The Defendant

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Chapter 9. Errand Girl

For the next week I dodged all texts and phone calls from Wes. I let Travis handle the situation, scared of what I would say or do. Somehow my feelings had grown more than I knew while being with Wes and this new information had thrown me for a loop.

Travis burst into my office, plopping a packet of papers on my desk. “Since I’ve picked up your slack, you get to be errand girl,” he said with a grin.

I rolled my eyes as I reached for the papers. “Sorry for making you do your job. What’s the errand?”

“Take these to Wes for his signature. It’s a new draft of a petition for divorce with amendments for caring for the child. We’ve also included a request to establish paternity before any agreement is made.”

Nodding I set the papers down, leaning back in my chair. “And why can’t you send one of the messengers or a legal assistant?”

He crossed his arms. “You know the sensitivity involved with this case. And Mr. Alderman doesn’t want anyone knowing of the possibility of the child being Wes’s just yet. Especially after what happened to his last baby... Mr. Alderman thinks it might stir up some memories best left forgotten.”

“So errand girl?” I pointed to myself.

“Hence errand girl. Just get his signature, it shouldn’t be too hard. He pretty much knows what’s in it already.”

With a dramatic sigh I agreed and luckily Travis left me in peace. As soon as the door shut behind him I laid my head down on my desk, suppressing a groan. I’d been avoiding Wes and now I had to go see him. Lifting my head I continued to work, pushing all thoughts of Wes from my head. I would deal with him later.

Once I was finished I looked up and realized it was much later than I’d anticipated. The office was eerily silent as I packed up my files and headed out the door. Glancing at my watch I decided to get this over with. I pulled out my phone and fired off a quick text.

Me: Have documents for you to sign. Where can we meet?

Wes: My restaurant, 1100 Woodline St. Come to the back door.

I bit my lip as I started my car. That had been easier than I’d expected. I’d replayed the events in the conference room over and over since it happened. As I pulled to the restaurant I took a deep breath. I closed my eyes and told myself I was here to do a job, not to deal with my personal life. Wes was going to be a dad. We both knew he would be as hands on as possible and I wanted that for him. And was a budding romance really the place for a newborn baby? Snapping my eyes open I grabbed the papers and headed to the back door.

Not really sure what to do I pulled the door, surprised it opened. I was surrounded by dry stock items and the sounds of a busy kitchen. Taking a few tentative steps forward I saw the line. Many chefs were buzzing about, calling out instructions and orders. In the center of it all stood Wes. His white chefs coat was rolled at the sleeves showing off his impressive muscles. He was bent over a table with a little spoon, drizzling a dark brown sauce.

My heart thumped harder in my chest at the sight of him. A lock of hair fell over his forehead and landed right above his eye. My stomach fluttered and I leaned against the wall, my eyes feasting on him. He was gorgeous and so in his element, it was a hell of a turn on. I tried to remind myself of why I had to stay away. The ex wife, the baby, his questionable life decisions. But none of it stuck in my head for long. My body ached to reach out and touch him.

“Ok get it out,” he said, standing straight with his hands on his hips. His lip curled slightly in a satisfied smile and I clenched my thighs tightly. He turned, raiding one arm to wipe his forehead, his eyes brightening as he saw me. “Hey, you’re here.”

I shrugged nonchalantly as if I hadn’t just been drinking him up with my eyes. “I’ve got these if you have a moment.” I waved the papers slightly.

“Have you eaten?”

I smiled slightly, “Don’t worry about it Wes, just sign the papers.” He made his way through the line before stopping in front of me.

“I won’t sign if you don’t let me feed you.”

I rolled my eyes. “Wes, this is your life right here in these pages. Just sign the damn things so we can move on.”

He came closer, the heat from his body radiating over me making the space between my legs grow wetter. “You bill by the hour. Stay and let me cook something for you. Then we can get the work bit out of the way. Come on, it won’t hurt,” he reached up and pushed a lock of loose hair behind my ear, his thumb trailing down my neck and stopping just above my breast. “I’ll beg if I have to.”

My resolve weakend as I stared into his stormy grey eyes. It hit me that I’d missed them, missed him. Knowing this was a bad idea I nodded anyway. Wes’s smile broadened as he reached down to take my hand. “Come over here and you can watch the master work.” He pulled me to the side where there was a small counter, tucked just out of the way.

His hands came around my waist, hoisting me up and placing me there to sit. I crossed my legs as I wiggled my pencil skirt down over my thighs. “You won’t regret it,” he said with a wink. Somehow, I knew I probably would.

***********************

“Oh my god,” I moaned, “this is fantastic!” I dove into the chocolate molten lava cake with delight. It was the most delicious thing I’d tasted ever and that was saying a lot after the meal Wes had made me.

