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|Strings of the Heart(Runaway Train #3) by Katie Ashley|
“Would you please stop that? It makes you look totally creepy spying on him like that.”
“I’m not spying. I’m being a concerned homeowner. A strange car pulled into the drive, so I am checking it out.”
Rolling my eyes, I muttered, “You’re impossible.”
“What kind of car does he have?” Tammy asked, joining Cassie at the window.
“You know I don’t know anything about cars.”
Cassie flipped the blinds again. “Hmm, it’s definitely a classic. Maybe a ’60’s Ferrari or Porsche.”
“Yeah, it’s old. It was left to him in his grandfather’s will.”
“Sweet,” Tammy said.
At the ring of the doorbell, I skidded across the floor in my uber-high stilettos. “Once again, I’m thinking these shoes were a mistake.”
Just as I threw open the door, Cassie called over her shoulder in a not discreet voice, “Would you stop already? Seriously, those are the sexiest ‘come-fuck-me-heels’ I’ve ever seen you wear. They sure as hell give me a lady boner, so I can’t imagine Rhys not springing some wood at the sight of them.”
Mortification rocketed through my body as Rhys stood before me, hearing every. Single. Word. Of course, the first thing he did was eye my shoes, which were on display a little more than usual since I’d been holding up the hem of my dress to run to the door. Once he’d had his fill, he glanced back up at me. A sexy smirk curved on his lips. “Nice heels.”
“T-Thank you.” Not only did my heartbeat accelerate at his smirk, but moisture dampened my panties.
“I’d say I agreed with Cassie on the ‘come f**k me’ status, but that would probably be inappropriate.”
No, it wouldn’t. In fact we should ditch the party so you could ‘come f**k me’ right now. Tuning the inappropriate thoughts from my mind, I said, “Uh, yeah, I guess so.”
I’d been so distracted by the shoes comment that it took me a moment to process what Rhys had on. Blinking several times, I fought the urge to brace a hand on the doorjamb, so I wouldn’t slide into a puddle of lust on the floor. “You’re wearing a kilt?” I questioned lamely.
His cocky smirk faded and was replaced by a sheepish look as he glanced down at himself. “I guess I forgot to mention that my parents’ party recognizes Tartan Day.” At what I imagined was still my deer-in –the-headlights expression, he continued on. “It’s when people with Scottish heritage celebrate the Declaration of Arbroath.”
“I didn’t realize you had such strong Scottish roots. I mean, I kinda gathered your family origin from your last name.”
“Yeah, my great-great grandfather was a lord with a pretty expansive estate.”
My brows shot up at his declaration. “Does that mean I should start addressing you as ‘my lord’?”
He laughed. “Not quite. My great-grandfather was the fifth son, so he didn’t get to inherit the title.”
Cassie came to join me at my side. She gave a low whistle at the sight of Rhys. “Look at you, stylin’ and profilin’ in a skirt. Didn’t take you for a cross-dresser.”
With a good-natured chuckle, Rhys replied, “It’s a kilt, not a skirt.”
Cassie motioned to his crotch. “You free ballin’ under there?”
Although my mind had certainly gone there, I still let out a horrified gasp at Cassie’s question. Rhys wagged a finger at Cassie. “A gentleman never tells.”
“Whatever,” Cassie replied.
Wanting to escape before the conversation got any crazier, I said, “We should go. We don’t want to be late.”
Rhys nodded and then opened the door for me. After saying goodbye to Cassie and the others, we headed out onto the porch and then down the stairs. As he held open the car door for me, Rhys gave me a genuine smile. “I meant to tell you earlier, but I was a distracted. You look very beautiful tonight, Allison.”
The sincerity with which he said the words, coupled with the way he was looking at me, caused my cheeks to warm while a delighted shiver ran down my spine. “Thank you.”
After I sank down on the leather seat, Rhys leaned in rather than closing the door. “And I’m really glad you’re wearing a long dress to cover those heels. They’re awfully distracting.”
My stomach flip-flopped at his words. It didn’t help matters that he gave me a teasing wink as he shut the door. While he went around the front of the car, I tried smoothing down my dress—anything to try to get a hold of my raging hormones.
When he got into the car, I couldn’t help cutting my eyes over to see how he maneuvered himself in the kilt. He must’ve had practice because he managed, unfortunately, not to flash more than the tops of his knees. We drove along the streets with the radio playing softly in the background. I was anxious to see where Rhys lived. I imagined it was somewhere in the Historic District—some pre-Civil War home that had been in his family for generations.
As we neared Forsyth Park, Rhys turned off on a street I’m not familiar with. It doesn’t take me long to spot his house, or I should say, mansion. It’s the one where expensive cars are lining up to the valet stand. It’s pretty much everything I envisioned in my mind. Instead of waiting for the valet, Rhys pulled into the driveway that wound around to the back of the house.
After turning off the car, he glanced over at me. “Pretentious, isn’t it?”