Nobody But You (Cedar Ridge 3) - Page 16

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Jacob shrugged. “I just gave her the information I’d been told.”

“You didn’t even have to say the words.”

“That would’ve been mean. If she misunderstood my silence, that’s on her.”

She stared at him for a beat. “Are you saying I’m mean?”

“Yes.” He smiled. “But I like mean on you. It’s sexy. Kind of like your pink robe.”

“You’re a sick man.”

“There is no doubt.”

She shook her head at him, but he could tell she was smiling on the inside. He’d meant what he’d said about the robe, the one that should have made her look fifty years old but instead made him want to pull her to him and nuzzle her.

Crazy. She was crazy. And so was he. Because he wasn’t sure what it was about her that had him so interested. He had no idea why he wanted to keep whatever this tentative connection was that they had going, but he did.

He offered her the bottle of Scotch.

She met his gaze, her dilemma evident. She couldn’t reach it unless he stood. He didn’t, hoping that instead, she’d move closer.

She hesitated, but he waited her out, doing his best to look harmless. When she finally took the few steps, he felt like he’d won the lottery and casually nodded to the bench for her to sit.

Instead, she crossed her arms. That bathrobe hid what he knew was a God-given figure with curves that could make a grown man forget he didn’t know how to love.

She eyed the bench a long beat but did eventually sit, perching primly as far from him as she could get and yet still be close enough to grab the bottle.

Smart woman.

She took the Scotch and drank. Her eyes watered and she coughed as she handed it to him. With a sigh, she leaned back to study the night sky. Her bared throat was slim and creamy smooth. An unexpected temptation. Remembering the flash of pain and vulnerability she’d unwittingly revealed, and that for whatever reason he’d somehow added to it, he spoke. “I’m sorry.”

She glanced at him as if she’d never heard a man apologize before in her life. “For…breathing?” she asked. “Having a penis? What?”

“You were upset because you didn’t know I was a Kincaid.”

She sighed. “That was just me looking for a reason to be mad at you so I wouldn’t…” She bit her lower lip, clearly not wanting to go on.

But now he had to know. “So you wouldn’t what?”

“Nothing,” she said. “It’s just that I’m trying to make better choices.”

“Of which I wouldn’t be one.”

“It’s not necessarily your fault,” she said. “It’s that you’re a man.”

“Guilty as charged.”

“And I’m off men right now.”

“And on…women?” he asked with admittedly more than a little fascination.

She rolled her eyes. “I’m on no one, but thank you for proving my point on men.”

“I get that,” he said. “But being off men doesn’t seem to be making you very happy, or sound like a whole lot of fun.”

“Maybe I don’t need fun.”

He understood that. He’d felt the same way since Brett died. “What do you need?” he asked, honestly wanting to know more about her.

Instead of answering, she reached for the bottle. He waited until she met his gaze before letting go.

“Nothing,” she said a little too quickly. “Everything’s…perfect.”

“And your glass is half full,” he said. “So you’ve said.” But he didn’t believe her. “How about a game?”

“I don’t play games.”

Now, that wasn’t exactly true. Whether she knew it or not, she’d been playing with his head since he’d first laid eyes on her. “Three truths and a lie,” he said.

She stared at him. “As in you tell me three truths and a lie, and I pick out the lie?”


She considered this. “What do I get if I win?”

“What do you want?”

For the briefest of beats, her gaze dropped to his mouth. Oh, hell yeah, he thought. Want me…

“My first boyfriend taught me that game,” she said.

“What did the winner get?”

“A kiss.”

Definitely still playing with his head… “Is that what you want, Sophie? A kiss?”

Again she stared at his mouth before dropping eye contact and wrapping that eye-stopping pink robe tighter around her body. “Do you?” she asked.

Tags: Jill Shalvis Cedar Ridge Romance