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“Everything okay?” he asked, his voice low and commanding.

I nodded slowly. It was as if he could tell when I was retreating into my head to overthink everything and knew when to distract me to keep me from questioning things between us.

“Good. Let’s eat.” We sat down at the table that I used so rarely, though we’d used it two times together this week already. We even had our own spots at the table. A little routine was developing.

“You’re dressed up,” I noticed, taking him in.

“I had casting calls today. Dress to impress.”

I nodded. Made sense.

“How was your day?” he asked, taking a bite of his dinner.

“Good, actually. I’ve been giving our arrangement more thought, too.”

“Oh yeah?”


“Tell me.”

“Well, you want to be penis pals . . .”

His brow creased as he squinted at me. “Not exactly. I hope you don’t have a penis, kitten.”

I frowned at him. “Fine then. You want to be best friends with my vagina.”

His head cocked to the side and a slow smile overtook his mouth. “I thought I already was.”

I rolled my eyes. “Unfortunately, you do seem to be.” My eyes dropped to my plate and I twirled strands of pasta onto my fork. I didn’t know how to ask about our arrangement and stared down at my food, poking at the lump of pasta, hoping he’d pick up the conversation where I’d dropped it. Only he didn’t.

“Eat up.” Braydon grinned, his dimple peeking at me. “You’ll need your energy.”

Yes, sir. “So bossy.” I shook my head.

We kept up a casual conversation through dinner, enjoying good food, pleasant company, and the easy conversation that flowed so well between us. But I didn’t find the courage to bring up our arrangement again. And Braydon didn’t push it. This was all so new to me. I was hoping he’d take the lead, but so far he seemed content to discuss my job, local sports teams—anything but why he was here.

Soon, we were both full and Braydon was helping me pack up the leftovers. I wanted to inquire about his diet requirements for his job, but I didn’t want him to stop feeding me like this. I was getting spoiled already and I liked it.

I lingered in the kitchen, wiping a nonexistent spot on the counter.

“Hey.” His hand curled around my shoulder pulled me from my thoughts. “Whatcha thinking about?”

“Nothing,” I lied. Everything. This. Us. How much better homemade pasta is than boxed. Why your dimple makes me weak in the knees.

“Come sit down. Finish your wine.” He refilled my glass, pouring a healthy amount.

“Trying to get me drunk?” I smiled.

“Will that work?”

I shook my head slowly. “Nope.”

“I know.” His thumb traced the crease between my brows. “You’re too smart for that.” His thumb stroked the spot again before he lowered his hand. “It’s something I like about you. But sometimes you’ve got to stop thinking so hard and just feel. See where things take you.”

I brought my glass to my lips and took a fortifying swallow. He was right. I wanted to feel alive. To have a naughty little escapade. My life was so mapped out and organized, just him being here threw off my routine in a good way. Normally I’d be in pajamas, flipping mindlessly through the channels and feeling sorry for myself. Or worse, torturing myself by trolling the Internet, looking at my friends’ pages on social media and seeing engagement rings and baby bumps.

“There, that’s better.” He could read me way too well. It was like he could see the exact moment my brain stopped fighting my body and I mentally gave in. “Don’t be scared. I won’t bite.” He narrowed his eyes. “Actually I might. But you’ll like it.”

Pressing his fingertips into my lower back, he guided me to the living room and we settled on the sofa. I pulled my legs up and hugged my knees, suddenly feeling contemplative. How was it that this man I’d known only a short time could read me better than anyone?

Braydon watched me carefully, moving the throw pillow between us to the floor, as if needing to remove any and all physical barriers between us. “Tell me something, kitten, because I won’t pressure you into this. I won’t make you do something you don’t want. How sure are you about this arrangement I’ve proposed?”

No thinking, Ellie. Feeling only. “No one has ever made me come like you have,” I admitted softly. Holy crap! I can’t believe I just said that.

“I’m just getting started, baby. I can’t wait to show you all the things I can do to your body.”

Sucking in a soft inhale, I unconsciously leaned closer, letting him draw me into his orbit. He pressed forward and touched his lips softly to mine, lingering there, not rushing me, and in turn making me crave him even more. His breath mingled with mine, the soft warmth teasing me, promising a raw heat between us, if only I’d give in. Give up control. I brought my hands up and pushed them into his hair, rumpling it into a sexy disarray, just like I’d wanted to do when I’d opened the door earlier tonight and seen it styled neatly. I clutched his dark locks between my fingers and forced him closer, kissing his full mouth like I wanted to, giving in to my body.

He groaned into my mouth, matching the intensity of my kiss and massaging my tongue with his. He tasted of wine. It was intoxicating. He pulled my hand into his lap and pressed it to the erection pushing against his zipper. “See what you do to me. You get me so worked up just by being near me.” My hand curled around him and I squeezed, enjoying the soft way his breath pushed past his parted lips. Suddenly rising from the couch, Braydon found my hand and tugged me up. “Take me to your bedroom.”

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