The House Mate Page 19


I blinked, staring at it in wonder. “Did you make that for me?”

“Dylan and I did.” She shrugged. “It was nothing.” Her cheeks turned a pretty shade of pink, and I stepped toward her.

“It’s not nothing. You do so much for me.” I took her hand, wanting to thank her, but the second I touched her skin, that damn electric pulse shot through my veins and I wanted to pull her closer, to smell the sweet lavender of her hair again. To feel her lips against mine.

There was a reason I shouldn’t. I knew it was in there somewhere, but damn it all if I could think of it right now—especially not with her silky hair hanging down her back and her cute little short-shorts framing that perfect ass.

I glanced down at her hand, closing one eye again to stop the double vision, and wondered if it would be weird if I bent over and kissed it like they did in olden times. Luckily, she pulled it away from me before I drunkenly decided it wouldn’t.

“Did you have a good birthday?” she asked.

“It was okay. I would have liked it better if you were there.”

She raised her eyebrows. “Is that so?”

“Yeah. This girl came over to me and sat on my lap, you know,” I murmured, suddenly enthralled with the graceful line of her neck.

Addison’s mouth flattened into a thin line, but then she smiled. “Ah, so it sounds like a very good birthday then.”

“No, I made her get off.” I shook my head. “The only person I want on my lap is you.”

Her eyes widened and her pink cheeks went crimson. “Oh boy, yep. Definitely time for bed.”

“Listen, don’t placate me because I’m drunk. It doesn’t mean I’m not telling the truth.” I took her hand again, this time pulling her close enough that her body was flush against mine.

She fidgeted, almost like she was debating whether she should move away, but I wrapped my arm around her waist and rested my hand on her lower back.

“I only want one birthday gift this year,” I said. “And it’s you.”

I cupped her chin with my free hand and she stared into my eyes, her expression torn, like she was at war with herself.

Time to see if I could help make up her mind.

I swooped down, crushing my lips to hers, and that sweet electricity sparked between us again, igniting something in me I wasn’t sure I’d ever felt before. I pulled her body closer still, wanting her to feel the thick outline of my erection. She moaned a low, needy sound as her hips arched against mine.

I groaned in reply, rubbing against her so that my cock rode her slit in just the right spot. God, did I need to get inside her. Slide deep into that wet, hot warmth that I could feel branding me through the fabric of my jeans.

I lifted a hand to cover one of her breasts, my pulse cranking up as her nipple pebbled beneath my fingers.

To my surprise, her fingers trailed down my stomach, burrowing between us to cup my cock, running up and down over the fabric.

Fuck if I didn’t want her to unzip me right then and there and slip her hand down the front of my boxers. I wanted her to tease me, stroke my swollen shaft up and down, and then get on her knees and do all the things I’d imagined her doing three times a day since she’d moved in here with me.

Instead, she gripped me one last time and then slid her hand away to grab my ass, pulling me close to her again. We were lost in each other, consumed by the heat of our mouths, the feel of our tongues as they slid against each other. I stepped back, drawing her with me until I felt the bed frame behind me, but misjudged and went tumbling backward. When the room finally stopped spinning and I opened my eyes, I realized I was alone on the mattress.

Addison stared down at me, her nipples hard, her chest heaving, and her eyes full of regret. “You’re drunk,” she whispered. “I’m sorry. It just doesn’t feel right.”


“But I want you,” I said, knowing I was slurring my words even as I said it and cursing myself.

She shook her head slowly. “I know. And I want you. But not like this. We’ll talk tomorrow like adults when both of us have had time to let sanity prevail.” She pressed the back of her hand to her heated cheek, and then said, “Happy birthday, Max.”


I slumped back on the bed and watched as she left the room, my cock raging with unfulfilled need.

Happy fucking birthday, indeed.

Chapter Fourteen


“Tiffany, would you bring in the largest bottle of Tylenol you can find?” I rested my forehead on my palm and tried to think of anything else I could do to ease the throbbing pain of the world’s most epic hangover.

Luckily, I hadn’t thrown up, or if I did, I definitely didn’t remember. Which wasn’t saying much because I already couldn’t remember how in the hell I got home from the bar. I made a mental note to get in touch with Zach and find out.

Tiffany opened my door and rested a pill bottle on the corner of the desk. “Is that all you need?”

“Coffee,” I croaked. “And . . . yeah, just coffee. From the deli across the street. It’s stronger than what we have here.”

Her brow furrowed with worry, but she turned on her heel and clicked the door closed behind her.

All morning, between hating myself for developing a taste for alcohol and cursing my friends for encouraging me, I’d been thinking of Addison.

Just before I left for work this morning, I came into the kitchen to find her eating a cupcake, the tiniest bit of frosting clinging to the corner of her mouth. I wanted to walk over and kiss it away, then taste the sugar on her tongue.

Instead, I’d grabbed some coffee and asked, “Do you have any idea why I woke up covered in chocolate frosting?”

She gave me a wary grin. “No, but I do know when I put you to bed, I left one on your nightstand.”

“Drunk eating.” I groaned. “Is there anything worse? Judging by the ketchup on my shirt, I’m guessing it wasn’t the first round of it either.”

“A time-honored tradition,” she said with a nod and shot me a wink.

“Tell me I didn’t do anything stupid,” I demanded, dread already building in my gut.

“Not that I know of. I didn’t talk to your friends when they dropped you off, but you did say . . .” The color in her cheeks rose and she said, “You asked me for a very particular kind of birthday gift.”

“Ah,” I said carefully. “I see.” I’d told her I wanted her a few days before, so there was no point in walking it back now. “Well, I can’t say that I regret that. Especially when I still don’t know your answer. Did you tell me last night?” Had I been so drunk that I wouldn’t remember something so fucking imperative? The thought was chilling. “Jesus, did you decide what you want to do and I missed it?”

She swallowed another bite of her cupcake and shook her head. “No, but—”

“You know what? Let’s talk about it tonight.”

I felt like a prisoner who had been given a stay of execution. After her seeing me behave like a stumbling fool, I needed at least one more chance to redeem myself before she made her decision. She nodded, and I scooped up my briefcase and headed for the door before she changed her mind. I was in such a rush to get out before she changed her mind that I brought the ceramic coffee cup to my truck with me.

It didn’t matter, though.

I needed to focus on tonight. I had to do something so perfect and Addison-inspired that she couldn’t possibly turn down my proposal. All I had to do was figure out what that thing would be.

Normally, if I needed something like this, I’d ask Tiffany to handle it—she picked out the best flowers and fruit baskets, and I obviously had no idea what I was doing. But when it came to Addison? Well, I knew that wasn’t an option. If I wanted to win her over, I was going to have to do it myself. She deserved no less.

As the day went on, I put together the pieces. I called in an order to the grocery store and to the florist. I picked out a special bottle of wine. I was going to do this right, and by the time I got home, I was filled with single-minded determination.

While Addison changed Dylan, I rushed around the living room, picking up the toys and even vacuuming before she got the chance. When she came back down, I told her to relax in the living room while I handled the kitchen. She protested, but eventually she did as I asked.

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