My Father's Best Friend(5)By: Fiona Davenport
“You had to go and say strawberry shortcake,” he groaned.
Yes! I mentally fist-pumped.
“Coming right up if you’ll follow me into the kitchen.”
I was acutely aware of him walking behind me and added a touch more swivel to my hips than usual. I served him the biggest piece of shortcake I could find, with a heaping mound of strawberries and whip cream. Then I dished myself up one of the brownies and joined him at the table. When he moaned at his first bite, I knew I was going to ask my next-door neighbor for her recipe. If strawberry shortcake was Ethan Parker’s weakness, I was about to become an expert at making it.
We didn’t talk much as we enjoyed our desserts. Ethan looked like he wanted to lick his plate clean when he reached the bottom, making me giggle.
“I have plenty left if you’d like to take some with you,” I offered.
“As delicious as it was, I have to say no. I don’t have a fridge in my hotel room.”
My heart dropped at the reminder that he didn’t live here. “You’re welcome to raid my fridge tomorrow if you’d like.”
“How about I take you out to dinner first?”
“Yes!” I accepted before he could change his mind. I was probably a horrible person for setting up a date on the same day as my mom’s funeral, but I had a feeling she would have wanted me to say yes. Although I’d never seen her go out on a date—ever—she’d always sounded hopeful whenever she asked me about boys. She was addicted to reading romance novels, and I’d always thought my mom didn’t date because she’d had her one true love and was pining for him. My father. The man who’d broken her heart, only I’d only never known what had happened until she was on her deathbed. But this wasn’t the time to dwell on that, not with Ethan smiling at me from across the table.
“I’d love to have dinner with you tomorrow night.”
“I can’t do tomorrow.” My heart dropped, only to pick right back up again. “How about the day after?”
He twisted his wrist to look at the gleaming watch strapped to it, his forearm muscles tightening attractively. “I should probably head back to the hotel since I have a conference call in about thirty minutes.”
“But it’s Saturday.”
“In my line of work, every day is a business day,” he explained as he rose from the chair.
“What do you do?” I asked, following him into the living room.
“I own a security and investigations company.” I wasn’t surprised to learn he was his own boss since he had an air of authority about him. One which wasn’t due to his age, but the way he carried himself.
He paused at the door, and then leaned towards me to place a gentle kiss on my cheek. “I truly am sorry for your loss.”
“I feel like I’m taking advantage of you when you’re vulnerable,” he murmured.
“Asking a pretty girl out on a date on the same day she buried her mom isn’t exactly the right thing to do.”
“Then don’t be nice,” I interrupted. “Because I’m glad you asked me out. And that you stopped by.”
“Let’s just hope you stay that way,” he said, reaching up to tuck the pesky lock of my hair that was always falling in my face back behind my ear.
“Ouch!” I cried out when he pulled his hand away and his watch tugged at my hair.
“I’m sorry, baby girl. I didn’t mean to hurt you,” he rasped as he carefully untangled his watch from my hair. “Never want to hurt you.”
“Then don’t,” I answered simply, earning me a quick kiss on the lips before he turned and walked away.
Fucking strawberry shortcake.
It was a weakness of mine and with the temptation of two such sweet treats in front of me, all rational thought had fled. Still, taking her to dinner was harmless. And, I’d given myself two days to get my head on straight.
I debated whether to use my connections to get a rush on the DNA test from the hair I’d snagged off of Lilah’s head. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Almost literally, considering the state of my dick since I met her. If the test was positive, then I was lusting after my best friend’s daughter—teenage daughter.