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|Beat of the Heart(Runaway Train #2) by Katie Ashley|
Choking, I fumbled for my wine before taking a long swig. When I recovered, I couldn’t help laughing at her fiery response. “I would be honored if you would make me a dick cozy. I would wear it with pride and think fondly of you.”
“Oh you would, would you?” she asked, her lips curving upward.
“Yes, I would.” With a wink, I added, “But make it extra-large because I want it to fit.”
Mia snickered. “I’ll keep that in mind.”
Pauley returned to the table with our dinner. “Here ya go. Watch the plates, cause they’re hot. Lemme know if you need anything else.”
“Thanks, cuz,” Mia replied, with a smile.
Once Pauley left us, I eyed Mia before I started cutting my steak and pasta. “At least we know we have something in common. We both like to read.”
I slurped a strand of pasta into my mouth. “Yeah, I read all the time when we’re on the road.”
“I’m not sure the articles in Playboy count.”
I snorted. “I have more varied tastes than that, thank you very much.”
Mia chewed thoughtfully on her lasagna. Once she swallowed, she asked, “So tell me what’s your favorite kind of book?”
“I’m going to sound like a total freak, but I love fantasy—Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, you know, shit like that.”
“What? You’re not going to give me shit for that?”
She shook her head. “I think it’s wonderful you read, period, so I’m not going to knock you for liking high fantasy books.”
“But for you, it’s all about romance novels.”
“Yes and no. I like to read non-fiction stuff too.” She finished off a bite of chicken parmesan from her Italian sampler. “I’m kind of a royalty nerd. Love the Tudors.”
“I liked the show.”
Mia rolled her eyes. “Of course you did. The historical inaccuracies were off the charts, and it was basically a thinly veiled excuse for porn.”
I grinned. “Sounds good to me.”
“I would figure as much from you,” she replied with a smile.
“Speaking of romance novels, I have a question for you.”
Eyeing me warily, she took a sip of wine. “Okay.”
“Why is it that during the sex scenes the guy always says, ‘Come for me, baby’, and the chick comes?” I snapped my fingers. “Just like that. I mean, on command like she’s a dog or something. What the hell is up with that?”
Mia laughed. “I don’t know why they do that. It’s certainly never happened to me in real life before.”
“Like, I could just look at you right now and say ‘Come for me’, and you’d come.”
Pursing her lips in thought, Mia replied, “Maybe it’s all about the timing of the command—like it has to be in the heat of the moment. You’d have to be pretty amazing to pull it off across the booth from me in a restaurant.”
“So it’s all in the delivery, huh?”
“I would think so.”
“Something like this?” I leaned forward, taking her hands in mine. Using my thumbs, I rubbed circles over the tops of her hand. I licked my lips and stared intently into her eyes. “Mmm, what you do to me, Mia,” I whispered. “How hard you make me. What I’d like to do to your body…buried deep inside you, pounding away while your tight-as-hell walls clench around me.” I brought her hand to my lips and licked along her fingers. Transfixed, she stared back at me. “Come for me, baby.”
A little tremor ran through her body. “Definitely the delivery,” she murmured.
Grinning, I pulled away. “I still call bullshit but whatever. I needed to ask.”
“I think the better question is how do you even know that goes on in romance novels?”
I bobbed my head. “When you hear a bunch of chicks raving about this book or that one because the sex is hot or what the dude says is sexy, you take notice.”
“So you can always be in tune with what women want?”
“Hell yes.” I winked. “I’ve picked up a few things along the way. Being a stud like me takes practice and cultivation.”
Mia stared at me for a moment before throwing her head back and laughing heartily. After she wiped her eyes, an amused look twinkled in them. “Oh my God, AJ. You crack me up. Will I be benefiting from any more of your learned expertise tonight?”
I gave her my signature smirk. “You never know.”
Throughout dinner, conversation flowed effortlessly between AJ and me. There was none of the usual first date awkwardness. Just like he craved realness with me, I felt like I could be myself with him, which was something I hadn’t experienced in so long.
“So you’re a real smart cookie, huh?” AJ questioned with a smile, as he sopped up some of his remaining tomato sauce with a garlic knot.
“What makes you say that?”
He smiled knowingly. “Duke told me a lot about you.”
“Oh shit,” I muttered, covering my eyes with my hands.
“Hey, it was all good. Like how you had your Master’s degree in Nursing, you’d already made shift supervisor—that’s impressive at your age.”
“My ripe old age?” I asked with a grin.