WARNING: Language, Sex and Adult themes apply. VIOLENCE.
I do not own anything, all belongs to Janet Evanovich.
Black Friday. One of the best days of the year. And I was ready. I had been skimping on food for the last month so I could justify this shopping trip...well in my mind it worked out. And the best thing about it...
"Babe. How come whenever I want to get you out of bed early you chuck a fit, but today you were up even before I was?" That's right. I had convinced Ranger to take me shopping.
Why'd he agree, you might ask. Because currently I had a crazy stalker and I refused to miss the best shopping trip of the year. And no other Merry man would take me. Tank had collapsed on the ground in laughter when I asked him. Lester and Bobby were both the same as well. When I had asked Cal he had sprayed food all over my face. Classy, right?
I had been in tears yesterday when Ranger found me hiding in an empty office. Not only had I been refused permission to go to thanksgiving, every single Merry Man had refused to take me shopping, which meant I had to stay in the building; Ranger's orders. So when he approached me, he hadn't exactly been in my good books. I believe I told him to fuck off and leave me the hell alone. I was lucky he hadn't sent me to a desert in the middle of Africa somewhere. Nope, instead he had cradled me to his chest and just held me as I cried. When I finished, he asked me, what was the matter? I had proceeded to explain to him that my life was shitty and my shitty stalker was wrecking my shitty life because none of the Merry Men would take me to the mall. At first he had been silent, which usually meant he was angry. When he spoke, I realised he was just upset.
"Your life's not shitty Steph" Couldn't disagree with you more, Batman.
"I don't have anything Ranger. Nothing to my name. No house, no car" Thankyou stalker "No money and nothing I'm good at. I only just pay my rent on time, usually by sacrificing a meal or two, I have the worst diet imaginable and I'm crazy. Tomorrow was one of the few times in the year that I would be able to forget about my shitty life and just have fun, and now I can't. That's why I'm upset. Ok Ranger?" My voice had been whisper soft.
"I'll take you Babe" he announced standing with me in his arms before he carried me down to the fourth floor apartment where I had been staying for the past week. Ranger hadn't offered to let me stay on seven; I didn't ask. Magically, he had managed to get my door unlocked and open without dropping me. He kicked the door shut behind him and then gently placed me on the bed.
"What time do we have to be there babe?" He murmured, tucking my curls behind my ears.
"Early, I'll be up at around three thirty am" I answered.
"Ok Babe, I'll see you then" He brushed a kiss against my forehead and was gone.
Now we were in his car on the way to the mall.
"Because you want to get me up to exercise. I hate exercise. You should know me better than that by now" I was so excited to just finally be out of the Rangeman building. One week was way too long to be cooped up in there.
"I do know you better than that Babe" He responded gruffly. Ok Mr Cranky Pants. When we arrived at the mall I believe something akin to shock passed across Ranger's face.
"Babe, what the hell are all these people doing here?" I raised both my eyebrows at him.
'It's Black Friday Ranger" He raised his eyebrow at me. "Shopping Ranger, there's a big sale on today and these people are here to shop" I explained.
"Is the mall even open yet?" He wondered as he found a parking spot right in the first line of parks. Only him.
"No, we're here early so we have the best chance of getting what we want. Did you make a list?" I wondered as I climbed out of the car.
"Babe" That was said in the, you've gotta be kidding me tone. I shrugged at him. We joined the crowd and waited for the mall to open. When the doors did slide open there was an instant rush through the doors. I grabbed Ranger's hand and dragged him inside.
After a few hours shopping I had witnessed Ranger attack two men for touching me, rough up a security guard who had a problem with me and attract women young and old. He looked tense and we weren't even halfway through the day yet.
"Where to next Babe?" He asked wearily.
"Victoria's secrets" I remarked, checking my list. I'd get some things for me and some stuff for Val and Lula and Grandma for Christmas.
"Babe, I love you but I don't think so. Any other day..." Ranger mumbled the last bit.
"You love me?" He sighed and slipped his arm around my waist.
"It's the only thing in the world that would possess me to come here with you today." Ranger muttered, pulling me tighter to his chest as he guided me through the crowds. People were practically parting like the red sea for him. Cool.
"C'mon batman, it won't be that bad" I encouraged. He sighed. Wow, he must really be on edge. Still, when I entered the store, he didn't remove his arm from around me. I was sorting through a rack when I pulled out a hot pink sexy negligee that was in Lula's size. Who'd a thunk it? Just as I was holding it up to ask Ranger if he thought Tank would like it when I heard a woman growl and dive from five yards to snatch the negligee out of my hands. I watched as another woman jumped he and they started class A bitch fight. Whoa.
"I'm crazy, but not even I am that crazy. This is ridiculous" I stated in amazement watching as another woman joined the tussle.
"Right! That's it" Ranger growled, picking me up and throwing me over his shoulder as he walked out of the store.
"Ranger put me down. I'm not finished in there yet" I complained. He tightened his grip on my legs.
"Yes. You. Are." He answered angrily. I started squirming as he carried me outside to the car.
"Ranger! No. I'm NOT DONE. Just leave me here if you can't handle it. I don't care. Go" I really started trying to escape. He pulled me down and trapped me between his body and his car.
"I'm taking you home with me. I'll give you my credit card and you can buy anything you want. Don't argue Babe." He insisted before his lips were on mine. I melted into his arms as he deepened the kiss. I had missed this. "Is that ok?" He murmured. I barely had enough sense left to nod. I found myself relieved of my bags and tucked into the front passenger with another kiss.
I was in a daze till I realised we had just driven past Rangeman.
"Weren't you supposed to go in there?" I asked
"I told you I'm taking you home" I swallowed hard. Yikes. Thirty minutes later, after Ranger doubling back a few times and taking a few quick turns, we pulled up to a gated community. Winding around the streets Ranger pulled up to the last house.
Parking, he slipped out of the car and pulled me out, leading me towards his door. I let him tug me inside and up a set of stairs. He sat down in a comfy chair in front of his flat screen computer and pulled me down into his lap. Reaching into his back pocket I watched as he placed his platinum American Express card on the table.
"Go for it Babe." He murmured, kissing my cheek.
"I thought you were joking" I stated, shocked.
"I don't joke Steph. I took you away from your fun now I'm making up for it. I meant what I said" He announced; his lips brushing against the skin on my neck.
"But..." I couldn't just spend his money.
"I love you babe. I'm going to stop your life from being shitty. I want you, craziness, bad eating habits and all. I should have told you months ago when you broke up with Morelli, years ago when I first met you, but I thought you were gonna always keep going back to him. I won't let you go back to him. He made your life miserable. Now enjoy Babe. I know you like to shop" I turned and found him smiling. He caught my lips with his in a soft kiss.
"I love you too" I smiled. Ranger was the best man alive.