Fighting For You:A Danvers Novel(5)

By: Sydney Landon

Ella could only imagine how different the evening would have been if she had been with Declan instead of Hugh. Her body flushed just thinking about him. At almost thirty, she was still a virgin and she had a feeling that he suspected that, and it was the reason he was avoiding her like the plague. Who knew that not sleeping around could actually be a bad thing?

They could spend an hour talking and it was easy and effortless, but he shied away from anything beyond that. She had invited him over for dinner a few months ago and after that he hadn’t been around for weeks. She caught him looking at her sometimes though, with what looked like more than friendship in his beautiful eyes—and Beth, Suzy and Claire all said that he had feelings for her. Well, why wouldn’t he ask her out?

Lost in her thoughts, Ella almost ran over the man jogging across the driveway of her duplex. Her tires squealed as she missed him by just inches. Her heart was pounding and her hands were shaking as the man that she had almost hit walked to her window. Oh my God, no, it couldn’t be! As Ella rapidly blinked her eyes trying to clear her vision, a knock sounded on her window. As she lowered the glass, her gaze locked on Declan’s. “Wh . . . what are you doing here?” she stammered.

“Trying to stay out from under your car. Shit, Ella where did you learn to drive?” As she was opening her mouth to reply, he added, “Pull your car out of the road, baby, before someone hits you. And try not to kill me in the process.”

With her mouth still hanging open, she pulled slowly forward into her parking space. Baby? Declan Stone just called me baby? Okay, so it was a bit sarcastic, but it still counted, right? When her door opened, Ella’s mouth fell the rest of the way to the floor. Declan stood before her in figure-hugging shorts and a tank top. His huge biceps glistened with sweat and a light coating of dark hair shown against his muscular legs.

Despite having very little experience with the opposite sex, Ella was certain that she could have an orgasm just by rubbing against his hard body.

“Ella . . . Ella . . . ELLA!”

Ella jerked as he shouted her name. Geez, he sure was bossy. “What?”

“I asked why you were driving home like a bat out of hell?”

“I . . . I wasn’t and come to think of it, what are you doing in my driveway?”

“Well, obviously, I was jogging before your bumper attempted to crawl up my leg,” Declan smirked.

“Do you live near here?”

“Yeah, just a few miles down the road. I run this route a lot.”

Oh great. I’ll never rest again knowing he is this close to me. Maybe I can take up jogging and start running by his place.

“It’s a little late to be coming home from work isn’t it?” he asked.

Ella was thrilled that he had asked. Here was her chance to tell him about her date without just volunteering the information. Her plan to make him see her as someone with experience would never work if he didn’t even know she was going out on dates. “Oh, I had a date.”

Declan looked around and asked, “Oh yeah? So where is he?”

Ella felt herself start to fidget under his stare and when she was nervous, she started talking . . . a lot. “I met him at the office so we drove separately. Beth thought it was a good idea not to let any of them know where I live at least until I am sure they aren’t stalkers or something.”

Declan looked puzzled as he continued to stare at her. “I’m lost here, babe. Why would you be afraid for someone to know where you live, if you know them well enough to go out on a date?”

Ella knew she had said too much, but she couldn’t seem to stop. She had never been very good at keeping things from people especially if they asked her a direct question. “I don’t really know them. Beth helped sign me up with a dating service, and these are the guys I’ve met through it. I’m sure they check them out and all, but Beth still doesn’t want me to get into a car with any of them until I get to know them better. Don’t you think that’s a good idea?” Her words trailed off as she took a good look at him. His jaw was clenched tight and his hands were now resting on his hips as he glared at her.

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