Home > Yanked (Frenched #1.5)(16)

Yanked (Frenched #1.5)(16)
Author: Melanie Harlow

“About all of it. I should have told you she was there. Better yet, I should have said no to her when she asked if she could stay for a few days.” He pulled me down again, then moved closer to me and brushed the hair back from my face. “You know, when you said that about Tucker, asked about how I would feel if I found out he was staying in your apartment, I wanted to put my fist through the wall.”

“Yeah?” The corners of my mouth lifted slightly. “Good.”

“Honestly, Jessica means nothing to me now, but you were right—I do feel guilty about the way things ended, and I guess I let that influence my decision. It seemed like something small I could do for her to make up for the painful way we ended things.”

“It’s not small at all. Not to me. And not to her either.”

He kissed my forehead. “I get that now. But you have to believe me when I say I have no romantic feelings for her whatsoever. You don’t really think I would sleep with her, do you?”

I shrugged. “I don’t know. I mean, maybe you wouldn’t intend to, but she’s so beautiful…what if she threw herself at you and you felt guilty or lonely enough to give in?”

He shook his head. “That would never happen. I love you, and I don’t want anyone else. It was more like…I felt sorry for her. Jessica is kind of a mess right now.”

“She looks fine to me.”

“Well, she has some family problems, and she’s coming off another bad breakup. Nothing life-threatening, but she needed a friend. She’s not interested in me in any other way.”

I bit my lip rather than argue, but I felt like hitting him over the head. Of course she was interested in him another way—it was totally obvious! Was he blind? And I noticed he hadn’t disagreed with me about her being beautiful. But guys aren’t so smart about some things. Maybe he truly couldn’t read her. Maybe he didn’t realize how jealous I was. Hell, I don’t even think I knew how jealous I was before I actually saw her. It wasn’t like me at all, and I hated the feeling.

He continued to stroke my hair. “Any man that has you would have to be insane to risk losing you.” He touched his forehead to mine. “Tell me you know I wouldn’t hurt you that way.”

“I guess I do, but…” I shrugged. “I hated hearing that you were going to have dinner with her tonight, even if it was with other friends. And then I get here, and you’re all dressed up in a suit—”

“Fuck that. Now that you’re here, I don’t care about seeing anyone but you. I want to take you to dinner. Or eat you for dinner.” His hand was wandering over my hip, but I didn’t want to gloss over this issue with sex.

“You never want to bring me around your friends, Lucas. Why is that?”

He sighed, removing his hand. “Because when you’re here, I want you all to myself, Mia. We have so little time together. I don’t want to waste it paying attention to anyone else.”

“But it makes me feel bad, like I’m not really part of your life. Like I’m just something on the side and you don’t ever intend to let me in.” I got to my knees and sat back on my heels. “I love you. I want to know your friends, and I want them to know me.”

He looked at me a moment. “OK.”

I blinked. “OK?”

“Sure. If you want to meet some of my friends, we can hook up with them for drinks tonight.”

“Really?” I couldn’t help grinning. Granted, it was cocktails with friends, not an apartment in SoHo, but it was a step in the right direction. I could be patient. Tonight, I’d blend in seamlessly with his social life, and he’d see how nice it would be to have me around more often.

Tomorrow, The Talk.

“Really. We’ve missed the reservation, but we can grab dinner before we meet them. The bar here is nice. I’ll call them and see if they’ll meet us.”

I hopped off the bed. “Shoot, I should have taken my dress out of my bag and hung it up.” Lifting my suitcase onto the bench at the foot of the bed, I unzipped it and took out my favorite LBD.

“You were too busy bossing me around.” Lucas sat up, his eyes popping. “Is that a dress or a nightgown?”

I smiled. “A dress.” It was nothing fancy, but it traveled well and hugged my curves like hot caramel coated an apple.

“Jesus. I’m not going to be able to keep my hands off you.”

“Good.” I hope Jessica notices. I hope she watches you fawning all over me and realizes that She. Can’t. Have. You. Ever. Again. Grabbing a hanger from the closet, I hung the dress in the bathroom, hoping the steam from a shower might release some of the wrinkles. As I walked back into the bedroom, I noticed Lucas’s tie on the floor near the door. I scooped it up and tossed it at him. “Lose something?”

“Oh yeah. That.” He looped it around his neck, watching me slip off my socks and remove my bra and panties. “Mmm. You sure you want to go out?”

I grinned ruefully. “Yes. Just give me half an hour, OK?” From my suitcase I pulled my makeup bag, hairbrush, and high heels. They were bright red with a platform sole, four-inch heel, and a bow on the side—totally impractical for a snowy February in New York, but I was tired of being practical all the time.

“OK. But I’m warning you. Half an hour is all I need to recover, and when I see you in that dress and those shoes…” He shrugged. “No promises. In fact,” he went on, slipping one hand into his pants, “I might need less time than that.”

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