I can feel his eyes on me, tracking my every movement. Does he have to make it so obvious? It’s hard to ignore him, because I do feel that connection between us. I’m not so far in denial to lie about that.
The heat, it’s there.
Oh it’s there alright. It’s scorching. It’s an inferno.
And it’s going to burn me alive.
Why couldn’t it be anyone else? Why him? I turn my head and see him sitting there, his back against the wall. He is so handsome, it actually hurts.
My pulse starts to race.
His lips quirk, indicating he knows he has my attention. My date returns and sits opposite me. He starts to talk, but I have no idea what he’s saying, because my eyes are still on Sax. His gaze darts to my date, hurt and anger flashing in his brown eyes before he is able to mask it. My teeth sink into my bottom lip as I make up my mind. I offer him a smile, which I know he’ll understand. I’m about to tell my date I need to leave when Sax lifts his drink to his mouth. As I see the initials tattooed on his knuckles, I remember. I remember why he isn’t for me, and my shields rebuild right before my eyes.
Saxon Tate is forbidden. And I can never allow myself to even consider going there.
“Can you please wear some different jeans? I can almost see your ass crack,” Ryder complains as he sits at the table, mouth tight with disapproval.
“These are your girlfriend’s jeans,” I point out, raising an eyebrow. I had somehow managed to squeeze into them—they must be like the jeans from that travelling pants movie. “And trust me, no other man is complaining.”
“That’s the point,” he grumbles, biting into the cake Layla baked him. I had offered to deliver it to Ryder’s house, but not just because I was a nice person and loved my cousin.
The truth was, I had an ulterior motive and wanted to sweeten him up, so to speak.
“How’s the cake?” I ask him, leaning my elbows on the kitchen countertop.
“Fuckin’ amazing,” he says around another mouthful.
“Good,” I reply, thrumming my black painted fingernails on the table.
He puts the slice of cake down and narrows his eyes on me. “You want something don’t you?”
I gasp, acting affronted. “Can’t a girl just drop by and visit her favourite cousin?”
I put my hand over my chest dramatically and pout my lips.
Ryder flashes me a crooked grin in response. “What is it you want, Tee?”
“You mean besides your soul?” I reply in a creepy tone.
“Yes, besides that. My first born kid maybe?”
I scrunch my nose. “I don’t like kids that much—you know that.”
He stares at me and waits for me to speak, an amused look on his face.
“When you go on tour, can I borrow your car?” I ask, batting my eyelashes at him.
He stills. “You want to drive my car?”
“My brand new Aston Martin Vanquish…”
He starts laughing. “No way in hell, you’re a crazy driver.”
My jaw drops. “I’m still a good driver though! I’ve never had a crash.”
Knock on wood.
Well there was that one time… but he doesn’t know about that.
He raises his eyebrows. “Really? What about that time in Scotland when you…”
“Oh my god! I can’t believe Lexi told you that! What happened to hoes before bros?” I grumble.
“Did you just call my woman a hoe?” he asks through laughter, pulling out his phone—probably to message Lexi. I roll my eyes and purse my lips, deciding it’s enough with the nice act.
I take out my phone and send him a picture message. He opens it, and his eyes widen.
“Oh I would,” I reply, unable to stop my smug grin.
He shakes his head, eyes twinkling. “Resorting to blackmail huh?”
“I’m a lawyer, it’s what we do,” I reply, tucking my hair behind my ears.
Ryder frowns. “I’m pretty sure that’s not what lawyers are meant to do.”
“Hey, I don’t tell you how to do your job…”
“Does that mean I get to drive your car?” I ask him. I’ve wanted it ever since I saw it. I even named him ‘beast’.
“I’ll be good to beast I promise!” I blurt out.
“My car is female!” he argues.
We stare at each other and then burst out laughing.
“What about your car?” he asks.
“My car is fine. I just want to drive yours,” I pout.
“Fine, you can drive her while I’m on tour, but if anything happens to her…”
And if it did I’ll just blame it on Lexi. He wouldn’t get mad at her for anything.
“Why can’t I ever say no to you girls?” he grumbles, cutting another slice of cake.
“Because you love us.”
“Some more so than others,” he replies, his lip twitching.
“I know I’m your favourite, it’s okay,” I say, then whisper, “I won’t tell anyone.”
His shoulders shake as he laughs.
“How’s your mum?” he asks when his laughter subsides.
Her usual over-bearing self. “She’s fine.”
“She was saying you don’t drop by her house much?”
I sigh heavily. “We don’t get along well, you know that.”
“She’s still your mother,” he points out. Like I don’t know that.
“Well, if this is turning into lecture time, I’m out of here. I’ll be back before you leave to pick up the beast,” I say, kissing him on the cheek.
“The car is female!” he complains.
I say bye and walk out of his house. Humming a song, I’m almost to my car when I see a familiar face.
My heart races at the sight of him.
My best friend Lexi’s ex-boyfriend, and one of the best looking men I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing in person. He is dreamy. He exudes sex appeal.
Oh, the things I’d do to him if I had the chance…
Unfortunately he is also not one of my favourite people, seeing as he cheated on my best friend and once broke her heart.
Sure, it all ended well.
Lexi is now happy with Ryder and has forgiven Saxon, but what’s the saying?
Once a cheater always a cheater.
I’d be stupid to even consider going there.
I’d also never sleep with the ex of a friend. It’s a little weird, not to mention Lexi is like a sister to me.
So many reasons not to go there, yet…
I’ve noticed how Saxon looks at me. I’m not a naïve girl—I know when a man is interested in me. It’s not an ego thing, it’s just a feeling. I can tell by the way he always watches me or tries to make conversation.
Like right now, for instance.
Saxon has also let me know he’s interested.
He has even asked me out in the past.
And I say no each and every time.
Not because I don’t want to, but because I do.
I, Tenielle Crawford, the most stubborn and proud woman on the face of the earth, have a secret.
And he’s standing right in front of me.
His eyes devour every inch of me, and I let them.
I even like it.
“Saxon Tate,” I say in greeting, trying to keep my voice even. I stare into his soft brown eyes, then take in the rest of his facial features. Sharp cheekbones, full soft lips, and a jaw full of stubble. I zone in on his pierced eyebrow then back to his eyes.
Such long, thick lashes.
I clear my throat.
Show no weakness.
I try to see myself as he would see me. Black hair, caramel-coloured skin from my mixed Sri Lankan and Australian heritage, a tight white top showing a lot of bare stomach, baggy ripped boyfriend jeans and black combat boots. My usual attire when I’m not at work.
“Tenielle Crawford,” he replies, checking me out. “How have you been?”