Her Beautiful Addiction (Love and Lust #4)

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Chapter 9

The microwave beep signaled that her dinner was ready. Neva quickly scribbled a note on a post-it to put in a request for the maintenance crew to take a look at the ceiling fan in her bedroom. It looked like something had gone wrong and it didn’t seem to be working right.

She’d had a quick shower and washed her hair a half hour ago. For dinner, she had chosen a frozen burrito since she knew she’d be hungry when she made it back home after visiting the store with Grayson.

Taking the dish out of the microwave, she settled it on the counter-top and then went into her bedroom to take her purse. The cross-body bag would do perfectly and she readied herself to leave when Grayson got there.

With quick bites, she finished off the burrito and then rinsed the dish, straightening the kitchen out and placing the trash at the side to be thrown out later. Satisfied with how clean and neat her apartment looked, she went into the bathroom to brush her teeth.

She’d put on a soft lavender shirt with short sleeves and had on form fitting jeans with a white cardigan over her shirt. Letting her hair down, she had merely clipped it to one side. Her face was bare of makeup except for a touch of tinted balm on her lips.

Neva refused to let the voice inside her head convince her that she was doing all of it because she liked Grayson. She most certainly did not.

She hardly knew the guy. They were just visiting a store to check it out. And if it hadn’t been a bookstore, Neva would never have considered it.

Taking one last look at her image in the mirror above the sink, she turned around and shut the door behind her. She chose a pair of flats and pocketed her keys. From near the door, she took her scarf off the coat stand and then wrapped it snugly around her neck.

The knock on the other side of the door startled her.

Peeping through, she smiled when she saw him.

Neva answered the door immediately, noting with a slight dismal feeling that her heartbeat picked pace when she saw Grayson’s brooding, tall figure just two feet away.

His lips curved in a smile that made her breath catch.

“Hey.” He said before she could speak.

She felt pleasure when she saw his gaze turn appreciative as he let his eyes roam over her. Her cheeks felt warm and for a brief second, Neva forgot all her inhibitions and let herself look her fill of him.

He was so striking.

Tall, handsome and ruthless. That’s what she thought of when she saw him.

He looked like a man who liked being in control and could be dominating when he wanted to. But there was a certain flicker of a promise of security in his green eyes. A promise of safety.

Neva wondered why she felt that way. It wasn’t like she knew him or anything about him at all.

It didn’t make much sense.

Ignoring it, Neva responded, “Hey. I was just about to leave.”

Grayson nodded and stepped back, letting her shut the door and lock it.

The air was slightly chilly and Neva was glad for her scarf.

“I hope I’m not too early,” he said sheepishly, glancing at his watch for confirmation.

“Not at all, I think you’re right on time.” She smiled at him, pocketing her keys again. When they reached the flight of stairs, Grayson stepped back, letting her proceed ahead.

“So how did your day go?” He asked her from behind.

Neva glanced at him, “It was pretty good. The crowd at the diner wasn’t that bad and I was able to take a brief break in the middle of the afternoon.”

They reached the bottom stair and she asked him, “How about yourself? Did you do anything interesting?”

Grayson shrugged and grinned at her, “My day is usually boring. Sitting at a desk all day, getting paperwork done. You know, the typical routine.”

Neva nodded and gave a light laugh.

“I’m looking forward to checking out this new store. I looked it up last night and the reviews so far are really good. Premier Reads, it’s supposed to be a family owned business and they seem to be expanding in multiple cities.”

Grayson lead her to his car, and held her door open. “Yes, customers do seem to be raving about it. I think we’ll find something good to explore a bit.”

Neva thanked him as she took a seat and swung her legs inside, letting him shut the door.

She smiled to herself.

Such a gentleman.

She couldn’t remember the last time someone had displayed such courteousness to her.

When he got in and started the vehicle, she fastened her seatbelt and leaned back in her seat.

There was a comfortable silence in the car for a few long moments and Neva was surprised at how at ease she was with him. This was certainly not a regular occurrence.

The interior smelled like him, she realized. The fact that she was noticing it wasn’t a very good sign. Was it? She couldn’t let herself get into-

“Neva?”

She turned to him, and saw an expectant look on his face.

“I’m sorry, could you repeat that?”

He gave her a smile and said, “I was just asking if you wanted to grab some dinner after we get done at the store.”

In her chest, Neva’s heart leaped.

Dinner?

He was asking her to dinner?

It took her a moment to answer.

“Sure,” she nodded, “dinner sounds great. Do you have a place in mind?” The flutter in her chest continued.

Grayson looked her in the eye for a brief second and looked back at the road.

“You’re sure you don’t have any other plans, right? I wouldn’t want to ruin your schedule if you already have something.” He said quietly, looking over his shoulder at the blind spot and then changing lanes to take a left turn.

Neva swallowed the sudden nervousness that made itself known.

She was definitely attracted to him.

For a moment, her gaze went to his fingers as they gripped the steering wheel. How would they feel like on her skin? Was he gentle or forceful when he-

Tearing her gaze away, she nodded, “I’m totally good. I didn’t have anything specific planned anyway.”

Grayson looked back at her for a long moment, his gaze heavy with something she didn’t understand.

“That’s settled then.” He said. “Bookstore and then dinner. Do you like Italian or Chinese?”

She didn’t hesitate. “Chinese.”

He grinned. “Me too.”

And just like that, her heart skipped a beat.

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