Good Girl Page 22

“Well, despite him having the bigger teeth, I’m pretty sure you have the bigger bite.”

“Wouldn’t you like to know, princess?”

From anyone else, the words might have come across as a light jest, but said in his low, silky tone, they feel almost like a threat.

Or a promise.

“Did you have fun on your night out?” I ask, hoping to defuse some of the sexual tension.

I expect him to snap at me again like he did the last time I asked, but to my surprise, he responds.

“I did.”

Okay, I’m wrong about the sexual tension. Because his confirmation does nothing to reassure me that his fun didn’t involve a female companion, and I feel oddly on edge.

I do manage to keep from pressing for details, though, so that’s something.

“Any temptation to Google yourself?” he surprises me by asking.

“Nope. I know what’s true about me,” I say, dipping my chin to kiss Dolly. “That’s all that matters.”

Noah glances up at the night sky before glancing at me. “I call bullshit.”

I skid to a halt even though we’re nearly to the house. “Meaning?”

He stops with me and faces me, tossing that damn stick from hand to hand. “Meaning that if you were easily able to let public opinion roll off you, you wouldn’t be here hiding out. You’d be flaunting your fling with the pretty boy.”

“Deep thoughts from someone whose best friend is their dog,” I snap as I resume walking the last few feet toward the house.

“I’m right, though,” he calls. “Ignoring what people are talking about is one thing. Avoiding it is something altogether different.”

I’m on the front porch now, and Dolly is squirming, so I open the door and set her inside before turning back to the jerk lurking in the shadows.

“And what about you, Noah?” I say, coming slowly back down the steps and walking toward him. “Which are you doing? Avoiding or ignoring?”

He doesn’t respond, but then, I didn’t really expect him to.

“It’s bad form to pick at other people’s problems when you’re not ready to confront your own,” I say softly.

“Right now my biggest problem is the pampered diva living in my backyard.”

“Yeah?” I ask softly, crossing my arms and moving closer. “And what are you going to do about that?”

My voice is low and sultry, and I barely recognize it, but when he takes a step closer, I realize just how utterly out of my league I am, because when his lips drop to my mouth I go pretty quickly from aspiring seductress to utterly seduced.

“You’re playing with fire, little girl,” he says quietly. “I’m not one of your toys, and I’m not interested in what you’re offering.”

“I’m not offering anything,” I retort, even though his words sting. “I like my men more…refined.”

His grin calls my bluff. “You sure about that?”

I swallow. Lie. “Very.”

Noah steps closer. “So you haven’t been thinking about what I said earlier, about my tongue spending time in some more interesting places?”

I swallow but don’t say anything.

His eyes rake over me. “Playing dumb won’t change the fact that you’ll be thinking about me all night, princess. Your fingers will be a poor stand-in for my tongue, I can promise you that.”

“I’m trying to figure out which word better applies here, delusional or disgusting. I’m thinking it’s a tie.”

Noah bends down slightly, enough so that I can feel his warm breath on my mouth. “Enjoy your night, princess.”

He steps back then, turning and walking away without a backward glance.

I watch as he disappears into the murky, humid night before I turn and go back into the house, muttering quietly about cocky southern boys.

I drink two cold glasses of water, but it does nothing to ease the ache between my legs, and I’m uncomfortably aware of the rasp of my nipples against my bra.

“Damn him,” I mutter as I set the glass down with a sharp clink on the counter. Noah Maxwell’s wrong about most things, but he got one right: I’m definitely going to be thinking about him.

All night.


I only make it halfway back to the caretaker cottage, my feet propelled forward only by a constant chorus of don’t touch her, don’t touch her, don’t touch her on repeat in my horny-as-fuck brain.

I’d like to think that my mind is stronger than my body.

I’d be wrong.

Because while my brain has every intention of going to bed alone, at some point my cock overrides common sense, and before I know what I’m doing, I’ve turned around.

Walking back toward the mansion.

Walking back toward Jenny Dawson and her tiny shorts and strappy tank top and long legs and that helpless want in her eyes that tells me she’s every bit as turned on by me as I am by her.

I‘m not sure she knows what she wants.

But I do. And I want it too.

The house is dark as I approach, slipping in the back door she doesn’t bother to lock. I pause for a moment in the pitch-black kitchen, trying to talk myself out of what I’m about to do.

I fail.

Instead I find myself standing in front of her door. It’s not closed all the way and I push it open, moving slowly in hopes of not freaking her out.

Jenny doesn’t freak out.

Whether it’s because of the noisy whir of her air-conditioning unit or because she’s lost in her own world, she doesn’t know I’m there.

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