Duke's Redemption

Page 34

“You say that like it’s a bad thing.”
Duke may be quiet 99% of the time, but when he’s not, he’s able to keep up with me—which is beyond surprising.
He walks over to the kitchen cabinets and holds up a couple of knobs that I assume he got the last time he went to the hardware store.
“Alright, we need to make a decision on hardware for the cabinets as well as what type of finish you want.”
Honestly, I have no clue what I want. I don’t have the first idea of what would make a house more appealing to a potential buyer. I couldn’t even tell you what the knobs on the cabinets in my own apartment look like.
When Duke sees the blank look on my face, he asks, “Avery, are you still with me?”
“Kind of,” I answer, crossing my arms over my chest. “What would you do?”
“Huh?” One of his eyebrows cocks upward.
“If this was your house, and you were going to sell it—or live in it, I guess—what would you do?”
He thinks for a moment before saying, “I’d probably paint the cabinets white to brighten up the room and use simple hardware. Nothing too ornate.”
“Alright, that sounds good.”
He leans toward me. “Sweetheart, you understand that this isyourhouse, right? These things should probably be your decisions.”
“Technically, yes, it’s mine. But I need to know what would appeal to someone else if I’m going to rent it out.”
The look in his dark eyes says that he wants to say something else on the matter, but he must decide not to because he just says, “Okay, white cabinets it is. I will get started on getting everything sanded tomorrow.”
“Oh, with me sanding and painting, it’s going to be a bit of a mess in here. You may not want to cook in here for a couple of days.”
“Oh,” I stammer. “Okay.”
I’m not opposed to eating out or getting takeout except that I have no idea where anything is around here. I should probably venture to other places aside from the local Walmart and figure out what options there are.
As if Duke can see my internal worry, he moves closer to me and sets his hands on my waist. “How about tomorrow night you let me take you out?”
“You want to take me out?” I ask. “Like a date?”
He lets out a deep chuckle. “Yes, Avery. Like a date. I figure you have cooked for me a few times now, and it’s about time I return the favor. I’m a shitty cook, though, but I can take you out.”
“To be fair, I’ve cooked for you a few times, but we haven’t really gotten to eat it,” I correct with a small smile.
“Can I help it that you look too damn sexy to focus on food?” His hands move from my hips down to my ass. I wrap my arms around his neck and stand on my tiptoes as he grabs a handful.
“How do you do that?” I ask.
“How do I do what?”
“Make me feel so sexy with just saying a few words.”
He shrugs and shoots me a playful smile. “I don’t talk a lot. When I do, I better make damn sure I say the right thing. And making sure you know how gorgeous you are seems like the best use of my words.”
“Lord, you’re smooth. Anyone ever told you that?”
“Not as often as you may think.”
I highly doubt that, but I’m not about to argue with him. I’d rather move on to other, more pleasant things.