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|Hook Me(Men of Inked #2) by Chelle Bliss|
I uncrossed my legs and shifted in my seat and he glanced down before looking back toward the road.
“What did you do today?” he asked.
“Worked at the free clinic in town and you?”
“I worked out and went to the shop for a couple hours. Tell me about the clinic.”
I told him about the work we did and the residents in the county that lacked simple things like medicine and insurance. He listed intently and asked questions throughout our conversation.
“Kids too?” he asked with furrowed brows.
“They’re the saddest to see.” I frowned, looking out the window.
He rested his hand on my knee and squeezed, causing a wave of warmth to emanate through my body. “I never knew there was such a problem.”
“Homelessness and poverty is pervasive in this area, Michael. Underemployment is almost an epidemic.”
“Is there anything I can do to help?” His eyes were soft when he looked at me, waiting for the traffic light.
“Not unless you have a medical degree,” I laughed.
“Don’t have that, but there has to be another way I can help. My family does a lot of charity work. My parents are huge in helping people in the area.”
“Maybe. We do have a small fundraiser coming up. Last year we raised ten thousand dollars which helped us update some of the equipment in the clinic, but there’s so much more that’s needed.”
I didn’t really want to ask for his help, but if his family already helped organizations in the area, I couldn’t turn it down.
“I honestly have never heard of it. I’m sure my family would love to help.”
“It’s very kind of you, Michael.” I smiled at him, his kindness made me feel giddy.
“I’ve always had a soft spot for kids.”
“Do you have any of your own?” I didn’t want to pry, but I wanted to know his situation.
Did he have a crazy ass ex or a gaggle of kids running around all over town that I needed to be aware of before we went any further.
“No kids, you?”
“No, I barely have time to date with work, let alone have a child.”
“You shouldn’t work so much, Mia. Life’s too short not to enjoy it.”
Staring out the window I thought about his words. I did enjoy my life, didn’t I? “I do enjoy my life,” I said without conviction.
“Are you telling me or trying to convince yourself?” he asked as we pulled into the deserted parking lot.
“Where’s everyone? I’ve never seen the parking lot empty before.”
“It’s closed for a private event.”
Giving him a confused look, I asked, ‘Then why are we here?”
He turned off the engine and turned toward me. “I rented the beach for tonight. It’s all ours.”
“I don’t know what to say,” I said as he climbed out of the truck.
“Does this man know how to do anything small?” I mumbled as I reached down and removed my heals before he opened the door.
“Great idea,” he said as he looked at my feet. He kicked off his dress shoes and threw them on the driver’s side floor before helping me down.
A small white canopy sat in the distance, near the edge of the crashing waves. The sand felt hot on my soles, the sun still beating against the small glass crystals. It was like walking on warm pillows as it squished between my toes.
“Thank you,” I said as I stared at the waves crashing against the shore.
“For what?” he asked, sliding his hand into mine.
“The beach at sunset. It’s one of my favorite places and I rarely get to come here.” I squeezed his hand feeling completely at peace.
“It’s one of my favorites, too. Great for thinking and getting away from it all,” he said as we approached the canopy.
A small round table was in the middle, decorated with a white linen table clothes, fine white china, wine glasses, and candles. The floor was the warm sand and a chandelier hung from the beams. Soft music filled the air along with the warm breeze flowing off the ocean waves.
It may have been the single most romantic date I’d ever had.
“You did all this in a couple hours?” I asked in shock.
“I have mad skills and connections don’t hurt either.” He laughed.
“I may have under estimated you, Michael,” I said as I kissed his cheek and inhaled his musky scent mixed with the salty ocean air.
“Most people do,” he said as he pulled out my chair.
Leaning over, I brushed my fingers against his cheek. “You’re sweet,” I said wanting to kiss him.
Grabbing my hand, he planted a sensual kiss on the inside of my wrist, making my knees feel weak. If he kept this up my panties would be wetter than the sand after high tide.
“Thanks,” I said, sitting as I brushed the bottom of my dress against my legs.
Michael lifted my chair off the ground, tucking my legs under the table before taking a seat across from me.
A man dressed in a tuxedo poured champagne and smiled at us both.
Michael looked at me, raising his glass. “A toast,” he said, tilting his head.
I grabbed my glass, holding it up to his.
“To new beginnings,” he said as he clinked his glass against mine.
That was the second time he used that phrase. A warm gooey feeling oozed through my body as I sipped the champagne, letting the tiny bubbles pop on my tongue. We ran into each other less than forty-eight hours ago, but I felt comfortable with him – content.