The Doctor's Fake NannyBy: Tiana Cole
Finally, she snapped her mouth shut with a click of teeth, smiling her thanks at the waiver and staring into the glass of wine as if she would find salvation somewhere in its red depths. She felt a hot blush tinge her light brown skin a darker shade of scarlet. What was wrong with her? She had practically ogled the man.
She felt his presence behind her before she saw him, as if the very air around him was electrified. It had all the hair on her arms standing on end and goose bumps erupting as he spoke.
“Hello, I hope you don’t mind.” He raised a dark brow in the direction of the wine glass she was nervously toying with. “I just…Oh, do you need to take that?”
With a jolt she realized she still had the phone in her hand, Terry’s voice yelling from the other end. Quickly, she held it to her ear.
“Hi, Terry, I have to go.” With that, she punched the button to end the call.
“I hope that wasn’t on my account.”
Jade glanced up at him through a thick fringe of dark lashes, aware of the way his deep voice ran over her like warm honey. “Really?”
He shrugged sheepishly, grinning at her all the while. “Well, no. Not really. I’m flattered, actually. But, I hope it wasn’t…important?” There was something about the pause before the word that had her thinking he was going to say something different, but changed his mind.
“It was a friend.” Jade said, tilting her head to one side as he smoothly took the seat across from her. She didn’t miss the way his blue eyes lit up at her words. He held a hand out to her.
“I’m Carl, by the way. Carl Roberts.”
She hesitantly reached her own out, savoring the slide of palm against palm despite the alarm bells going off inside her.
Carl Roberts. The real estate mogul who owned practically half of downtown and had made billions turning around old houses and buildings and selling them for a massive profit. And he was casually sitting across from her as if he sent glasses of wine to pretty strangers on a daily basis. For all she knew, he did.
“My name is Jade Benoit.”
“Benoit?” he said, tasting her name in a way that had shivers tripping down her spine. “Is that French?”
“Cajun, actually.” Jade sighed, hating the fact that she was suddenly breathless. “My family is from New Orleans.”
She realized he was still holding her hand, and with a pang of disappointment she tried to deny, drew her own away, tucking it into her lap.
“I’m from South Carolina, born and bred. I tried New York for a few years, but it didn’t work out. You can take the boy out of the south, but I guess you can’t take the south out of the boy.”
He laughed a little at his own joke and it transformed his face from handsome to something so much more dangerous—likable.
Jade found herself smiling along with him as he continued to chat about himself, asking her questions about her family, her job, and before she knew it she was on her second glass of wine, telling him all about the situation at the middle school.
What struck her most was not the questions he was asking, but the way he listened. Leaning forward, soaking in everything she said, like he cared. Like what she said mattered to him.
It was that that finally had her agreeing to go on a date with him around the third time he’d asked. Something simple, he promised. But she had a feeling that nothing would be simple when it came to Carl Roberts.
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