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Take (Temptation Series)(2)

By:Ella Frank





 

Reaching across to the nightstand, he lifted his cell and dialed Logan's  number, needing to hear his voice. After several rings, the phone  connected and he heard, "You were absolutely no help at all. Thank you  for that!" and found himself smiling.

"And what exactly do you need help with this morning, Mr. Mitchell?"

Tate could imagine the humorous look on Logan's face as his deep voice filtered through the phone.

"Well, well. Look who finally woke up … again."

Leaning back against his headboard, Tate rubbed a hand through his hair. "I was awake when you crept out this morning."

"I wasn't creeping out. I thought you might need a little extra sleep to recuperate."

Tate's lips twitched as he tried to hold back a laugh. "Are you trying to say that I can't keep up with you?"

"Are you trying to say that you can? Because if so, we should definitely  test that statement tonight." Logan's voice was smooth. So smooth that,  as it settled over him, Tate slid back down under the sheet.

"You do know that you're older than I am, right?" he joked, feeling more  at ease now that they were back to their usual sparring.

"Am I? And how would you know that?"

"I saw your driver's license on the counter the other day, old man."

Logan chuckled, and Tate gave up and laughed along with him.

"So how old are you? Since you know that I'm practically ancient … "

"Thirty-four is hardly old. Except to someone in their … twenties," he pointed out.

The line went silent, and then Logan said, "Please say you're older than twenty-five."

"Why? What would you do if I'm not?"

"I'd be fucking shocked for starters," Logan informed him, sounding surprised already.

It was funny how something like age had never come up between the two of  them before, and he was having too much fun with the fact that it had  never even occurred to Logan to ask.

"Tate," Logan warned, his voice dropping down an octave or three.

Tate couldn't help himself from continuing the tease. Plus, it was  distracting him from more serious matters, like the two voicemails  already on his phone.

"I mean, I'm obviously over twenty-one since I can sell you alcohol. And  what we did last night would still be legal even if I wasn't  twenty-one. So why does it matter?"

"Tate."

"Yes, Logan?"

"How old are you?" he practically growled.

"Twenty-nine. I'll be thirty next month."

He heard a relieved sigh through the phone.

"You fucker."

Tate busted out laughing. "What would you have done if I'd said twenty-one?"

"I want to say that I'd have walked away-"

"Bullshit," Tate cut in. "You can't walk away from me any more than I can from you."

As Tate realized what he'd just admitted, he shut his mouth. Then Logan's voice surrounded him in his room that now felt empty.

"Tate?"

He swallowed and placed his palm on his chest, trying to calm the thumping. "Yes?"

"I didn't even stop to think how old you were. I just had to have you. That should tell you everything."







Jesus, talk about a wake-up call. It was clear to Logan that it was time  the two of them started getting to know one another. He hadn't even  known how old Tate was. That was pretty fucking bad, even for him.

There was more going on here right now, and Logan wasn't anyone's fool.  He could tell by Tate's tone that something else was on his mind, and if  he were a betting man, he'd guess it was-

"About Sunday … "

Yep, he'd guessed right.

"I don't want you going because you feel obligated."

As Tate fell silent, Logan turned his chair so he was staring out the  huge floor-to-ceiling window. He wasn't sure how he felt about that last  statement.

Am I only going because I think I have to?

"I mean, this thing between us is really new, and I was pissed off after everything that Jill-"

"Tate?" Logan interrupted.

"Yeah?"

Logan pictured the serious look Tate was probably sporting and felt the  side of his mouth turn up. "Do you want me to go with you on Sunday, yes  or no?"

He knew that if he was direct about it the man at the other end of the  phone would always be brutally honest, and Tate didn't let him down.

"Yes. I want you there."

The smile that stretched across Logan's mouth at that admission surprised him. "Then that's where I'll be."         

     



 

As the silence hung between them, Logan noted the shift in the mood.

