“I bet you bleed red, white and blue,” he said, shaking his head. “Guys, when you work security for a bunch of snooty rich folks, they don’t want you to be anything but furniture that they can ignore. You’re too obvious. You’ll draw attention. Look at me.”
He imitated their stance perfectly. “Do I look relaxed? No. I look ready to leap swiftly upon the first miscreant to cross my path. The expression on your faces is like everyone in this room is a bad guy. Look….”
He shifted his stance slightly, relaxing the muscles in his face from a frown to a bland expression. His body was no less erect, but some of the tension was gone. He seemed to blend into the wall, though Taylor couldn’t figure out how he did it.
“Holy shit!” Greg said eagerly. “Show me how to do that.” He stood beside Jason and tried to imitate him.
“You’re not getting it,” Taylor said. “You’re trying too hard. Relax, Greg. Pretend you just had great sex and you’re totally tension free.”
“Easy for you to say. Some of the rest of us aren’t that lucky.”
Taylor blinked, swallowing hard.
“Sorry.” He rubbed his face with his hands. “Look, this is like the elephant in the room and it’s gonna keep getting bigger until we deal with it. We all know what’s going on and happy as I am that you two hooked up—I’m not that happy that it wasn’t me, Tay. I think we would have been good together and I wish you’d given us more of a chance. I know I’m not the man for you, but a little courtesy, like not kissing him in front of me. Or maybe not screaming quite so loud. There are other people in the house and some of us haven’t had sex for so long, we forget how it works.
“Jason, dude, I wish I were you. I’ve been crazy about this woman for almost two years. I work with her every day and she makes me insane. If you mistreat her in any way, I will personally hunt you down and beat the ever loving hell out of you.”
“I’m sorry,” Taylor said with a sob. “I’m a horrible person!”
“No, you’re not, Taylor,” Greg said softly. “Maybe the horrible one is me. I should have told you how I feel a long time ago and I didn’t have the balls to do it. So you’re with the better man.” He left the room, rushing down to the first floor.
There was silence in the sitting room after he left. Taylor cried softly, burying her face on Jason’s shoulder. He put his arms around her, giving her what comfort he could. Tim and Alex left them alone, following Greg downstairs.
“I didn’t mean for this to happen.”
“Obviously, love. It’s not like you were expecting me to fall into your life.”
“But I pushed him away before I even met you!”
“Taylor, you can’t feel responsible for the man falling in love with you.”
“I led him on….”
“No, you didn’t. You were just you. Hell, I fell for you the moment I met you.”
“Really? I was so rude to you.”
She looked and sounded so surprised, he had to laugh.
“Really. I took a look and I thought, ‘There’s a lady who could whip my ass. I’d like to get to know her’.”
“Your exact thoughts?”
He shrugged, pouting slightly. “Paraphrased, perhaps. I’ve never been so wickedly attracted to a woman in my life.”
“She drugged and seduced me. You didn’t have to do that. I was completely intoxicated by you. All by yourself, no chemicals involved.”
His kiss was tender, reassuring. He led her to his room, locking the door behind them. Taylor put her gun and holster in the drawer by the bed as he fondled her from behind.
“I love you, Taylor. Only you—always you….” he whispered as they made love.
“And I love you,” she replied.
© Dellani Oakes
To Purchase Dellani’s Books:
Under the Western Sky http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Oakes_Dellani/under-the-western-sky.htm