Before jamaica lane, p.27
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       Before Jamaica Lane, p.27
 

         Part #3 of On Dublin Street series by Samantha Young
Page 27

  His gorgeous eyes brightened as if he was pleased I knew his name. ‘Hi again,’ he said with a grin, jamming his hands in his pockets.

  ‘Uh, hi. ’ I quickly glanced back at Hannah to see that she was walking to our table, looking over her shoulder with a frown line between her eyebrows. It appeared as though a tall, good-looking Italian man was quietly chastising Marco. ‘Uh’ – I turned back to Benjamin – ‘I know her. ’ I gestured to Hannah. ‘Hannah. I was just making sure she was okay. ’ I shrugged sheepishly. ‘And maybe eavesdropping a little. ’

  To my relief he laughed and it suddenly occurred to me that I’d spoken to him without fumbling up the words. It made me smile, and my smile made Benjamin’s eyes drop to my mouth.

  After swallowing hard at the interested gleam I saw there, I said wryly, ‘I take it you like D’Alessandro’s. ’

  ‘My favorite Italian restaurant in the city. ’

  ‘Mine too,’ I agreed and then glanced past him, trying to see into the other dining room. ‘Are you with your family?’

  Just like that, Benjamin appeared uncomfortable. ‘Um, no. A first date. I saw you and thought I’d come over and say hello. ’

  Admittedly, I’d felt a little disheartened at the words ‘first date,’ but knowing he’d left that date to come talk to me obliterated most of the disappointment. ‘The date must be going well. ’

  He leaned into me and whispered in mock horror, ‘She ordered salad. ’

  I gaped back in actual horror. ‘In D’Alessandro’s?’

  ‘A salad and water. It’s painful to watch. ’

  A rush of giggles bubbled out. ‘I’ll bet. ’

  Benjamin chuckled too now, his eyes roaming my face in a way that was nice but also that suggested he was taken aback by me. That wasn’t so surprising. It was the first time he’d gotten a conversation out of me. ‘Well,’ he said, seeming reluctant, ‘I better go back. I told her I was going to the loo. ’

  ‘Okay. ’ I smiled giddily. ‘I’ll probably see you at the library then. ’

  ‘Definitely,’ he murmured sexily and I grinned wider watching him walk away.

  As soon as he was out of sight, I made my way back to the table, feeling warm flutterings in my chest. That had gone well. Really well. My lessons with Nate were paying off!

  Nate.

  I frowned suddenly as the warm flutterings disappeared and I landed heavily in my chair.

  ‘Who was that?’ Jo asked.

  They were all staring eagerly at me.

  Even Dad.

  ‘A guy from the library. ’

  Dad tilted his head to the side, a curious look in his eye. ‘A colleague?’

  ‘No, a postgrad. He’s nice. ’

  ‘Postgrad,’ Dad repeated, thinking this over. ‘Smart fella, then. ’ He grinned cheekily at me. ‘He’s definitely interested in you, sweetheart. Do you like him?’

  Something unpleasant squeezed my stomach as I considered my dad’s observations. Benjamin had indeed seemed interested. He’d left his date to come talk to me. Did that mean … if I saw him again … what would happen?

  And … Jesus effing Christ …

  … what did I want to happen?

  Nate.

  I shrugged again, struggling to breathe through the sudden tightness in my chest. ‘I don’t really know him. ’

  My legs felt heavy as I walked up the concrete stairs to my door. Luckily I’d gotten through dinner by pestering Hannah with questions and laughing while she held her own against Cole’s teasing.

  However, as soon as I was on my own, walking toward my apartment, the headache that had been dying to make itself known sprang to life between my eyes. I rubbed my sinuses, wishing my brain wasn’t all mushy and messed up right now.

  Lines were being blurred, and other lines were actually being crossed. There were a whole lot of lines and none of them were of a solid consistency.

  Mothereffing lessons.

  With a huge sigh I let myself into my apartment and came to an abrupt halt at the sight of Nate leaning against my couch, his arms crossed over his chest, his legs crossed at the ankles.

  God, he was beautiful.

  He didn’t even have to say a word and my heart was pounding.

  I shut the door behind me, leaned against it, and turned the lock. Our eyes met across the room and clung. ‘New lesson?’ The words came out all husky and needful.

  Nate straightened up to his full height. ‘Tonight’s lesson: Use your initiative. ’

  Without saying a word I shrugged out of my jacket and began to undress.

  Nate’s eyes smoldered as he prowled toward me. ‘Good initiative. ’

  15

  The Lumineers were singing to me. Usually that was a good thing, but the previous evening had been pretty physical and I wanted my Saturday lie-in.

  Nate’s warm body was pressed against my side as I lay on my stomach, my face buried in my pillow. I felt him shift against me as my ringtone woke him up.

  ‘Babe,’ he said, rubbing my back lightly, ‘your phone. ’

  I mumbled incoherently into my pillow.

  The delicious heat of him up my left side disappeared and I grumbled a little more. He rolled back into me, kissed my shoulder, and deposited the phone on the pillow near my ear. Wincing at how loud it was, I lifted my head and fumbled for it. ‘Hey,’ I answered sleepily, not even checking the caller ID.

  Joss’s husky voice replied, ‘Hey, you. How’s it going?’

  More alert now, I leaned up on my elbow, enjoying the feel of Nate’s fingers stroking my spine. ‘Joss, it’s good to hear from you. How are you? How was the honeymoon?’

  ‘It was great. You know Braden. ’ She gave a low, intimate laugh. ‘It was fun. ’

  I shot a look at Nate, who was lying there watching me, all sexy and stubbly. I finally got what that low, intimate laugh meant. ‘Was it beautiful?’

