.” Grace tugged at CeCe’s arm harder, but she stood immovable.
Ice reached around her, giving CeCe his hand. “Hi, I’m Ice.”
“Oh, my God, the Ice?” she breathed, shaking his hand and not releasing it.
Grace groaned at Ice’s amusement.
“I want to have your babies.”
Grace was going to kill her friend—literally kill her—for embarrassing her.
Ice laughed, moving to her side and putting his arm around Grace’s rigid shoulders. “I’m not looking for a baby mama.”
“Hey, what about me?” Max said, wrapping his arm around CeCe’s waist. “I love kids. I have four.”
“I haven’t forgotten about you.” CeCe’s sensual purr had Grace’s fingers itching to grab her friend by her teased hair and drag her from the nightclub.
“CeCe, I want to leave. Now!”
“All right, all right. Don’t get your panties in a twitter.”
Grace stood by while her former friend gave Max her phone number, urging him to call her soon. Before CeCe could speak to Ice again, Grace began dragging her away.
As she passed the table with the man with the bitchy fiancée, she came to an abrupt stop, seeing his chastised expression. Unable to resist, she leaned down and gave him a brief kiss on the lips.
“You should drop that bitch before you sign a marriage certificate.”
The bitch in question began screeching at her, but Grace didn’t stay to listen, practically running outside.
“What in the fuck was that about?” Ice grabbed her hand, bringing her to an abrupt stop.
“Nothing? That kiss you landed on his mouth wasn’t fucking nothing.”
“I couldn’t take that poor man listening to her bitch at him for another minute. Now, before she opens her mouth, she’ll know he has options.”
Ice stared at her in anger at her convoluted thinking. “What options? You’re sure as hell not one of them.”
“I think he was sweet. He let her bitch at him all night because he spent the evening with his mother at the hospital.”
“I don’t give a fuck if his mother’s dying; you’re not going out with him.” Ice’s voice began to rise.
“I didn’t say I would go out with him, only that he had other options than to listen to that bitch,” Grace explained.
Ice breathed in and out of his mouth. “You could have told him that without kissing him.”
“Yes, but it wouldn’t have been as effective,” she said stubbornly.
CeCe started laughing.
“I’m going home.” Grace tried to walk at a fast clip, which was difficult to do while dragging a reluctant CeCe.
She took CeCe’s purse from her, digging through it to find her car keys. Pushing the button, she opened the car door and shoved CeCe toward the driver’s side before heading to the passenger’s side. However, before she could get in, Ice braced his hand on the door.
“Give me a damn minute.”
She crossed her arms over her chest. It’s not like she had a choice with him blocking her.
“Have lunch with me tomorrow?”
“No,” she refused instantly.
Ice removed his hand from the car door, tracing a finger down her cheek. “All I could think about when I was in the hospital was how bad I wanted to see you again.”
“You were in the hospital? When?” Dax had told her Ice had been released, but he hadn’t mentioned Ice had been hospitalized.
“Doesn’t matter. Will you have lunch with me?”
Grace bit her lip in indecision.
“You can pick the place and time.”
She knew it would be a mistake, a terrible mistake.
“The pain was awful. I had three broken ribs and a fractured sternum.”
Grace took a closer look at Ice, seeing the paleness of his skin and that he had lost weight. She had been so surprised to see him she hadn’t noticed the obvious changes.
“All right,” she gave in, instantly regretting it. “I’ll meet you at the Jiffy Grill at eleven.”
Ice grinned, moving away from the car to let her enter. She was about to tell him she had changed her mind, but he was already walking away toward Max and Jackal, who were waiting for him at the front entrance of the nightclub.
“Dammit.” She opened her car door and slid inside, angrily slamming the door closed.
CeCe was sitting there, staring at her. “Girl, he’s hot.”
Ice walked away, glad Grace couldn’t see the triumphant smile on his face.
“You look happy as shit with yourself,” Jackal commented.
“She agreed to go to lunch with me tomorrow,” Ice said, not slowing down as he walked across the parking lot to his bike.
Swinging a leg over the huge motorcycle, he started the engine.
“How did you get her to agree to that?” Max asked, getting on his own bike.
“I told her I had been in the hospital.”