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Taking What's His(7)

By:Diane Alberts

Smirking, he adjusted his grip on the wheel. “Yeah. You will.”

Instead of answering, she swallowed hard and kept silent. The way he said it…yeah, it made her think he was right. And that was equal parts thrilling and scary. His dark auburn hair reflected the streetlights, and so did his dark blue eyes. And when he smiled, she could see dimples underneath his sexy scruff. Not that he was smiling now. Instead, he looked determined.

Beneath it all, his gaze held a sadness to them she’d never seen before. What had put that shadow in his eyes? Where had he been? What had he seen? She was dying to know. Almost as much as she was dying to kiss him again.

He stopped in front of a house. It was two-story brick colonial, fairly large, and it looked like the type of place a guy in his twenties wouldn’t step foot in.

She stared at it. “Is this your house?”

“Yeah.” He shut off the truck and jumped out of it. She opened her door and hopped down, landing on both feet. He was there waiting for her. How had he moved so fast? “But we have to be quiet. My mom’s sleeping upstairs. I live in the basement.”

She froze. “Oh my—”

“I’m kidding.” He burst into laughter, holding his stomach. “You’re so fucking gullible. It’s adorable.”

Her cheeks went hot. “I am not.”

“Yeah, you are.” He grabbed her hand and pulled her toward the door. “But only about this, because you seem to think I’m a gamer geek who never grew up or moved out of his parent’s house.”

Okay. He was right. She totally had pre-conceived opinions about him, but she also knew that under that facade, he was more. “I’m sorry.”

He lifted a shoulder. “Nothing to be sorry for. I don’t give a fuck.”

“So…about that gullibility thing. You were kidding about the whole ‘sir’ thing, too, then, weren’t you?”

He shook his head. “Hell no.”

“But I—” Don’t know how I feel about that yet. She cut herself off when he opened the door and motioned her inside.

As she walked into the living room, hugging herself, she glanced around. The house was pleasantly furnished. Modern, with a hint of elegance. Not a single Darth Vader suit to be found. Not even a single cosplay outfit. It looked nothing like she’d expected. You’re outta your league, here, Lydia.

“Want a drink?” he asked, hanging his keys on the hook by the door. There were four hooks, but only one set of keys. “I have pretty much anything you’d want.”

She set her purse down in the foyer. “Do you have white wine?”

“Moscato okay?”

“Yeah. That’s great.” She followed him into the kitchen, greedily eating up every single detail of his home. “You have a nice place.”

“Thanks.” He pulled out two wine glasses, falling silent. She got the impression, again, that he was thinking over his next words. He seemed to do that a lot. “I bought it sight unseen when I moved here for my job.”

“What do you do?”

He poured the wine with a less than steady hand. “I’m an IT guy. Go ahead. Laugh. Stereotypes and all that shit.”

“I’m not going to laugh,” she said softly, taking the full glass he handed her. “Heck, I don’t even have a job yet, so I’m certainly not going to laugh at someone who does.”

He filled his own glass, and raised it in a toast. They both drank. “What did you go to college for?”

She wasn’t sure how much Steven had talked about her, but she answered honestly anyway. She might not want to tell him who she was, but she wasn’t about to lie to him. She wasn’t a liar. There just wasn’t a reason to complicate things between them. She’d been waiting for a guy like him to come along and awaken her urges, so to speak.

And now he was here.

They’d have their fun, and then they’d never see each other again. He was work-buddies with her brother. It wasn’t as if there would be awkward family dinners afterward or anything. He’d never even have to know he’d slept with his friend’s little sister. The bro code would remain intact.

“I got my nursing degree.” She sipped her wine. “I just graduated from St. Joseph’s, and I’m currently trying to find a good OR nurse position…and failing.”

“Ah.” He stepped closer, towering over her. He smelled so good. She didn’t know what type of cologne he wore, but she’d never smelled it before. “I’ll let you know if I hear of any openings.”

She took another big gulp of wine. He wouldn’t be around in her life long enough for that, so it was an empty promise and they both knew it. “Thanks.”