Tricking Astrid

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Chapter 5

Astrid apprehensively eyed her phone. Calder had given her his number before he’d left early that day. Remy was her boyfriend but here she was about to call another guy to arrange a semi-date. It didn’t feel right.

The Lewises were always an excuse to break dates before with Remy. Sometimes she’d stay late with Cody or Cameron to find the right angle of material relating to their cases. Remy understood she valued her job and told her he admired that devotion. She took pride in her work.

Calder only asked for a good time. If she were a man, it wouldn’t be an issue. Calder knew no one in town. He suggested a night out like he needed a tour guide. Why didn’t one of his brother’s offer? Remy would understand. Right?

Frustrated, she phoned Remy once more. He didn’t pick up. She left a message at last. “Hi. It’s Astrid. I hope you’re not avoiding me. I had a strange day at work. Turns out there are four Lewis brothers. Ha. They asked me to show him around,” Partly lying was not being untruthful she told herself, “I’ll call you tomorrow. Bye…”

Remy pissed her off. Why was he playing this game? Hopefully, her message would make him call her back. If not… oh well. Nothing she could do, like go to his house because he refused to share that with her.

She showered then as she sat on her bed in only a towel she called Calder. He answered immediately, sounding even sexier over the phone.

“Astrid,” he purred her name, “I hoped you wouldn’t back out of your offer. How are you?”

Suddenly shy, picked at the towel. “I’m fine, thank you. How are you, Calder?”

“I’d be better if I weren’t sitting alone in this large condo my father found. Found as in its directly next to Chris and Jamie’s.”

She laughed. “So big brother can watch over you? How sweet. I’m just out of the shower and-”

“Are you wet?” he crooned.

She sucked in a breath, caught off-guard by his question. The question made her wet where she had not been before. Was he flirting? No. But why ask such a loaded question?

“What?” she let out a snort of disbelief.

“I asked if you were still wet,” his tone of voice smooth and oh-so-sexy, “Just took a shower? I’m sorry, excuse my dirty side. It gets me into situations most women slap me for.”

She grinned, “At least you’re honest. Honesty about these things may save your face from unwanted slap-age.”

Now he gave a hearty laugh, “We can hope. So, when am I going to see your pretty face?”

She nervously fiddled with the wet ends of her hair, “Soon. I don’t have a car.”

“I’ll pick you up,” he quickly offered.

“Or we could meet there?”

“No. Let me. Give me your address Astrid.”

She did, to which he promised to give her twenty minutes to prepare before he was dragging her out for ‘Buddy’ time. She hung up feeling like a traitor to Remy by the smile on her face. Calder excited her when she should have stopped his flirting. She jumped off the bed, hurrying to dress.

He knocked fifteen minutes later, not twenty as promised. She already dressed in the green halter top with flowing sleeves and a black skirt which showed off her legs. She’d only just finished her makeup when he arrived. In a panic, she fluffed her hair before throwing the door open.

He grinned at her from the porch. He looked gorgeous wearing the same outfit she’d seen him in six hours earlier. Calder was as laid back as she originally guessed.

“Come in,” she cursed at herself for blushing already under his smile, “I need a few minutes.”

“Here I thought you seem good enough to…” he raked his eyes up and down her figure, causing blood to pump faster to her reddening cheeks, “…eat.”

“I’ll be right back.”

She nearly ran to her room. The sensation he aroused within her was almost sinful. Could he really like her? Except for Remy, no other man of their caliber had given her the time of day.

Calder came from a long line of influential power hitters. Men from his family didn’t go out in public with mousy girls. Chris’s wife Jamie had been a model. All the women she caught Cody parade around were complete airheads with incredible bodies. Cameron’s girlfriend Hope was a commercial actress. Maybe Calder planned on a little office nookie. He shamelessly flirted with her from the moment she set eyes on the guy.

She picked her phone off of the nightstand and her lips tipped down in disappointment at no missed calls from Remy. She clinched it tightly before shutting the device off, tossing it on the mattress. Screw it, time for some fun.

Calder drove a rebuilt Ford pickup truck. She smiled after sliding inside. She expected him to drive flashy vehicles the same as his brother’s. Boy, he truly was not like them and she liked that a lot.

“This club has booze?” he asked following her directions, “I want to get you drunk.”

“Yes, they do. What? Calder, I told you I have a boyfriend.”

“So what?” he smirked, “Still got you here, didn’t I? Relax Astrid, I’m not a jerk. I may come across strong, but it’s how I am. Chris and I constantly fight because of it.”

She tried to loosen up, “Why did you go through all of those hoops if not to be a great lawyer? Don’t you plan on being a fourth ‘C’ on that sign of theirs?”

He stiffened, gripping the steering wheel as he turned sharply around a corner. “My family makes lawyers. I’m a debater.”

“Better than masterbator,” she quipped.

His grin returned, eyes glancing towards her with quiet approval. “Says you. You’re funny. Oh, compassionate and smart to boot.”

“You don’t know me,” she shyly grumbled turning to face the window.

“I’ve got time," he sang and she rolled her eyes, “Hey, is that it?”

