Home > Craft (The Gibson Boys #2)

Craft (The Gibson Boys #2)
Author: Adriana Locke

One

Lance

Nerdy Nurse: I’m going to have to pull out.

Working the tie around my neck with one hand, I lift the phone with the other. No photo, not even a real name, just a silver-grey profile picture with a bright pink set of lips pressed into a kiss. Why this generic image representing a woman I’ve never met makes me smile, I’ll never know. But, in my thirty-some years of life, I’ve learned not to question every reaction. There’s no fun in that.

My fingers swipe across the screen, the upturn of my lips firmly in place.

Me: Isn’t that my line?

Nerdy Nurse: Very funny. Are you always so … quick?

Me: Only when excellence calls for it.

Nerdy Nurse: Now you’re making me regret this thing that came up.

My fingers stall. Hovering over the keys, I re-read her words.

This is the most bizarre thing I’ve ever done. Carrying on this little conversation-ship with Nerdy Nurse isn’t, on the surface, my idea of a good time. I downloaded this dating app to keep from having any words ending in -ship. Yet, our back-and-forth is something I look forward to. Her wit and curiosity, her intelligence, is something that I crave. Even though we make plans to meet nearly every week, one of us will inevitably cancel. I’m okay with that because it means a continuation of this little thing we have going on.

Do I want to meet her? Abso-freaking-lutely. I want to fuck her so hard, so soft, so thoroughly that she’s ruined for anyone else. Until then, I’m good with this messaging thing. Strangely.

Adjusting my cock inside my khaki’s, I grab my briefcase and head into the kitchen. The coffee pot has one last cup left in the bottom and I pour it into a travel mug before flipping off the switch.

The clock on the stove shines the time my way in a bright, red warning that I’m going to be late. With a nod that way, I place my things on the counter and pull out my phone again.

Me: I bet it’s going to be harder for me to get it down than you, if you catch my drift.

Nerdy Nurse: The pitfalls of being a man. ;)

Me: Reschedule?

I can’t even type the words without a chuckle.

Nerdy Nurse: What would we be if we weren’t rescheduling? Ha! I’m not sure what shift I’ll be on after tonight, so I better not commit quite yet.

Me: A woman after my heart.

Nerdy Nurse: Not exactly what I’m after. Hearts make me squeamish.

Me: Keep talking dirty to me. ;)

Grabbing my things, I manage to get to the car and into the driver’s seat as her chat bubble flickers as she types on her end.

Nerdy Nurse: Blood is pouring onto the floor as we speak. Dirty enough?

Me: Blood makes me squeamish.

Nerdy Nurse: The guy before this had gangrene. Should we try that?

Me: You’re twisted.

Nerdy Nurse: I really need to go now.

Me: You know where to find me. At the top of your matches.

Nerdy Nurse: And to think you started at the bottom. If I hadn’t changed my preference from biographies to historical reads, you might’ve stayed there.

Me: Is that where you like it? The bottom?

A quiet groan passes my lips as I imagine her sprawled out under me. I wonder what she looks like, tastes like, what her voice sounds like as it moans my name. The scent of her sweat as it drips down her chest, the feel of her skin damp from her arousal.

Flicking on the car, the clock blazes the time and I know I’m already a few minutes behind. I need to get out of the garage, but her chat bubble bounces again and my mind imagines her tits, round and firm, bouncing in front of my face.

Good God. Get a grip.

Nerdy Nurse: Taking notes?

Me: Every good student takes notes.

Nerdy Nurse: And here I thought you told me you were a teacher.

Me: You can’t teach what you don’t know and I never stop learning.

Nerdy Nurse: Such a nerd answer.

Me: Looks like we’re a match then.

Nerdy Nurse: I was hoping for more … alpha.

Me: I hate that modern society thinks nerds can’t be alphas. Who runs the world? Who wields the true power in the universe? Nerds. We just don’t go flexing around about it.

Nerdy Nurse: Sounds like the start of a syndrome …

With my foot on the brake, I shift into reverse but still don’t back out.

Me: Are you talking medical to me? Let’s go back to the dirty part. I liked that better.

Nerdy Nurse: Bye.

Me: Don’t get cold feet on me now. I was just getting going.

Nerdy Nurse: You’re exhausting.

Me: You’re still responding.

Nerdy Nurse: You’re so full of yourself.

Me: Bet you wish you were full of me.

/Nerdy Nurse offline

My phone hits the leather seat beside me with a thud.

As I wait on the garage door to open, thoughts of Nerdy Nurse begin to fade away. They’re replaced with thoughts of work and, most importantly, what I’m doing on my lunch break.

