House Rules(10)

By: Rebecca Brooke

After a bit of arguing, I’d finally convinced him that I was on a date, something he was more than happy to help with, given that his girlfriend wanted nothing more than for me to find a woman I could call my own and Ashton would do anything to make Elena happy. He offered to make dinner and sent over drinks to “settle my nerves.” It wasn’t my nerves that needed settling. The wine seemed to be doing the trick, though.

By glass number two, Tess, a name she still hadn’t given me permission to call her, was opening up about her life. I got the feeling there was more to her story, especially when she told me about saving up money for classes. Not that it mattered. After tonight, I’d never see her again.

Tess glanced up from her meal. I still hadn’t touched my food. Sitting back with a glass of wine watching her was much more satisfying. Slowly, she set her fork down, her eyes darting around the room before coming back to me.

“You’re not hungry.” She gestured toward my untouched plate.

“You’re beautiful.” The words slipped from my lips before I could stop them. I’d never bothered to pay compliments to my bed partner before. I’d never had to. Besides, they would only be empty words to get a woman in my bed and I let my looks and money take care of that.

A pink tint raced up her cheeks. “Thank you.”

“Why are you embarrassed? Let me guess—the slimy bastard you came to the club with tonight never told you that.” The more I learned about Wasden, the more I wanted to call Dean and have him break more than his arm.

Tess scoffed. The waiter set another glass in front of her. Glass number four. I indicated to Dustin that this should be her last one. Any more than that, and she’d end up passed out on the table.

“Not really,” she answered. “At least, not in a long time.”

“Why were you with him?” Nothing about it made sense. She was gorgeous and he was a little shit.

She shrugged. “We’ve been together forever—were together. I guess there was a level of comfort in that.”

“The sex can’t be that good. No one that big of a pussy could be good in bed.”

Tess burst out laughing. It was a beautiful sight to see; the way her chest moved up and down, the way her eyes sparkled. All of it combined took my slightly hard dick and made it rock solid. Discreetly, I reached my hand beneath the table and adjusted myself. Not once in my whole life had I gotten hard that fast, and because of a laugh, of all things. A woman’s lack of clothes normally did the trick. Yet there Tess sat, with more clothes on then any woman I’d been with in the last few months, and I wanted her with ferocity I’d never experienced.

Her laughter died down and I knew I had to have her. Nothing on this earth would prevent me from taking her home tonight. She smiled. This wasn’t the smile she’d given Ashton earlier when he brought our meals. This was something entirely different. Something I needed to explore in the privacy of my own home. It was a risk, but I asked anyway.

“It’s still early. Would like to head back to my place for a drink? That will give Wasden more time to get out of the emergency room and head back to your place to pack a bag?”

I wouldn’t mention it also gave me more time with her, alone. What the hell was wrong with me? Never in all my life had I needed to trick a woman to come back to my place. Normally women threw themselves at my feet, begging to come home with me. That wouldn’t stop me from doing it. Not only was Tess incredibly sexy, the mystery surrounding her intrigued me. Most woman were vapid, self-absorbed bitches, and I treated them as such.

Not Tess. She was hiding something. It was unlikely I’d find out tonight, but that didn’t mean I wouldn’t try.

For a moment it looked like she was going to say no. Her body tensed and she looked at her hands. “I should—”

“Don’t say you should go home.”

She rolled her eyes. It was obvious glass number four had caught up with her.

“I was going to say that exactly.” I opened my mouth to argue, but she held up a finger. “But I was going to add that I didn’t want to go home . . . yet.”

“Then let’s not waste any more time.”

Dustin chose that moment to stop by the table to see if we needed anything else. I took the opportunity to slip him money for a tip. I’d deal with Ashton for the bill later. The sooner I got Tess out of there, the less time she had to change her mind. I placed my napkin on the table and stood. Her eyes moved up my body, a visual caress, her gaze lingering longer than necessary. She drained the rest of her wine, before taking my proffered hand.

I guided her to the front of the restaurant, applying gentle pressure to the small of her back. Her cheeks were flushed and there was a slight tremor to her hands. It could have been nerves, or the alcohol. Either way, I’d do anything to make her comfortable and want to stay, for a little while anyway.

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