“I figured out a way to make the money.”
She stopped stirring her coffee and stared at her friend. “I told you I wouldn’t be a part of anything illegal.”
He grinned devilishly, his blue eyes bright. “It’s not illegal.”
“Good, because if we’re going to open our own shop I refuse to use dirty money.”
Trent shook his head and leaned in closer, blocking out the rest of the patrons in the coffee shop. “It won’t be dirty, I swear. You never trust me, Rachel.”
“I did once…and only once. Then I had to wake Jake up to come bail us out.”
“He’s a very understanding fiancé.”
“With a good sense of humor, lucky for me since he thought the naked car dancing stunt was hilarious.”
Trent waved his hand dismissively. “I was the one who was naked.”
Rachel snorted. “I was the one holding the camera filming it. Nothing else that’s illegal, got it?”
He sighed and leaned back. “If I promised on a stack of every religious text available, would you believe me?”
She raised an eyebrow. “Maybe.”
A couple walked by, absorbed in each other, laughing like giddy larks, bumping into their table as they maneuvered toward the door. The man gave a negligent apology over his shoulder; Trent turned his head away from Rachel with a smile and faced the couple. She didn’t see what he did, but there was a sudden moment of shocked silence as the two stared, seemingly dumbfounded, at Trent. Then the pair burst into raucous laughter.
“I think we’ll head over to the museum,” the man said, cuddling his date closer as they hurried out.
Rachel slanted her eyes in suspicion. “And just what exactly was that about?”
Mischief covered her friend’s face as he shrugged. “Oh, nothing. Just the brilliant way I’m making the rest of the money.”
“I shouldn’t ask. I’m not sure if I want to know.”
He sipped his coffee leisurely, watching her over the brim of his cup. He had that look again, the one that screamed trouble. She let out a long breath of defeat.
“I have to know. What did you do, Trent?”
He tilted his head, catching the rays of the spring sun that danced through the picture window, and opened his mouth. But instead of rolling out words, he rolled out his tongue. She blinked, stared, leaned up, blinked, squinted.
There, on his tongue, was a picture of the Mona Lisa. There was no denying the image that was splayed across the tender flesh. Her first thought should have been how horrible a tattoo on that particular area had hurt him; instead she thought of the museum and their much touted Vincent van Gough exhibit.
“You…what did you…how did you…” She clicked her mouth closed and shook her head.
Trent pulled his tongue back in and chuckled. “Don’t worry, it’s not permanent. I have a whole sheet of these, all of them with a van Gough work on it. I put it on in the morning, and by the time I go to bed it’s faded off.”
“The museum is paying me. I sold my body for advertisement. Brilliant, right?” He looked like a cat who’d had some particularly tasty cream.
She couldn’t deny he was right. It actually was a brilliant idea. Plus it wasn’t illegal. Rachel’s laughter started soft and gentle, then slowly rose into a near hysterical sound. Holding her stomach, she ignored the rest of the patrons staring at her, then laughed even harder when Trent stuck out his tongue and wagged it around. A moment later the rest of the coffee shop was filled with merriment, the sound skipping out the door and into the street.
“So…what do you think?” Trent asked over the cacophony of laughter.
“I think,” she gasped, “that the museum is getting a bargain. Just promise me you won’t rent out your X-rated parts.”
He didn’t reply; he slowly tilted his lips into a wicked smile and sat back to sip his drink.