Home > Boyfriend for Hire (Escorts, Inc. #1)(6)

Boyfriend for Hire (Escorts, Inc. #1)(6)
Kennedy Ryan

Although tainted isn’t exactly the word I would use to describe what I imagine a kiss with Elle would be like.

“It’s getting late,” I say, watching the other guests trickle out of the restaurant below us. “Big day tomorrow. Can’t have you staying up too late tonight.”

Elle doesn’t meet my gaze as she nods, then loops her arm through mine.

As I walk her to my car, she’s quiet, probably still confused about why I stopped that kiss. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I’m a little confused and disappointed myself. This job isn’t going the way I expected.

Twenty minutes later, I drop Elle off at her place. In the car, I asked her to walk me through the plan for tomorrow, and the air between us finally settled again.

By the time she climbed out of my car, we were both smiling and laughing, our connection having returned to easy and comfortable. This is exactly where the night needs to end if tomorrow is going to go well.

• • •

At home, I kick off my shoes and hang my dress clothes in the closet. The tux Case bought for me a couple years ago has been tossed onto my bed in a garment bag. He must have dropped it off while I was out. It’s industry standard to have formal wear on hand, and he makes sure all of us guys look good. Hell, that’s what we’re paid for.

I pull my undershirt over my head and toss it into the hamper, then slip on a pair of athletic shorts before getting in bed. Although my line of work can be tiring, I’m surprised by how tired I am. Even when I don’t have sex with a client, it can be mentally taxing, but it doesn’t normally wipe me out like this.

I run my hand roughly over my face, pausing to rub my temples. It’s Elle. Has to be. Something about her puts me on edge and relaxes me at the same time. We’ve only spent one evening together, and already I feel caught in an emotional push-and-pull that’s totally new to me. And dangerous.

I have a job to do. That’s that.

My phone buzzes on the bedside table, so I grab it and check the notification.

Well, think of the devil.

I open the text from Elle. It’s a picture of two dresses laid out side by side on a bed, accompanied by a question.

Plum or silver?

I smile. Some part of me likes the fact that it’s the night before the wedding, and she still hasn’t decided what to wear. And it doesn’t escape my notice that she’s asking me instead of someone closer to her, like her mother or Christine.

I examine the two dresses closer, happily recalling every dip and curve of Elle’s body and trying to imagine what it would look like in each one. I’m tempted to text back asking for pictures of her in each one, but I decide not to. Don’t want to come across as too forward. Besides, my memory serves me just fine. But I do realize that both dresses seem to be fluttery and flowy, making me wonder if she’s too self-conscious to wear something formfitting.

I frown at the thought. The woman is gorgeous. It’s a fucking shame she doesn’t know it.

Biting my lip, I send off my reply with a few swipes across my screen. It’ll be my job to make sure she knows how good she looks tomorrow night.

As I settle into bed, tucking my arm beneath my pillow, a thought crosses my mind. I’m glad I have another day on this job, with this client. I’m glad tonight wasn’t the last time I’ll ever see Elle.

Chapter Five

Elle

I’m just putting on my last swipe of mascara when my phone lets out a happy chirp. Nic is here to pick me up. Just seeing his name pop up on the screen makes butterflies fill my stomach.

I take one last look in the mirror. Satisfied with the way the plum-colored dress fits, hugging my cleavage and then flaring out, I grab my purse.

Last night went better than I ever could have imagined. As well as it went, I’m not sure if I should be offended that Nic didn’t try to kiss me at the end of the night. Maybe he’s just old-fashioned, or he doesn’t want to make a move too soon and freak me out.

When I step outside, he’s waiting for me by the car. His black tuxedo is perfectly tailored to accentuate his muscular body. As I lean in to give him a quick hug, I breathe him in. He smells so good—like leather and musk and something else I can’t quite place.

“You look beautiful. Stunning, actually,” he says as he pulls back to look at me again.

“You don’t look so bad, either.” I grin, staring into his chocolate-brown eyes.

