Read His Allure, Her Passion Online

Authors: Juliana Haygert

His Allure, Her Passion (9 page)

BOOK: His Allure, Her Passion
5.09Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Yet, he didn’t know what to say to her, what to talk about. Opportunity lost, he parked his car in front of her building. For a moment, neither of them moved.

“Thank you,” she whispered, “for taking me to the party and for taking me out of there.” She smiled at him, a sad smile that touched him.

“No problem.”

Their eyes locked, the intensity of her green gaze sending shivers down his back. Damn, what was happening here?

Before he could find out, Hayley opened the door. “Good night.” She stepped out and ran to her building.

“Good night,” Dylan whispered to himself as he watched Hayley disappear through the front door.

Of course he knew what was happening. The way her heavy scent inside his car teased him was proof of how hard he was falling for her. Really falling for her. For the first time, he wanted more than just kisses and sex. Kissing her had been amazing, the memory of how her skin felt against his made his breathing grow shallow even now. But there was more to it. He liked her company, her conversations, her voice, her stare. And it all scared the hell out of him.

Damn, it was Hayley! His only true friend, or so she was before that incident during Christmas. He had to fix their friendship. He couldn’t risk it by chasing after her. What if she rejected him? She had all the right to, after all. Wasn’t he a playboy?

Determined to get her out of his mind, Dylan picked up his cell phone and browsed through his contact list, searching for the names of the girls who never said no to one night of sex with him. There were at least a dozen. He tried to pick one, but, when he imagined Hayley finding out about it, getting mad at him for making her look bad in front of the media, or adding to his reputation, he stopped.

Even if he never had a real chance with her, he just couldn’t be with another girl. Not now.

He drove to Princeton and went directly to the engineering lab to work on his project and distract his mind.

 

***

 

Hayley paced the room while devouring a chocolate bar.

Two days before, she had agreed to model for Chloe’s cousin, Claire. As a fashion student, Claire had to design a line for the next summer and present it to the professor in a show the university organized. Knowing Hayley was accepting almost any gig to add to her resume, Chloe suggested she join the show. After seeing about Hayley and Dylan on the media, Claire re-designed the show to revolve around the “famous” model.

The show, open to the public and media, was tonight.

After finishing the chocolate, Hayley grabbed a can of coke and a bowl of ice cream.

“Don’t you think that’s enough?” Chloe asked from the kitchen’s door. “I don’t understand you. You diet for days then eat all you can on the last day. Then you complain that you didn’t fit into the dress.”

Guilt surged inside of her. Hayley put her snacks back into the freezer and settled down on a stool. If only Chloe knew how terribly sick and nervous she felt.

“How is Claire?” Hayley asked to divert the topic.

“Nervous. She bit all her nails until they bled this morning.” Chloe held her hands.

An idea popped into Hayley’s head, and she shot up from the stool, startling Chloe. “Sorry. I’m…gonna get ready.”

“Okay.” Chloe squinted at her, a suspicious gleam in her eyes. “We leave in three hours.”

“I know.” Hayley darted into her room, closed the door, and grabbed her cell phone.

Some part of her screamed at her not to do this, but it was the only thing she could think to help her calm down.

She pressed the speed dial and waited.

Dylan picked it up on the fourth ring. “Hey, you.” His tone was friendly. “Finally decided to call me. What has it been? Five days? Six? Thought you forgot about me.”

If he wanted to talk to her, why didn’t he call?

She knew he was only teasing, being the same charmer as always, but her heart hammered anyway. “Hey, listen. Chloe’s cousin is a fashion student, and she has a show tonight. She invited me to model for her.”

“Nice.”

“Yeah. I think she wanted me because of you and me, you know, our pretend dating thing. So, I was thinking, would you like to come?”

“Bah, baby, I can’t.” The smile wasn’t in his voice anymore. “I’m really busy down here. I’m—”

“That’s okay,” she snapped, her tone harder than she wanted it to be. How stupid was she? It was Friday. Of course he would have plans. Probably with some girl. “Bye.”

She turned off the phone before he could hear her cry. Crap, she couldn’t let herself feel this way about him.

She hugged her pillow, trying not to think Patrick had been right after all.

Dylan would break her heart.

