“It was fun, Robbie, but I’m just not interested in anything permanent.”
Robin Scorpio sat back in her chair and stared at the man sitting across from her in the sidewalk café. “That’s not what you said when we started seeing each other,” she said, a little irritated.
A grin split across Aaron Munson’s handsome face and he laughed. “Come on, Robbie. You’re not eighteen anymore.”
A strange tingling began dancing up her spine and she shifted in her chair. “What’s that suppose to mean?”
Aaron exhaled slowly and folded his arms on the tiny table, leaning towards her. “Look, don’t make me do this. Just—take it at face value, okay?”
“Oh, that’s supposed to make me back off?” Robin demanded. “Aaron, don’t be a coward. I’m a big girl, I can handle the truth.” The summer breeze flicked her hair across her face, shielding her view of him for a moment. When she could see him, his expression had changed to a somewhat guilty expression. “Aaron, if this is about last week and you having second thoughts about taking things to the next level, I can—”
“It’s not that. Look, Robbie, I like you. You’re a great girl and it’s been a lot of fun these last few weeks. But…” Aaron shrugged. “Okay. I’ll tell it to you straight. But remember you asked.”
Robin sat there and listened as he told her about the group of friends she’d met last year at her sky diving class. How they had wondered what it would be like to take thrill to the next level. How it would be come close to the edge and still escape a death sentence.
How awesome it would be to sleep with a girl with the deadly HIV virus and come out unscathed.
She listened to Aaron tell her about the bet—the bet he had won last week when she’d finally let her guard down and spent the night at his apartment.
When he’d finished explaining and apologizing, she took her wallet out of her purse, paid the bill and walked away.
Less than three years later, she stood in a locker room and listened to history repeat itself.
“No one ever said it would be easy,” Patrick Drake with a laugh in his voice that made her skin crawl. “But I’m confident I can talk my way around it. My reputation isn’t all just talk. You’d just better have the money ready when I come through.”
There was a long pause. “Yeah—I’m actually headed over there for dinner tonight. I’ll let you know how it works out.”
She closed her eyes for a brief moment before silently slipping out of the locker room.