Made for you the best mi.., p.8

Made for You (The Best Mistake), page 8

 

Made for You (The Best Mistake)
 


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  “This isn’t about Sophie!” he said more sharply. “This has never been about Sophie!”

  “Oh really?” She scoffed. “So it’s just coincidence that you’re taking her side on everything. You just don’t want to see me happy, so you’re doing your best to ensure my relationship with Gray never has a chance.”

  “You don’t even like the guy!” Will yelled. “This isn’t about Gray or Sophie, it’s about you trying to control absolutely every little detail in your life because you don’t know what you really want.”

  “I do know what I want! I want Gray. He’s perfect for me. Smart, successful, genteel…”

  “The man’s a Goddamn mannequin, which is exactly what you think you want because you can ensure he fits into your plastic life.”

  “Why are you acting like this?” she whispered, staring into his blazing blue eyes. “I know we’re always bickering, but you’ve never been cruel before.”

  “God, Brynn.” He turned away and stared out the front of the car, running his fingers through his blond hair and muttering a string of curses.

  “I don’t expect an apology,” she said quietly. “I know better. I just want to know why.”

  “Why? Why?!” His voice had taken on an agitated tone, and he sounded completely unlike the controlled and manipulative Will she knew so well.

  “This is why, Brynn.”

  A rough hand slid behind the nape of her neck and jerked her over to the driver’s-side seat. Firm lips slammed down on hers as he held her head still and took control of her mouth.

  She parted her lips on a surprised gasp and his tongue flicked teasingly across her bottom lip. Brynn moaned. She didn’t know if this was supposed to be her punishment, her embarrassment, or simply more ammunition that he could use against her, and she didn’t care.

  She didn’t care that they hated each other, didn’t care that she was lying awkwardly across the middle console of his car like one of his groupies.

  She didn’t care that he probably had some sort of agenda or that she was most certainly going to regret this in the morning.

  Because at this moment, all she cared about was kissing Will.

  His tongue slid against hers in a silky stroke and she moaned again. Winding her arms around his neck, Brynn pressed closer, letting her tongue tangle with his in a kiss that wasn’t civilized or rehearsed or practiced. Kissing Will was a lot like dirty dancing. It was heady, instinctual, and it gave her the urge to move her hips.

  They kissed like they argued. Savagely, taking as much as they gave. His hands tilted her head to the side so he could press deeper, and this time it was Will that let out a low groan. His mouth broke away from hers, and his lips softly pressed against the side of her mouth, skimming along her jaw before gently brushing her cheeks, her eyelids.

  Reality crashed down as Brynn realized what he was doing. He was kissing away her tears. He cupped her face gently, as though using his lips to try and erase the pain he’d caused.

  And suddenly it just felt too…tender. Animal passion had been safe. She could blame that on the champagne and their anger.

  But kindness and tenderness from Will…she couldn’t…she wouldn’t…

  She pulled away sharply.

  “Brynn,” he said quietly, reaching out to her again.

  “Don’t,” she said. “Just don’t.”

  Clutching her purse, she scratched at the door again, shoving it open in clumsy haste. She set one foot out into the stormy night before hesitantly looking back at him.

  “You won’t…you won’t tell anyone about this, right? We’ll just chalk it up to a moment of absurd insanity?”

  Any softness that might have been in his eyes vanished. “Don’t worry,” he snapped. “Your secret is safe with me. You think I want anyone knowing that I failed to get a hot reaction from Ice Princess Brynn? You’re just as cold as everyone thinks you are.”

  She didn’t let his words sting. She was already numb.

  “Good night, Will,” she said stonily as she climbed out of the car. “If you’ve given me some sort of disease, you’ll be hearing from me.”

  She’d barely slammed the door before he peeled away from the curb with a squeal of tires. Typical, she thought. Slowly her snarl faded as she stood hunched in the rain, staring after his long-gone taillights.

  That was a mistake. The realization came as a shock.