 

***

 

Dylan called Hayley for the hundredth time. He tried to believe her cell phone was muted because of the show instead of ignoring him.

After forty minutes of trying, she finally picked up.

“Hey, are you in the show yet?”

“Yes, but it’s over.” He could imagine the cute frown in between her brows. “Why?”

“Because I’m outside, waiting for you.”

“What?”

“Do you plan on staying there?”

A moment of agonizing silence. “No, I was picking my stuff up to go home.”

“Then come here. I’m right in the front of the building, dozens of paparazzi around my car.”

Ten minutes later, Hayley stepped out of the building and the paparazzi swarmed around her. She looked beautiful with her dark makeup and curled hair, tight jeans and sweater and high heeled boots. But her expression was scared, even behind her cute smile.

Hayley slid inside his car and her sweet scent hit him at once. So good.

“What are you doing here?” He leaned down over her, cupped her face and pecked her lips with his. She pulled back. “What was that for?”

“Cameras,” he whispered. “Smile.”

He held her shaking hand as she smiled to the paparazzi. He sped away, and she relaxed in the seat, pulling her hand away from his.

“You didn’t answer.” Her tone was cold. “What are you doing here?”

“Well, I wanted to reveal to you why I couldn’t come to your show.” At a red light, he stared into her eyes. “I’m sorry I didn’t come. I should have.”

“No.” She averted his eyes, making him nervous. “You shouldn’t. You have no obligations.”

“I know. But I wanted to.”

Her gaze returned to him, suspicion all over her features. Through his eyes, he tried to show her he wasn’t lying. His fingers itched to touch her. The honk of the cars behind them broke the spell, and he huffed. “Were you going somewhere now?”

“I was planning on going home, changing my outfit, and going ice skating.”

“Is that crucial?”

“Not really.”

“Do you have to wake up early tomorrow?”

Her eyebrows arched at him. “No. Where are you taking me? A party? I don’t have a proper outfit for one.”

“Don’t worry. You’re fine.” He glanced at her. “Can I borrow you until tomorrow morning?”

“I don’t know. If you have good intentions, yes. If you don’t, no.”

Dylan laughed. “My intentions are good, I promise.”

For the first half of the trip, silence reigned, allowing his mind to think and doubt his idea. He hoped she liked what he had to show her; he hoped she understood it. What if she didn’t approve of it? What if she mocked him? What if she gave up on going to the stupid Valentine’s Day ball with him?

Damn, here he was, worrying about Valentine’s Day for the first time in his life. The need to control his thoughts won, and he asked, “How was the show?”

“Good,” she answered unemotionally.

“Were you, uh, nervous? Did you get sick?”

“I was nervous a lot, but I didn’t get too sick, thankfully. Probably because Claire seemed more nervous than me.”

Dylan drove into Princeton, then parked his car near the Engineering Quadrangle.

Noticing the snow and her boots, Dylan offered his arm to her. For a moment, he thought she would refuse it. But she didn’t. With a firm grip, she linked her arm with his.

“What are you up to?” she asked, squinting at the sign in the building’s front garden.

He opened the building door for her. “Come on. I’ll show you what I mean.”

 

 

Chapter Thirteen

 

 

Hayley and Dylan entered a large room with many pieces of industrial equipment. He led her to a secluded corner, where tall panels of frosted glass served as walls.

“What is this?” she asked, glancing at the many plastic and metal sheets on the floor, a few odd looking metals pieces in a corner, drawings and calculations on dry-erase boards, and six desktop computers.

“My project.”

Hayley stared at him. “What?”

With a proud grin, he walked to one of the computers, turned the thirty-inch monitor on and showed her a drawing of two cars. “These are my project.”

“You drew them?”

“Yes.”

Her eyes went from the monitor to him, back to the monitor. “Wow, I feel so excluded right now. This isn’t recent. Why didn’t you tell me?”

Dylan leaned closer to her, his eyes intent on hers. “Excluded was exactly how I felt when I found out you get sick before your shows and stuff. Three years hanging out with you, and you never told me.”

“All right, I get it, and I’m sorry.” Her cheeks warmed. “I don’t like talking about that.” She pointed to her face. “It embarrasses me, as you can see.” Dylan smiled, and she stepped back, staring at the monitor again. “These look amazing. How long have you been working on them?”

