Filthy Beautiful Lies Page 28

His hand circles my waist, his thumb grazing back and forth across my hip bone. "I never took you for a Rhianna fan," he murmurs.

I merely nod and his hand falls away. I immediately notice its absence. Grabbing the remote, I tap the screen several times to bring the volume down to a more reasonable level.

"Naughty Girl, huh?" Colton asks, plucking the wine bottle from the counter. "Are you drunk, Sophie?" He sends me a questioning look and I lift one eyebrow. Why do I feel like a rebellious teenager who’s broken into daddy’s liquor cabinet?

He surprises me by bringing the bottle to his lips and taking a long swig. I watch the thick column of his throat as he swallows and little goosebumps break out across my belly. When he’s done, he wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. "I’ve had a hell of a day." He grabs another bottle of wine and two fresh glasses. "Come on."

Dinner is all but forgotten – I have wine and Colton to keep me company and my boredom is temporarily at bay. Hallelujah!

I follow him through the house, into his darkened office and out onto the deck. As soon as he slides open the glass doors, the gentle whooshing sound of the ocean welcomes us. It instantly soothes me.

He strips off his suit jacket and removes the tie over his head, hanging both on the railing to the deck where they lightly flutter in the breeze. Colton sinks down into one of the lounge chairs and begins uncorking the bottle. I slide into the seat next to him and accept the glass of cool, crisp wine he passes me.

It’s not as sweet as the bottle I’d opened, but subtle buttery flavors greet my palate. Mmm. I let out a tiny moan and Colton’s eyes race over to mine.

"Care to tell me what tonight was all about?" he asks.

"What?" I play dumb.

"The club music – the wine, the dancing…" He lifts one dark eyebrow, his playful smirk is back.

"What was wrong with my dancing?"

Fighting off a smile, he clears his throat. "There wasn’t a damn thing wrong with it, sweetness. You just surprise me, is all."

"It’s boring here all day. I’m thinking about getting a job," I say, looking over at him to check his reaction.

"I’ve provided everything you could need. Why would you want to work?" He seems surprised.

After paying for my sister’s care, I still have several hundred thousand dollars in the bank. And I’m living expense-free. I should enjoy it, right? Only I can’t. That’s not me. I’ve never taken a hand-out in my life. "It’s not about the money, I just need something to do – I can’t lounge around all day with the only thing to do is go shopping with Marta using your credit cards. I want something for me. A purpose." Just saying it out loud renews my decision.

He takes another thoughtful sip of his wine, his full lips resting on the edge of the glass more distracting than it should be. "If that’s what you want. What kind of job?" he asks.

"I don’t know. Maybe at a coffee shop, or restocking books at the library. It doesn’t matter. Just something that gets me out of the house."

"You’re welcome to get a job, as long as you’re home in the evenings when I am."

I nod. That sounds good to me too. I’ve come to enjoy his company at night. My boredom is isolated to the daytime hours. I didn’t enjoy sitting alone in this too big house with too many thoughts running rampant through my head. It isn’t healthy. "Thank you."

"What did you do today?" he asks, like he usually does.

"I read, went for a swim." I shrug and focus on my wine. I don’t want to tell him that in the hours before he gets home, I shower and get myself ready, taking extra time to blow dry my hair and put on the dark colored lingerie that Marta insisted he’d like. It’s like even my bras and panties are mocking me, whispering against my skin that he’s not interested.

"Hey, what’s wrong?" He lifts my chin to meet his concerned gaze.

"Nothing." I straighten my shoulders, shaking the feelings away. There’s no reason to feel rejected. If anything, I should be relieved. But if the situation were different – if I wasn’t here under these pretenses, I’d still no doubt feel rejected by his lack of interest. He’s a beautiful, charming, wealthy man. I guess it was dumb to believe that a man like him would be interested in someone like me.

His eyes hesitantly leave mine and though I can sense he wants to press the issue further, he closes his mouth and refills my wine glass.

"What happened at work today?" I recall him saying he’d had a rough day.

His eyes harden and he looks out at the dark blue water, growing quiet. It occurs to me that I don’t really know what he does. He’s very private about his business. "Nothing with work, it was actually something…personal that popped up unexpectedly. I need to go to New York and take care of it."

"New York? When?" Of course what I really want to know is what personal matter he could have in New York, since I know virtually nothing of his past.

He shrugs. "Soon. Maybe this weekend." His tone tells me its not something he wants to discuss, though I don’t like the thought of him leaving.

I want to get back the flirty, playful attitude that seems to have faded with my complaints about boredom and whatever personal drama had Colton frowning out at the ocean.

"I have an idea," I announce, hopping up from my chair. "Stay here."

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