Excerpt #1 from ‘In Deep’

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He went silent for a long moment, his jaw working as he hashed something out in his mind. “I think I want to make an exception.”

“An exception to what?” I asked, exasperated.

“The no dating rule… I want us to be dating.”

I looked up at him in surprise. That was just about the last thing I expected him to say. I wondered if this was just another ploy to get me into bed. I also wondered if he’d make me sign a waiver first like Lexi had heard. Really rich guys did that sometimes before they dated someone, didn’t they? A kind of non-disclosure agreement in case of a bad break-up? Or entrapment? The thought almost made me smile but I bit my lip instead.

“I’ll think about it”, I said.

His jaw clenched tighter and he drew a breath in through his nose, as if he was trying to rein in his temper. “Come on, I’ll buy you a coffee.”

I grinned at him. “You’re forgiven.”

He laughed and took my hand, leading me away to the nearest Starbucks. “You amuse me to no end, Brielle. I like that.”

After coffee, he brought me to a really classy sushi place, and ordered a wide selection for me to try.

“You know, this is the third evening in a row you’ve taken me to dinner.”

He gave me a sexy look. “That’s because we’re dating.”

“I haven’t agreed to dating.”

“I don’t care what you did or didn’t agree to. I say we’re dating. In fact… I want you to move to the Adagio. There’s a suite of rooms open on the floor below mine that would be perfect for you.”

I narrowed my eyes at him. “Uh uh, no way. I’m perfectly fine where I am.”

“Brielle, where you’re staying is dangerous, not to mention… unsavory. I don’t want you there, not when I own an entire hotel.”

I rested my chin in the palm of my hand and gave him my most stubborn look. “No.”

He stared at me hard, as if he didn’t understand why I wasn’t bending to his will like everyone else apparently did. “Brie… I have to go out of town for a few days. I leave tomorrow… I would just feel so much better if you were staying somewhere safe. Please.”

So he was going to shelve his dominant alpha side and try asking nicely. I kind of liked the domineering alpha better. I know all about why women love alpha males. Why romance novels are chock full of them, bursting at the seams with temperamental cave-men and jealous, domineering brutes. It’s biological, and it really does go back to caveman times. Back then, we all wanted a man who could single-handedly kill a mammoth for dinner, keep us safe from a myriad of predators, fight off the bad-ass tribe next door, and then still have plenty of energy for sex so we could have babies and pass on our genes to the next generation. Yeah, we might be living in a different age now, with grocery stores and police departments, but our cave-girl DNA hasn’t entirely caught up with the times. Deep down, we still want to feel safe and protected by a man sometimes. And I think that deep down, all that a lot of these alpha males want is to cherish and protect their woman.

I wasn’t going to be moving into his hotel, but I kind of liked that he wanted to protect me. I thought of the gun, and I wondered if he had it on him right now. Sometimes when we were just talking or joking around, I completely forgot that I didn’t really know him, and that he had secrets, maybe even dangerous ones.

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