Playing With Seduction. Reese Ryan

Playing With Seduction - Reese Ryan

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a sexy outfit. She should get some mileage out of all that effort before heading back to the guest house and slipping into her comfy yoga pants and T-shirt.

      “I’d love to meet some of the townspeople. Maybe even get them on board with the project early on. We’re going to need a lot of volunteers.”

      Liam shook a finger, smiling. “I love the way you think. I owe you one.”

      “Two, actually.” Bree held up two fingers. “The other is for not telling me Wes would be working on the project, too.”

      Liam pressed his mouth into a straight line, an eyebrow raised.


      “Perhaps I should’ve mentioned that. But I can’t say I’m sorry I didn’t. It would’ve been a shame if either of you begged off because of it. I think you two will make an excellent team.” His smile widened.

      She sighed. No apology, but at least he’d given an honest response. That, she could appreciate.

      “You’re right. I would’ve said no. That would’ve been a mistake.”

      Liam grinned. “You’re both here. That’s what matters.”

      Bree wasn’t so sure. After all, she’d committed to the project; Wes hadn’t. Maybe he’d decided that working with her wasn’t worth it. She forced a smile and tried not to let the hurt that arose from that thought crack her smiling veneer.

      * * *

      Wes parked the Challenger in front of the guest house, stepped out of the car and stretched his long frame. He’d spent the last two nights in one of his mother’s spare rooms. They had a delicious meal on the waterfront. By the time they ordered dessert she finally leveled with him about her Parkinson’s diagnosis. She brought him up to speed on her doctor’s prognosis and invited him to accompany her to her next doctor’s appointment, which had been today.

      He’d spent the last two days getting his mother’s house back to the standards she’d always kept. He’d sifted through stacks of papers and mail, sorting and filing what was important, dumping what wasn’t. He’d vacuumed carpets, scrubbed floors and cleaned the bathrooms and kitchen. Every muscle in his body ached. It reminded him of those brutal days on the rugby field at university. The days when he’d been sure he must be some guilt-ridden masochist to love the damn sport so much.

      His mother’s doctor appointment was two hours before his meeting with Liam and Bree. He’d hoped to get back in time to catch part of the meeting, but the doctor’s office had used the term appointment loosely. By the time they got in to see the doctor, got blood tests, a CAT scan and filled her prescription, they were both exhausted. And there was no way he could make the meeting.

      Bree had probably been thrilled by his absence.

      Liam pulled behind his car, his face etched with concern. “You made it back. Everything all right?”

      “Things have been better.” Wes forced a weak smile and rubbed his hand over his head. That’s when he noticed Bree sitting in the passenger seat of Liam’s car. Their eyes met briefly. She forced a quick smile and nodded, then turned away.

      “You look like hell. Want to talk about it?” Liam asked, before he could acknowledge the olive branch Bree had extended.

      Liam was his best friend. They kept few secrets from each other. But for now, he preferred to keep the news of his mother’s illness to himself. As if not talking about it made it less real. A bad dream from which he’d awaken. Besides, he didn’t want to discuss it in front of Bree.

      “Maybe later.”

      “Over golf tomorrow? Ten o’clock?”

      Wes shook his head and laughed. There were few things in life Liam enjoyed as much as beating his ass in a round of golf. “Yeah, sure.”

      “Great. I’ll pick you up then,” Liam said before turning to Bree and thanking her for lunch.

      He should’ve headed inside. After two nights in that too-little bed, he was desperate to sleep in a bed that could accommodate someone taller than a leprechaun. Instead, he remained rooted to his spot, his feet refusing to budge, as he watched Bree exit the car. When Liam waved and pulled away, Wes didn’t respond. He was focused on Bree. She looked stunning, and she seemed fully aware of it.

      She strutted toward him in mile-high patent-leather heels that gleamed in the sunlight and made her legs look even longer than he remembered. The white wrap blouse hugged her full breasts, revealing a hint of cleavage. The black pencil skirt grazed the top of her knee. Each step she made offered a generous glimpse of her thigh through a slit positioned over the center of her right leg. She came to a stop in front of him. The same exotic scent she’d worn the night they met at The Alley wafted around her. Fruity and floral. He hadn’t been able to get enough of that scent as he held her that night.

      “Hello, Brianna.” His voice came out softer than he’d intended. Wes cleared his throat and elevated the bass in his voice. “How’d the meeting go?”

      “Very well. Sorry you weren’t able to make it. Looks like you’ve been busy the past couple of days.” She assessed his clothing. Same jacket and pants he’d worn during their initial meeting. Only more wrinkled.

      He could only imagine what she was thinking. No point in trying to dissuade her. Besides, he didn’t owe her an explanation. Wes ran a hand over his head. “Yeah, I have. It’ll be good to sleep in my own bed tonight.”

      Her cheeks turned crimson. She bit the corner of her lip. The deep red lip color highlighted how kissable her lips were. A fact to which he could attest. “Can we talk?”

      “Sure.” He reached into the backseat of the car and pulled out two grocery bags. “But I have to get these groceries in the fridge. Mind stepping inside while I put them away?”

      Her hair wasn’t pulled back into the severe bun she’d worn earlier in the week. Loose curls cascaded over her right shoulder. She shook her head, and the curls bounced. He balled his fingers into a fist at his side at the thought of fisting a handful of her luxurious hair and taking her from behind. He swallowed, his mouth dry.

      “You cook?”

      He laughed. “A guy’s gotta eat, right?”

      “Our meals are being comped.” He could hear the click of her heels against the concrete as she followed him up the path to his door.

      “I know, but I felt like throwing a steak on the grill.”

      “In February?”

      “When a February day is as beautiful as this one, why not?”

      * * *

      Bree followed him into the kitchen and stood beside the counter making idle chitchat as he put away the groceries. Apologizing was the right thing to do. She believed that. So why was it so difficult to say the words? The words of apology had been lodged in her throat since she noticed he was wearing the same clothes from earlier in the week. He smelled like soap. The utilitarian kind you bought in bulk. A familiar scent. It was all her family could afford when she was growing up. So he’d showered, but he’d been too preoccupied to return here for a change of clothing.

      The thought of him spending the past two nights in someone else’s bed caused a tightness in her chest that made it hard to breathe deeply. Which was silly. Why should it matter what Wesley Adams did in his spare time and with whom? Her only concern was his actions relating to the event. As long as he nailed this event, he could bang the entire eastern seaboard for all she cared.

      The sound of Wes shutting the refrigerator door broke in to her thoughts. He gestured for her to take a seat in the living room. She sank into the cushion of the blue checkered sofa and crossed her legs.

      She followed his gaze, which traveled the length of her long legs. His tongue darted out to quickly wet his lips before he dragged his gaze back to hers. “You wanted to talk?”


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