I just hope there’s peanut butter icing involved.

Two

Mariah

“Let me be clear about one thing …”

“No, let me be clear about one thing,” I say, whirling through the doors of my office, my voice leading the way. “Get out of my office, Lance. Now.”

Shoulders thrown back, lips pressed together just as firmly as my arms clench across my breasts, I say a silent prayer my demonstration is enough to convince him I mean business. Then, I do what I always do: brace for his attack.

His free hand clasps the back of his neck, toying with the edges of his hairline, which is sharp from a fresh cut at the barber shop. He runs his palm around the side of his throat as he releases a low, amused chuckle. “Jessa, I’m going to have to call you back.”

“You don’t have to call her back,” I say, aware my voice is projecting a few octaves louder than usual or necessary. “You just have to take it somewhere else.”

Three.

Two.

One.

The bastard turns to face me, his full lips twisted into an undeniable smirk.

Bingo.

His shot is fired.

“I’m at work,” he says into the phone. He may be talking to her, but there’s no doubt his attention is set on me. Gaze searing into mine, the heaviness making it hard to breathe, he swipes his bottom lip with a slow, single stroke of his tongue. The wetness left in its wake seems to somehow make its way between my thighs.

Damn it.

Every morning when I pull into the staff parking lot, I tell myself it’ll be different. This is the day I won’t let Lance Gibson’s patented way of getting to me work. That he won’t quiet me with his smirk, immobilize me with his big green eyes, and twist me into a knot with his crude words delivered with the punch of a professional.

Of course, I’m also saying these things while balancing a tray of baked goodies I think he’ll love. I hate myself for that almost as much as I hate that I’ll be stripping myself of my panties in the ladies’ room between study halls because he’s so goddamn sexy and I can’t bear to feel them soaked between my thighs for the rest of the day.

Needless to say, I fail before I even walk in the door. I’m only a mortal. Silver lining? I’m a smarter mortal than I used to be. Nowadays, I can see what Lance is and ascertain what a disaster this intelligent, beautiful, smoldering book loving man would bestow upon me. After I spend the walk from my car to the high school library’s doors imagining every way he’d touch me, I also visualize the heartbreak that would coincide with the ache elsewhere.

No, thank you.

“Do you think I fuck women while I’m working, Jessa?” he continues, amusement laced in his tone as he watches me with a perfectly quirked brow. “What kind of an animal do you think I am?”

“Oh, for the love of God,” I mutter.

Setting my refrigerated lunch bag down, I cast him a narrowed glare as I make my way around my desk. The water in my purple Librarians Are Cool cup is room temperature, but I take a sip anyway. It’s a futile attempt to redirect my attention away from Lance and the vivid imagery of him with his fist in my hair as he bends me over this desk. This vision will be useful later, but not right now.

His games are frustrating. Listening to him make plans with his bevvy of bimbos is more than annoying, even if I’m conscious they may not be bimbos. It’s possible they’re just sexually satisfied and able to separate love from sex. Good for freaking them. I hate them.

As I watch him lean against the wall and his tongue sneak out between his perfectly straight teeth, I realize: I can’t blame him. At least he owns his philandering. Unlike my good-for-nothing, no-balls-having ex, Eric—Lance owns it. I can respect that.

I wish I could hate him. But how do you hate something that aesthetically pleasing, especially when he dampens his crass with just enough charm to soften you up? You can’t. I can’t, anyway. I can only remind myself to look through the smolder well enough to see the Y-chromosome. That specific chromosome, after all, carries the “master switch” gene, SRY, which decides whether an embryo will be a male or a female. It’s like men are apologizing from the start.

“Eight o’clock. See you then.” With a flourish, he drops his phone into the pockets of his pants. “How are you today, Ms. Malarkey?”

“My office is not a phone booth for your … whatever that was.” My cup hits the desktop with a thud, the chair beneath me squeaking as I relax onto its leather cushion. He leans forward, hands planted on a stack of papers, a grin digging deep against his chiseled cheeks.

There’s nowhere to go, no way to put any distance between us, but that’s not the problem. The problem is that I like it. And he knows it.

“Would you like to know what that was?” he teases.

“No.” Heat radiating from my face like it’s spent a long day in the sun, I stare back in hopes it’ll distract him from my blush.

“I can give you all sorts of details. Bet some of them will make you blush more than you are right now.”

My lips part to respond, to tell him he’s dreaming, but the twinkle in his eye stops me. He’d enjoy calling me out if I were to say anything. It’s happened more times than I care to admit. Instead, I deflect.

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