Most of my characters have known each other before they take things to the next level, but in Texas Tangle, Brett has had a thing for Nikki since high school. But to save his friendship with Dillon he set his own desires aside…
copyright 2010 Leah Braemel
[I]t took them less than two minutes to stack the dishes in the dishwasher. Two long, awkward minutes where Brett was hard-pressed keeping his eyes off the way his shirt hugged the curves of Nikki’s breasts. The way the hem rode up when she reached up to close a cupboard door, promising a peek at her taut little ass. How pathetic was it that he was jealous of his own damned shirt?
Nikki leaned against the counter as he filled the soap dispenser in the dishwasher door. “Dillon asked me to marry him.”
“I heard.” It came out as a whisper. He cleared his throat. “He also said you didn’t say yes.”
“Once bitten, twice shy, you know?”
If you’re looking for an emotional, sensual, heartwarming story, this is it. ~ Blackraven’s Reviews
He closed the dishwasher, then fiddled with the buttons, trying to buy time. “There’s also the saying if you fall off a horse, it’s best to get right back up again. Dillon’s a good guy. He’d be there for you whenever you need him. Him and his family. You won’t go wrong marrying him.”
“Yes, he is a good man.” A sympathetic look flickered across her face then disappeared, as if she knew that wasn’t what he wanted from her.
“But you know, you’re a good man too.”
A good man wouldn’t be fantasizing about fucking his best friend’s girl, his conscience mocked. He shrugged her off, turning away, only to have her follow until she was directly in front of him.
She caught his face between her palms and forced him to look at her. “You are! You put your life on the line for strangers every day. And I know the Barnetts love you as much as if you were born to them. That says a lot about your character, you know.”
If she only knew where he wanted her to put her hands. Then she’d see his real character, discover the dark needs he kept carefully hidden, not only from her but from Dillon too. “I’d do anything for them.”
She searched his eyes for a moment. “Do you ever wonder where we’d be if it had been you who had stopped for me that night?”
“But it wasn’t me, was it?”
“What if it was?”
He opened his eyes. She was looking at him with such compassion, even love. The knots in his stomach twisted even tighter. “We can’t play that game, Nik. You’re with Dillon. You’ve made your choice.”
“You’re here, aren’t you? Just leave it at that. Please?” He stepped back, leaving her hand hanging in mid-air for a second before she dropped it. “You’re better off with Dillon. He’s good for you. He’s got a family who will love you. He’s got this farm where you can keep your horses.”
He’s better than me; he’s not damaged.
“Love isn’t about money. It’s not about how much land a man has. It’s about how much he loves me. How much I love him.”
“Dillon loves you.” The words might have been broken glass, the way they tore at his throat.
“I know he does. Even if he hasn’t said the words.”
“You love him too.”
“Yes, I do.”
At Nikki’s answer, he sat down on the chair with a thud. “See? You’ve made your choice.”
And it wasn’t him. She’d chosen Dillon.
*HARLEQUIN COVER ART: Cover Art Copyright© 2010 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A. Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. © and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.
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