She turned and looked at him with shimmering blue eyes. “Um… thanks for the ride and everything. I, uh, guess I’ll see you later.” Her lower lip quivered.
Aw, hell. Legs—Tessa, as he now knew—had been attacked in a parking garage, came home to a trashed apartment, and she thought he was just going to leave? He knew he could be a jerk at times, but he wasn’t heartless.
He blew out a breath and ran a hand through his hair. Next to him, Burg snickered. The asshole.
“You can go now, Burg.” He walked over and opened the door.
Burg elbowed him on his way out. “See you later, Stanley.”
Gray gave him the finger and closed the door in his face.
“Stanley?” Tessa cocked her head to the side and her mouth quirked up.
“My first name is Stanley,” he mumbled.
“Stanley?” she repeated, a small smile now appearing on her face.
“Stanley Grayson Kingsley.” He stared her down. “You’re one to talk, Misty.”
She had an “oh shit” look on her face. “Are you going to arrest me?” she asked, her eyes wide. She had the most beautiful eyes he’d ever seen. They shimmered. Her lower lip quivered again.
Shit. “Why would I arrest you?” He’d had Burg check her out and knew that she wasn’t guilty of anything illegal. He still couldn’t figure out why she wouldn’t tell him her real name.
“Parking tickets,” she whispered.
“Tickets?” He put his hands on his hips and looked at the ceiling. “You mean this whole time you wouldn’t tell me your name because you’ve got unpaid tickets?”
She nodded, looking miserable.
“Jesus, Tessa.” He took a step toward her. “Your place is trashed and you’re worried about parking tickets?” He crouched down to look in her face.
A lone tear slid down her cheek.
He scrubbed his hands over his face and through his hair, then moved closer, gearing himself to comfort her with a pat on the back. Instead, before he knew it, she’d thrown herself into him and he found his arms full of soft, quivering woman. She made a noise that sounded like a muffled sob.
“Aw, hell. Please don’t cry.” His gut twisted. “I swear I’m not going to arrest you. They’re just fucking parking tickets, hon.”
“I’ve had a very, very bad day!” She sobbed into his shirt.
He pulled her to a nearby armchair and sat down, adjusting her in his lap. Now what? He did not do crying women.
At a loss for how to stop her tears, he clumsily rubbed her back. “Tell me about your day. Get it all out.”
“First I had to dress like a giant hooker light bulb, then I lost my clothes!” She lifted her head and sniffled. “And I had to wear this!” She gestured to her skirt. “And then… And then…” She gulped air. “I couldn’t find my car and got chased through a dark parking lot!” Tears streamed down her face. “I lost my shoooe!” She pressed her face into his chest.
“When did you lose your shoe, honey?” Gray continued rubbing her back.
“When I hit the scary guy with it in the stairwell.” She clutched at Gray’s shirt. “I… I… hid… and…” She gasped. “I hit him when he grabbed me.” She burrowed deeper into his shoulder. “And I…was…really scared!”
“I know,” he murmured.
“All I wanted to do was come home and go to bed.” With her face pressed against him, her voice was muffled. “I can’t even do that!” She took a deep breath. “And I look like a freakin’ prostitute!”