She nodded, noticing the half-empty lot. It was slow for Monday night, yet she had a feeling with Calder it wouldn’t be for long.

He politely paid the entrance fee, waving off her protest. Then he placed his hand on the center of her back, ushering her towards the bar. She noticed the predatory leers half-dressed women gave him, but Calder didn’t seem to notice as he pointed to a couple of empty stools.

They ordered then chatted about the music. After two drinks, Astrid became inebriated, loosing up enough to stop overthinking everything coming out of her mouth. Calder bought her one more, a double, but refused to drink any more saying he was driving.

She laughed at his witty banter, listened to his bitching about not cutting classes for all-night parties or whoring around in college. Made sensitive remarks to perk him up when he’d go into dejected detail about how his uptight father would do random professor checkups just to rattle his cage.

“You’re out of school,” she drunkenly patted his wide shoulders, “Now is the time to put that all hard work to good use Calder. You can make someone’s life better. Justice Law isn’t easy, so you obviously have a gift. Use it! Don’t abuse it!”

He leaned closer, gazing into her chocolate eyes, “I won’t, buddy. Come on, let’s sweat the booze off.”

She stumbled off the stool after him. He caught her easily, swinging her until his arm looped around her curvy waist. They joined the small crowd on the dance floor laughing at each other’s drunken state.

Astrid felt comfortable with Calder. He was not as secure as he appeared. He had doubts. Fears. His family had such high standards. She got that. He needed a friend among the wolves. She was glad to help. To be his buddy.

They smoothly moved against one another to the rhythm. His warm, large hands slid along her torso until firmly landing on her hips. She allowed him to hold her close, their bodies pressing a little too cozy. She no longer worried about Remy, fixated on the handsome, grinning man before her and how he held her.

Her breast brushed against his chest, and she slurred, “You dance great!”

His splayed fingers inched lower, to the curve of her backside, “You make it easy.”

He cocked his head, observing her with clear enjoyment. She couldn’t meet those dreamy emeralds, so instead focused on his neck, watching a bead of perspiration drip down his collar. His hands dropped to her ass, pulsing their pelvises together. She was so turned on. His hard-on gyrated against her stomach. She stiffened as her pussy clenched, the sensation making her entire body vibrate.

He stopped gyrating his erection against her, seeing her slight shiver.

The song ended.

“Let’s go,” she touched her sweaty forehead, “I work tomorrow, you know. It’s already nearly midnight.”

He only nodded, gently taking her hand. He led her silently outside. The fresh air slapped her in the face with reality. What was she doing? Flirting with him was a bad idea. Very, very bad.

He opened the passenger door, “Feels good out here, huh? I sure was getting hot.”

She avoided his gaze, jumping up into the cab of the pickup. He closed the door then jumped in on his side. Once on the almost deserted road, the silence made her uneasy.

“You okay?” he asked.

She smiled shyly with a curt nod.

“Astrid, I hope I didn’t make you uncomfortable at the club,” he softly muttered, “I like you.”

Startled, she finally peered at his shadowed profile. How did he like her? Friendship how she dearly hoped. She wouldn’t hurt Remy. Just thinking of him made her feel dirty and guilty. Calder couldn’t possibly see something besides sex with her. Could he?

“I like you too,” she admitted, “My boyfriend and you would get along. He’s great.”

He showed no outward agitation, but his tone of voice did, “Oh yeah? So, what’s his name anyhow?”

“Remy.”

“How long have you two been together?”

“Three months. We met at that club, actually.” she smiled wistfully at the memory.

He made a scoffing sound, “That’s all? Do you love him?”

“Excuse me?”

He turned onto her street, “Do you love him, Astrid? Three months isn’t a long time.”

She frowned, “Long enough. But… sort of I guess. I care a lot about him.”

He gave her a grin that nearly stopped her heart. Gah, he was handsome. Those eyes reached down inside her and fucked her soul in one glance.

Slowly, he maneuvered his truck alongside the curb, cutting the engine. He shifted in the quiet cab to gaze at her with a seriousness that stilled her from getting out.

She fiddled with her purse, “Okay, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Aren’t you going to invite me in?” he challenged.

She swallowed, reaching blindly for the lever to escape, “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

He chuckled as she continued trying to open the door, “Why not? Wait, a second.”

To her dismay, he jumped out. When he circled the pickup to free her door, Remy’s car zoomed out of the darkness, parking in front of the truck.

Oh, shit! She let out an audible gasp. Remy’s tall figure climbed from the car, slamming the door behind him as he watched Calder help her hop down. She tried to look calm, fought with every breath to appear nonchalant as his disapproving scowl heated her cheeks.

“Hello,” Remy snapped.

Astrid beamed at them, “Calder, meet Remy. Remy, this is my new boss. Another Lewis man.”

Both men seemed to size each other up as their hands shook, muscles flexing. She was a little tickled at the jealousy she noticed from Remy. Calder looked his usual smiling self as if he hadn’t just asked his girlfriend to be alone with him in her home.

Awkward didn’t begin to describe how she felt right then, standing by as they eyed each other. Who would speak first?

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