Duke's Redemption

Page 42

Although I’m not opposed to the idea. I actually like it.
Looking at her, I ask, “Have I told you how beautiful you look tonight?”
Her cheeks blush a little as she licks her lips. “I think that you covered that when you were admiring my ass earlier.”
“Well, sweetheart, as much as I love your sexy ass, I need to let you know that the rest of you looks absolutely gorgeous.”
She smiles. “You clean up pretty good too, Tex.”
“And for what it’s worth, I think all of those other guys were idiots. I don’t think you should change a thing.”
“Thank you. I learned a while ago that changing who I am isn’t going to do anybody any good.”
A moment later, our food shows up, and we dig in.
Randomly, Avery asks, “Where do you live?”
“Where do you live when you’re not with me?”
“I have a small trailer over off First Street. It’s pretty small, but it works for just me. It’s on a decent chunk of land, so I have some space to move around.”
“You should get a dog or something,” she says between bites.
“I can barely take care of myself,” I joke. “Do you have any animals back in Boston?”
She sighs and rolls her eyes. “No, my building is pet-free. Otherwise, I’d definitely have a dog.”
“No cat?”
“Here’s the thing. If I have one cat, I’d end up with ten, and I don’t know that I’m ready to be a crazy cat lady yet. I’m crazy enough without a feline following.”
A deep laugh erupts from my chest. This woman is something else. I’ve never met anyone quite like her.
When we fall silent for a few moments, I say, “Hey, I was just thinking about our talk last night—about your dad.”
Looking a little worried, she says, “Oh?”
“Yeah, I may not have much information on him, but I’m betting someone in town does. Maybe we can ask some questions and see if we can get you some answers.”
Her face lights up. “Really? Do you think we can get people to talk?”
“No idea. I’m not exactly the town teddy bear, but it’s worth a try.”
She thinks for a moment, as if she’s trying to decide if she wants to ask something else. I guess she decides to shoot her shot.
“You said you got in trouble a lot when you were younger. What happened?”
I’m not sure that I’m ready to answer that question. Honestly, I don’t know that I’ll ever be ready. She will probably think less of me. And I don’t know if I could stand that.
I respond with, “Just stupid teenage shit. But people in small towns love to hold grudges. You know how it goes.”
She smiles. “Well, I don’t, but I’ll take your word for it.”
Internally, I let out a sigh of relief that she doesn’t press me any further.
When there’s another silence, Avery leans forward and says, “You still thinking about me with no panties?”