  Because Brynn Dalton did not make mistakes.

  * * *

  “No. Absolutely not ever. The dining room table was fine. The living room furniture was tolerable. Your home office collection was pushing it, but I absolutely draw the line at shopping for your bed.”

  Will gave her a patronizing pat on the shoulder. “I understand. Too many memories?”

  Brynn’s eyes narrowed as he’d known they would. “Seems to me there’s not much to remember.”

  “Oh? Is that why you were panting at me in the kitchen this morning?”

  “Oh baby, yeah, because conniving men in ratty jeans who steal my coffee really turn me on.” She brushed past him, shoulders back as she headed in the direction of the mattress store.

  He gave a little smile of victory. He’d been gently manipulating her all day long, turning her “two hours” max into a full day of shopping.

  So far the day had gone exactly as he’d planned. He hadn’t counted on her holding out quite so long before letting him into her house, and the chorus of “Jingle Bells” was still banging through his brain. But it had been worth it just to see her in that sweet little pink robe. Even the messy coffee stains hadn’t been able to distract from the long toned legs.

  Legs he remembered wrapped around his waist all too well. And his head. And his…

  “Thatcher, you coming, or what?” Brynn snapped from up ahead.

  Oh, I wish.

  “You know, manipulating my whole day is really pushing it, considering that putting on my spare tire took you all of twenty minutes.”

  “Twenty difficult minutes,” he corrected, holding open the door for her. “So far all you’ve had to do is wander around in the air-conditioning and test couch cushions for comfort.”

  “I still think you should have gone with the café au lait–colored one,” she said, as she frowned around at the enormous collection of mattresses.

  Will had dragged her to the Bellevue Collection, a mass of multiple upscale shopping centers that had a variety of furniture stores within walking distance.

  “Was the café au lait one the boring beige one?”

  “No. Beige and café au lait are not the same thing. Although both can be nice, and neither is boring.”

  “Says the woman with all-white future.”

  Will threw himself back on the first mattress in the row, knowing immediately that it was too soft for his preferences. But he had every intention of drawing this part of the shopping adventure out as long as possible. Every intention of reminding her of him on a mattress. Of her on a mattress with him.

  “What do you think of this one?” he asked casually. Apparently too casually, because she immediately narrowed her eyes at him.

  “Oh no,” she said, crossing her arms. “I’ll endure you bouncing on a mattress that hundreds of other people have writhed around on, but I’m not playing.”

  “C’mon,” he said, turning the corner of his mouth up in the half smile that always got women all riled up. “What if I take you to an early dinner at Purple after this?”

  Brynn rolled her eyes. “Save that smarmy smile for one of your groupies. And how’d you know I like Purple?”

  I know everything you like. Everything.

  Instead he rolled his eyes right back at her. “Well, let’s see, it’s an upscale, totally pretentious wine bar that pretends not to be pretentious. How could you help yourself from liking it?”

  He saw her hesitate. Brynn was always a sucker for New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, and Purple’s menu had a handful of them.

  “No thanks,” she said, pressing her li
ps together. “I should get home. I should call James.”

  Will noticed that there was a pause before the last sentence and carefully hid his grin. She’d barely mentioned that marble boyfriend of hers all day, and he knew she was only doing it now to tell him to back off.

  No can do, Brynny.

  “Suit yourself, Princess. This mattress is no good anyway.”

  “Too small to accommodate your depraved tendencies?” she asked sweetly as he rolled off.

  “No. Too small for yours,” he said with an eyebrow wiggle.

  She stiffened slightly. “I have no intention of sharing a mattress with you today or ever.”

  “Just as well. I think you wore out the one I had last time.”

  “I hope you get bedbugs up your ass,” she muttered as he threw himself onto the next mattress.

  Will took his time with the mattresses. He already knew which one he wanted. He’d been getting the same brand for years. It was just always easier to get a new one rather than deal with the hassle of shipping it every time he moved. But Brynn didn’t have to know that.

