Penni and Grace talked every night. The father and daughter were close, but she could understand him wanting to mourn in private without his son and daughter as witnesses.
“Since you didn’t take my offer for more time off …” Penni picked up a sheath of papers, handing them to Grace. “This is the contract for the Atlantic venue. Make sure Kaden has his own dressing room. He can’t be a diva if he doesn’t have fresh fruit, coffee, and an air purifier.”
“Ax doesn’t want a personal chef?”
“I already hired one to go on tour with us.”
“Thank God. It was a pain in the ass when the venues’ hired cooks who didn’t make what he wanted.”
“I don’t think Genny knows how to make Sushi, but she’ll learn,” she stated confidently.
The women spent the day getting caught up on their work. Then Grace went out to get take-out for lunch. Shoving her paperwork out of the way, they sat at Penni’s desk to eat.
Grace brushed a crumb away from her expensive dress. “So, Ice said you and Jackal are a couple.”
Penni lowered a chip that she had been about to eat, taking her time before answering the question and finally giving the only she could.
“I’m thinking about it.”
“Is it ten percent or fifty percent odds?”
Penni thought hard. “Uh … I don’t know. More like seventy percent sure.”
Grace frowned. “More than fifty percent? I thought you would be, like, less than ten percent.”
“That was before last night.”
“What happened last night?”
Penni didn’t answer, shoving a chip in her mouth.
“Did you have sex with him? You swore you’d never want anything to do with him.”
“No, I didn’t have sex with him, but I’m thinking about it. He’s kind of sexy.”
“Do you think he’s ten perfect—”
“What’s going on? When did you become a freaking mathematician?”
Grace looked down at her food. “If you tell, I’ll get in trouble, but Max started a bet over whether Jackal could … get you in bed,” she answered delicately.
Penni could just imagine the words Ice had used.
“Max said Jackal couldn’t get you in bed even if he had Stump’s dick.”
Wow, that must have hurt Jackal’s pride. Then another thought struck her. Had Jackal been trying to win a bet?
Penni stiffened in her chair. “Does Jackal know?” She would cut off his dick and shove it up his ass!
“No … No, he didn’t. He didn’t until this morning when Ice told him. Ice wanted to figure out whom to place his bet on. Our hot tub is on the fritz … We enjoy our hot tub,” Grace admitted, embarrassed.
“What did Jackal say?”
“He told Ice it was fifty percent.”
Penni relaxed back in her chair. She could live with that answer.
“Well?” Penni raised her brows at her.
“Who did Ice bet on?”
“He placed on you, but he wanted me to make sure he shouldn’t change his bet.”
Now Penni could understand Grace’s impromptu return to work.
“You might want to tell Ice to go ahead and change his bet.”
“Really? Um … I’m happy … if you’re happy.” Grace carefully cleaned away the remains of her lunch. “But I wanted to make sure before he risks our money on a stupid bet so we don’t lose.”
“What do you mean?”
“Nothing’s going to change your mind, right? Even if one of the men tell you something that will upset you?”
Penni folded her hands together on the desk. “Spill.”
“It’s just that Ice is worried one of the men will tell you something about Jackal that would keep him from winning the bet.”
“Like what? If it’s about Raci, we talked, and that’s why I’m still making up mind about him. Before that, he had a solid ninety percent chance of getting me in bed.”
“See, that’s what has Ice worried.”
Penni noticed that Grace had downplayed her own worry.
“What kind of things do you think they would tell me?”
“I don’t know. If I knew, I would tell you. You’re my friend, and I wouldn’t keep anything from you that I thought you deserved to know.”
“That’s good to—”
“Except …” Grace became flustered. “You are aware he’s one of the bouncers at the Purple Pussycat?”
“I’m the one who took you there to show you where the Predators hang out. I also know he’s … slept with most of the women.”
“Cool. I was worried I would have to tell you. I admire you,” she said in a truly awed tone. “I don’t think I could take Ice watching the women working with their clients.”
Penni’s chair fell back as she quickly rose. “What’d you say?”
Grace paled. “I thought you said you knew?”
“That he was lying to me about not sleeping with the strippers. I knew he threw drunks out or men who got too touchy-feely with the dancers, not watching them fuck!” Penni picked up her chair. “Never mind. Tell Ice his bet is safe.” She sat back down, pushing her chair forward to her desk. “Let’s go back to work.”