Entangled:An Evolve Series Novella(9)By: S.E. Hall
“And this,” her smile grows wide and her eyes twinkle, “is the master.” She opens the door with grandeur, stepping aside to give me room to see.
Oh, it’s something all right. The walls are a deep red, the bed a dark brown and prominent…but not as much as the pictures on the walls.
“Wow, Ben,” I look at the ground, my cheeks heating, “I didn’t know you had it in you.”
“What, the pictures? Do you like them? They were Tate’s Valentine’s Day present. He had them blown up when we got this place.”
“They’re very, um,” I stammer, searching for the right word, but all that’s coming to mind is revealing. I mean, I literally see nipple from here. What if her parents want a tour one day? “They’re… You’re… I mean, they’re beautiful. You’re beautiful.”
“Thanks,” she chirps happily, “Paul down at MK did them.”
“Halo” by Beyonce sounds from my pocket and interrupts us, which tells me it’s my love calling. And thank God for his timing.
“Hello?” I quickly answer, stepping back into the hallway.
“Where are you?” He cuts right to the chase, as always.
“At Bennett’s, where are you?”
“At the door.”
I hear the knock, and go answer it, only just realizing I can hang up the phone now. “Hey, you.” I smile when I open it and see him on the porch in a white dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, dark slacks and shiny silver belt buckle. Yummy. The pink tie around his neck is very nicely loosened, and just like that, he takes my breath. Every. Single. Time.
“Baby,” he sighs heavily, wrapping me tightly in his arms, his face finding the crook of my neck. “I’m sorry it took me so long.”
“It’s okay, I needed to catch up with my girl anyway. Do you want to come in for a minute, say hi to Bennett?”
“Just for a sec,” he whispers in my ear. “I wanna shower, change, eat and make love to you in that order, and sooner rather than later.”
I pull back and place a soft kiss to his lips, more than game with his plan. “Then what are you waiting for? Go give her a hug and get me home. But make sure she meets you in the hall.” I smirk, half-thinking I shouldn’t have warned him.
“Back here!” she shouts from the bedroom, then appears, hurrying out to meet me in the hallway, pulling the door closed behind her.
“Hey,” I greet her with a deep, slow kiss. “Whatcha hiding?” I glance to the closed door behind us when we break apart, much too soon for my liking.
“My room makeover. You think I’m gonna let you steal all my great ideas?”
“I bet I can guess what color you’re painting it,” I grin, picking up a strand of her paint-splattered hair and rubbing it between my fingers. “I’m glad you changed your mind on the softball yellow. It wouldn’t go with your eyes.”
“Hmpf.” She pushes playfully on my chest. “Are you just here to spy? I thought you had a meeting.”
“I did, but I’d had enough today. I thought I’d come take you furniture shopping. We can start filling the living room, the kitchen,” I shrug, “whatever.”
She slides her arms around my waist and tucks her hands into my back pockets, squeezing my ass. “I was thinking about hitting some garage sales this weekend first. You can get some great deals at them. That’s how I had filled the house for Daddy and me, living on a fixed income. He never knew, really. He’d come home to a nice new shirt, or pair of shoes, or boots, or work gloves, and go on and on like I’d spent way too much on “such a fine present,” and I’d spent a dollar.”
The story is sweet, and so is Laney, taking care of others any way she can…but I can give her better. I can take care of her in the finest ways possible. And what good is money if not to spend it on the woman you love?
“W-we are not getting your furniture at a garage sale,” I sputter like there’s a bad taste in my mouth.
“Don’t be such a snob, Richie Rich,” she rolls her eyes, “lots of stuff you find is very nice. And it’ll save money. You’ve already spent so much. You bought me a house, for crying out loud. I just want to cut costs when possible.”