  ‘Stunning. I recommend Hawaii to all. If it weren’t for the weirdos I sort of, might, kind of care about, I would never have come home. Speaking of, Ellie and Adam are house-hunting and are looking at a property on my street. Els said she wanted to check it out again, so I’m going with her this afternoon. We thought we’d come back to my place afterwards for a few drinks. I know Jo can’t make it because she’s working, but I hoped you’d want to hang out with us. ’

  ‘I’ll be there. What time?’

  ‘Noon. ’

  I frowned. ‘Uh, what time is it now?’

  ‘Quarter –’ Nate began to answer, but I cut him off immediately, slapping my hand over his mouth. I glared at him as I felt his lips curve beneath my palm. His eyes danced with mirth.

  ‘What was that?’ Joss asked curiously.

  The last thing I needed was my friends finding out about my situation with Nate – because the last thing I needed was a concerned lecture. ‘The radio. My alarm. ’

  ‘Well, then, I guess I don’t need to tell you it’s nine forty-five. That’s a weird time to set your alarm. ’

  ‘It’s a Saturday,’ I answered quickly, flustered. ‘I sleep in a little on a Saturday and, uh, you know, nine thirty seems too early but ten seems too late so …’ My hand tightened over Nate’s mouth as he laughed harder at my lame rambling.

  ‘So you’re weird,’ Joss finished for me. ‘I already knew that. See you soon. ’ She hung up and I immediately took my hand off Nate’s mouth, fisted it, and punched him in the arm.

  ‘Dude, are you trying to get us caught?’

  His laughter died down on a huff as he rubbed his arm. ‘I could give a shit. ’

  ‘Liar. ’ I shoved him playfully. ‘If I don’t want to be subjected to the concerned “ooh do you think that’s a good idea?” crap, then I know you certainly don’t. ’

  In answer Nate sat up, grabbed my hands, and forced me to my back, cocky seduction curving his lips as he pushed my legs apart with his.

 
‘What are –’

  I was interrupted by his masterful mouth and soon found myself melting into the bed as he kissed me into submission. When he drifted his lips down my chin, sprinkling shivery little brushes over my neck, I managed to find my voice. ‘What are you doing? I’ve got just a little over two hours to get showered and dressed and haul my ass to Joss’s. ’

  ‘Hmm. ’ He traveled lower, freeing one of my wrists to cup my breast to his mouth. I sighed, involuntarily arching my back as he licked my nipple. ‘I’ve got judo in a few hours too. I’ll make this quick. ’ He grinned up at me from beneath his lashes, wicked and seductive as his hand slipped between my legs. ‘I promise. ’

  Delicious sensations rolled through me. ‘Uh …’

  And then he abruptly got up, leaving me lying there with my back arched off the bed. ‘Where the hell are you going?’ I snapped.

  His warm chuckle hit me low in my belly as he began searching through my dresser. ‘Don’t worry, I’m coming back. I’m just looking for a pair of tights. ’

  Confused, I replied, ‘I don’t have any. I’ve got a pair of stockings in the bottom of my underwear drawer. ’

  ‘Even better. ’

  ‘Do I even want to know why you’re looking for stockings?’

  Without answering, Nate found the stockings and climbed back up on the bed. With deft efficiency that took me completely by surprise, he tied one end of the stockings around my wrists and the other around the slats of my headboard.

  Makeshift handcuffs.

  I tugged on them, feeling the material stretch but not loosen. ‘What the hell?’

  Nate was no longer smiling as he braced himself over me. ‘When I held you down the other night … it made you so wet, babe, it makes me hard just thinking about it. ’ His voice thickened as his eyes darkened. ‘You got off on it. ’

  I flushed, remembering how much I’d enjoyed the fact that Nate could do whatever he wanted with me and my hands weren’t free to stop him. It was altogether a surprising feeling, but one I didn’t think I’d have with just any man. I allowed myself to be intrigued by the notion of being Nate’s captive, allowed the fantasy, because … I trusted him. Behind the fantasy was the knowledge that he’d only do things I liked, loved, and that he would never hurt me.

  Still, I didn’t know I’d made it so obvious.

  I tugged on the stockings, growing steadily more breathless. ‘So what now?’

  He caressed the backs of my thighs and then curled his hands around them, pulling my legs up around his hips before pressing his hard, hot erection to my entrance. ‘Now you’re completely at my mercy … while I fuck you senseless. ’

  Staring at the stripped-out kitchen, I wondered if Ellie and Adam were nuts.

  ‘Guys, we’re talking a lot of work here,’ I murmured, taking in the loose wiring and a damp patch in the lower left-hand corner of the room.

  Ellie glanced back at me and Joss regretfully. ‘Adam said as much, but I wanted another look. ’ She stroked the wall. ‘I love these buildings. ’

  ‘Ellie, you know if you want the flat back, Braden and I are happy to look elsewhere,’ Joss offered.

  But she might as well have offered to drown someone’s cat. ‘Joss, no! That flat is special to you guys. ’

  ‘It’s special to you, too. ’

  ‘Not as much. ’ She shook her head with a heavy sigh. ‘Let’s go. Staying here is depressing. ’

  We shuffled out of the flat on Dublin Street, Ellie looking back at it longingly as we climbed the hill toward Joss’s place. ‘It’s such a massive renovation job. We just don’t have the time. ’

  ‘It’s a money pit,’ Joss added. ‘There was damp and cabling issues. Els, it would be a constant headache. ’

 
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