| 29 | Wine & Dine||

The man had to know she wouldn’t get anything done after his last message. She got back early that morning and barely got any sleep before having to be back in the office at eight. She was pleasantly surprised to see everything in order. The promised stack of papers on her desk told her that, even in her absence, her little team was working away on their various tasks.

She wasn’t expecting to see Devlin for at least another day as he was supposed to be on a ride somewhere. Going home was a lonely feat that she wasn’t looking forward to until she got his message right after lunch.

The day was going slow in a fast-paced way, but all she could think about was seeing her handsome rogue later that evening.

Well, that and whatever he had planned.

She smirked. She couldn’t imagine him planning anything, at least not really, but then she remembered his rather classy little chocolate shop that she stopped through on her way out of town to get treats for her clients.

“Lacey, I just got off the phone with―” Lacey’s secretary stopped short, when she saw Lacey already in her coat, hat and gloves, with her briefcase in hand.

The woman checked her watch. “It’s four-fifty-nine.”

“And time to go. We can talk about whatever it is tomorrow morning, okay?” She buzzed past the flabbergasted woman.

She loved her business, but she had no patience for it at the moment.

Thirty minutes later, she unlocked her door and pushed it open. Her breath caught when she saw the interior. The fireplace was rumbling and candles were lit all over the house.

Her attention was brought to the kitchen when banging dishes clacked on top of the stove.

“D-Devlin, what is all this?” She didn’t stop the silly smile from pulling up the corner of her lips as she peeled out of her outerwear. She piled it on the island counter. He looked down at what he took out the oven and shrugged.  

“The recipe said it was food. Suppose it tastes better than it looks?”

She giggled. “Not that. This.” She gestured around the apartment.

“What? Is it too much? I told the little―”

“No, it’s perfect. It uh, it kind of looks like when you came over five years before.”

He shrugged and rubbed the back of his neck. “Maybe.”

Her eyebrows twisted in a funny way.

“I know it’s bordering on lame.” He took her coat and items off the counter and hung them in the closet. She smiled watching him. Damn, that’s how she acted. She laughed when her coat kept falling off the hanger, and he was getting frustrated hanging back up over and over again.

Eventually, he just closed the door quickly to keep it inside. “I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing. Luke set this all up.”

She nodded. She did always love his honesty.

“I probably shouldn’t have said that. Shit.” He glanced at his hand. “Uh, do you want a shoulder massage?”

She raised an eyebrow and made her way over to him. She grabbed a chunk of hair that laid on his shoulders and let the fine ebony tresses flow through her fingers.

“Are you cheating on the test?” She cooed, taking his hand in hers and turning the palm up.

“Yep.” He confessed, his dark eyes trained on her.

She tisked him a smirk, pulling her lips up at the corner. She placed her hand on his chest and stroked up around his neck. She cradled the back of his neck and played with the fine hairs there. He grumbled and pulled away, taking her hands in his. He sat her at the table then went into the kitchen.

That gave her a moment to look around, and her breath caught with a gasp when her eyes landed on the flower arrangement at the table.

He came back with two glasses of wine. “What’s wrong?”

“Devlin, these are my favorite flowers.” She held a bud in her hand and sniffed it.

“Yeah. They’re fucking hard to find.”

“I know.” She chuckled, more to herself. “They were at my Valentine’s event. I had to threaten my florist so he wouldn’t give them to some rich, swanky wedding.”

Devlin’s amusement made her laugh. He placed a glass in front of her then disappeared back into the kitchen.

She grabbed her glass and went toward the kitchen where she leaned on the island counter to watch him.  

“What’s for dinner?”

“If you keep looking at me like that, you―”

That was fine by her, but she was trying to respect his effort to create something that might be considered romantic. She took a sip of the wine, rather than saying what she wanted. “How did you get those flowers? They’re backordered until June?”

“I know people that know people that ship flowers. I bought them right off the plane once they landed.” He winked and presented a roguish grin.

He cut what looked like lasagna into squares and put them on plates carefully. “Mom’s recipe. Not like she actually stuck to them, but it’s as close as I’ll ever get.”

She set her glass on the counter and made her way over to him. She wrapped her arms around him and nuzzled her face into his back. He turned in her arms, so they were facing and held her to him.

“Devlin?”

“Hmm?”

She grabbed him by his red dress shirt, the one he wore at his chocolate shop. She loved the color on him. “This is all so lovely and magical, but I just want you to kiss me.” She leaned into him.

He frowned down at her, which made her lip curl. Was it such a horrible thought? He peeked at his hand again, grumbled and pushed out of her arms. He grabbed up the plates. “Food.” He said, heading toward the dining room. He leaned down and pecked her lips before continuing into the other room.

She grunted, feeling cheated, but took her wine glass into the dining space. She tried to keep her mind chaste, but it was proving difficult.

She took her place at the table. “Smells great.”

“Mhm.” He started eating his elbows propped up on the table. He grumbled after glancing at his hand and slid his elbows off the table. His attention was focused on his plate, and he was in deep concentration. She giggled in her napkin.

He frowned up at her, and she cleared her throat. “How did your meeting go?”

She smiled. “Well. I won’t know if they are deciding to go with my planning services for another week or so, but my leave behind left quite the impression. So I’ve heard.” She eyed him from under her lashes to see if he would take the bait.

“What did you give them?”

“Oh, just the city’s best chocolates. They were sinfully delightful, oh and I made sure the boxes were full and complete.”

He glared at her with a roguish smirk. “I’ll never live that down, will I?”

“Absolutely not.” She laughed some more before taking a bite. “This is good.”

“Why didn’t you tell me you were getting chocolates? Could have got you some of the good boxes for free.”

She waved him off. “I’m not a moocher.”

“I know. That’s why I’d do it for you.”

“Well, it turned out fine. I uh, ran into your delightful front of house lady.” Lacey cleared her throat.

He grumbled. “Fuck she say?”

“Oh, she just complimented me on how my rack looked in my outfit and asked me what the hell I saw in you.”

He rolled his eyes. “Gah! Degenerate. I should fire her ass.”

“No, you shouldn’t. I know you, and I don’t know many people who would put up with your moods.”

His scowl loosened when he saw the mischief in her eyes.

He let his eyes fall back to his plate. “Guess a lot of people are wondering what you see in―” The words caught in his throat when she grabbed his face and pulled his lips up to meet hers. She pulled away and straddled his lap, then kissed him, pulled away and looked into his eyes then kissed him again.

He grumbled. “You didn’t eat much.”

“I’ll be okay.”

“They’ll be no tapping out.”

She gasped when his big hands wrapped around her waist.

“No disappearing into the bathroom.” He kissed her neck.

She moaned. “‘Ts not like it would matter, anyway. You always find a way to get in.”

He grabbed her butt, squeezed and stood up with her in his arms, her legs wrapped around his waist with practiced ease.

“Mhm.” He closed his mouth over hers, and she sank into him, eyes closed, everything seemed to fall away except the memory. Memory of back then, memory he just created. It was painful and so sexy watching him struggle through this dinner.

She, on the other hand, felt like he must have five years ago. Ready to have him like he was ready to have her. Ready for all of him without delay.

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