Taming the Texan - Page 26

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Alexa laughed as she crossed the open space. “It’s a room full of books with a large window, and if it weren’t raining I’m sure there would be a killer view. All I need is a chaise and I’d be set. There’s nothing to be unhappy about in here.”

She went to the large window that stretched across the exterior wall. The padded seating area beneath the window was where she curled up with her dinner, obviously more relaxed and comfortable than in his kitchen.

Hayes stood a good distance away, taking her in with her legs crossed, holding a dinner he’d made, wearing his shirt… Perhaps the kitchen table would’ve been a better choice. He’d thought a dining table seemed intimate, but that was nothing compared to having her curled up in the room where his father had spent so much time. This room held so much history and now Alexa had wedged herself inside like she belonged here.

She took a bite and groaned. Well, hell. No matter where they ended up, his body would stir at the low grumble of her approval. That was the same groan she’d delivered in his ear as he’d slid into her earlier. Was he seriously considering another round?

Hell yes, he was. Who was he kidding? He’d had a sampling of Alexa’s sweetness and her passion and he wanted more. They were stuck here and keeping his distance from her at this point was pretty much impossible. Night was fast approaching and at some point they’d have to discuss sleeping arrangements.

He just had to get her on the same page as his plan. An affair for the duration of her stay? He didn’t think she’d be too opposed. A woman who bantered as easily as she did, who paraded around in his clothes… Yeah, he could get her back into his bed.

“Are you going to join me?” she asked, glancing over.

Hayes crossed the room and sat on the window seat, but left a good amount of space between them. Their dinner and glasses sat in the middle, providing a flimsy barrier.

“Tell me you’re not going to change this room.”

He forked up a hearty bite. “I haven’t thought about this one to be honest. This was my grandfather’s office, then my dad’s. I don’t really have much use for it.”

Alexa’s eyes widened. “You don’t have use for a room where you can read and relax? Do you even know how lucky you are to have something like this?”

“Believe me, I know exactly how lucky I am to have everything I do.” Flashes of another life he’d led for years boomed through his mind. “Just because I have money doesn’t mean I’m not grateful.”

“Do you have a panel that slides open and reveals a secret room?” she asked, picking up her tea. “Because I have to tell you, if you don’t, then I highly recommend putting that on your renovation list.”

“Is that right? And what else would you do?”

Alexa took a drink, then set her glass down as she drew her brows in as if trying to come up with some ideas. “Are we talking what I would do or what you should do? Because one of us has a ton of money and the other doesn’t and lives in a town house about an eighth of this size.”

Hayes shifted back and brought his knee up onto the window set. “Pretend this is your house and money isn’t an issue. What do you see?”

Her brows lifted as those dark eyes widened. A breathtaking smile spread across her face and for a second, his heart clenched.

“This is fun,” she stated. “Okay, well I’d definitely have a tire swing and a tree house out in that large oak by the creek for Mason. I’d want his bedroom to be the one facing that same tree so he could see his play area.”

Of course she put her son’s needs first. Someone like Alexa wasn’t going to instantly go for the glam. Her son was her life. A fact Hayes would do his best to remember.

“You’ve nailed the master suite,” she went on. “I think for the kitchen I’d keep it separate from the living area. That gives it the farmhouse feel. But I’m different in that I don’t like the open concept everyone else wants. Personally, I don’t want to see the dirty dishes from my living room.”

Hayes shrugged. “When you live alone, there aren’t many dirty dishes.”

Alexa eased back and rested her shoulder against the window as she brought both of her legs up and crossed them. “But we’re pretending this is my place and I don’t live alone. Believe me, we have dishes. And the laundry. I never knew such a little person could have so much laundry.”

Everything in her life circled back to Mason. He admired her for her strength and independence. Clearly, she was a wonderful mother. There was something special about the bond between a mother and her son. Hayes would always carry the memories of his mother in a special place in his heart.

“So you’d want a nice utility room?” he asked, trying to focus on their conversation and not the parallels between Alexa and his mother.

“Definitely,” she said with a firm nod. “I’d want the laundry close to the bedrooms so I didn’t have to haul it all over the place. I think for the living room I’d want soft, peaceful colors. I’d want sheers on the windows that stayed open so I could see the land. I’d have windows that opened easily because there’s nothing like an evening breeze.”

Tags: Jules Bennett Romance
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