22- do you like me?

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"Aly, can you pass the green beans?"

I blinked twice, dirty thoughts reluctantly leaving my head as I grabbed the porcelain bowl of vegetables. Passing it to my father who was sitting next to me, I tried to disguise my blush.

"How was your afternoon? Did you do anything fun?"

Fun. Well, let's see. I hung out with a criminal, stole some wallets, then had sex on a pile of money. Yeah, I'd say that was fun.

"Just walked around, took in the sights." I replied. I looked down at the china plate in front of me, a pile of food sitting relatively untouched next to various pieces of silverware that I didn't know what to do with. Apparently the step children were out of town until tomorrow so it was just the three of us tonight.

"Oh yeah? What'd you see?"

A side of Tyler I had never seen before. Proof that he actually cared. Sex that didn't fall under the definition of fucking, as it had previously. It was still raw, still carnal, but also compassionate. Not to mention, there was that tiny bit of cuddling we did after, when we struggled to catch our breath. Just because it started slow doesn't mean it stayed there. One thing I know about us is that it's hard to maintain control.

"Um... just Times Square. Central Park. The Empire State building. Ya know." I took a bite of my mashed potatoes and smiled at them, trying hard to concentrate on lying when my mind was obviously elsewhere.

"That's a lot to see in one day." Roger commented.

"Yeah, I took the subway."

After that, the interrogation stopped. Roger and Daphne had a conversation about some drapes that needed replacing while I tuned it out and ate. I was just counting down the minutes until I could get out of there.

Once the maid had cleared the dirty dishes from the mahogany dining room table, I excused myself back to my room. Lying on the bed, I pulled out my phone and dialed Tyler's number.
When I had left earlier, we'd been so distracted that we didn't talk about our next move. 

"Hey." As soon as I heard his husky voice on the other end of the phone, I felt an aching in my chest. Suddenly, I wished he was here next to me instead of a couple blocks away.

"Hey. Are we meeting again tonight? I'm busy all day tomorrow."

"No, I've got that thing tonight."

Oh right. The side mission. "Need some help?" I asked.

"No. It's better if I do it myself." He replied. True, yes, but a girl could dream. 

"Ok. I'll see you Thursday night then."

Black Friday shopping started on Thursday afternoon but I was forced to stick around for dinner. So, we would be going out around midnight to walk around and catch people while they probably had the most cash on hand. Also, they'd be too distracted by all of the other shoppers, not to mention the sales, to pay attention to anyone who bumped into them. It was going to be like taking candy from a baby.

Which actually wasn't too far from the truth, considering we'd probably be ruining some kid's Christmas present.

That night I stayed in my room, feeling too antisocial to talk to my father and stepmother. Roger tried to get me to come out once but I wasn't having any of it. I'd rather stay in my bed scrolling through Facebook than pretend to want to get to know either of them.

The next morning, I didn't leave my room until noon. Roger knocked on my door to tell me that my step sisters were back and were 'dying to meet me', as he said. I emerged from my palace of a bedroom wearing skinny jeans and a black sweater, my wavy hair held back with a bobby pin that swept the shorter strands away from my face.

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