Persephone

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CHAPTER ELEVEN

“Where are you off to, looking so dapper?” I ask. I run my tongue along my honey spoon, making sure to stare at Dexter as I do so.

His Adam’s apple bobs as he swallows and takes a deep breath. “Job hunting.”

“Fuck that,” I reply. “Don’t waste that outfit on corporate dicks.” And goddamn does he look good. Charcoal slacks and a crisp white button up with a matching jacket slung effortlessly over his shoulder. He’s got his hair back in a little knot, but that kind of artful messy bun that gives him a relaxed look.

He chuckles low in his throat. “Do I look like the kind of guy that would apply to a corporate anything?” Mischief in his eyes tells me he is aware of my gawking.

“Well right now you do.” I roll my eyes. “You don’t apply for a construction job looking like a supermodel.”

“I’m going to a temp agency,” he says.

“No, you’re blowing that off and hanging out with me,” I reply, and slide a coffee cup across the counter to him. “Nicaragua dark.”

He looks like he’s contemplating just bolting. His eyes flick to the coffee and then back to me. I smile and slide an English muffin as well, glistening with honey over butter.

His stomach growls.

I sigh. “Just fucking sit.”

Dexter scowls, but it doesn’t reach his eyes. Point: me.

He peers over the edge of the mug, taking a tentative sniff. “Cream?”

“In this house you drink my coffee black or not at all.” I put a hand on my hip.

He laughs, and I can’t help cracking a smile. “Fuckin’ drill sergeant,” he says, and blows on the steaming brew. “Fine, I cave. What are we doing today?”

“You’re going to be my arm candy.” I take a bite of honeyed muffin and enjoy the shocked look on his face. “You think you can handle that?”

He looks down at himself and then back at me. “You think you can handle it?” He cocks his head.

I draw my lower lip between my teeth in a little hiss. His shoulders tense and I smirk. Looking at my lips, are we? Oh, how I am enjoying our little game.

***

“I really thought you were joking about the arm candy,” Dexter says as I slide my hand into the crook of his elbow.

I reach up and adjust his tie. “I would never joke about candy.”

“Is this your mom’s event?” he asks. His eyes sweep the massive ballroom but then settle on my shorter frame.

Can’t keep your eyes off me, bucko? Must be the dress. It’s worth almost as much as my car. And it doesn’t make any sense why, either, considering the plunging neckline and backlessness of it. How can they charge so much for barely any fabric?

Whatever, it’s doing its job. If Dexter doesn’t bend me over the dessert table, I’ll be fucking surprised.

“Yes, but don’t worry, she’s not here,” I say.

His brow furrows. “Then why are we here?”

“Good food.” I shrug.

He shakes his head. “You didn’t strike me as the type to come to fancy charity parties.”

“You didn’t strike me as the type that bitched so much.” My lips curl and he shakes his head at me.

No answer to that? Point, Seph.

The beauty of my mom being famous but never quite famous enough is that nobody bothers me. The real reason I like coming to these things is because it costs her money. She throws these things to try to gain favour and publicity, and I spend a shit ton of her money on the charity.

After a round of champagne and hors d’oeuvres, the string quartet moves up to the stage by the dance floor.

I cock my head at my date. He looks damn good. I like him better in his signature ripped jeans and rock tee, but fuck he rocks that suit. His broad shoulders look like they’re just waiting to bust out of it. I reach up and run a hand down his bicep, enjoying the hard muscles beneath the expensive fabric.

“You look nervous,” I tease. “You afraid I’m going to make you dance with me?”

“Make me?” Dexter scoffs. “I thought we agreed you couldn’t handle me.”

I put a hand to my heart in mock scandal. “I agreed to no such thing!”

He takes my arm and tugs me to the dance floor. A few couples have already migrated that way, swaying gently to the slow waltz.

I snake an arm around his neck. Before I can run my fingers up the back of his neck he pulls me flush against him and takes my other hand firmly.

He grins wickedly down into my cleavage. And then we’re off.

He leads me around the dance floor in a complicated cross-step waltz. It’s all I can do to keep up with him in my shock. He chuckles as we pause for a slight dip.

“How do you know how to dance like this?” I can’t help but laugh as he spins me back around.

He’s fluid and graceful and I’m suddenly fifty degrees warmer. “How do you not?” He tsk, tsk’s me and I stick my tongue out at him. He responds by swooping down, bending me back over his arm.

The strength in that arm around my back makes me swoon and I hate him for it. No, I don’t. I wrap my leg around his thigh and he chuckles low in his throat. His eyes burn a fucking hole in my head. Why aren’t we having sex again?

Oh yeah, we’re both stubborn asses.

I can’t deny my breathlessness as he leads me around the floor once again. His steps are strong, deliberate. He’s confident. He knows that I’ll follow. And follow I fucking do.

“This isn’t going to work,” I say. I want to punch myself for how breathy my voice is.

His hand is on my back, and he fingers the tiny swatch of fabric holding the back of my dress together. “What isn’t going to work?”

“You’re not going to win.” I arch against him, crushing my tits against his pecs.

He smirks down at me. “I’m already winning.”

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