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Take (Temptation Series)(6)

By:Ella Frank

As expected, he received no response. All Tate could hear was his  mother's breathing and the blood rushing around his head. He offered no  more as he made his way over to the balcony door, slid it open, and  stepped outside.         



Fuck, it's cold. Almost as cold as the reception at the other end of the phone.

Quickly, he moved back in until he was standing on the hardwood floor.  Then he frowned at the cigarettes in his hand. He really needed one.

Choosing the only option he could think of, he sat down cross-legged in  front of the sliding door and opened it a crack. He brought one to his  mouth and lit up, and still all that remained was tense silence.


"Why would you do this?" she asked, and before he could answer she continued, "I don't understand, son."

Now he knew she was pissed. William and son were only used when she was  mad, and her voice had a slight tremble. He could actually picture her  pacing back and forth.

"What do you mean, why? I didn't plan it this way. It just happened."

"It just happened? How does that just happen?"

"I don't know … It just did."

Tate closed his eyes and blew the smoke out through the crack in the  door. As he sat there, he thought about Logan's sensual smile and the  thick, black strands he'd had his hands in this morning.

Tate was pretty sure if Jill had brought him home his mother would've  fawned all over him, but the fact that he wanted to bring Logan home was  another matter altogether. Then he got to wondering how he would've  felt if Jill had brought Logan home. Would he have still had this  intense desire to touch the man?

Hang on. Why the fuck am I thinking-

"William, you are not gay. You were married. To a woman!"

Tate rolled his eyes. "Thank you for the update."

"Don't you get smart with me. I just don't understand what is going on with you lately. First, you divorce Diana-"

"Would you rather I stay in a miserable marriage?"

"Of course not, but this? This is just … just-"

"Just what, Mom?"

"Wrong. It's just wrong. We raised you better than this, William. You were such a good boy."

Tate closed his eyes and squeezed them tight.

Yes, the good Catholic boy who never disappoints his parents. Wow, what a fucking joke that is these days.

"I'm not a boy anymore, Mom. Why can't you ever try to see my side of things?" Tate asked, immediately regretting it.

He'd told himself back when he and Diana had split not to count on his  family for much. Apparently, it was okay to screw over those around you,  as long as you went to church on Sunday to repent.

"And how am I supposed to see this?"

Tate had no idea and was pretty sure his silence relayed that.

"Well? What do you expect?" she demanded again, and this time, she sounded pissed. "First, Diana called me-"

"Why the fuck are you still talking to her?"

"Don't you use that word with me."

"Well, answer me. She's my ex-wife. Why is she calling you?" Tate had  wanted to ask his mother that for as long as he could remember and was  fucking proud of himself for finally doing so.

"I've always been close to Diana. Ever since she and your sister were little girls."

Tate took another deep inhale of the tobacco and tipped his face toward  the open door to exhale. He wasn't stupid. He knew the story.

Diana's family had moved in next door when he'd turned eight. Almost  instantly, his sister and Diana had become attached at the hip-best  friends for life-and they sure as shit weren't giving that up anytime  soon.

He hadn't really paid much attention to Diana back then. She'd been more  like a sister to him until the year she returned from college. That was  the first time his cock had gotten him in a whole shit-ton of trouble.

Logan was the second.

It was best not to think about that right now though-not with his angry mother on the other end of the phone.

Diana was a fucking problem, one that was still included in family  affairs even though they were in the process of making their separation a  permanent one. It was time his mother realized how much he didn't  appreciate their continued friendship.

"Don't you realize how uncomfortable that makes me? You still talk to my ex-wife."

"You know she's like family."

"And I am family! Jesus. Where the hell does she get off telling you my personal business?"

"She was hurt. She said you were kissing a man. That would hurt any  woman who was once involved with you. Is this … this man the reason you  two-"

"No!" Tate denied adamantly. "Is that what she said?"

The silence he was met with was answer enough, and it made Tate want to track Diana down and strangle the witch.         



"I didn't meet Logan until a couple of weeks ago."

"That's his name?"

"Yes. That's his name." Tate paused and then decided, What the hell. "He wants to meet you."

"Excuse me?"

"He wants to meet you, and I want you to meet him."

Tate lowered his arm outside the door and crushed out the cigarette butt. So what if he was imagining it was Diana's face.

"I don't think so. I don't ever want to meet him."

Tate bit back the snide remark he wanted to make and instead asked something he knew he'd regret. "Why not?"

And just as predicted, the answer wasn't one he'd been ready to hear.

"Because he's a pervert, and he's corrupted my son."

Logan strolled into the firm's conference room and found Cole seated at  the large oval table in the center. He had paperwork scattered all  around him and a half-eaten sandwich on a plate to his left.

"You know, I hate organizing this kind of shit. Can't we hire a party  planner? I know we can afford it. Or better yet, your wife?"

Cole looked up from the papers in front of him and shook his head.  "Rachel's a pastry chef, not an event planner. Plus, she's busy enough  down at Exquisite."

"Yeah, yeah. But I hate doing this stuff."

"I'm so sorry that putting together a function for our clients is taxing on you. Are you done whining?"

Logan pulled out the chair opposite Cole, unbuttoned his suit jacket,  and planted his ass in the seat. "I suppose. It just seems like there  has to be someone better qualified."

"All you have to do is approve the list. It won't take you more than a day."

Cole slid three pages across the table toward him, and Logan reached out  to pick it up. He scanned down the first page and names.

Boring, boring, and even more boring.

"We need to make a set list from the three we have so we can give it to  Jane to type up and get the invites out. There are VIP, current clients,  and new," Cole told him as he picked up his sandwich and took a bite.  Logan grabbed his fresh coffee, took a sip, and almost choked when his  brother suggested, "You should invite Tate."

It wasn't as if he was ashamed of Tate. He wasn't even worried about  people knowing whom he was seeing. Hell, after the other day, everyone  in their office now knew his personal business. It was the thought of  really making that commitment, the announcement that, Yes, this is my  partner, and introducing Tate to their biggest clients.

"You okay there?" Cole asked, wiping a cloth napkin across his mouth.

Pity it didn't erase the self-satisfied look on his face.

"I'm fine."

"Yeah, I can see that," Cole jeered.

"Shut the fuck up."

"Invite Tate. You know you want to."

Logan glared at the immaculately dressed man across from him. "You don't know shit."

Cole laughed. "I know you. And you haven't been monogamous since you were in college."

"That doesn't mean anything. Except that I like sex and know I can't commit."

"It means you like him. A lot."

Deciding there was no use in denying it, Logan shrugged, trying to play it cool. He did like Tate-more than a lot.

"So what if I do? I hardly think he's ready to come to a work function  as my date. He was just outed to his sister, which we still have to deal  with. I'm thinking once this month is enough for him and me."

Cole seemed to contemplate him for a moment and then asked, "What about me and Rach?"

Confused, Logan eloquently responded with, "Huh?"

"What if you come and spend some time with me and Rachel's family as a  couple. Get him used to the idea of being out in public with you."

Logan mulled over the idea. "When you say family, exactly how many-"

"Six of us plus you two," Cole finished for him.

Logan wasn't sure. He'd heard about Rachel's clan, but he didn't know them enough to-

"Trust me when I say they won't bat an eyelash at the two of you being together."

"I thought you said her brother wanted to kill you when you first met. He sounds like a tight-ass."

Cole leaned back and crossed his arms over his chest. "He did, but on  the plus side, you haven't just married his sister after a week."

Logan sighed. "Would this be for dinner?"


"Then what?"