My Father's Best Friend(4)By: Fiona Davenport
“Hello,” I gasped as I pulled open the door, clearing my throat afterwards to steady my voice so it didn’t sound breathy when I continued. “I wasn’t expecting to see you again today since you said you couldn’t make the luncheon. Or any other day really since you’re not from around here.”
I didn’t add how much I’d wanted his answer to be different. How much I’d wished he’d said he was coming to the house. How much I wanted to see him again.
My reaction to Ethan Parker was completely inappropriate considering I’d met him at my mom’s funeral. And because my guess was that he was closer to her age than my own. But it was impossible to ignore the impact he’d had on me from the moment I’d lifted my head and found him standing there, staring at me with heated dark eyes. His black hair fluttering slightly in the wind. Tall and imposing in a black suit that looked like it cost more than I’d ever spent on a piece of clothing.
The jacket was gone, and the sleeves of his pristine white dress shirt were rolled up to his elbows. His shoulders looked broader than before, and I could swear the dark scruff on his jawline had darkened in the hours since I’d seen him. Each time my mind had wandered towards him during the luncheon, I’d tried telling myself that I was exaggerating how attractive he’d been. How wrong I was. If anything, I’d underestimated the impact of this man on my libido, considering he was potent enough to be the first to wake it up—and on this dark day.
“I’m sorry to intrude.” He looked towards the mostly empty sidewalk, huffed out a deep breath, and then returned his gaze to me. “I hadn’t planned on it. But I was out for a walk and I somehow found myself on your street.”
He sounded perplexed by how it had happened, but I didn’t care. I was just happy it had.
“Would you like to come in?”
“As long as I’m not interrupting anything.” His gaze drifted over my shoulder, as though he expected someone else to be with me.
“Only a pity party for one,” I mumbled under my breath.
“Nothing,” I sighed. “Your timing is perfect. The last of my visitors left about thirty minutes ago, and I’d just realized how quiet the house was. I’d actually appreciate the company.”
“Well, then I guess I’m glad the car had a mind of its own.”
“Me, too,” I breathed out, catching a whiff of his cologne as he walked past me.
As he looked around the living room, I was glad I’d started my clean-up in there.
“I have plenty of food leftover, if you’re hungry?” I offered. “I was working on putting everything away when you knocked.”
He hesitated before answering me, his eyes sweeping over my body. For a moment, I thought I saw a glimmer of hunger, but then it was gone and I figured I must have imagined it.
“I ate already.”
“What about dessert? You’d be doing me a favor by having some since my kitchen is overflowing with sweets. Otherwise, I’ll eat them all myself.” Dragging a hand down the side of my dress, I emphasized exactly why that would be a bad idea. My appreciation of all things sweet was a big part of the reason for all my curves.
“If that’s”—his eyes lingered on my cleavage and hips before lifting back up to my face—“the result of you enjoying dessert, then I’m all for you having as many as you want.”
“Wow,” I breathed out at the heat in his stare. “That’s not exactly the usual response I get from guys.”
His eyes flared hotter as he stalked towards me. “Then they’re idiots.”
“Yup,” I gulped. “Most of the boys at my school were morons.”
The exact moment I said “school,” he stopped dead in his tracks. I wanted to kick myself for reminding him exactly how young I was. Apparently, I was a moron too.
“I’m not a boy, Lilah. I’m a man.” The words were growled with an air of warning.
“But are you a man who enjoys cherry cheesecake, strawberry shortcake, or peanut-butter-fudge pretzel brownies?” I joked, hoping to lighten the moment and get his mind off our age difference.