trendy neighborhood that was a five-minute drive to Campus. Foreclosed for more than a year, she’d paid half what it was worth. The house was massive, almost palatial, and in a highly desired location, so she’d hit the jackpot, price wise. Like most foreclosures, however, it needed a lot of work.
“It’s nothing major. Just a few things I’ve been putting off on the main floor.”
With a sigh, he looked over to her. She had her head cradled in her hand, staring out of the window. If she knew he was looking, she didn’t show it. He couldn’t keep quiet anymore, and found himself asking her the real question he’d been wanting to ask her all day.
“Did you fuck him, Lila?”
Lila’s head snapped toward him. When telling Chase the story of getting arrested, she’d conveniently left out the part about Jack bending her over on her office desk, and the subsequent blowout they’d had in the hotel hallway. As far as Chase knew, the only thing that had sent Lila on her drunken escapade was finding out Jack was engaged. She opened her mouth, ready to tell him to mind his own business, but the first thing that came out was a softly whispered, “No.”
“You seem pretty wrecked. It’s not like you.” He ran his hand down the back of his head.
“I didn’t,” she lied, for the second time, wondering why she felt the need to.
Chase moved his eyes to the road, acting overly interested in the traffic ahead of him. A few seconds of silence passed before he began drumming his fingers softly on the steering wheel to the rock music playing at low volume in the background. He turned to her with a smile. “You hungry?”
Lila’s stomach audibly growled at the question, so loud he could hear it from the driver’s seat. She would have rather died than consume the sludge they’d offered her to eat in jail, so it had been over a day since she’d had a proper meal. When her stomach roared, once more, she looked to Chase with an eyebrow raised.
Lila averted her eyes when Chase swept his t-shirt over his head with one swift move, revealing his glistening biceps and a broad chest. She snuck a peek out of the corner of her eye a second later, just in time to see him throw the navy t-shirt on top of her white granite countertop. The gold locket that never left his neck swayed, bounced, and then settled to a stop between his defined pecs. With the large, U-shaped kitchen serving as his backdrop, he looked into her eyes, abs and biceps contracting as he went to work on the belt of his jeans, licking his lips softly. He snapped open the belt’s latch.
“Are you planning on stripping completely naked?” Lila accused, curled into one of the six green chairs at her dining table, motioning to him in disbelief.
They’d ordered takeout for dinner, and an open pizza box sat nearly empty in the middle of the glass table, with a single slice sitting inside. Neither of them had wanted to be that guy . That guy who ate the last piece.
They’d demolished the XL pizza in less than fifteen minutes and, with a full stomach, Chase Almeida had set to work making miracles happen in her life.
She still hadn’t figured out how he’d gotten her car to start, but five minutes under the hood and the damn thing had roared to life. Inside the house, he’d just finished working his magic on her air conditioner. Even though the unit was blowing cool air for the first time since she’d moved in, the sweat from his hard work still gleamed against his body. The perspiration only illuminated the solid outline of his big arms, his broad chest, and his undeniable strength . It accentuated hard lines she’d never even known were there, including the curve of his pecs, which were still heaving from exertion.
Once he’d gotten it undone, Chase pulled the belt from between his pant loops, causing the jeans to swoop down. Just low enough to show off the tapered V at his hips, the waistband of his