“So, you ready for this?” he asks, cocking an eyebrow.

“Totally ready. But I don’t know if you’re ready for the waterworks.” When he looks confused for a moment, I confess. “I always cry at weddings.”

“I think that’s sweet.” He smiles, pulling open the car door for me.

I slap him playfully on the arm before I climb in. His car is a sleek black Tesla with a leather interior. I realize I never asked him what he does for work. He must be pretty successful to afford a car like this.

“What do you do for a living, by the way?” I ask as he climbs into the car next to me.

He stiffens for a second before shutting the door and starting the engine. “Finance,” he says, then adds quickly, “It’s not exciting.”

I sense he’s being short on purpose, so I decide to drop it. Maybe it stresses him out to discuss work in his free time. He definitely seems tense, but then I see his body relax and he smiles at me.

“My real dream is to work in real estate development,” he says as he pulls away from the curb. “Building custom homes.”

“That’s amazing.” I grin at him. “How’d you get interested in that?”

He shrugs. “I’ve always loved driving through nice neighborhoods and admiring the architecture. We didn’t have much money growing up, and I guess it was always my dream to live in a big, beautiful house.”

“I used to drag my parents to open houses in our neighborhood,” I say. “Maybe we’ll have to go to one together.”

He glances at me, a smile playing on his full lips. “Maybe we will.”

As Nic drives, I think about what he’s just told me. The more I learn about him, the more interesting I find him. The fact that he grew up poor is a total shock—at first glance, you’d think he’s the kind of guy who’s breezed his way through life. But I admire that he’s worked hard for his money.

When we pull up to the church, there’s already a crowd. I lead Nic to the front where my mom is sitting. She pulls me into a big hug as soon as she sees me, and I can tell she’s already on the verge of tears.

“Mom, the wedding hasn’t even started yet.” I laugh as she sniffles.

“My son is getting married,” she says, swatting me on the arm. “I’ll cry as much as I want to.”

“Mom, this is Nic,” I tell her, stepping aside so they can shake hands.

“Very nice to meet you,” Nic says. “You’ve got some great kids.”

“Of course they’re great,” she says, smirking at him. “I raised them.”

We all laugh, and my mom gives me a look. I can tell she’s going to grill me later about who Nic is and why I haven’t told her about him.

As we take our seats, I turn to Nic and whisper, “Sorry I didn’t warn you about my mom. She can be a little sassy.”

“She’s amazing.” Nic grins at me. “I like a woman with her own opinion.”

As the ceremony starts, I grab my mom’s hand. I know she’s going to totally lose it, and sure enough, within a minute, tears run down her face.

The ceremony is short and sweet. But when I see my brother gazing at Christine like she’s his whole world, and listen to them repeat their vows, I start to cry too. I’m so happy for them; they truly are perfect for each other.

I’m sniveling like a baby, but I don’t care. I’m so full of love for the both of them. And I’m secretly pleased they chose not to have a wedding party up there with them. Fewer people to witness my waterworks.

I try to wipe my tears away, but Nic pulls a tissue from his jacket and hands it to me.

“You brought tissues?” I ask, incredulous.

“I had a feeling you’d need them.” He grins.

I stare at him, still blown away by his chiseled jaw and mesmerizing brown eyes. He’s the complete package. Why is this man single? He must be a serial killer. I make a mental note to interrogate Christine about his lack of attachment later.

After the ceremony, everyone heads to the champagne reception, which is held in a pavilion overlooking the lake. As he drives, I can’t stop glancing at Nic.

He handled meeting my mom so well. Sometimes, she can be a bit much when you don’t know her, which could turn some people off. But she apparently didn’t even faze him, which I’m grateful for.

Even the way he drives is sexy, his big strong hands placed firmly on the wheel. It’s impossible not to think about how much I want his hands firmly placed on me.

When we arrive, Nic opens the door and helps me step out of the car. “Have I mentioned yet how amazing you look in that dress? It was definitely the right choice,” he says, smiling at me as we walk toward the crowd.

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