He was busy thinking about Sunday, and he wondered if Tate was too. He  could hear him breathing and wanted to ask if there was anything else on  his mind, but like always, Logan fell back to the usual when he was  uncomfortable-sarcasm.

"That doesn't mean I have to go to church, right?"

Tate's chuckle echoed through the phone, and the sound eased his mind somewhat.

"Heaven forbid. Logan Mitchell in a church? You may get struck by lightning. I wouldn't want that."

Logan nodded, agreeing with the sentiment. "Well, I never claimed to be an angel."

Tate's rumbling laughter continued. "No. You most certainly did not." He paused and then asked, "Are you religious at all?"

The fact of the matter was that Logan wasn't in any way, shape, or form  religious, but he wondered how Tate, a good Catholic boy, would feel  about that.

"Ahhh, here come the big questions. You do realize that, until only minutes ago, I didn't even know how old you were."

Logan heard a knock on his office door as Tate stated, "And you still don't know my real name."

Sherry stuck her head around the door, and Logan felt his mouth fall open as Tate's words penetrated his brain.

"What do you mean I don't know your real fucking name?"

"Just what I said," Tate stated matter-of-factly, and Logan could tell  he was enjoying himself at his expense. "Well, would you look at the  time … I gotta go."

"Where do you have to go? Don't you dare hang up on-"

It was too late. Tate-or whoever the hell was on the other end of the  phone-had hung up on him, leaving him curious and really fucking  confused.

It was definitely time they started talking to one another.







Tate was still amused hours later when he strolled into work and made  his way out the back to punch in. Logan must have called and text him a  dozen times, each sounding slightly more annoyed than the time before.

Logan: You think you're real funny, don't you?

Logan: So, you don't go by TATE?

Logan: I don't sleep with people whose name I don't know. I'm reformed. Keep that in mind, Morrison.

Logan: Where the fuck are you?

Tate knew the minute Logan could get away from the office he would be  down at the bar to interrogate him, and honestly, he was looking forward  to it. He'd had too much time to sit and think about the shit storm  that happened yesterday, and all he kept coming back to was his sister's  disgusted face.

Logan's brand of annoyance would be a welcome relief, not to mention  he'd developed quite the fantasy revolving around Logan in full lawyer  mode.

Forty minutes into his shift at the bar, the door to After Hours opened  and Logan stepped inside. As predicted, he appeared irritated, and Tate  could spot the frown a mile away. The shrewd blue eyes behind the  glasses scanned the tables and chairs then found him standing behind the  bar with his coworker, Amelia.

"Oh watch out. He is not happy. What'd you do?" the woman beside him asked tongue-in-cheek.

Tate turned to Amelia with an unrepentant grin. "I don't know what you mean."

A smile touched the corner of her lips, but she seemed doubtful. "Sure you don't. Should I leave? Or do you need the backup?"

Tate glanced back to where Logan was muscling his way through the  customers and across the hardwood floor toward them. Then he shook his  head. "Nah. I can handle him."

"I have no doubt about that. I'll leave you to it, but if you need me, just yell."

Tate agreed absentmindedly as she moved away, and Logan finally reached  him on the opposite side of the mahogany bar. The lighting in After  Hours was muted and low, making the surroundings cozy and private, and  as Logan stared across at him, the other word that came to mind  was … intimate.

"Good evening," Tate started, but before he got any further, Logan placed his hands on the bar and angled his head.

"Cut the crap, Morrison."

"Morrison, huh? That's the second time you've called me that today. Have to say, I'm not a fan."

"Tough shit. That's what I'm going to call you from now on. Apparently,  it's the only thing about you that I know is real. Did your phone  break?"

Tate was having a hard time being serious in the face of Logan's  irritation. "I'm pretty sure you had access to my file at your office.  My name was on that. Or did you forget, old man? And no, my phone's not  broken."

"Then you're ignoring me?" Logan questioned, his eyes narrowing. "As well as insulting me."         

     



 

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