Pregnant By The Panther(6)

By: Riley Moreno

Sonya flicked him on the forehead playfully and walked to the back of the office where the Sheriff’s office kept its armory. She heard laughter and playful tones from the room, when she walked in she saw a tall woman with the body of a runway model and the face of a goddess clutch her belly and lean on Diesel, she was laughing so hard.

Diesel was smiling like a goof, his I-didn’t-think-it-was-that-funny-but-okay face that Sonya knew so well. The woman, Mel, ran her hand on Diesel’s chest as she tried to stay on her feet, the gesture over familiar and Sonya knew that she would never like this woman.

“Oh God,” Mel had a husky voice, that low sexy tone that drove men mad. “Oh, you’re so funny!”

“What’s the joke?” Sonya asked pointedly and watched with growing anger as Diesel stiffened, his eyes big round orbs of surprise, and Melanie frowned at her, he hand still on Diesel’s chest as if it belonged there.

“Excuse me,” Melanie said pugnaciously, “Civilians aren’t allowed back here. Please wait in the front to lodge your complaint.”

“No, Mel,” Diesel said stepping away from her, taking her hand off of him gingerly. “That’s my girlfriend. Sonya this is Mel, I told you about her.”

“Yeah, sure,” Sonya said giving Melanie a stiff smile. “How are you Melanie? How do you like Shifter Grove so far?”

“Fine,” the woman said crossing her arms on her chest. She was looking at Sonya with narrow hooded eyes as if she wasn’t very impressed by Sonya’s status of girlfriend. “The place has its merits,” she said with a sly smile, glancing at Diesel and Sonya had to marvel at the woman’s obviousness.

Diesel shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the next.

“Lunch?” Diesel asked holding Sonya’s hand. “How about we go to that new place in Waterville?”

“Won’t that take too long?” Sonya asked turning away from Melanie, guiding Diesel out of the room and in to the main office. “Don’t you have to be back in a few hours?”

“Nah,” Diesel said waving at Bill who was stuffing the last of the cookies in his mouth. “My deputies can handle things.”

“Yeah,” Bill said swallowing quickly, “Take the rest of the day off! Go on, I’m feeling generous today.”

Sonya laughed. Melanie came and sat on the edge of Diesel’s desk. Sonya could feel her gaze boring in to the back of her neck.

“You know what?” Sonya said. “I’m going to take you up on that offer, Bill.” She entwined her arm in Diesel’s. “I was hoping to get some shopping done for the baby and if we’re headed to Waterville we might as well make the trip worthwhile.”

“Don’t you work in Waterville?” Melanie asked suddenly and Sonya turned to regard her. “I mean you could get your shopping done any time.”

Sonya raised her eyebrows. Diesel and Bill were looking at Melanie quizzically.

“I’m just saying I find women who wait for their husbands or boyfriends to take them places are really taking feminism back,” Melanie said pleasantly.

“That’s not how our relationship works,” Sonya said. “I’d love to explain it to you but we’re running late for lunch.”

Sonya walked out and Diesel followed her. She didn’t say anything till they were a mile down the road.

“What a bitch!” Sonya spat. “What the hell is wrong with her?”

“I honestly don’t know,” Diesel said. “She was fine before you came.”

“Of course she was fine before I came,” Sonya muttered, “She had her hands all over you!”

“Hey,” Diesel protested, “Don’t you trust me?”

Sonya didn’t know what to say. She was fuming because Diesel had put her in this position. He was working with a bombshell who was obviously interested in him and she hadn’t seen him discouraging her. And even now he was making excuses for her!

“Well don’t you?” she could tell he was hurt, it was ringing clear as a bell in his voice.

“Of course I do,” she said grudgingly and Sonya knew that Diesel had heard her reluctance.