“The idea has been in my head for quite some time.” His voice came directly from behind her, his body warming the tiny space between them. “But I actually started working on it the day we agreed on the deal.”

She whirled to face him, forgetting he was so close. “How? How come? I mean, these must have taken a lot of time.”

“They did, and they still do.” His eyes locked with hers and she found it very hard to breathe. “Let’s just say that to impress my father, to prove him wrong about me, is a great motivator.”

“What do you plan to do with these?” She pointed to the monitor, but neither of them looked at it.

“Have you seen any Deveraux cars?”

“Yes.”

“Big, old boats that only please old men,” he said, and she smiled. “It’s true! He complains I drive a car of another make, but it’s his fault.” He stepped back, finally letting her breathe in peace. “So I designed two sport cars.” He went to the plastic and metallic sheets on the center of the room. “I plan to create models of both cars and present them to my father at the ball, with everyone watching.”

“What? How did you manage to convince him to let you present the cars at the ball?”

“I’ve talked with one of his most trusted directors. He always cheers for my father and me to get along. I told him I need twenty to thirty minutes for a presentation, something for my father. He agreed.”

“That easily?” He nodded, walking closer to her. “What if your father chases you away before you’re finished?”

“It’s a possibility.”

“You’re crazy.”

“I know.”

His eyes burned into her and she turned to the screen to avoid them. “Where did you get this idea?”

Dylan leaned against a table beside the computer. “Most of it came from Bryan trying to get through to me.” His stare became somber, but never faltered. “He knew about my drawing talent and always told me I should try a career with that. Though, at that time, I was already a playboy, as my father likes to say. But he kept talking to me, kept telling me father would cut my allowance at some point, and I would have to find any job to pay my bills, things like that. Then, two months before his death, I saw a project from a design student. He had drawn boats and jet skis. That’s when the idea was born. I liked drawing, I liked cars, though not engineering like my father and Bryan did.”

She sat it the chair before the computer desk. “So, what are you going to do? Major wise?”

“I want to switch schools, look for an Industrial Design program.”

Dylan was a box of surprises.

“And how are you doing the project’s engineering part?”

“I hired James and three other guys from my classes to help me with that.”

“Wow,” she whispered. “You’ve changed.”

“I have.” His eyes lowered to his feet. “Minutes before his death, Bryan told me he had just asked his girlfriend to marry him, and she had said yes. He was so, so happy. They would tell my parents that night, after the car tests.” His chest heaved, and she felt an urge to hug him, to protect him from those memories. Even she remembered how he had died. In an accident, testing a prototype car. “He also said he believed in me. That he knew I would come around and surprise everyone and make them proud someday.” He swallowed hard. “Ten minutes later, he was inside that damn car, losing control of it, and crashing against that concrete wall.” He wiped the unshed tears in his eyes.

Hayley stood and embraced him. “I’m sure he was right. You’ll make your father proud someday.”

He hugged her back, pressing her to him.

Only once before had she seen him cry, and it had been about Bryan, too. After his brother’s death, Dylan had spent three days in her bed.

After a long time, the movement of Dylan's chest slowed, but his grip on her was still firm. He raised his head slightly, his lips hovered over her skin, going from her ear to her chin, the searing of his breath sending tingles down her body. Their eyes locked, and she shivered.

Hayley's heart lurched, and she acted. On tiptoes, she cut the distance between them and kissed him. Dylan answered immediately, kissing her back, his lips moving against hers, urgent, needy, and hungry. His hands traveled down to her hips and pulled her against him. Clinging to him, Hayley moaned, each nerve in her body aware of him, of his touch, of his hands, of his scent.

With a gasp, she broke away. “I’m so sorry.” She retreated several steps, her eyes wide. What had she done? He had been about to cry, vulnerable, and she had taken advantage of the situation, letting herself get carried away. “I’m so sorry. I can’t believe I did that.”

His head cocked, he narrowed his eyes at her. “Why?”

BOOK: His Allure, Her Passion
5.09Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

The Mapmaker's Sons by V. L. Burgess
The Savior Rises by Christopher C. Payne
Kill My Darling by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
Paying The Price by Mackenzie, Piper
Pull (Push #2) by Claire Wallis
In Plain View by Olivia Newport