Waxing His Board (Filthy Dirty Summer) - Page 18

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Kendric frowned and looked at Bethany, clearly picking up on the negative waves coming off her, directed at Chloe and me. “Sure. Wilder and I used to compete together and have been friends for a long time. When I became a judge, he asked me to go harder on him than anyone else so that my personal persuasions wouldn’t be in question. This morning, Wilder requested the same treatment of Chloe. The fact that she still won goes to show you just how talented she is.”

I forgot all about Bethany—Chloe was my only concern. She was looking up at me like I’d hung the moon, and some of the tension inside me began to seep out. “You knew I would have asked him the same thing,” she murmured.

Nodding, I set her trophy on the ground and turned her in my arms with my hands locked behind her. “I have your back, baby. Always.”

“Why won’t anyone listen to me?” Bethany whined, drawing Chloe’s and my attention.

Kendric rolled his eyes. “Because you’re a young, mediocre surfer trying to slander a fucking awesome up-and-comer and her man, who is one of the biggest names in the sport and has a reputation for his honesty. Now, run along, little girl. You’re ruining the photo opportunities.”

Bethany let out a little scream and stomped her foot, then spun around and marched off to who cares where.

I grinned and lowered my head once again to take Chloe’s lips in a savoring kiss.

“Chloe! What the fuck is going on here?”

Chloe jerked back and muttered, “Oh, shit.”

It wasn’t the way I would have preferred to tell her father about us, but I couldn’t help the little smirk on my lips because she no longer had a choice.

She wriggled out of my arms, and I reluctantly let her go. With her father scowling at me, I didn’t think touching her right now was the best idea. Although, I did grab her hand, making a statement to both her and her father that I wasn’t going anywhere.

“Um, hi, Dad. So…I won!” she squeaked out the last part, seeming to forget that her father had been seated in the VIP area for the ceremony. It wasn’t easy to reach us through the throngs of people and security, which was probably why it had taken him so long to join us.

“Why was he kissing you, Chloe? You can’t possibly have let yourself fall for his charms. Guys like him only want one thing. Then he’ll be on to the next girl without a backward glance. I know you’re smarter than that, honey.”

“That’s not—”

I interrupted at this point, angry with his assumptions and not about to let Chloe defend me. “Mr. Bannister,” I said calmly, though there was an edge to my tone, and he must have heard it because he seemed to grow more alert. “I don’t believe we’ve met. I’m Wilder Abrams.”

“I know who you are,” he grunted, crossing his arms over his chest. “Now let my daughter go so we can—”

“That’s not going to happen,” I stated firmly. “Ever.” Unable to stand the distance between Chloe and me, I pulled her into my side and draped my arm around her shoulders. “Let me ask you something. Have you ever seen me photographed with a woman? Heard about who I was dating from the paparazzi? Or any news of bitter breakups and angry exes?”

He shuffled on his feet, suddenly looking a little uncomfortable. “Well, no, but—”

“That’s because before your daughter came into my life, I hadn’t felt any interest in dating, or anything else, in quite a while. But I fell for Chloe the second she turned me down the first time.”

Chloe chuckled and glanced up at me. “You did not.”

I raised an eyebrow and stared at her, letting her see the complete sincerity on my face.

“You did?” she breathed.

Her father suddenly spoke, breaking us out of the little bubble we’d created around us.

“You’re ten years older than her!” he sputtered.

I cocked my head to the side and studied him curiously. “I fail to see why that matters. I love your daughter more than anything in this world. Isn’t that enough?”

“You what?” Chloe gasped. I closed my eyes and sighed. That was certainly not how I’d imagined telling Chloe that I loved her for the first time.

Ignoring her dad and his stupefied expression, I turned to my girl and cupped her face. “I love you, Chloe Bannister. I used to live for surfing. It was the only thing that gave me a thrill. Then you walked into my life, and suddenly, I had a new purpose. You excite me, you make me happy, and you”—I leaned down to whisper in her ear—“are so fucking sexy.”

When I raised my head, Chloe was beaming at me, and a giant smile curved her pretty lips.

“I love you, too, Wilder. And even though you are more important to me than surfing, I hope you understand that I still intend to break your record.”

Tags: Fiona Davenport Romance
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