Fighting For You:A Danvers Novel(2)By: Sydney Landon
“If I show him that I’m a normal woman, just like anyone else he’s dated, I can change the way he treats me. So, I need the number of that dating service that you used before you met Nick.”
“You know it’s a dating service and not an escort service, right?”
“I know. Beth, I need more experience with men, and I can’t get it sitting at home every night. I don’t know how this dating stuff works.”
Beth knew she was probably making a mistake, but she sympathized with Ella’s plight. She had been the girl sitting at home night after night while life passed her by and she didn’t want that disappointment for her friend. Meeting Nick Merimon had changed all of that for her and she wanted the same for Ella.
“Just promise me that you aren’t going to have sex with anyone unless it’s really what you want. My first experience was far from perfect and I want better for you. You’ve waited this long, so please don’t do it just to get to Declan. If it’s right, do it for you.” When Ella nodded her agreement, Beth smiled and said, “Alright, let’s do this. We can sign up online and create your profile right now. You’ll have a date by this weekend, so get ready!”
Ella’s eyes sparkled with excitement. “I’m ready. Declan isn’t going to know what hit him when he meets the new worldly Ella.”
Ella’s heart skipped a beat every time she imagined Declan finally seeing her as a desirable woman. She had been crazy about him from the moment they met and she couldn’t imagine that ever changing. She knew his tough exterior intimidated others, but with her he showed a softer, more romantic side. From the first moment their paths had crossed, when she had dropped the stack of papers she was carrying right at his feet, she had been completely taken with him. From then on he asked her questions about her family and her life, as if he truly cared about her. He remembered her favorite kinds of food, or sweets that she liked, and usually showed up with them every few days. He told her that she looked pretty when she wore something new and he brought her favorite coffee almost daily.
Well, until the day she had asked him to her apartment for dinner. Since that day, he had been avoiding her. She felt in her heart that he was interested in her as more than a friend, but he thought she was too innocent for someone like him. She had hoped when they danced at Suzy’s wedding that he would finally see her as a woman. At first, it seemed like things were changing with that dance. He had held her close and brushed his lips against her forehead, but as soon as the dance was over, he left her standing there and had never looked back.
And now, she was finished with him dragging his feet. She might not have any experience with men, but she was going to change that. She was tired of being the girl that everyone wanted to protect. Declan was about to find out that even an innocent could wage a war that he wouldn’t soon forget.
Declan Stone slammed the door to his condominium behind him and stalked to the kitchen. He grabbed a bottle of Jack Daniel’s from the cabinet and splashed a generous measure of the liquid into a glass. Taking a large gulp, he felt the burn of the alcohol blazing a trail of fire down his throat and into his stomach. He repeated the process twice more before putting the bottle away.
Ella Webber was going to be the fucking death of him. He had been limiting his time with her since she asked him over to her place for dinner a few months back. He didn’t want or need the hassle of a school girl crush. Hell, it was too late to avoid that and it was his own fault. He was in too deep with her. He knew better than to keep seeking her out. She was sweet, innocent, and so very trusting. He had first met her briefly when she dropped some papers she was carrying right at the door of his office. When they met again at a barbeque at Gray’s house, he had been drawn to her. That day she had sat beside him clearly uncomfortable and nervous. If he had said boo, she would have jumped through the sky. Her slender body shown to perfection in the sundress that revealed her shoulders and bare arms and she had twirled her long, golden brown hair around her finger when someone spoke to her. Most of the women he knew would do something like that to get attention; he thought for her it was probably a nervous habit. Her sweet floral scent had intoxicated him and he found his eyes returning to her again and again.