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|Before Jamaica Lane(On Dublin Street #3)(31) by Samantha Young|
‘I was wondering …’ I slumped as bravery deserted me. ‘What happens next?’
‘Well, I was thinking you could practice flirting in a real situation.’
Alert now, I asked quietly, ‘What does that mean?’
‘We’re going out for drinks with everyone on Saturday night, right?’
‘Yeah? So?’ I didn’t know if I liked the sound of where he was going with this.
‘Saturday morning before my judo class, we’re going shopping for a dress. You’re going to dress in something sexy, so you feel sexy, and then when we’re out at night, you’re going to prove to yourself you are sexy by flirting with a guy and getting his number.’
I was silent as I took this in, already feeling the butterflies in my stomach.
‘Babe, you have nothing to worry about. I promise.’
Trying to be brave again, I put my faith in him. ‘Okay. I trust you.’
Yawning, I shook my head when Nate held up a clingy red number.
His jaw clenched as he put it back on the rack. ‘Is there anything you like? And can you please bloody wake up?’
We were standing in the middle of a high street designer shop just off Princes Street, trying to find something sexy for me to wear that night. We’d been attempting this for two and a half hours and although I was deliberately delaying it to torture him, I was unfortunately torturing myself in the process. I threw my hands on my hips. ‘You woke me up at seven thirty in the morning on a Saturday. I’m tired. I’m bored. I hate shopping. I’m one of those women that actually can’t stand changing rooms, and mannequins freak me out. I own a T-shirt that says ONLINE SHOPPING IS MY SAVIOR. Comprende?’
Nate folded his arms over his chest, bracing his legs apart. He was wearing dark blue jeans, black boots, a slim-cut white T-shirt, a black blazer, and a beanie. He looked gorgeous and awake and everywhere we went women surreptitiously gazed at him, their eyes filled with longing … until they turned their focus to me – and the longing changed to envy as they assumed we were together.
I had to admit that part of the shopping trip was kind of fun.
‘Do you think I want to be here?’ Nate asked, irritation clipping his words. ‘I f**king hate shopping.’
I grinned teasingly as I playfully punched his arm. ‘Then let’s blow this joint, baby!’
A dimple appeared and I knew he was trying not to laugh and thus ruin his beleaguered countenance. He held it together. ‘Liv, we need to get this done.’
Pouting, I clasped my hands together. ‘Please, let’s just go.’
His eyes dropped to my mouth for a moment before he lifted them to search my face. ‘Do you want to feel sexy tonight?’
Slumping at his question, I exhaled, gazed around me, and answered in the affirmative.
‘And do you own anything that makes you feel marginally sexy?’
‘Just underwear,’ I admitted with a shrug.
He was quiet at my answer, so I looked back at him. He was smiling. ‘That’s good to know. However, I don’t think you were planning on it going that far, so let’s find you an outfit. I have class in a couple of hours.’
‘Excuse me.’ A young sales assistant approached, her smiling eyes eating Nate up, who was at least ten years her senior. ‘Can I help at all?’
Nate quirked an eyebrow at me and I answered with a long-suffering sigh before turning to the girl. ‘I’m looking for a dress. Nothing clingy,’ I said pointedly, my eyes on my friend. ‘Belly pouch,’ I reminded him and then turned back to the girl. ‘Do you have any peplum dresses?’
‘Eh …’ She shook her head. ‘We have peplum tops but no dresses.’
‘Do you have matching pencil skirts?’
‘Oh, yes. This way.’ She turned on her heel and started striding away from us.
Nate was looking at me suspiciously. ‘Peplum tops? Pencil skirts?’
‘What? I said I hated shopping. I didn’t say I didn’t know how to dress.’
‘I’m going to kill you,’ he muttered in my ear as we followed the girl. ‘You’ve been dragging your feet for two and a half hours.’
I stopped and grabbed his arm to halt him. ‘Honey, you woke me up at seven thirty. On a Saturday.’
‘Are you saying the past few hours have been payback?’
I shrugged nonchalantly. ‘I didn’t say anything of the sort.’
‘Here we are.’ The girl called to us and I hurried toward her to escape Nate’s frustrated growl. I felt the heat of him at my back as I stopped in front of the clothes rail where she stood. ‘We’ve got three different styles of peplum tops and there are a few pencil skirts here that would work with each.’
‘Perfect.’ Nate slapped my ass heartily – so hard, in fact, that the noise of it ricocheted off the walls of the store. And it stung. Like, really stung. ‘My baby will look gorgeous in these.’
The girl blinked in as much surprise as I did before murmuring her excuses to leave us to it. Once she was out of earshot, I slowly turned my head to look him in the eye. ‘What. The. Hell. Was. That?’
He patted the sore spot soothingly. ‘Payback for the payback,’ he murmured with an unapologetic smile. Without another word he grabbed a few tops in my size along with skirts and shoved them at me. ‘Try them on.’
Snatching the clothes from him with one hand while I rubbed my sore backside with the other, I hissed at him, ‘You’ll pay for that.’
I spent the next twenty minutes stonily trying on outfits for his approval. Finally we decided on a low-cut black peplum top with a sweetheart neckline and a sapphire blue leather belt that looped around the waist, a skintight black pencil skirt that came to just below my knees and had a pretty pleat in the back, and a pair of blue suede stilettos and matching clutch. Nate was very happy with the outfit. I, on the other hand, was too busy planning my revenge for the ass slapping to really pay much attention.
It wasn’t until we were at the counter and the girl gave me the total cost that I turned to Nate and sweetly asked, ‘Honey?’
He raised an eyebrow at me. ‘What?’
‘I forgot my wallet.’
His eyes narrowed. ‘No, you didn’t.’ He gestured to the purse hanging from my shoulder. ‘It’s right there.’