“Always the gentleman. I don't need rescuing quite yet, but I'll be sure to call you if I do,” she promised.
“I hope so. So. Are you having fun?” his tone lightened up.
“Sometimes. We went out on a speed boat today, it was alright,” she started, laying it on thick and making it sound like it was the most boring thing she'd ever done. “But yesterday Sandy and I went shopping, and I bought anything I looked at, it was awesome.”
“Sounds like trouble. Did you buy clothing?” he asked.
“Yes, lots,” she replied. He chuckled.
“Anything sexy?” he asked. Normally, Tate would stop the conversation right there. Whenever Nick tried to get flirty, she would put an immediate end to it. But she figured indulging him just a little bit this time wouldn't hurt anybody.
“Hmmm, define sexy,” she told him, her voice low.
“Something other than khaki shorts and ankle-length-skirts,” Nick offered. She laughed.
“I bought lots of shorts and skirts, but nothing khaki or ankle-length. You would love it, I bought this one skirt, it barely covers my -,”
Suddenly, her phone was pulled out of her hand. Tate barely had time to gasp before Jameson simply tossed it over the railing. She shrieked and dove for it, but it was too late. She got to watch her cell phone slowly sink into the inky depths, the screen flickering as it went.
“We'll be late,” was all Jameson said before striding down the gangplank.
She was tempted to throw something at him, like a piece of furniture, but then she remembered – she was trying to be “nice” Tatum. Not vengeful, angry, spiteful Tatum. Not punch-a-mother-fucker-in-the-head Tatum. She took a couple deep breaths through her nose, then followed after him.
Jameson hadn't bothered waiting for her, and was halfway out of the parking area when she got off the boat. She glared at his back and started heading after him, but she refused to run. When he reached the street, he finally waited till she could catch up.
“That wasn't very polite,” was all Tate said as she walked past him.
“Your phone call was annoying me. I wanted it to end,” Jameson explained.
“You could have just asked, you didn't have to throw it in the fucking ocean,” she pointed out.
“Oh, yes, I should have 'just asked', because you've been so compliant up till now,” he snapped back.
She suddenly burst out laughing, coming to a stop. They were in the middle of a crosswalk and Jameson had to grab her arm, yanking her forward. She stumbled on her heels, but managed to stay upright. He pulled her to a stop on a street corner.
“I'm sorry, I just realized something,” Tate snickered.
“What?” he demanded.
“We argue and fight like an old married couple,” she told him.
“Oh, jesus. Have you been drinking?”
“No. It's just, we never used to snap over stupid shit. It's kind of funny. When we were like a couple, we didn't act like it. Now that we're not anything like a couple, we do act like it,” she wiped at her eyes.
“Maybe you should start drinking.”
Jameson led her to an upscale restaurant that was near the marina. At first, when she saw the maître d' wearing a tux, she worried that she would be underdressed. But as they were taken to a table that sat on the third level, against a railing overlooking a huge dance floor, she saw that lots of people were dressed like her.
“When I said dancing, I was thinking more like a night club,” Tate told him, sitting down as a waiter pushed in her chair.
“Then you thought wrong. Señor ...,” Jameson started talking to their waiter in Spanish. She hadn't realized he spoke Spanish. She knew he spoke German – she had heard him speaking it to Petrushka. How many other languages did he speak? The waiter nodded and scurried away.
“What was all that?” she asked. He took off his jacket and sat across from her.
“I ordered for us,” he told her.
“How do you know what I want?” she responded. Jameson laughed.
“Tatum, I always know what you want.”
She swallowed thickly and looked away. She felt stupid. Since he had come back into her life, ever since she had catered for his party, she had been able to step up to Jameson. Sexy banter used to flow easily between them. Now she felt like her tongue was stuck to the roof of her mouth.
Just fake it. Act like you're with someone, anyone, else.
“You know what I think you're problem is?” Tate asked, leaning low over the table. His eyes flicked down to her tits and she smiled.
“Enlighten me,” he responded.
“You think what you want is what everyone wants,” she told him. Jameson shook his head.
“No, my problem is I know what I want, and just don't care what anyone else wants,” he corrected her.
“Sounds like a pretty big problem.”
“Only for other people.”
“Still sounds like I'm talking to the devil,” she teased, and was rewarded with his eyebrows drawing together.
“Sometimes, while talking to you, I get the same feeling,” he replied. Tate frowned and shook off his words. She leaned back in her chair and looked over the railing.
“This wasn't the kind of dancing I had in mind,” she changed the subject. She watched as people moved across the huge ballroom floor, in what she assumed was a salsa dance. A live band played upbeat music, and it was nice, but not something that made her want to shake her ass.