  “Hmm, I think this one has just a little too much give,” he muttered, pretending to test the current mattress. “Say, Princess, could you straddle me for a minute so I can get a sense of how much leverage a woman’s knees could get on this thing?”

  She ignored his request, and instead tapped a long finger against her lips and pretended to study the mattress. “You know, that’s a valid point. I seem to remember you just sort of lying there, so considering the woman will have to do all the work, it’s good that you’re paying attention to the female needs. Especially if you want her to come back for more. Oh, wait, you don’t do repeats.”

  He gave an exaggerated sigh and moved on to the next mattress in one fluid movement. He watched carefully as she checked her watch, although he didn’t think she was really in a hurry. In fact, for most of the day, she hadn’t seemed to mind being with him. Much. He’d intentionally let her pick all of the furniture. Well, except for that awful beige couch.

  He’d known all along that the thrill of being able to decorate a house from scratch would be too much for her to resist, and she’d thrown herself wholeheartedly into the task, asking the sales people millions of questions, trying dozens of different options before informing him firmly, this one.

  He knew he was pushing it with mattress shopping, but it was a necessary step in his plan.

  A salesperson approached them warily as Will rolled around on each mattress, and Brynn patiently explained that no, they didn’t need any help, that her acquaintance merely wanted to try them out. All of them.

  The salesguy gave a tentative smile and wandered away as Brynn pulled out her buzzing cell phone, her eyes scanning the incoming message.

  It was the moment he needed. Taking advantage of her distraction, Will rolled to his knees, hooked his arm around Brynn’s waist, and tugged, flopping both of them back onto the mattress with just enough of a jolt to make her purse whack him in the chest before he rolled her beneath him.

  Or almost beneath him.

  Mostly she was just wiggling and muttering obscenities at him.

  He rolled onto his side, locking his arm around her waist and pulling her into the little-spoon position.

  “So now what do you think about this one?” he said against her ear. “It’s hard, but I’m kind of thinking it’s just right.”

  “Oh, wow, a blatantly obvious double entendre. How unexpected of you.”

  But she was smart enough to know that every one of her wiggles rubbed her ridiculously tight ass against his erection. Other than her heaving breath, she lay perfectly still.

  “We’re making a scene,” she said under her breath. Will almost smiled. She was curled up on a mattress with her worst enemy and she was worried about making a scene.

  He rolled onto his back, but not before he’d clamped his hand around her wrist so she couldn’t wiggle away. “Now tell me honestly, what do you think about this mattress?”

  She was still for several seconds before she rolled onto her back next to him. “I want a whole bottle of wine, Will.”

  Victory.

  “Fine.”

  “And their baked brie plate.”

  He smiled. “You got it.”

  “And there’s this salad…”

  “No, no salads,” he said, unable to stop himself from rubbing his fingertips against the sensitive skin of her inner wrist.

  She hissed in a breath. “Well, if I get the rich cheese dish, I have to get the salad.”

  “Says who?”

  “My thighs,” she said primly.

  “Honey, I’ve seen your thighs. They don’t care whether you have the salad or the cheese or the Goddamn crème brûlée.”

  Brynn loved crème brûlée. Not that she would ever admit it.

  “I guess I could do an extra session of yoga tomorrow.”

  He snorted. “Yoga? You?”

  She rolled her head to the side to scowl at him. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

  “I dunno, it just doesn’t really seem like you. Doesn’t that require patience?”

  He felt her eyes studying his profile, and it took everything in him to not turn toward her and meet her eyes. And then to roll on top of her and kiss every cheese-loving, yoga-hating bit of her.

  “I don’t really like yoga,” she admitted finally. She sounded surprised, although he didn’t know if it was surprise at the realization or surprise that he’d been the one to note it. She’d never exactly been one to know herself.

  “So it’s decided. Cheese, no salad?”

  This time he did turn his face toward hers, putting their lips just inches apart.

  Will waited for her to whip her head away from his in panic, but she surprised him, remaining perfectly still except for the wary eyes that searched his face.

