Home > Deathly : The Dillon Sisters(3)

Deathly : The Dillon Sisters(3)
Author: Brynne Asher

The rest chime in and start to gnaw on him like vultures would roadkill. Since I listen to people for a living, I have no desire to hear them talk about the man’s less-than-winning personality. I decide it’s time to find Kate before I do something rash, like bid on a dog I have no time for and end up on a date with an intimidating man who wants no part of this.

I head to the bar for one more glass of wine because Kate is right, there’s no point in wasting an Uber. Everyone in this room is vying for the attention of the opposite sex—it will be easy to blend into the background.

With a fresh drink, I spot Kate across the room sidling up to the blond with the Dachshund. She might be fawning over the dog, but she definitely has puppy eyes for the man standing at least eight inches taller than her. Unlike the only man who’s given me any attention tonight, hers might as well be oozing sex from his perfectly-smooth skin. He leans in to say something but stops when the emcee booms across the ballroom speakers to announce the auction will start in five minutes.

All canines and heroes make their way to the front of the room and disappear behind a curtained wall next to the stage. The doodle and his handler are one of the last pairs to disappear, the man not giving one ounce of attention to any woman he leaves in his wake.

It doesn’t take long for Kate to find me. Excitement is etched all over her face as she hurries across the room through the crowds of women who have their bidding paddles ready to wave.

“I don’t give a shit about our pact,” she starts before she even reaches me. “I’m going to do it! His name is Clay. When he’s not fighting fires, he’s a carpenter. And when he’s not building bookshelves for his mom, he’s trying new recipes because, get this—” She grabs me and it looks like she might shed happy tears. My wine sloshes for the second time tonight as she gives me a little shake. “He likes to cook. Do you hear me, Aria? He. Likes. To. Cook. You know how much I love food! I think it’s meant to be!”

I pull out of her hold to salvage what wine I have left and shake my head. “Everyone loves food. That doesn’t make you soulmates.”

“But I really love food and I really like when someone else prepares it.”

I roll my eyes. “You’re a match made in the kitchen.”

She lowers her voice and turns to stand next to me so we’re both facing the stage. “I saw you talking to Mr. Broody. Please tell me you talked about something other than your job.”

I frown. “I don’t always talk about my work.”

“Not the good stuff anyway … just random shit about how busy you are. You need to get laid more than anyone in this room.”

“I’m trying to get my practice going, but thank you for reminding me about my lack of life,” I mutter and take another gulp.

Kate nabs my thin purse from under my arm and digs out the bidding paddle I received when we checked in. I smashed it in there as best I could since I knew I wasn’t going to use it.

Kate shoves my clutch back at me and smooths the wrinkled paddle. “You’re checking something else off your list tonight. We’re gonna find you a man.”

I grab the paddle from her. “A man is not on my list. Besides, have you seen the women here? They’re exhaling money. Even if I had the time or the inclination to bid, there’s no way I can afford it. Not with my rent and student loans.”

“That’s what credit cards are for,” she argues.

“No. Credit cards are for emergencies.”

She stares me straight in the eyes. “This is an emergency, Aria. A nine-one-one, four-alarm, all-hands-on-deck emergency. This is me saving you from your pathetic life. It has to happen.”

“No.” I shake my head and turn back to the stage that looks like something between a dog park and the set from Magic Mike. Lights bounce around the stage like a pathetic Vegas show and fire hydrants glow bright red. Music, reminding me of a strip show from a bachelorette party I once attended, vibrates from the monstrous speakers.

There’s no way I’m bidding. I came here to watch, that’s it. Nothing more.

Kate snakes her arm through mine. “Get ready. By the end of the night we’ll both be dog owners with the potential of love on the horizon.”

Shit.

“If not love, then at least maybe some rocking orgasms,” she adds.

If I follow any of Kate’s advice, the only thing on my horizon will be an ulcer.

 

 

2

 

 

The Auction

 

 

Aria

 

 

“Going once, twice, three times…”

Kate bounces on her toes as she looks across the room toward her main competition. The woman who ran up the bid on Kate’s newest obsession glares back.

“Going to the pretty blonde in the red dress for three-thousand, five-hundred, and twenty dollars. Paddle number six-four-two-seven. Congratulations, little lady, you’ve got yourself a Dachshund and a date with Clay.”

Kate screeches as she throws her arms around my neck. “I won!”

“I can’t believe you just did that. So much for paying off your debt.”

“I don’t care! Okay, I’ve got to go pay. Shit, I hope I have enough credit and I’m not denied the transaction.” She doesn’t stop bouncing. “You’re next. I had no idea your guy would be right after mine. Don’t let me down, Aria. You need this. If you chicken out, I’ll literally kill you myself!”

My lids fall shut and I pull in a calming breath. At least twenty dogs and firefighters have been auctioned off. The dollar amounts are staggering and Briar will be ecstatic since she works at the shelter. At least as ecstatic as Briar is capable of being. My sister’s range of emotions fall between sarcasm and the driest of humor.

“Do it,” she demands and pushes the bidding paddle to my chest. “Don’t think, don’t examine your feelings, don’t focus on the consequences. Just raise your number, dammit. It’s all you have to do. Your brown, curly fur ball is waiting on you and the broody man isn’t bad either. Who knows? Maybe he’s broken, and you can fix him. Just think about how much you’ll get off on that.”

“I don’t need to fix everyone.”

“If you say so, Miss Fix-It.”

“Ladies, are you ready?” The announcer’s voice rumbles through the room and I look from Kate to the stage. “Get those paddles ready. We have one last dog and date to auction off. Remember, one hundred percent of your donations go toward caring for animals like these, making sure they have happy, forever homes. Redmond Rescue never turns an animal away. From food to medical care, we’re determined to find each one a loving human. And, bonus, tonight you big spenders will get a night out with one of our bachelor firefighters who have donated their … ahem, time to the cause.”

Kate pokes me in the ribs harder than necessary. “Be a strong bitch, Aria. You can do it! Now, say a prayer my credit card isn’t denied.”

And, with that, she’s gone.

I finally breathe a sigh of relief. If I weren’t sharing a ride home with Kate, I’d escape right now. I came, I did what I wanted to do, and can check tonight off my list, once and for all.

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