Rough, Raw, and Ready (Rough Riders 5) - Page 32

Listen Audio

“Is that another reason why you’re here? To see if I’m enough for him??”

Those honey-brown eyes met hers. “Yes.”

“Have you come to a conclusion?”

“Not even f**king close. I’m more confused than ever.”

“That makes two of us.”

Silence stretched as they pretended to drink their beer.

Finally Chassie broke. “I told Channing it’d be easier if I hated you.”

Edgard studied her. “You did?”


“You really don’t hate me?”

“No. Are you shocked?”


“I actually like you.” She swigged from the bottle. “Ain’t that a kick in the ass?”

“I guess we’re even on that account, because there’s something mighty likeable about you, little Chassie.”

She snorted. “Little.” Then she drained her beer and slammed the empty on the table, avoiding his gaze. “Jesus, it sounds stupid in my head, and it’ll sound even dumber when I say it out loud. But I can see why Trevor was drawn to you.”

Edgard stiffened up.

His defensive posture made her blurt out, “It ain’t only that GQ cover model face and smokin’ hot body you’ve got goin’ on. You are like him in so many ways. Yet so different. You complement him. Not in the same way I do. And that doesn’t seem like such a bad thing. And I can’t believe I even think that, let alone said it.”

The air crackled with tension.

“That isn’t helping clear up my confusion, Chassie.”

“I don’t give a flying fig if it is or not. It needed to be said.”

“Got anything else that needs to be said?”


“Then spit it out.”

She didn’t answer. She didn’t know if she could.

The dryer buzzed in the cellar.

“Look at me.”

Chassie shook her head, hating how the demand wrapped within his silken command caused her heart to pound faster.

Then Edgard was in her space. His hand cupped her jaw, forcing her head up. “You do not get to drop that bomb and then pretend you didn’t light the fuse as you’re standing there holding the match.”

“That fits, because I feel like I’m walking through a goddamn minefield when it comes to this. None of this makes sense. You’re in love with my husband and despite those warning signs I could actually lose him, I’m…”

“What? Tell me.”

“I’m not sorry you came.”

Edgard’s gentle grip increased. “Are you messing with my head to get back at me because of my past with Trevor?”


“I’m supposed to believe that all of a sudden you just accept…” His eyes burned with suspicion. “I see the lie in your eyes.”

“Not a lie.”


“What you see is insecurity and determination to see this conversation through, but not a goddamn lie because I’m bein’ completely honest with you. And myself.”

“And with Trevor? Does he know you intended to start this conversation?”


“Why not? Didn’t it come up during pillow talk after you spent all afternoon f**king?”

“Jealous?” she taunted softly.

“Like you wouldn’t f**king believe.”

Tears welled in her eyes. “Stop. You’re hurting me,” she whispered.

Edgard’s hand dropped like it’d become dead weight.

Chassie wilted against the counter. Blood pulsing. Vision blurring. Confusion screaming in her head.

Several brutal seconds passed.

His eyes focused on where her fingers rubbed on her jawline. “Let me see.”

“It’s fine.”

“Then let me see it.”

She lowered her hand.

He winced. “Shit. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t worry about it.”

“I do. Jesus. Looks like Trevor ain’t the only one with a mean streak. You’ve been nothin’ but sweet and thoughtful to me since the minute I arrived. And how do I repay you when you have the cajones to confront me about all this confusing shit?” His rough finger traced the hot, sore spot. “By manhandling you.”

Her stomach flipped at his gentle touch.

Edgard murmured, “I’m sorry, querida, so very, very sorry. Sometimes I can be a total ass. I’d say I learned it from Trevor, but I think he learned it from me.” His warm lips skated over her jawbone in a teasing, soft kiss meant to soothe, meant as a sweet apology.

If it was just an apologetic kiss, why did her skin tingle? Why did her pulse beat like a trapped bird’s? Why did she consider angling her throat, urging him to explore every ridge and hollow with those beautifully full lips?

Why in the hell didn’t he stop?

And then he did. Edgard practically jumped backward.

They stared at each other in absolute uncertainty without speaking.

That’s when Trevor walked in.

Chapter Fourteen

“What the hell is goin’ on?”

Chassie snatched the empty beer bottle from the table and took it to the garbage can.

“Nothin’s goin’ on.”

Trevor turned to Edgard…who blinked at him innocently.

It’d looked like the two of them had been about to come to blows. Over what? Him?

Maybe you’re imagining it.

No. There was tension crackling between Chassie and Edgard. But if neither one would come clean, then he wasn’t about to push the issue. Enough issues lingered between them.

“What’s for supper?”

“Edgard cooked.” She paused. “Chili, I think.”

Chassie and Edgard exchanged a look, then burst out laughing.


Edgard said, “It’s Brazilian stew.”

Trevor frowned at Ed. “What the hell is in that?”

“Whatever is leftover in the fridge and a can of stewed tomatoes.”

“Sounds good. You guys ready to eat?”

Chassie pointed at the sink. “Soon as you wash up. You want a beer?”

“No. Water’s fine.”


“Water is fine for me too.”

Once the food had been dished up, they gathered around the table and ate in silence.

Trevor peeked at Chassie out of the corner of his eye. She was on her third beer, which was damn strange since she rarely drank more than one.

Edgard shoved his empty bowl to the middle of the table. “I talked to the mechanic this afternoon.”

Tags: Lorelei James Rough Riders Billionaire Romance