Frayed Page 39

Stepping closer, I push away the hair from her eyes and slip the helmet on her head. Once I do I dip my head down and kiss her, but just her cheek. I pull away before the urge to slide my lips and cover hers becomes impossible ignore. Then I strap my own black helmet on and hop on my bike. She circles to the left and does the same. When she gets on she wraps her arms around me so naturally my heart rate speeds at the contact.

With a quick turn of the ignition switch, I shift into neutral and kick-start her to life. S\elle breathes loudly in my ear and I can sense the rush she must be feeling. The short ride up the curvy road urges her closer. It makes me feel that she\s finally living in the moment, not overthinking everything. Each downshift is met with just the right amount of throttle as I carve each turn perfectly and her body sways into mine. I can smell her lemony scent, hear the puff of her breath, feel the warmth of her body against mine. My muscles tense with each movement she makes.

She holds me tight as we ride like the wind up to what has become one of my favorite places. When I feel her resting her chin on my shoulder, I suck in a breath. But when her hands slide down to my thighs for a moment before she realizes it and pulls them back up, I grin like a f**king idiot because I know the walls are finally coming down.


Still Into You


The sun is shining bright and there isn\ a cloud in the sky. I take my time walking down Hollywood Boulevard looking around at the many businesses and shops. Funny thing is I\m not really looking at them, though, because all I can see is Ben. I can\ get him out of my head. We talk all the time, we text all the time. Up until this week, we\ve spent all of our free time together. What was supposed to be a friends-only relationship to ward him off seems to have spurred him on.

Today it hit me that it seems like forever since I last saw him, which was Sunday night. He picked me up and took me to gaze at the view of LA from Mulholland Drive. It was stunning and riding on his bike was absolutely dreamy. He\s told me many times he\s not a romantic, but he doesn\ see what I see.

I pull on the showroom door and step in, looking around. It\s all put together in a very trendy modern metallic palette. My gaze darts to a blur of waving arms, and Josie\s wide eyes direct me to the break room. I look at the time ten thirty. I lift the coffees and nod to my desk. She shakes her head. That can only mean trouble. I follow behind her, noticing Tate\s door is shut.

’’What is it?’’ Quickly, I close the door behind me and set my stuff on the table.

’’He\s on the warpath.’’

’’Why?’’ I ask mildly, leaning back against the glass door.

’’Romeo Fairchild is in his office. He came in for his meeting with you thirty minutes ago. But, um . . . well, you weren\ here. I tried to call you.’’

I set the coffees down and pull my phone from my purse. Shoot, she did call. I must have been on the phone with Ben and never noticed. I set my phone on the table. ’’The meeting is tomorrow, not today,’’ I insist.

’’Well, tell that to Mr. Eleven.’’


’’He\s an eleven on a scale of one to ten. You should go out with him.’’

I gape at her. ’’Josie, are you out of your mind? You call me in here like I\m about to get fired and then tell me I should date our engaged client. The one whose wedding we\ e planning.’’

’’Oh, Bell, I see how he looks at you. He practically f**ks you with his eyes every time he\s in here.’’

’’Josie, honestly. And besides, I think he screws anything that moves.’’

Her hand flies to her mouth. ’’Bell Wilde, I\ve never heard you talk like that. I like this new wild side.’’

I laugh at her. ’’You should have known me before I found direction.’’

’’Is that like finding God?’’

I ponder her question. ’’Yeah, I guess it is.’’

She blows a piece of blue hair out of her eyes. ’’Oh, and I almost forgot, that really hot brother of yours, the one who\s, you know . . . married’’ she rolls her eyes ’’stopped by already too. He said to let you know he had a few things to take care of and would be back to take you to lunch.’’

Suddenly Josie\s eyes grow even wider than when I first walked in and then there\s a slight tap on the glass behind me.

I swallow and mutter, ’’Is that Tate?’’

Her eyes confirm my suspicion without her having to say a single word.

My nerves start to buzz as I turn around and push the door. There stand Tate and Romeo.

’’Miss Wilde, you decided to join us at work today. I\m so glad,’’ he says sternly but he\s still conducting himself civilly.

My eyes shift to Romeo\s. Aerie is right he\s a stunner. And Ben is right too he\s a snake. His look is aristocratic but bad boy at the same time. Dark brown wavy hair, a se*y, slender frame with broad shoulders, and boy, does he know how to dress! I thought Tate dressed with style, but Romeo is in a whole other league. Today he\s wearing a black suit with a white shirt, his gray tie crisply knotted around his neck, and he looks every bit as put together as Tate if not more so.

He speaks before I do. ’’Bell, I have to apologize. I realized after I arrived that our meeting is tomorrow, but Tate insisted I wait for you to get here.’’

My eyes shoot back to Tate\s. He\s a man who gives his work more than one hundred percent, but the problem is he can\ give any aspect his one hundred percent attention. So he has me take on the more complex clients the needier ones. And Romeo, he\s needy all right. But I\m not sure if his need isn\ to get me into a bathroom and have his way with me.

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