Home > Just What I Needed(6)

Just What I Needed(6)
Author: Kylie Scott

Dean gives me a glance. No idea what it means.

“Not a date, huh?” asks Frankie, finishing chewing and focusing her full attention on Dean. “Because, hon, I was hoping we could talk. I’ve been rethinking some things lately. If we could talk in private? If you don’t mind, Jude?”

“Frankie,” says Dean with a frown. “This isn’t right. You can’t just barge in here and take over.”

“Don’t give me that look, hon. It won’t take long, I promise.”

Okay. I can read his look this time. It’s an apologetic one. “It’s fine,” I say, heading for my bedroom. “Nice to meet you.”

“You’re so sweet, Jude!” Frankie gives me a finger wave. “See you later.”

Now Dean is shoving a hand through his dark hair. If anything, he seems frustrated. But he doesn’t say another word.

As soon as I get behind my closed bedroom door, I slump dramatically. Then I get the torture booties off my feet. My poor innocent toes. Now it would be a lie to say I am not disappointed. But there’s no way I’m going to compete for the man’s affections with a freaking supermodel. Not a chance. They’re obviously still close and talk often. Maybe they were just on a break. It happens. Or maybe they have an open relationship. Whatever. It’s none of my business.

I take a selfie before beginning the process of removing all of my makeup. Because Lena did a great job. I look amazing. There’s every chance I needed reminding of this fact, how I can dress up and have a life outside of my job. Of course, my heart and groin are sad about Dean. It’s amazing how quickly you can get carried away and start imagining happy ever afters. Especially with the help of hormones. But oh well. I can choose to see the positive side of this experience and view it as a wakeup call. Might be time for me to make some effort and contact a few old friends. See if they want to go out Saturday night.

I give my reflection a pleased nod.

It’s a plan.



Chapter Three

My empty stomach wakes me at around one in the morning. Because I definitely did not go back out there again after being sent to my room by Frankie. Not that that’s what she did exactly. Some people just have big personalities. Or maybe I am a little jealous and cranky because she got the man. It’s only been a day since we met. I’m sure I’ll get over the disappointment soon. Anyway. I creep out to the kitchen. Odds are Dean and his guest are in the throes of a heated reunion. But the house is quiet. Maybe they’ve already done their sexing and settled down to sleep for the night.

A cold wind is blowing a gale outside, but we’re safe and warm within. By the fridge light, I inspect my snacking options. There’s no sushi left, naturally. But there are the other necessary basics in life. Some slices of cheese, turkey, and pickles. With a couple of Oreos for after, of course.

“Hey,” says a deep voice from out of the dark.

I jump and hug the jar of pickles to me like their poor innocent green lives depend on it. Which they do. “Holy shit.”

“Sorry.” He ruffles a hand through his mussed hair. And once again, he’s half naked. This is outrageous, all of this male nipple showing. The man should be ashamed of his beautiful body. And I should not be repeating the crime of lusting after someone who is taken. What a seriously bad idea. “Didn’t mean to scare you, Jude.”

“Where did you come from?”

“I was just sleeping on the couch.”

My mouth opens, but nothing comes out. Finally, I manage a whispered, “You were?”

“Yeah. Got hungry, huh?” he asks, leaning his hip against the kitchen counter. “I wanted to apologize for earlier. For Frankie just showing up like that. She, ah…she’s kind of hard to predict. She tends to make her own rules. But I’m sorry our dinner got interrupted.”

“That’s fine.” I put the jar of pickles on the counter. “It’s no big deal.”

“It wasn’t?”

I just shrug. Which is about when I realize I’m still wearing his hoodie. It was just so cozy and smelled like him, so I decided to allow myself that one little treat.

Dammit. I had totally forgotten.

Talk about busted.

There was definite sniffing of the item of clothing earlier. I got high off the scent of his cologne, and I am only mildly ashamed. It would be great, however, if I could stop embarrassing myself by doing these sorts of things. My luck with men and ability to be cool are on the same low level these days. “I, ah, was cold. Let me give you this back.”

“No rush.”

But rush is exactly what I do. I tear the item of clothing off over my head, where it of course gets caught on my ponytail. Dignity and poise are for other people. It might explain why I spend so much of my time hanging out with toddlers. They do tend to be simpler and more straightforward than most adults. They also are not the least bit cool or have a clue about social cues and manners. They make choosing chaos a valid lifestyle choice.

When I finally emerge, he’s standing there giving me a smile. The same smile that befuddled me for the better part of yesterday. It would be nice to say I am now immune, but alas. Beneath his hoodie, I’m wearing a white tank and pajama pants, and not much else. It would be so great if my nipples could not be hard. I would really appreciate that a lot.

I hand the sweatshirt over. “Here you go.”

“Thanks.” He gives me a long look. “Jude, you mind if I ask you a question?”


“Something Frankie said got me thinking. Were we on a date earlier?”

“Oh,” I say with much wisdom. “That.”

“It’s just that you were all dressed up and ordered in sushi and it felt like maybe it was meant to be something special. Something more than just two people sharing a dinner and getting to know each other.”

My mouth opens, but nothing comes out. Nada. Not a word.

And he just waits.

I haven’t given it a great deal of thought. But I think it probably would be easier to talk to the man if he was wearing more clothes. There is, however, no polite way of telling him to cover his man chest. Not in a way that wouldn’t lead him to believe I have issues regarding the ogling of said man chest. Because keeping my gaze on his face is a chore. Though the light from the fridge casts his cheekbones and jawline in the most interesting shadows. He is a work of art. Honestly.

I wince. “You’re just going to stand there silently until I answer, aren’t you?”

He nods.

“Great,” I mumble. Then I squeeze my eyelids shut tight, take a deep breath, and open them once again. “Okay. Here’s the problem with me giving you an honest answer, Dean. This is embarrassing. We only met not quite twenty-four hours ago. We don’t know each other. And your supermodel girlfriend showed up and I assume wanted to talk to you about the chances of getting back together. That is why she asked to talk to you in private, right?”

He hesitates but then nods again.

“Right,” I mutter.

The way the line of his muscular neck moves as he swallows shouldn’t be so sexy. “Frankie and I aren’t getting back together. We want different things. We’ve tried being together a couple of times now, and we work as friends, but that’s all.”

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