[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]
.“My brother and my best friend are maybe getting married.Or having a baby.Could be both.” She forced the tension out of her shoulders and relaxed into the booth.“I’m so happy for them.They’re celebrating privately tonight at our house.We all live in my mom’s old place.” She licked her dry lips.“The house I grew up in.”“That’s great news.” He tilted his head.“So why are you upset?”“I’m not,” she said quickly.Too quickly.“They’re the best couple I know.If anyone can make it, they can.I’m—” Already missing them after things change.Focusing on myself.As usual.“You can stay the night with me.”Before he’d shown her more glimpses of the sweet, decent guy with possible mommy issues behind the gold-standard penis, hell yeah, she would’ve been a-okay with that plan.Now? She couldn’t help considering the vat of trouble that might land her in for more reasons than one.“No thanks.I’ll go…somewhere.” Where? Dammit.Sometimes the fact that her BFF was in love with her brother seriously sucked.Sara was the only friend she could’ve crashed with on such short notice.Ah, the irony.“I’ll go to a hotel,” she decided.“Thanks anyway.”“Don’t be silly.I have a perfectly good bed you can have.Not mine,” he added at her blank stare.“Just as a friend.”She didn’t have any male friends she spent the night with platonically.Did people really do that? If she went over to a guy’s place, it wasn’t to warm his couch cushions.Hell, she didn’t know Michael.A hookup at her place was one thing with her big, burly brother down the hall.On the guy’s turf? Not so bueno.Much better to get a room at the clean, dismal, possibly bedbug-infested motel down the street.Sixty-nine dollars a night would get her a nice hot breakfast and all the clichés she could stand.“I appreciate the offer, truly.But I’ll be fine.” With an entirely fake smile, she reached for her purse, only to have him clasp her wrist.“My treat.” He continued before she could pelt him with her objections.“How about this? We drive separately to my place.If you don’t like the looks of things once you arrive, you can leave.”“Did you get the Spic-and-Span award three years running or something? I guarantee how your place looks won’t convince me to stay.”His mouth curved.“So that’s a yes? You’ll follow me home?”She sighed and dropped her purse on the bench.Who was she kidding? She didn’t have a lot of options and her teacher had known him for a few years.Odds were in her favor that the danger he represented wasn’t to her physical person.“Sure.Just platonically,” she reminded him.That would be the prudent way to proceed, especially when her edginess over the potential new situation with Brad and Sara was making her reckless to go along with horny.Best not to engage on that level at all.He’d thank her later, when she hadn’t unintentionally smeared his heart on the interstate.Despite her fervent attempts, delicate with other people’s feelings she was not.The way his smile spread didn’t convince her he was wholly on board with the platonic idea.This had to be a first.For once she wasn’t encouraging a guy to get naked, she was practically insisting he remained clothed.“As you wish,” he murmured.Chapter ThreeKim drove up the winding circular driveway behind Michael’s car, her eyes widening the farther they traveled.They’d left behind the city for the country, and she could smell it in the cool air, tinged with rain, wafting in through her car window.Hard to enjoy the breeze, though, when she had such a visual banquet in front of her.In the rainy darkness, it was hard to make out much of the enormous property other than the sheer number of trees and the house.Sheesh, house wasn’t a big enough word to describe the place.She glimpsed enormous columns and the dense shrubbery guarding them.Lights beamed through every window, and holy Mary, there were a lot of them to go with the multiple balconies, turrets and thatched roof.This was the closest thing she’d seen to a mansion around Fairdale.Definitely a far cry from the rambling fixer-upper she and Brad had inherited from their deceased mother.Michael’s Architectural Digest-special put the homes in her neighborhood to shame.He parked at the base of a stoop that looked like it belonged to a library, not a personal dwelling.There weren’t any lions or gargoyles that she could see, but that didn’t mean he didn’t have some gigantic animal head mounted over the fireplace.Oh, a fire would be perfect on a night like this [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]