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Squirming, she pushed away from him, fighting down the emotion that wanted to overwhelm her.
“I can’t go there, Cole. I don’t want to talk about my fears with you. Or being your girl. Or my fucking hair, for God’s sake! This is…ridiculous. Impossible.”
But the sheer masculine beauty of his face—a face thousands of women would have killed to be close to—and the sincerity of his tone were getting to her. That, and the pure chemistry that still sizzled and snapped in the air between them like static electricity before a storm.
The past was the past. Wasn’t it? How was it possible that she still responded to him like this? She couldn’t seem to think straight.
“Have dinner with me tonight. We can talk.”
Her mind spun with images of them together in the darkness, with nothing but the light of the moon shining on their naked bodies through the windows of their old house in Venice Beach… Those images drove the other ones away, and she wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or if it was bad, but this certainly felt better. “Tonight?” she asked uncertainly.
“Seven o’clock. I’ll pick you up wherever you tell me to. Here. Your home.” An air of command in his voice even while he was giving her options. How did he do that?
“I didn’t say I was going.”
He smiled, a devastating flash of strong white teeth. “You didn’t say you weren’t.”
“Damn it, Cole,” she muttered, crossing her arms over her chest. She wanted to say no, but oh, the storm was coming.
He let out a low chuckle. “Still have to be a little mouthy before you give in. But you know I’ve always liked that about you.”
Oh, they were so not getting into the whole power exchange thing. She’d be lost.
“I can still say no.”
He only smiled, making her want him to kiss her again. And again. And damn it, he had her. For dinner, anyway.
She shook her head. “Okay. Okay. But I’ll meet you. Just tell me where.”
“Come on, Janie girl. You know I’m more of a gentleman than that. There is no way I’m not picking you up.”
She blew out a breath, dropped her arms and turned to grab a pen and a green sticky note from her teak desk. “This is my address.”
He glanced at the note. “Los Feliz. Cool, funky neighborhood. You close to Griffith Park?”
She raised her chin a few notches. “Yes. It is.”
He leaned in until she could feel his breath warm on her cheek, his voice low. “I understand you being defensive, finding it hard to trust even having a simple conversation with me. I get it, baby. But just for tonight, for what we had between us once, I need you to find a way to let me in. A little, at least.”
She nodded, unable to speak, his scent going through her like a live wire.
It had always been like this. He’d always had this effect on her—rendering her speechless simply by standing close to her. His touch was absolutely devastating. And his scent… God, no man had a right to smell that good.
Another shiver ran through her as she breathed him in. She would see him. She would be open to talking. But she would not let him make her head spin like the teenager who had fallen so hopelessly in love with him.
That’s a lie. You’ve never been able to resist him.
She wished it weren’t true. But that was the main reason she’d never faced him once the divorce papers were signed. Because she knew if she spent ten minutes alone with him—even after the drug and alcohol abuse, even after the nights she’d spent alone wondering where the hell he was, having him come home staggering at six in the morning—turning away from him would be impossible. She wasn’t sure she could do it again.
She was an idiot.
She nodded. “Seven o’clock.”
Copyright Eden Bradley 2015