Not Really the Outdoor Type(8)

By: Paige Tyler

Kendall stared at her incredulously. “What?”

Her friend shrugged. “Sometimes that LA attitude of yours can be pretty hard to take. It’s no surprise that Jason doesn’t have the patience for it.”

“I don’t have an attitude.”

“Yes, you do. You were halfway to becoming a snob back in high school, and it’s only gotten worse since you moved to LA.”

“Thanks a lot.” Kendall walked to the table and picked up Gabby’s half full mug, dumping her coffee in the sink. “God, Gabby, I thought you were supposed to be my friend.”

“I am your friend. Which is why I didn’t say anything to you.” She frowned at the empty mug. “I wasn’t done with that.”

Kendall ignored her. “I have to get ready for work. I’m sure you can find your way out.”

But Gabby followed her down the hallway and into the bedroom. “I thought you were going to quit.”

“I am, but I can’t very well give Jason my resignation in my bathrobe, now can I?”

Gabby didn’t answer. Instead, she leaned against the doorjamb, looking thoughtful.

Kendall frowned as she pulled on her jeans and buttoned them. “Do you really think I’m a snob?”

“Sometimes,” her friend admitted. “Like when you look down on Copper Canyon because we don’t drive fifty-thousand-dollar cars and live in multi-million-dollar mansions like people in LA.”

Kendall grabbed a navy blue T-shirt from the drawer, scowling when she realized it was from Outdoor Outfitters after she put it on. “Not everyone in LA drives ridiculously expensive cars and lives in a mansion. And I don’t look down on Copper Canyon.” She started to pull off the shirt, then hesitated. “Do I?”

Gabby nodded.

Kendall flushed. “I don’t mean to. But even so, that doesn’t give Jason Maxwell the right to spank me whenever he wants. He even had the nerve to accuse me of deliberately doing all of that stuff—coming up short on the cash drawer and knocking over the rack of fishing stuff—because I was trying to get back at him for something he did in high school.”

“Were you?”

Kendall picked up a pair of hoop earrings from the dresser. “Of course not. What would I want to get back at him for?”

Gabby shrugged. “For never asking you out, maybe?”

“That’s not only ridiculous. It’s petty.”

“That doesn’t mean you weren’t subconsciously doing it.”

Kendall put on one earring, then the other. “High school was a long time ago. And even if I did still have a thing for Jason, I certainly wouldn’t go out with him after he spanked me.”

Wouldn’t she? She wasn’t so sure. He might be a brute, but he was still an attractive brute. God, maybe she needed a therapist more than she thought.

Or maybe she needed to stop being such a drama queen. Jason shouldn’t have spanked her, but she should have done her job better. Since they were both at fault, it might be easier to just forget about who did what and start fresh. Besides, if she quit, he’d only think she was a wimp who was too embarrassed to look him in the eye. Well, she was no wimp. Never had been, and never would be.

She brushed her hair, put on some lip gloss, then gave her reflection a silent stamp of approval before grabbing her purse.

Gabby frowned. “If you’re going to quit, shouldn’t you wear something else? Jason might want those shirts back.”

“I’m not quitting.”

“You’re not?”

“No.” She led the way to the cabin’s main room and scooped up her keys from the kitchen counter. “As long as Jason doesn’t spank me again, it’s all good.”

“Don’t you mean as long as you don’t give him reason to spank you again?” Gabby asked as she followed her outside.

“That, too,” Kendall agreed.

And really, hard could that be?

* * * * *

She wasn’t sure what to expect when she got to Outdoor Outfitters. An apology from Jason would have been nice, but he acted as if the spanking had never happened. While she wouldn’t have minded him begging her forgiveness, part of her was relieved he hadn’t mentioned it. Unfortunately, forgetting about it was easier said than done, especially when all she could seem to think about every time she looked at him was that strong hand of his smacking her ass. In retrospect, the spanking hadn’t hurt all that much. In fact, the sting had all but disappeared by the time she’d left last night. The embarrassment, on the other hand, wasn’t as easily forgotten.

On the way over, she’d tried to convince herself that what she said to Gabby about not being interested in Jason was true, but that didn’t stop her from giving him sidelong glances when he wasn’t looking. Even now, sitting on the floor unpacking a box of camping equipment, her gaze strayed in his direction.

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