  “Why are you doing this?” she asked quietly.

  “Making you skip the boring salad?”

  “Everything. The next-door-neighbor thing. The out-of-coffee ploy. The furniture shopping. And now dinner?”

  He locked his eyes on hers, telling her the truth for the first time in a long time. “Don’t you ever get tired of fighting, Brynny?”

  He kept his tone light, but she must have read the intensity in his gaze because her blue eyes went slightly wide. “Do you?”

  I don’t mind the squabbling. I just want more.

  But it was too soon. She still looked like a wary cat ready to call her stupid boyfriend at the first sign of her being turned on. And he knew he could turn her on. Easily. Her eyes kept moving to his lips and her pupils were dilated.

  She wanted him. She’d wanted him when she he’d kissed her in the driveway last week, and when he’d rubbed against her in the kitchen this morning, and she wanted him now.

  But she wouldn’t take him. Not until she’d gotten rid of Jimmy what’s-his-name. If he kissed her now, she’d hate him. Hate herself for liking it when she was supposed to be loyal to an absent boyfriend.

  He allowed himself one more lingering touch of his fingers on her palm. Just enough to remind her of what it had been like with them. Enough to have her sucking in her breath and springing away from him.

  Clearing his throat and hoping his erection wasn’t that obvious, Will glanced around until he spotted the salesguy he’d shooed away a few minutes ago.

  He rattled off his desired size and model to the short, eager-to-please employee, who took rapid notes, and couldn’t resist sneaking a look at Brynn.

  She looked properly furious.

  “You didn’t even try that mattress,” she hissed after he’d given his payment and shipping information. “That brand of mattresses is over on that side of the store, and we haven’t gotten there yet.”

  “Yeah, I don’t really want something new. I like the one I had before.”

  He didn’t know if the double meaning was unintentional or if his subconscious had made him say it, but he found himself meeting her
eyes all the same, watching for any sign of understanding.

  But she lowered her eyelids as soon as he tried to meet her gaze.

  Too soon, he thought, sucking back a sigh.

  “Come on,” he said, patting at her butt. “Let’s go get you that baked brie.”

  The wine bar was just around the corner from the mattress store, exactly as Will had planned.

  “What is it with women and wine bars?” he asked, as Brynn led them to a spot at the bar. He would have preferred sitting at a table so he could see her—read her—but he knew that was too date-like for her.

  “They’re our response to sports bars,” she said, gracefully sliding onto the high stool and arranging her skirt around her knees like the perfect lady she so wanted to be. “Except there’s no peanuts on the ground, no obnoxious TVs, and very few leering men.”

  “Except for me.”

  She smiled at him, and then looked surprised for smiling. “Yeah. Except for you.”

  Two cheese appetizers, a crème brûlée, and a bottle of wine later, Will was guiding a very tipsy Brynn toward his car. He’d deliberately let her drink more than her share of the bottle, not only because he was driving, but because she’d clearly needed it to forget that she was with the enemy. Maybe even enjoying herself with the enemy.

  For the first time in their history, they’d shared a meal, just the two of them, and there hadn’t been a single argument or jab. She’d even laughed.

  God he loved her laugh.

  “I’m drunk,” Brynn said with emphasis, swinging her purse into the backseat of his car and dropping messily into the passenger seat.

  She didn’t object when he scooped her legs up, tucking them into the car. Didn’t object when his fingers lingered on her smooth calves.

  “You’re not drunk. Just…happy,” he said, closing the door carefully behind her.

  The ride home was mostly silent, other than the radio, which she changed every two seconds.

  It started to rain as he exited the freeway, and though it was raining more often than not in Seattle, he wondered if she remembered the only other time they’d been alone in his car together.

  It had been raining then too, but she hadn’t been tipsy. Just good and pissed about something he’d said and his own temper had spiked until he’d almost told her everything. And then he’d lost his mind and kissed her. Their first kiss.

 
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