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Tripping on a Halo
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It’s really hard to save a guy’s life when he keeps running from you.
You might be asking yourself why I’m waving an inflatable penis in the air and screaming at the top of my lungs. If I took time to explain, Declan Moss would get hit by a bus.
Let me back up. I didn’t ask for this. I was perfectly happy—and perfectly sane—before I was tasked with keeping Declan Moss alive. It was a thankless job until the moment that my panties dropped and his delicious smirk found his way in between my thighs.
Hello, toe-curling ecstasy. Goodbye, professional boundaries. And suddenly, there’s a new danger to avoid: the falling of my heart.
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I had a giant penis in my purse. I’d let a bit of air out of it so I could squish it down, its plastic inflatable body contorted into odd angles, bits of it poking out of the top. I’ve been carrying the thing around for three days now. Yesterday, I needed to find my Smoothie King rewards thingy in the bottom of my purse, and I’d had to haul the penis out and lean it against the counter in order to find the teeny purple swipe card. The guy behind me chuckled, and the cashier looked horrified, but that was probably due to the two kids who had just skipped in, a frazzled soccer mom in tow.
I’d apologized to all involved parties and struggled to get the penis BACK in the bag, which was a time-consuming struggle that led to me being banned from Smoothie King. I know what you’re thinking. Extreme, right? I mean, BANNED? It was a five-foot inflatable dong. Give me a Sharpie and squint a little, and I could turn it into a snake. Or a really tall mushroom. It didn’t even have balls, for piglets’ sake.
I kept my arm clamped down on the humongous bag and rounded the corner, hoofing it a little to keep Declan Moss in my sights. He was a dozen yards ahead of me, his suit fitting on that tall frame like it was custom. It wasn’t. Three weeks ago, I saw him pick that pinstripe number out at Men’s Warehouse. My playlist had been disrupted by a painfully annoying 90’s song and I’d almost missed his exit, his steps clipping out the food court and toward his truck faster than a Supermarket Sweep contestant.
My headache, which had started two hours ago and was peaking upward at an alarming rate, spiked, stopping me for a brief moment. I struggled, my panic rising, and continued forward, increasing my speed. I glanced at my watch. Normally he was in the office by now, my attempted entrances routinely thwarted by the brunette bitch at his front desk, who was a ninja at keeping me out. Declan approached the cross street at Madison Ave and I craned my neck, right, then left, looking for oncoming traffic.
A dump truck barreled from the right, toward the intersection. Pain radiated through my head and I struggled to focus on Declan, watching as his head dropped, his attention pulled to his phone. He glanced left, then back down at his cell, continuing to move forward.
The truck rumbled closer, rattling over a pothole, and I willed Declan to look up, to stop moving, to see the danger. His fingers moved over the phone’s slick screen and he moved another step forward.
I imagined his new suit ruined, appendages jerking, those sexy glasses cracking, body SPLATTING. Another lightning bolt of pain ricocheted through my temple.
I dropped my bag and dug my hand in, the penis popping out like one of those snakes in a can. A big, swollen, flesh-colored snake. I grabbed it and swung it through the air. “HEY!” I screeched. “PURPLE PEOPLE EATERS!” I could have yelled his name, but I was trying to stay under the radar.
The people in my immediate bubble took a few steps back, giving me a wide berth. A girl wearing yoga pants and a sports bra lifted her phone and took a photo of me. I squatted down as low as my skinny jeans would allow and then sprung towards the sky, tossing the penis into the air. I snuck a look at Declan, who had glanced over his shoulder and was now turning back to the street, his head shaking. The pain in my head lessened, and I let out a sigh of relief at the dump truck, which was now safely past, no gorgeous architect under its wheels.
A dude with rolled up pant legs and an EAT VEGAN shirt stopped in front of me. “You need help.”
I snorted as the penis fluttered down and slumped on the sidewalk beside us. “I’m good.” I glanced back at Declan, but he was gone, across the street and into his building, the huge skyscraper sucking him in.
It was the second time I’d saved his life, and I still hadn’t gotten a sniff of gratitude in return. But, that was fine.
I reached down and pulled at the penis’s stopper, watching as the nude appendage deflated with a loud sputter, its purpose fulfilled.
Letting out a sigh, I glanced up the building’s face, and wondered where he was inside of it.
It didn’t matter. I knew where to find him next.
Declan leaned against the glass wall of his office, his eyes on the street below, where his stalker moved through the crowds, a pool float of some sort under her arm. She was disrupting the flow of traffic, suits skirting around her, her bright pink sweater standing out in the crowd. She came to a stop next to the corner trashcan and tried to stuff the item into the swinging door. It wouldn’t fit and she pulled it out, shaking out the design and attempting to feed it length-wise. He squinted, trying to see the item. Yep. He’d questioned the brief glimpse he’d gotten of her in the crowd, chanting her nonsense, but it was, in fact, a penis. Behind her, a man tried to help, reaching over to open the can. Any hopes she would turn her fixations on him ended as she held up a hand in a clear STAY AWAY FROM ME gesture. What was this girl’s deal?