Ginny looks around, as if he were speaking to someone else, despite him having used her name. Her ponytail whips across her shoulder, the movement causing its chaos.
“Me?” She asks, stalling for time, clarifying the question.
“You see anyone else named Baker around here?” He asks, a sly grin appearing on his face, eyes sparkling with the chase. He’d asked her this question before, several times in fact. And every single time she’d played it off like she was busy, using every excuse in the book.
“Not a good idea,” she tries to warn, glancing around at the other guys, garnering attention from a few, but all ducking their heads.
“Come on, I don’t bite,” he says with a wink. “Unless you’re into that,” he goads, and her eyes narrow at the comment.
She can hear the intake of breath from several of her teammates, a few shaking their heads at what’s to come.
She steps closer, and his eyes alight with joy, the prey coming to him.
“You couldn’t handle this,” she threatens, attempting to joke, play nice, but they’re quickly bordering on misconduct, and she’s not afraid to put him in his place.
He raises his eyebrow in a dare.
“Try me,” he says.
His eyes growing wide as a firm hand lands on his shoulder, yanking him back with a heavy tug.
“What’s this? You inviting the team to hang out on Saturday?” Mike asks with a slap on the back of the newest rookie. “That is so nice, but you see, Baker here, she’s busy.”
“Is that so?” He says, never swiping the shit eating grin off his face.
“Yep. She’s got plans already,” he says, throwing a look back at Ginny, who’s got her arms crossed, a glare pointed at the two of them.
She comes up, nudging Mike out of the way, making direct eye contact with the guy who never seemed to take no for an answer.
“I’m not interested. Don’t ask me again,” her raspy voice reprimanding him like a small child, before turning to grab her things from her cubby around the corner.
She can’t hear what Mike threateningly whispers at him, but she hears the slap of his back as she stalks away, the guy unlikely to mess with her again. She hopes.
“The nerve of that guy, I swear,” Mike says, waltzing into her space, and pulling up the chair across from where she’s standing.
“Yeah, the nerve,”her voice tinged with sarcasm.
“You’re welcome—” He tries to say with a grin like he’d done her a favor.
“Ass,” she responds, catching him completely off guard.
“Me? I just—”
“Practically peed on him, marking your property…ME,” she frustratingly rasps at him.
“Whoa, no, that’s not—”
“That’s exactly what you did. I don’t need you to help all the time,” she points at him, grabbing her bag and making her way out of the clubhouse.
She makes it all the way to the car until she realizes that the swift exit plan wouldn’t be the case at all.
Throwing down her bag, she slides down to the pavement, burying her head in her hands, her knees bent in frustration, hiding from the sun beating down on her.
It’s not until she feels her shoe being kicked, a large shadow covering her that she knows her ride has arrived.
“Get in,” he pleads, and she reluctantly stands, opening the door and throwing her bag into the back before situating herself in the passenger seat.
They’re only five minutes into the drive, silence eating away at them when he speaks.
“I know you don’t need me,” he says with a shrug, the plaid he’s wearing creating a dizzying pattern in its motion. He glances over at her, the self-deprecation hidden behind his beard.
She lets out a heavy sigh.
“It’s not that I don’t need you,” she starts. “I just…I can handle things on my own, you know?”
“I know,” he agrees. Her abilities never questioned by him, except when it came to cooking, then he had his doubts.
“I can fight my own battles and whatever…” she says, pinching her bottom lip.
“I wasn’t trying to fight your battle for you, Gin,” he tries to explain. “I was just…trying to fight next to you, like partners,” he says, holding back a grin.
“Like a couple,” she broaches, a shy smile playing on her lips.
“Yeah, Gin, like a couple. I got your back, you got mine. That’s how it works. You know, like Bonnie and Clyde,” he says, his eyes stealing glances at her.
“More like Beauty and the Beast with that thing,” she says motioning to his beard.
“You do look good in blue and yellow, Beauty,” he says with a wink.
“You are so lame,” she teases, her hand finding its way to his forearm with a gentle squeeze. The thought of a happily ever after not such a bad thing.