I’d watched him make magic as he worked the kitchen like he owned it. I’d never been a good cook and watching him in action had made me more than just a little jittery. He moved with such ease and confidence.

He chuckled softly, “I’m glad you think so.”

“Can’t go wrong with chocolate,” I said as I continued to stuff my face. I wasn’t even sure I’d have room for desert until he’d brought it in. As I’d started to eat Wes had moved me to his small office, away from the hustle and bustle of the kitchen.

He watched as I cleared the plate then leaned back in mock horror, “You didn’t even offer me a bite!”

I couldn’t help but laugh as I wiped my face with the napkin. “Go make yourself your own! I don’t get treats like this everyday and I sure don’t know how to make it.”

With a smile he reached for my hand, stroking it with his finger. “I could teach you...” I pulled back quickly, dropping my eyes to avoid seeing the disappointment on Wes’s face. I wasn’t quick enough though. “You’ve been avoiding me,” he said, the hurt coming through clearly.

I took a slow breath in before meeting his gaze. I could do this. “Wes, you are going to be a dad and your priority is that baby, as it should be. I don’t think a new relationship on top of going through a divorce while having a newborn is the best thing for anyone right now.” My chest felt heavy as the words rolled off my tongue steadily, no trace of emotion. This is what I did, I was an ice queen. “What we had was fun but it is over now. Thank you for dinner. I need your signature,” I placed the papers in front of him expectantly.

He sat there for a moment, his eyes looking in the direction of the papers but not seeing them. “You’re scared,” he said quietly.

“Excuse me?”

“You’re scared to let me be with you in case I leave you, like your parents.” I stood up quickly, the chair scraping across the ground loudly.

“Don’t. Don’t act like you know what I’m thinking or feeling. You don’t know anything about my situation!”

“I know about the nightmares Liv. I know you don’t stay in a relationship for long. I know you push yourself so hard at work so you don’t have to try to let anyone in. And so that you can be the best, because you’ve never felt the best. You were always a second choice...”

“Shut up Wes!” I screamed thankful most of the staff should be gone by now. “You think because we’ve had sex and a bit of pillow talk you know me!”

He reached for me and I took a step back. My eyes burned but I refused to cry. “I do know you Liv, why can’t you see that! We’ve been talking for weeks. I know that you would give a stranger the shirt off your back. That you secretly love chick flicks. I know you are the most hardworking person I’ve ever met. That you pretend you don’t have feelings because then it’s easier to act like you’re not hurting.” He managed to wrap his arms around me, pulling me close. I could hear his heart beating rapidly, matching the beat of my own. He squeezed me tightly as I wiggled to get away.

“You want to do this, I can do this. Let’s talk about you Wes. Family means nothing to you. After the awful divorce between your parents you spent your time flitting from bed to bed because it was easier than sticking around. I’m surprise your marriage lasted a year. And that’s what this is, your infatuation with me would end rather quickly. We aren’t young kids Wes,” now I was practically bawling. He continued to hold me tightly to him as I sobbed.

He was right. I was scared of people leaving me. That’s why relationships, both friendly and sexual had never been a priority to me. No one wanted to stick around with someone like me. I was boring, a fun sucker, the rational one. I couldn’t believe that someone like him could honestly be interested in me for the long term and I couldn’t handle being left again. I’d worked so hard to get where I was.

And I wasn’t being fair to Wes. My anger made me lash out at him, I’d rather talk about his short comings than mine. He ran his hand through my hair as my breathes came steadier. As I relaxed against him he dropped quick kisses atop my head. He bent over, trailing his lips down the side of my face, kissing my tears. I didn’t have anymore fight left. I wanted this, wanted him, more than I wanted to admit. I reached up and wrapped my arms around his neck, finding his lips with mine and kissing him softly.

I could taste the salt from my tears on his lips and I pulled him even closer. Opening up my mouth he dove in, as eager to taste me as I was to taste him. When we both came up for air he smiled at me, resting his forehead against mine.

“You taste better than any food I’ve ever made.”

“I beg to differ, that cake was heaven.”

He began kissing my neck, his hands sliding down to my ass as he pulled me tightly against him. “I know my life is a mess right now but I know what I want. I want you and I want you for longer than a few nights or even a few months.”

I could hear the truth in his voice. I couldn’t let me fear rule me forever. My hands slid up the front of his shirt, popping buttons as I went. His kisses never stilled as he sucked and licked me, reigniting the fire I’d felt earlier. I knew then I couldn’t resist him anymore and fighting was useless. Might as well give in to pleasure.

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