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Stormy Nights C.M. Steele 2022/8/5 16:57:55

“How’s your father coming along?”

“He’s actually anxiously waiting for your next manuscript. He’s recovering, but my mom wants him to take it easy,” he says, running his finger over his coffee lid.

I’m almost hypnotized by it, envisioning him using his fingers to trace the outline of my nipples, or circling around my clit. I’m completely turned on, but I keep it neutral and nod. “I can understand that for sure. They are such a perfect couple.”

“That they are.” Again, that sad look comes across his face just briefly before he wipes it away. Almost losing his father must have been detrimental. I lost my family a long time ago when my mother died. I never knew my father. He hit it and quit it. I’m the product of a one-night stand. It doesn’t bother me as much anymore, but I do want a family one day. Unfortunately, the only one I want to have a family with doesn’t even know I exist in the female sense. “Am I bothering you, Lilly?” he asks. He’s never called me that. I like it.

I shake away the sad reality and look up at the sexy, tall, hazel-eyed, scruffy Mr. Knight, then respond, “No, you’re not. I’m just writing. I don’t know what it is, but I get a lot of writing done here.”

“Do you always come here?” he asks, looking around the coffee shop.

“About three days a week.” It’s the truth, although it’s because I’m obsessed with him and have ridiculous visions of running into him while he confesses his undying love for me.

“Wow, that’s a lot. You know, if you’re ever looking for somewhere comfortable to write, there are offices to use in our building.” Always business.

“Always looking to keep the client happy,” I mutter with a taste of snark on my words.

“Well, that’s a big part of the industry.” He shrugs. Yep, nothing but worrying about the next dollar. Damn it.

“Thank you, Mr. Knight, but I have a very nice office at home. I think it’s the idea that people are watching me type away without knowing what I’m writing that gets the words out quicker.”

“But aren’t there so many interruptions?”

“Only a few men eyeing me, but that’s neither here or there.” For a second I see a look of anger cross those pretty eyes of his. “Most people see me typing and know it’s best to leave me be.”

“That makes sense. I’m sorry that I’ve bothered the genius at work. My dad would be thoroughly pissed if I did that.”

Yes, that’s another reason this is just a friendly business visit. We could never be together. It’s not that his whole family doesn’t love me. It’s just that I’m one of their clients, and they don’t cross that line. Hell, I would love to cross it, dance over it, jump over it if it means that I can taste those lips that say my name with so much passion.

“It’s okay. I’m about to head out anyway. Sometimes the creepers in here work my nerves and mess with my flow.”

“There’s someone in here bothering you? Besides me?” he asks, staring at me with a look of pure jealousy. Or at least that’s what I’ve pictured him looking like in my dreams.

“Yes, but I think he left,” I say, looking over to the table that’s now empty.

“Okay. Do you need a ride home?” he asks. I want to say yes more than anything, but he’s known me for three years and has kept our relationship strictly business. I can’t blame him. He’s got a family company to be proud of.

“No, I can walk,” I answer.

“Okay, then I’ll walk you there.” His offer ticks me off. It’s not because it’s offensive or even unwanted, but it’s not like he’s going to kiss me goodbye or tell me he wants to see me again. It’s probably more along the lines that I’m one of their best-selling authors, and my safety means more books and revenue.

“Mr. Knight, aren’t you supposed to be busy?” I question, twisting my lips into a pursed look.

He pauses, stands up, and despondently says, “I suppose I am. Well, it was good seeing you, Lillian. I look forward to your next manuscript.” He tips his head and takes his drink, leaving me there feeling like a dodo head. I can’t believe that I acted like a total bitch to a man I want to have babies with when all he was doing was being polite to me.

I pack up and go because now it’s pointless. My mood has soured. My building isn’t more than two blocks away. I get to my apartment and set my bag down on the kitchen counter. Damn, how did I ruin it again? I crawl into bed and forget about everything else except what I’m going to do about my next contract. I’m meeting with Ian and the senior Nicholas Knight next week to discuss my decision. A part of me is glad that Nicholas won’t be there. I hope that I don’t run into him during that time. In fact, the coffee shop is now out of the question.